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Dr. Minseon Ku 구민선 具旼宣

Ph.D. in Political Science (Specialization: International Relations, Political Psychology)

Email: mku[at]wm[dot]edu

Hello! I'm an incoming postdoctoral fellow in the Diplomacy Project at the Global Research Institute and a faculty affiliate at the Department of Government at William & Mary from Fall 2024, and a member of the 2024 cohort in the NCAFP’s Korea Peninsula Emerging Leaders Program.

My book project, The Power of Performance: Summit Diplomacy in World Politics, which has been selected for the Scholar's Circle at 2024 ISA Northeast Baltimore, develops a theoretical approach to understanding the function of summitry in world politics by foregrounding the audience dimension. Using archives, focus group study, and survey experiments, I argue that in addition to the strategic need for leaders' face-to-face meetings, summitry is a performance shaping the domestic audience's ontological security or the security of being. Summits generate visuals of inter-state relations, during which states and the international system are reproduced. Driven by the need for certainty and stability in their everyday lives, the domestic public's tendency to look for states in the visuals of leaders' face-to-face meetings produces unintended effects generating foreign policy implications. 


My research related to summitry has been published in International Organization and the Hague Journal of Diplomacy. My research interests include IR theory, diplomacy, ontological (in)security in public opinion, the international politics of reconciliation, US and South Korean foreign policy, and East Asia International Relations. I have contributed policy commentaries on summit diplomacy, inter-Korea affairs, US-North Korea nuclear diplomacy, and South Korea's foreign policy and diplomacy. 

Previously, I was the Spencer fellow in US Foreign Policy and International Security at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth. I received my PhD in Political Science from the Ohio State University in December 2023. Prior to my graduate training, I was a research assistant at the National Assembly Budget Office in Seoul, South Korea, and a Korea Foundation junior resident fellow at the CSIS Office of the Korea Chair in Washington, D.C. 

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