Welcome to the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies (IPUS) at Seoul National University. As the name indicates, the Institute conducts research projects that not only focuses on inter-Korean relations and reunification issues, but also on peace studies in general and their relevance to the complex, peaceless situation on the Korean Peninsula. Accordingly, the IPUS consists of two research units: the Center for Unification Studies (CUS) and the Peace and Humanities Research Group (PHRG).
Taking advantage of the knowledge convergence between local issues and universal values, the CUS and the PHRG work together to create a new paradigm on peace studies by seeking multidisciplinary and convergent knowledge on peace and the lack of peace. IPUS deals with subjects ranging from the North Korean diasporas, North Korea’s nuclear program, and separated families in the two Koreans, to broader topics such as economic development and ecological destruction, historical and territorial disputes, religion and peace, violence and transitional justice, peace movements, and humanitarian assistance and protection. Envisioning a twenty-first century discourse on peace, our long-term objective is to accomplish three dimensions of peace: inter-Korean reconciliation, promotion of cultural and human rights, and ecological civilization.
Therefore, with these specific goals in mind, the PHRG launched the “Peace and Humanities Research Initiative” in 2010. The Peace and Humanities Research Inititative is an overarching project in which many renowned scholars with diverse backgrounds in social sciences and the humanities work both collectively and individually to reach the aforementioned goals. Themes addressed by this project encompass not only traditional peace research topics on violence and peace, but also newly emerging topics such as ecological destruction, historical and territorial disputes, and complex disasters that transcend national boundaries and the human-environment dichotomy.
Furthermore, the IPUS strives to link research and public service programs addressing both conflict and peacebuilding issues on the Korean Peninsula. Although the IPUS does not offer a degree program, it provides a non-credit course called the “Unification Academy”, in addition to an extra-curricular series entitled “Peace Camp.” The Unification Academy covers various topics on the divided Korean Peninsula, whereas the Peace Camp focuses on peace studies through both a humanities and social sciences perspective. Both training courses are open to university students as well as the general public. The IPUS works to engage and expand international networks with the goal of enhancing cooperation in peace research for continuous improvement of the peace education program at SNU. Please feel free to explore our website to learn more about us and our work.