Seung-Young Kim

Seung-Young Kim

SY Kim teaches and researches international history and politics of Korea and East Asia with an emphasis on the 20th century. He joined the School of East Asian Studies from September 2011 and is in charge of external relations of Korean Studies.

Before joining the University of Sheffield, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen (2003-2011). He was also a teaching fellow at Harvard University on the Cold War international history (2000).

SY Kim has published on the history of US-Korean relations and international relations of Northeast Asia in the 20th century. He has combined multi-archival historical research with insights offered by the theories of international relations. He has also developed research interests on the interwar Japanese diplomacy and British policy towards the Far East in the 1930s.

After publishing his book on American diplomacy toward Northeast Asia (2009), he has been preparing his second book project which examines major turning points of diplomacy in Northeast Asia in the 20th century.


  • American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882-1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and U.S. Commitment to a Periphery (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

  • “Miki Takeo’s Initiative on the Korean Question and the US-Japanese Diplomacy, 1974-76,” Journal of American-East Asian Relations, 20:4 (December 2013), pp. 377-405.

  • “Russso-Japanese Competition over Korean Buffer at the Beginning of the 20th Century and its Implications,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 16: 4 (December 2005), pp. 619-650.

  • “American Elites’ Strategic Thinking Towards Korea: From Kennan to Brzezinski,” Diplomacy & Statecraft, 12:1 (London: Frank Cass, March, 2001), 185-212.

  • “Balancing Security Interest and ‘Mission’ to Spread Democracy: American Diplomacy toward South Korea from 1969 until Today,” in Robert Wampler, ed., Trilateralism and Beyond: Great Power Politics and the Korean Security Dilemma During and After the Cold War (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, June 2012, pp.50-87).

Professional roles

  • Associate of the John M. Olin Institute of Strategic Studies at Harvard University (1998-2000)

  • Research associate at the National Security Archive (Washington D.C.) (2005-2012)

  • Former diplomatic correspondent and the UN correspondent for The Chosun Ilbo newspaper in South Korea