Going Against Dominant Paradigms
Professor Eun Yong-soo and his publication of his new book through Routledge
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Professor Eun Yong-soo (Department of Political Science and International Studies) recently published a new book, What is at Stake in Building "Non-Western" International Relations Theory?, this March, following his former book Regionalizing Global Crises which was released in 2016. Both writings were published by major publishers Routledge and Palgrave, respectively. Both publishers are renowned companies with their published writings being considered must-read materials within the field of diplomatic politics.
Eun's recently published book What is at Stake in Building "Non-Western" International Relations Theory? focuses upon the existing dominant paradigms of the Western region, and how effective alternatives can be harmoniously placed from an Eastern perspective. This is going further in depth into the subject of his former book, which shed light on the theoretical backgrounds of such dominant paradigms and questioned whether the newly arising alternatives would provide an absolute replacement or act as a supplement to the existing theories.
Eun takes the stance that the existing dominant Western paradigms must be seen from an Eastern perspective, while finding harmonious frameworks in which the newly suggested theories can be applied to a non-Western culture. This goes against two extreme stances that the dominant Western paradigms are suitable from a global stance, whereas the other argues that the Western paradigms should be completely replaced with new theories that meet the needs of non-Western regions. "By taking a midway stance, I had to be ready to take the criticisms of both extreme perspectives," explained Eun during the interview.
Eun also mentioned the strict evaluation process of the major publishers as a hardship while writing his recent book. Routledge and Palgrave, both being major publishers, which are highly sought-after by many writers in the field, have a strict examination process that goes over four major trials. They have a double blind review, which assures the anonymity of both the author and examiners in order to maintain an impartial examination process that is focused upon the proposed content only. As having two books published by these major companies has a significant meaning to him as a scholar within this particular field, Eun stated that awaiting the long trial process was a difficult task for him.
When asked of his future plans, Eun answered that he is planning to conduct research upon the concept of emotion. He explained how the collective emotion of the public can represent a national sentiment and furthermore be used as a methodological tool for understanding international relations. From this perspective, understanding the formation and conversion process of a national sentiment can help the consolidation between nations, especially within the North-East Asian region. The whole premise of this research project began with an examination of the belief that emotion is an opposing concept of rationality, as it was long seen throughout history.
Such thoughts go alongside with Eun's research principles, which put an emphasis upon challenging already accepted social norms. Most of his research started upon questioning whether the social norms that we have accepted are really right. He gave an example of how most of the Western paradigms were simply applied within the Korean context, yet Eun questioned this whole application process in the introduction of his recent research. He stated that, “As a professor and scholar, I believe that finding a hole within a box is my job. Widening and passing through this hole is a task that future students must fulfill.”
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Park Kuen-hyung
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