Energy Geopolitics in East Asia and the Challenges for South Korea

Jae-Seung Lee, 2011-2012 KSP Visiting Scholar; Professor of International Studies,Korea University

RSVP required by 5PM January 23

The energy geopolitics in East Asia has reflected strong competition among major energy consuming countries (China, Japan and Korea) despite the alleged necessity of energy cooperation to cope with uncertainties in the global energy market and to prevent potential conflicts regarding energy supply. Without abundant energy resources, South Korea has to face the tough challenges from energy supply, climate change as well as the North Korean energy and nuclear crisis. In recent years, South Korea has actively pursued overseas energy development to guarantee a stable procurement of hydrocarbon energy resources on the one hand and introduced the Green Growth policy, on the other hand, to deal with the challenges from climate change and clean energy. The Green Growth policy has symbolized a paradigm shift to cope with climate change, fossil fuel depletion, and global economic recession by creating new engines for economic growth through green technology and clean energy. Based on strong political support and policy measures, it has showed noticeable progress in a short period of time but the transition from a hydrocarbon-based economy to a renewable-based one could bear huge uncertainties and challenges. South Korea has also been active in participating East Asian energy cooperation. Multilateral energy cooperation is also important in dealing with North Korean energy crisis which could bring about serious economic and political consequences.

Jae-Seung Lee is a visiting scholar with the Korean Studies Program (KSP) for the 2011–12 academic year, and he is also currently a professor of international studies at Korea University. Before joining the faculty of Korea University, he served as a professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As a scholar in international political economy, Lee has authored a number of books and articles on Korea, East Asia, and Europe. His current research also includes the energy security and energy diplomacy of Korea, among others. During his time with KSP, he will conduct a research project on the geopolitics of East Asian energy relations.

Lee is currently an editor-in-chief of the Korea Review of International Studies and he also serves as a member of the Policy Advisory Board of the Presidential Secretariat (Foreign and Security Affairs) and as vice director of Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI). He was selected as an Asia Society Young Leader in 2006 and as a Young Leader by the InterAction Council, a group of former heads-of-state, in 2008. He has contributed op-ed articles to major Korean newspapers and has commented on international affairs for BBC, CNN, and Korean broadcast stations.

Lee holds a BA in political science from Seoul National University (1991), and an MA (1993) and PhD (1998) in political science from Yale University. He also earned a certificate from the Institut D’Etudes Politiques de Paris (1995). He has taught at Yale University and Seoul National University.

Friday, January 27, 2012 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor