Robert E. Kelly


Associate Professor

Department Political Science and Diplomacy, Pusan National University

Busan, 46241, KOREA



Website: www.AsianSecurityBlog.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Robert_E_Kelly (21,000 followers)



Contributor, The National Interest, http://nationalinterest.org/profile/robert-e-kelly

Contributor, Lowy Interpreter, http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/author/Robert%20E%20Kelly.aspx

Contributor, Economist Intelligence Unit – Asia Group, http://www.eiu.com

Contributor, Newsweek Japan, http://www.newsweekjapan.jp/





International Relations Theory in East Asia

U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia

Korean Foreign Policy

International Financial Institutions (especially the World Bank and IMF)





Ph.D., Department of Political Science, Ohio State University, March 2005 (M.A., 2002)

Major: International Relations

Second Major: Political Theory

Dissertation: The Impact of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Bretton Woods Institutions: http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?osu1110364714

            Committee: Chadwick Alger, William Liddle, Alex Thompson, Richard Ned Lebow

B.A., History and Political Science, Miami University of Ohio, May 1994, Phi Beta Kappa





“Using Analytical Eclecticism for Improved Policy Relevance: Is There a Case for South Korean Support of Abenomics?,” Pacific Focus, 31/1, 2016: 99-124;  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pafo.12067/abstract


“The Optimism of Classical Realism: Thucydides, Clausewitz, Morgenthau,” 21st Century Political Science Review, 25/4, 2015: 249-269; http://www.politics21.or.kr/paper4.php


“North Korea should Dominate South Korean Foreign Policy,” Lowy Interpreter, four-part debate with Van Jackson on ROK Grand Strategy, July 29, 2015: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2015/07/29/North-Korea-should-dominate-South-Korean-foreign-policy-and-theres-no-way-around-that.aspx

“Korea, Japan, and ‘Korea Fatigue’ (two parts),” Real Clear Defense, May 19 & June 6, 2015: http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2015/06/04/why_south_korea_is_so_obsessed_with_japan_108014.html


“The Real Reason Asia Should Fear North Korea’s Sub-Launched Missiles,” The National

Interest, May 11, 2015: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-real-reason-asia-should-fear-north-koreas-sub-launched-12857


“Will South Korea Have to Bomb the North, Eventually?,” The Diplomat, March 6, 2015:



“Why Invading North Korea is a Really Bad Idea,” The National Interest, January 30, 2015: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-ultimate-nightmare-why-invading-the-north-korea-really-12157


“China’s Interests in Korean Unification: How Much Longer is the ‘Buffer’ Worth It?” Korean Journal of Security Affairs 19/2, 2014: 4-21: https://www.kndu.ac.kr/rinsa/index.jsp


“Korea’s Dokdo Claim is about more than just Territory – It’s Identity,” China Policy Institute Blog, East Asian Territorial Disputes Symposium, October 13, 2014: http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2014/10/13/koreas-dokdo-claim-is-about-more-than-just-territory-its-identity/


“Russia: Between Empire and Modernity,” The Diplomat, October 9, 2014: http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/russia-between-empire-and-modernity/


“The ‘Pivot’ and Its Problems: American Foreign Policy in Northeast Asia,” Pacific Review,

27/3, 2014: 479-503; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/.U3CJ6HmKDcs#.U55p63mKDcs


“Should the US Retrench from South Korea? (three parts),” Lowy Interpreter, August 20, 22 & October 17, 2014; http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/10/17/US-retrenchment-from-Korea-(part-3)-A-response-to-my-critics.aspx


“Unintended Consequences of US Alliances in Asia,” CSIS, PacNet #32A, April 23, 2014;



“Comparing China and the Kaiser’s Germany,” Lowy Interpreter, March 12-13, 2014;



“Do US Alliances Create Moral Hazard in Asian Conflicts?,” Newsweek Japan & Newsweek

Korea (joint edition), May 2013: https://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/my-joint-newsweek-koreajapan-story-do-us-alliances-create-moral-hazard-in-asian-conflicts/


“North Korea is the Boy Who Cried Wolf: There will be No War,” The Diplomat, April 10,

2013; http://thediplomat.com/2013/04/10/north-korea-is-the-boy-who-cried-wolf-there-will-be-no-war/ AND

“Response to my Critics: North Korea is Another ‘Upper Volta with Nukes,’ so Ignore Them,” China Policy Institute Blog, April 21, 2013, http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2013/04/21/north-korea-is-another-upper-volta-with-nukes-so-ignore-them/


