Sa-kwa

Korean Film Nights

7pm February 28, 2013

Multi Purpose Hall

Sa-kwa

After seven years, Hyeon-jeong is dumped by Min-Seok. Broken and teetering on the brink of and emotional collapse she dedicates herself to finding a new suitor and to get married as soon as possible. She meets Sang-hoo, an awkward man, who Hyeon-jeong is attracted by his shy demeanour, and makes the conscious decision to marry him-until Min-Seok decides he’s made a mistake and wants to get back together with her.

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The Korean Peninsula Tensions and the Role of Other Powers

26 February 2013

6:00 – 7:45pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:45pm

13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London, NW1 4QP

 

After the “successful” launch on 12 December 2012 of yet another rocket in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, the threat posed by North Korea appears ever more real. The stability of the Korean peninsula is not just a regional concern but also an issue for Europe, given the proliferation relationship between North Korea and Iran. How have political developments in the peninsula affected recent relations between the two Koreas? Can there be any easing of tensions between them under the new South Korean leader, Park Geun-hye? There are various reasons why multilateral engagement with, and coercion of, North Korea have failed to promote denuclearisation. Thomas Plant of ICSA, King’s College London, will consider if there is potential for progress, and look at Japan’s likely contribution under new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Noriyuki Shikata, Political Minister at the Japanese Embassy in London, will discuss Japan’s perspective on the recent situation in the Korean Peninsula and explore the collaboration among Japan, the US, the UK, South Korea and China aimed at tackling the issue. The seminar will be chaired by Mark Fitzpatrick, Director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Noriyuki Shikata

Noriyuki Shikata is Political Minister at the Embassy of Japan in UK.  He was Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Japan (2010-2012). He was international media spokesperson at PMO, always accompanying the Prime Ministers’ trips overseas. He was the recipient of 2011 Gold Standard Award for Political Communications, at awards hosted by Public Affairs Asia. He graduated from the Law Department of Kyoto University in 1986. After entering MOFA in 1986, he worked at the Korea desk, and graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, completing its Masters in Public Policy Program (International Affairs/Security) in 1989. His previous overseas postings include the Embassy in Washington, D.C.(1989 – 91), and the Delegation to the OECD in Paris(1999-2002). Between 2004 and 2010, he was Director of Status of U.S. Forces Agreement Division, Director of International Press Division, Director in Charge of Economic Relations with North America, and Director of Economic Treaties Division, International Legal Affairs, Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). His publications includeEnergy Policy of the Republic of Korea (2002: IEA; contributor), amongst others.

Thomas Plant

Thomas Plant is Research Fellow at the International Centre for Security Analysis (ICSA), King’s College London.  His main research interest is in North Korean issues, though he also works on wider regional security in East Asia and, more broadly, on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.  He joined ICSA on secondment from the Ministry of Defence; he has also spent time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he worked on proliferation issues in the Middle East and East Asia.

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick (Chair)  is Director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. His programme focuses on nuclear and missile challenges posed by Iran, North Korea and other outlier states, and on nuclear security and nuclear disarmament issues. He is the editor of North Korean Security Challenges (July 2011) and of five other IISS Strategic Dossiers on countries and regions of proliferation concern. He has lectured throughout the world and is a frequent media commentator on proliferation topics. He joined the IISS in October 2005 after a 26-year career in the US Department of State, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation (acting). He earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and he attended a one-year post-graduate study programme (1990-1991) at the Japanese National Institute of Defence, where his dissertation on Korean unification was published in journals in Japan and South Korea.

 

Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize

5 February 2013

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London, NW1 4QP

Margaret Thatcher was thrown out of office in 1990 but the British Conservatives still won a fourth term in office in 1992. Academics claimed that the British political system was ‘turning Japanese’. Within a year, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was voted out for the first time in 38 years just as Italy’s Christian Democratic Party (DC) was imploding after four decades of hegemony. The Conservatives’ aura as the natural party of government was shattered in 1997 by Tony Blair’s New Labour but it took another 12 years for Japanese voters to vote out the LDP. Meanwhile, Canada’s Liberal Party had been in charge for some 80 years but came third in a 2011 election. Particular circumstances differed in each country but internal dissent and disorder were common. Particular circumstances differed in each country but internal dissent and disorder were common. In her book, Françoise Boucek explains how this factionalism precipitates the downfall of many political leaders but can also prolong office by containing conflict and hanging onto dissidents. In a survey of the British Conservative Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Christian Democratic Party of Italy and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Dr Boucek explores this paradox and the potential dangers of factional politics for dominant political parties.

Dr Françoise Boucek

Dr Françoise Boucek is Teaching Fellow in European politics and policy in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London, Visiting Professor at the University of Witten Herdecke (Germany) and Research Associate of the London School of Economics’ (LSE) Public Policy Group. She grew up in France, graduated in business administration (1973) and moved to London and then Canada where she worked as a research analyst for an investment bank. She gained her BA (1988) in political science from the University of Toronto and gained her MSc (1991) and PhD (2002) from the LSE. She was Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Modern History at London Metropolitan University (1991-93) and LSE (1994-97 and 2001-03). She has written widely about political parties, representative democracy and one-party dominance including in Japan and is co-editor of Dominant Political Parties and Democracy: Concepts, Measures, Cases and Comparisons (London: Routledge, 2010).

Professor Kensuke Takayasu

Professer Kensuke Takayasu (discussant) is Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Law, Seikei University in Tokyo. He received his BA (1994) and MA (1996) both in political science from Waseda University. He read his doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), gaining his PhD from the University of London in 2003. He became a research fellow at Hokkaido University in 2004, before joining Seikei University as associate professor in 2006. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Department of Government, LSE. Professor Takayasu has written widely on both British and Japanese politics, and has published a book in 2009 titled The Power of Prime Ministers in Japan and Britain – Dynamics of their Relationships with the Governing Party (Tokyo: Sobunsha). His articles appear regularly in Sekai. In 2011, his paper ‘New Conventions Required: Ideas to Re-invigorate Japanese Party Politics’ was published in Asia-Pacific Review (Vol.18 Issue 2), while the website Japan Echo Web (No.7 August-September) carried his article ‘In Need of New Rules of the Game.’

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