Soyoung Kwon

Soyoung Kwon

Soyoung Kwon

Associate Professor

Director of Center for Security Policy Studies - Korea. Comparative Politics, North Korea, Peace and Security in Northeast Asia, Public (sport) Diplomacy

Dr. Soyoung Kwon is currently an Associate Professor of Global Affairs and Director of Security Policy Studies-Korea of Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University.

Prior to joining George Mason University Korea, she taught as a lecturing professor at Graduate School of International Studies at Kyung Hee University, Chunbuk National University, and Yonsei University. Upon obtaining Ph.D degree from University of Cambridge, she worked a research associate fellow at the East Asia Institute of Cambridge University, and later as a Shorenstein fellow at the Asia Pacific Research Center of Stanford University. Dr. Kwon moved on to the government and policy sectors to serve as a spokesperson for foreign correspondents at the Ministry of Unification of Republic of Korea and as a Korea specialist and advisor on the EU-Korea relations at the European Parliament in Brussels. In the field of sport diplomacy, she served a special advisor to the President of the World Taekwondo Federation in charge of international affairs and IOC relations in the field of international sports, and became a founding board member of the International Sport Relations Foundation.

Current Research

Research Project on "A Data Analytical approach to Studying North Korea: a text analysis of the Rodong Sinmun 1950-2019" (Co-PI with Seoul National University)

Policy Research on "the Governance System of Sport Public Diplomacy" for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PI)

Strategy Report on 2030 Asian Games Bidding - Olympic Council of Asia (Co-researcher).

Selected Publications

Soyoung Kwon (2019) "A Study of Spots Public Diplomacy Governance System in South Korea", Policy Report,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea. 

Soyoung Kwon (2018) "Post-communist Transition Revisited: the North Korean Regime in a Comparative Authoritarian Perspective," Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal (SCOPUS), Vol. 4, No. 2, July/Aug.

Roland Wilson and Soyoung Kwon (2018). "The Importance of Position and Power Symmetry in International Relations: the Case of US Foreign Policy towards North Korea," The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis (SSCI), Vol. 30, No. 2

Soyoung Kwon (2017). "Prospects for Regime Change in North Korea," International Journal of Korean Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall/Winter. 

Soyoung Kwon (2015). "A Comparative Study of the Olympic Games in East Asia: the nexus between politics and sports" Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1. 

Soyoung Kwon and Young Chul Cho (2014) "Legitimacy and Regime Security in North Korea: Pyongyang's Slogan Politics, " East and West Studies, Vol. 26

Soyoung Kwon and Joon Seok Hong (ed.)(2014). Sports Relations in East Asia: Theory and Practice, Seoul: iSR Press. 

Glyn Ford and Soyoung Kwon (2008), North Korea on the Brink: Struggle for Survival, London:Pluto Press.(also translated into Japanese and Korean)

List of Issue Briefs, Policy Papers, Newspaper columns

Expanded Publication List

Refer to the CV attached

Grants and Fellowships

Post-doctoral fellowship, Asia Pacific Research Center, Stanford University (2004-2005)

Research Fellow, Yonsei Institute for Unification Studies, Yonsei University (2015-  )

Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) Research Grant (2018-2019)

UNIKOREA Fund Grant Program (2018-2019)

Seoul National University Institute for Peace and Unification Studies Grant (2019)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Policy Research Grant (2019)

UniKorea Foundation Overseas Project Grant (2022)

Courses Taught

GLOA 101 Introduction to Global Affairs

GOVT 133 Introduction to Comparative Politics

GOVT 322 International Relations Theory

GOVT 333 Government / Politics of Asia

GOVT 342 Diplomacy

GOVT 347 Security Studies

GLOA 400 Capstone / 599 Issues in Global Affairs 


Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, England)

M.Phil in Social and Poliitcal Science, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, England)

M.A. in Social Science, Stockholm Univeristy (Stockholm, Sweden)

B.A. in Political Science and Diplomacy, Ewha Women's University (Seoul, Korea)

Recent Presentations

"Energy and Environment" at the Northeast Economic Forum, Incheon National University, Korea. August 9, 2019. 

"Regime Security in North Korea and Prospect" at the World Congress of Korea Association of Political Science, Seoul, Korea. June 25, 2019.

"Sports Diplomacy as a peacebuilding Tool" Annual Conference in Political Science, Busan Korea. June 22, 2018.

"Sport in Conflict Resolution" Asian Studies International Conference, Hebrew University, Israel. May 24, 2018.

Delegation for Republic of Korea, International Symposium on New Directions and New Approaches in UN Peace Operations: East Asian Contribution, UN University, Tokyo, Japan. April 20, 2018.

"Prospects for Political Change in North Korea" Lunchtime Seminar at George Mason University Korea, April 18, 2081.

"The North Korean Regime in a Comparative Authoritarian Perspective" 2017 Sizihwan International Conference on Asia-Pacific Studies. Kaohsiung, Taiwan, December 1, 2017. 

In the Media

"PyeongChang Sports Diplomacy", Hankuk Kyeongjae (Korean Economics) Daily Newspaper, Op.ed, March 2018.

Interview on the Center for Security Policy Studies—Korea.

Arirang TV on the Global Leaders and the Center for Security Policy Studies—Korea