 “Park’s Recreation,” Foreign Affairs, December 18, 2012;



“A ‘Confucian Long Peace’ in Pre-Western East Asia?” European Journal of International

Relations 18/3, 2012: 407-30; http://ejt.sagepub.com/content/18/3/407.abstract


“Kim Jong Un’s Balancing Act,” Korean National Defense University – Research Institute for National Security Affairs Forum, 22, September 2012: 1-4;



“Defining IR: Is it Asia’s Turn?” International Relations and Security Network, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, July 30, 2012;



“Korea-EU Relations – Beyond the FTA,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 12/1, 2012: 101-32; http://irap.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/1/101.abstract


“Kim Jong Un’s Ascent is a Unique Negotiating Opportunity,” Korean National Defense

University – Research Institute for National Security Affairs Forum, 20, March 2012: 1-5: https://www.kndu.ac.kr/rinsa/index.jsp


“The German-Korean Unification Parallel,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 23/4, 2011:

457-72; http://kida.re.kr/data/kjda/02_Robert%20Kelly.pdf


“Assessing the Impact of Nongovernmental Organizations on International Organizations: The World Bank and IMF,” International Political Science Review 32/3, 2011: 323-44; http://ips.sagepub.com/content/32/3/323.abstract?etoc


“The Impact of Arab Spring on North Korea,” Korean National Defense University – Research Institute for National Security Affairs Forum, 17, June 2011: 5-8;



“American Dual Containment in Asia,” Geopolitics, 15/4, 2010: 705-725: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a929908160~frm=titlelink


“North Korea’s Shelling of Yeonpyeong Island: Interpretation and Response,” Korean National Defense University – Research Institute for National Security Affairs Forum, 15, November  2010: 1-5:



“Forging Autonomy in a Tough Neighborhood: Korea’s Foreign Policy Struggle,” 21st Century Political Science Review, 19/3, 2009: 353-380; http://www.politics21.or.kr/paper4.php

“Portrait of Global Civil Society at the Bretton Woods Institutions: Civil Society Dialogue

Participation, 2000-2007,” Korean Journal of International Relations, 48/5, 2008: 51-80: http://www.kaisnet.or.kr/html/sub03_04.asp


“Persistent Dependentist and Developmentalist Understandings of the State in Development

Theory,” Development in Practice, 18/3, 2008: 319-332: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a793290077


“From Global War on Terror to Containment,” Perspectives on Terrorism, 2/4, 2008: 12-14;



“Is Terrorism Always Wrong?” Perspectives on Terrorism, 1/1, 2007: 1-7:



“Security Theory in the ‘New Regionalism,’” International Studies Review, 9/2, 2007: 197-229: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118523998/abstract


“One Last Chance in Iraq,” OSU Journal of Politics and International Affairs, 1/1, 2007: 135-146: https://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/final-iraq-post-from-the-archives-my-2007-essay-in-support-of-the-iraq-surge/; https://osujpia.wordpress.com/


“From IR to Global Governance Theory: Conceptualizations of NGOs since Rio 1992,” Journal of Civil Society, 3/1, 2007: 81-99; http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a779683721


“A Micro-View of Global Governance: The Spring and Annual Meetings of the Bretton Woods Institutions,” Transnational Associations 2003/4: 203-06: http://www.uia.be/sites/uia.be/db/db/x.php?dbcode=ta&sbmt=1&go=s&author=Kelly, Robert E


“Thucydides and Hegemony: Athens and the United States,” with Richard Ned Lebow, Review of International Studies 27/4 2001: 593-609; http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=90173&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0260210501005939


Book Reviews:


The End of the American World Order, by Amitav Acharya, H-Net, October 2014: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=42206


North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economics and Society, eds. Kyung-Ae Park and Scott

Snyder, Pacific Affairs, 86/4, 2013: 932-34; https://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/book-review-north-korea-in-transition-oh-wait-its-not-in-transition/


The European Union and South Korea: The Legal Framework for Strengthening Trade,

Economic and Political Relations, ed. James Harrison, H-Net, August 2013;



American Culture of War: A History of US Military Force from World War II to Operation

Enduring Freedom, by Adrian Lewis, Cercles, December 15, 2012; http://www.cercles.com/review/r63/Lewis.html


Creating Credibility: Legitimacy and Accountability for Transnational Civil Society, by David Brown, Development and Practice, 19/8, 2009: 1079-1080;



Globalization and Its Counter-Forces in Southeast Asia, ed. Terence Chong, Development in

Practice, 19/3, 2009: 431-432: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a910279353


