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The Evolution of the South Korea–United States Alliance
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Book description

In contrast to previous studies of the South Korea-United States alliance, Uk Heo and Terence Roehrig analyze the bigger picture, including the history, economics, security, alliance structure, politics, and the future of the alliance. Taking alliance theory as a starting point, the authors argue that the alliance provides an ideal case study to examine how the political development and economic growth of junior partners impact an alliance. As South Korea's capabilities and ambitions have grown, the alliance has evolved from an asymmetric regional security relationship to an economic partnership with global interests, while China's rise and North Korea's nuclear development mean that South Korea remains of strategic importance for American interests in East Asia. This book will be read both as a major contribution to Korean studies and the study of alliance politics and theory.


‘Despite very good scholarship on various aspects of the US-Korea alliance, we do not have a good single-volume account that covers the entire history. Uk Heo and Terrence Roehrig fill this gap. They also show how the rapid growth and democratization of junior partners both expands the possibilities for cooperation and opens up recurrent conflicts. Needless to say, timely and relevant.'

Stephan Haggard - University of California, San Diego

‘The Republic of Korea is one of only a few countries to have both a military alliance and a free trade agreement with the United States, but it faces mounting challenges in both areas. Offering a concise yet comprehensive analysis of the alliance, this book is a must-read for those who wish to better understand its increasing complexity.'

Gi-Wook Shin - Stanford University, California

‘This comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the 65-year-old US-ROK security alliance will serve as a concise and handy reference for those who hope to keep the alliance on track or want to understand the impact of the alliance on South Korea's security, foreign policy, and economic development.'

Scott Snyder - Council on Foreign Relations

'Heo and Roehrig have provided an important and timely addition to the literature on alliances in general and about U.S. - Korea relations in particular.'

David C. Kang Source: H-Diplo

‘The book is well done and those with an interest in Northeast Asia will be well served to buy it.’

Mason Richey Source: H-Diplo

‘The authors provide readers with an excellent understanding of the U.S. - South Korean alliance, drawing extensively on the secondary literature and some primary documents and reports from both English and Korean sources.’

Andrew Yeo Source: H-Diplo

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