Mansfield Center Initiative on Korea: Bringing Scholars to Policy



Gordon Flake and his team at the Mansfield Center are always doing good policy work on the region, with a strong interest in Japan and Korea in particular; among other things, the foundation maintains a useful blog. A very interesting portion of the website collates high-quality polling from around the region; we will revisit this in future posts.

But the Center is launching a new initiative on Korea that caught our eye. The premise of the program is that there is a decent cadre of mid-career Korea specialists in academia who don’t have a good feel of how to move their work into the policy space. The goals of the program are to:

  • Create a network of mid-career Korea specialists with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will make long-term contributions to the U.S.-Korea relationship
  • Help Korea specialists become more relevant to the policymaking process
  • Increase the visibility of young Korea specialists and provide opportunities for engagement with policymakers and the private sector
  • Encourage new Korea-related research and projects and collaboration among participants.

Hear, hear! The gap between academic research and policy—in economics, political science, international relations and regional studies—is an issue of ongoing concern to us: research is not framed in terms of its practical significance, and good empirical findings are not translated for the policy public. Advisors to the program include a group of old friends: former ambassador Kathy Stephens, Victor Cha (Georgetown) and Dave Kang (USC) with credentials both in the policy and academic worlds. Details on the website.

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