International Water Security: Domestic Threats and Opportunities, eds. Nevelina Pachova,

Mikiyasu Nakayama & Libor Jansky, Development in Practice, 19/2, 2009: 267-269;



International Governance of War-Torn Territories: Rule and Reconstruction, by Robert Caplan, Journal of Conflict Studies, 28, 2008; http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/JCS/contents/contents08.html



World Bank / International Monetary Fund Commissions:


“Portrait of Global Civil Society at the Bretton Woods Institutions, 2000-09,” IMF, 2009;


“The Impact of NGOs on the Bretton Woods Institutions,” World Bank, 2006;




IR Blogging – Editorials – Popular Essays:


Duck of Minerva: http://duckofminerva.dreamhosters.com/author/rekelly


The Diplomat: http://thediplomat.com/authors/robert-e-kelly/


The National Interest: http://nationalinterest.org/profile/robert-e-kelly


East Asia Forum: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/author/robertedwinkelly/


Newsweek Japan & Newsweek Korea: https://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/?s=newsweek


CNN-GPS: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/tag/robert-e-kelly/


JoongAng Daily (International Herald Tribune partner in Korea): https://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/category/joongang-daily/


Korea Times & Korea Herald, multiple op-eds, selected examples:




Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Teacher’s Workshop, Johns Hopkins University, June 5-9, 2017

US-Korea NextGen Scholars Program, CSIS & Univ. of Southern California, 2015-2016


Summer Workshop on the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy, Columbia University, July 6-20, 2014


Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Syracuse University, June 17-30, 2012


Summer Workshop on Teaching about Terrorism, Oklahoma University, July 10-18, 2007


Academic Fellowship on Terrorism, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies & Tel Aviv

University, Israel, May 26-June 6, 2007


Two Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships (Russian), US Dept of Education, 1999, 2000


University Fellow, Ohio State University, 1997-1998


Bundestag Internship Program, University of Bonn & German Parliament, Germany (1994-95)





Courses Taught:

  • East Asian Security
  • Introduction to International Relations Theory
  • Globalization/International Political Economy
  • International Organization
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Terrorism
  • US Politics
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Middle East politics


Pusan National University Recognition:

  • Selected for Faculty Excellence coverage in university magazine, August 2013


Ohio State University Recognition:

  • Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching Nominee, Ohio State University, 2007
  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year Nominee, Ohio State University, 2006







Editorial Board Member, Journal of Global Security Studies


Invited Article & Book Reviewer:

International Studies Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, Review of International Studies, Journal of Common Market Studies, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Pacific Affairs, Rowman & Littlefield, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, European Political Science Review, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Routledge, Geopolitics, International Political Science Review, Sage, Korean Journal of Security Affairs, Études Internationales, Prentice Hall




  • Goldman Sachs
  • Glenview Capital Management
  • Securitas Korea


TV Interviews, 2012 – present


Regular Radio commentary on BBC, ABC, VoA, and Korean English-language radio, 2010-


Visited North Korea, summer 2012; travelogue impressions:



Listee, Who’s Who in the World, Marquis, 2013 – present



U.S. Army Educator Tour, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, April 18-22, 2006


Field Representative, Martin R. Hoke, M.C. (Member of the US House of Representatives, 10th district Ohio), 1996-97



  • Christian Schmidt, MdB (Member of the German Bundestag), Bonn 1995-96
  • Hanns Seidel Foundation, Munich, Germany, Spring 1993
  • Cowen & Company (brokerage firm), Cleveland, Ohio, Summer 1992
  • John Boehner, M.C. (House of Representatives, 8-OH), Wash., D.C. Summer 1991
  • State of Ohio, Washington Office, Washington, D.C., Summer 1991


Institutional Affiliations:

  • International Studies Association
  • American Political Science Association
  • Korean Association of International Studies
  • Korean Political Science Association




German: Excellent: Accredited by the German-American Chamber of Commerce, April 23, 1994


French: Very Good: Transcript available from Laval University (Quebec, Canada), August 1997


Russian: Average: Certificate in Advanced Russian from Moscow State Univ., August 31, 2000


Korean: Basic: intensive sabbatical year training, Pusan National University, 2015 – 2016


Latin: Basic


Classical Greek: Basic


Language Study Abroad:


  • Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea, June 2015 – August 2016
  • Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, Summer 2000
  • Nevsky Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, Summer 1999
  • Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada, Summer 1997
  • Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France, Summer 1995
  • Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany, Winter 1994
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, 1992-1993
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany, Summer 1992




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