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Minseon Ku, Ph.D. Candidate

Ohio State University, Columbus

Country: United States (Ohio)

About Me:

Minseon Ku is a PhD student in International Relations at the Ohio State University Political Science department. Her research interests include exploring the nexus between national identity and foreign/security policy, and theorizing ontological security of states. Prior to coming to OSU, she was a junior researcher at Office of the Korea Chair at CSIS in Washington, D.C and a research assistant at the National Assembly Budget Office in Seoul, South Korea. She earned her BA in Political Science & International Relations and Master's degree in Global Affairs & Policy at Yonsei University in Seoul. 

Research Interests

Foreign Policy

Political Psychology

Asian Politics

Political Theory

Text as Data

National Identity

Ontological Security

Foreign Policy Analysis

Critical IR Theory

International Security

Countries of Interest

South Korea

North Korea



United States


Journal Articles:

(2016) The role of identity in South Korea's policies towards Japan, Korean Social Science Journal

This paper asks why South Korea’s relations with Japan is so vulnerable todisputes over history in the post-Cold War period. It argues that South Korea’s identitiesvis-a`-vis Japan and North Korea respectively conflict with each other and leads toinconsistent policy towards Japan that hovers between cooperation and discord. By ana-lyzing South Korea’s relations with Japan as well as its policies and behavior in the post-Cold War period, this paper aims to show how identity factor affects a state’s foreignpolicy and behavior towards other states. In doing so, it questions the rationalityassumption of state behavior in IR and offers alternative explanations on how to betterunderstand ‘‘emotional’’ foreign policies.

(2015) Rational Emotions: The Role of Identity and Emotions in Dokdo/Takeshima Dispute between South Korea and Japan, EPIK Journals Online, East Asia Institute

:This paper looks at the role of emotions in international relations by linking it to identity. It blurs the distinction between rationality and emotions and explains emotional action by altering the equation of desire (interests) + belief (identity) = action. There are two parts to the argument. First, it argues that identities trigger specific emotions, making the attribution of emotional action as “irrational” obsolete. Second, an emotion lingers because it gets institutionalized. By combining the sociological approach to emotions and constructivist theory of international relations, it explains the source of the Korean public’s anger toward Japan’s actions and its persistence in the case of Dokdo/Takeshima territorial-historical dispute. It concludes by providing important implications for the study of conflicts and tensions in international relations by showing how identity clash and the anger generated adversely affect inter-state relations.