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5488123
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20.09.03 14:11:55
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141
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국제관계연구소
Vol 35-2 (August 2020):What Kind of “Real World” Makes South Korea's Middle Power Categorization Necessary?*(Monica S. Jeong)
Abstract
The fundamental dilemma in the middle power study is the repeated epistemic fallacies that attempt to answer an ontological question of middle powers with epistemic features. With the common epistemic belief that middle powers are significant actors that play some constructive roles, South Korea is automatically designated as a middle power as long as the agent (researcher or practitioner) finds comparable middle power‐like characteristics in South Korea's material attributes and foreign policy behaviors. However, this research adopted a critical realist research design that addresses the epistemic fallacy and finds the “real world” that makes South Korea's middle power categorization necessary. It analyzed South Korea's middle power rhetoric in South Korean presidents' and foreign ministers' foreign policy discourses, and ultimately uncovered that the “real world” behind South Korea's middle power rhetoric has been its environment comprised of the dominant and less dominant countries. As the less dominant country, South Korea has utilized the middle power title to balance and neutralize the asymmetrical power relations and create an environment more conducive to South Korea's national interests. This includes the removal of South Korea's deeply ingrained victim mindset. Yet, it should be emphasized that such a conclusion is valid only because of the critical realist research design, committed to ontological realism, epistemological relativism, and judgmental rationalism. If not, South Korea's unequal power environment would be viewed as merely an additional condition that a “middle power” South Korea must deal with.
다음글 Vol 35-2 (August 2020):North Korea's Nuclear and Human Rights Conundrum: Implications for South Korea's Unification Goal(Jung‐Hoon Lee&Er‐Win Tan)
이전글 Vol 35-2 (August 2020):China's Normative Foreign Policy and Its Multilateral Engagement in Asia(Weiqing Song)