Europe and East Asia: Holistic Convergence or Fundamental Skepticism?

ASIA FORUM with Prof. Nam-Kook Kim

Professor at Korea University, Republic of Korea

Thursday, June 17, 2010, 10:00-11:30

This lecture traces the possibility of East Asian integration through comparison with the early stage of European integration on three different levels: ideas, national interests, and international circumstance. Judging from the European experience, ideas always come first, then national interest contests, and eventually the international circumstance conditions the context. I compare the multilateral approach in Europe with the imperial hegemony competition in East Asia, Adenauer’s regionalization policy in Europe with the Yoshida line of Westernization detouring from Asia, and the US and Russia’s different roles in the two regions as external forces constraining the international order. His conclusion for the future of East Asia is located somewhere between views of procedural divergence and fundamental skepticism. He worries about integration for the sake of integration in which regional integration is presupposed as inherently good. Such discourse will easily be deteriorated and such a blind community simply collapses when circumstances change. For these reasons, there needs to be an adequate discussion regarding for what, by whom, and through which method integration is achieved.

Prof. Kim received a Ph. D in political science from the University of Chicago. He also studied at Seoul National University, Korea and Oxford University, England. Currently, he is a Professor in Department of Political Science & International Relations at Korea University. Prof. Kim’s research concern is on contemporary political theory, especially citizenship, human rights, and multicultural matters in European and Asian countries. He is one of editors of Korean Political Science Review in 2010. His publication includes books such as Nikolai I. Bukharin: Between Two Extremes of Revolution and Anti-Revolution (M&I), Globalization and Regional Integration in Europe and Asia (Ashgate), Deliberative Multiculturalism in Britain (Peter Lang) and articles such as “Politics and Religion in Britain and France,” “Democratic Deficit in European Integration,” “A Normative Leader or Realistic Compromiser? EU’s Conflicting Roles in Human Rights and Security Policies,” and “Revisiting New Right Citizenship Discourse in Thatcher’s Britain,” which appear in Citizenship Studies, Asia Europe Journal, Ethnicities, and International Migration.

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Martina Klimesova at