Sussex Asia Centre

Dr Kevin Gray

In geographical terms, my research is focused on China and the Korean peninsula. I am interested primarily on the relationship between development and geopolitics within the region, on the politics of national division in Korea, and the role of contestation by social movements, including in particular, that of labour.  My research interests broadly cover the area of International Political Economy with a regional focus on East Asia. I have recently completed a research monograph titled "Labour and Development in East Asia: Social Forces and Passive Revolution." This monograph examines the dynamic interaction between social forces, geopolitics and development in the East Asian region (in particular, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China).' I am now embarking upon a new research project that ties these broad themes together to understand the historical trajectory of North Korean economic development, seeking to explain the relative stagnation of industrialisation and the failure of attempts at economic reform in the DPRK with reference to the framework of the social forces-geopolitics nexus that I have developed in my earlier work.  I am currently involved in a project aimed at academic engagement with North Korean academics, involving scholars from both Kim Il Sung University the North Korean Academy of Social Sciences in Pyongyang. The first meeting of this project will take place in May at Liaoning University in Shenyang. I also have longstanding collaborations with academics in South Korea and Taiwan.