The Ellison Center Welcomes Visiting Scholars
Professor Beom-Shik Shin is a visiting scholar from Seoul National University (SNU) in Seoul, South Korea. Shin is an Associate Professor in the department of politics and diplomacy at SNU, where he teaches Russian foreign policy and international affairs in Eurasia. He studied at SNU as an undergraduate, and received his PhD from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1997. He began his PhD program in 1991, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union and feels “really lucky to have had a chance to witness the dismantlement of communism” in the 90s, and to observe how people adapted to the transitional economy. He arrived at UW this past January to conduct research for an upcoming article and to take classes on environmental issues in politics.
Shin is currently writing an article examining US-Russian relations on a regional level in the Asia Pacific, which he believes will be a major stage for global affairs in the coming years. He claims that most Russian specialists in the US do not pay much attention to this region, but argues that the US needs to adopt a different attitude in order to deal with China's rising influence. Shin feels that Russian specialists here hold a deep mistrust toward the incoming Putin administration and its projected foreign policy goals. He thinks that the US must understand Putin's pragmatism, and that through this the US can better cooperate with Russia on a regional level. Shin also points out that the US often puts Russia and China into the same category, when in fact the two countries have many tensions of their own, stemming from a shared border and often similar but conflicting interests. He posits that there is precedent for such an attitude change in our own history when Kissinger dealt with China in the 1970s in order to reconfigure the regional power structure.
In addition to his article, Shin is working on a book about Russia’s approach to Northeast Asia. In the long term, Shin hopes to delve more into environmental issues in politics. When he returns to SNU, Shin plans to engage students in environmental issues in order to plant the crop for future specialists, since there are few scholars in the country who are specialists this field.
Shin visited Seattle four years ago when he took a road trip with his family from Vancouver, BC to San Diego. He enjoys being back and values what UW has to offer. He finds UW to be a great place to make friends and connect with like-minded scholars. Shin also looks forward to spending time in the mountains before he leaves next February.