The determination of international status : the case of Korea in modern international relations
The thesis examines the adaptive responses of North and South Korea to change in the international system and analyzes the effects on their international standing. The framework of analysis is constructed from a selective review of the literature on hegemony and its relationship to international order and change. Special attention is given to the position of peripheral states, and how they are conditioned by and respond to the international order. The framework of analysis includes concepts such as the structure of opportunities, emulation of forms, imposition of forms, and regime rigidities. It is posited that to the degree to which a regime achieves congruence between domestic and foreign policies and the main trends in the international system, it will be more successful in enhancing its standing. In order to do so, a regime must manage its own adjustment to overcome regime rigidities and exploit opportunities for ascendance in the international system. The thesis examines the competition for international support between North and South Korea between 1948 and 1994. It analyzes the fluctuations in the level of international support for each regime, with reference to key changes in the international system. It produces an explanation for the pattern of international support for each regime, according to the policies they pursued during each distinct period of recent international history. It is shown that North Korea did comparatively well in the first two decades after the Korean War, and that South Korea did comparatively better in the subsequent two decades. This was due to the nature of changes in the international system and the divergent adaptive responses by the two Koreas. Regime rigidities increased in North Korea, while South Korea demonstrated pragmatic flexibility, accompanying its economic diplomacy.