Over the past several years Russia and former Soviet republics have maintained close political, economic and geopolitical ties with the Korean Peninsular. From this standpoint, it is of utmost importance to conduct research on Russia as well as the Central-Asian region. As a matter of fact, over the last decade or so, this region marked an impressive pace of development in political, economic and cultural contacts with Korea over the last decade or so.
Such close contacts notwithstanding, research on Russia and the entire region of Eurasia in South Korea used to be carried out by only a limited number of scholars in a isolated, uncoordinated, manner, which led to insufficient results both in quantity and in quality. In 2005, with financial support from the Korea Research Foundation (KRF), a group of scholars including professors of the Department of Russian Studies of Kookmin University began to conduct a research project under the theme of “Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the Russian Cultural Identity during the Post-Soviet Period.” With the grant from the KRF, the “Russian Cultural Studies” team of Kookmin University managed to lay a cornerstone for establishing the Institute of Eurasian Studies (IES) at Kookmin University, which was supposed to be a research center conducting research on Russia as well as the entire region of Eurasia on a regular basis. The IES is also devoted to systematically accumulating research results and to producing database on the Eurasian region. Also, the IES aspires to be a major think-tank aimed at providing detailed, practical, professional information with public entities including governments and commercial corporations.
In spite of constantly increasing cooperation between Korea and Eurasian states, there are only few research centers who conduct academic activities concerning this region. Under these circumstances, the Institute of Eurasian Studies has a plan to become a leading research center in South Korea. Our institute is actively pursuing to conclude close cooperation relationships with well-known research centers abroad. By doing so, our institute should become an internationally recognized research institution in the world as well as the most prestigious research center of Eurasian studies in Korea.
To this end our institute keeps producing various databases on policy, economy, society and culture of Russia and the rest part of the former USSR and also to accumulate theoretical works and results of the field research. Besides, we plan to become a policy analysis center offering policy ideas concerning the cooperation and exchanges in various fields concerned with this region. At the moment we have 13 research fellows including 4 professors from Kookmin University and several members in administrative staff in our institute. For now our institute has already become one of main research centers in the field of Eurasian and Slavic studies. In 2007, the Korea Research Foundation provided us with research grant with the status of ‘quickly developing research institute.’ Henceforth we will make every effort to become the most productive and prestigious research institute representing Korea which conducts research on Russia, Central-Asia, and other Slavic states.