CfP: Korea in the Context of US-China Competition: Negotiating the Growing Tensions between Economics and Geopolitics


The Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex together with the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna is inviting scholars whose research focuses on the intersections of contemporary geopolitics and economic statecraft on the Korean peninsula in the context of growing tensions in the region to submit a proposal for an upcoming international workshop. Senior and early career scholars as well as doctoral candidates are encouraged to apply. 

The workshop is scheduled to take place at the University of Sussex, UK, on the 6th November 2024. 

  • Proposal submission deadline (maximum 300-word abstract): 28th February 2024. 
  • Acceptance notice: 6th March 2024. 
  • International Workshop at the University of Sussex: 6th November 2024. 
  • Submit papers to

Two nights accommodation will be provided along with up to GBP 120 for participants within the UK and GBP £330 (inclusive of transfers) for participants from outside of the UK.

Online participation in the workshop will also be accommodated. 

The goal is that the papers presented at the conference will be included in a special issue/edited volume.  

Aims of the Workshop

This proposed workshop seeks to provide an interdisciplinary in-depth examination of the emergent tensions between the two Korea’s security and economic imperatives arising from the deepening competition between the US and China. On the one hand, this involves examining the various forms of economic statecraft that the Korean states are deploying to deal with the challenges posed by the rise of the so-called “new Cold War.” 

In this context, this proposed workshop seeks to address a number of questions, including but not limited to the following:

  1. How are the two Koreas negotiating the growing tensions between US and China in relation to their economic and security imperatives? How do responses relate to pre-existing state capacities and approaches to economic management? How do the Koreas envisage their developmental priorities/economic survival strategies in the context of this heightened geopolitical competition?
  2. To what extent have such responses in South Korea involved a reduction of its reliance on China and other states for essential inputs and critical materials; the restriction of particular forms of foreign investment; the shaping of the investment decisions of private firms and the development of particular technologies? How is North Korea responding to the stringent international sanctions regime while seeking to secure its own economy security, and how do these imperatives translate into its geopolitical (re)alignments? What are the implications of these growing geopolitical tensions for inter-Korean relations?
  3. To what extent do we need to go beyond the ‘black box’ of the state in exploring North and South Korean responses to US-China competition? How are economic actors responding to the new geopolitical challenges?  
  4. What analytical and theoretical frameworks should be used for examining Korea’s locus within the emergent US-China competition? How best can the competing yet mutually constitutive logics of security and economy be understood?