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How geopolitics influence free trade agreements in South Korea

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Geopolitical Economy examines the significance and nature of free trade agreements (FTAs), the primary policy tool through which modern nations seek access to international markets and promote economic growth. The book focuses specifically on how South Korea, the world’s leader in the number and significance of FTAs as well as the world’s sixth largest export economy, uses FTAs.
Jonathan Krieckhaus argues that geopolitics—the struggle between powerful nations over specific geographic regions around the globe—influenced FTA strategy and economic policy in South Korea and beyond. This perspective illustrates the security approach to FTAs, but adds that the geographic specificity of security concerns deeply shape FTA policy.
Geopolitical Economy also looks at Korean FTAs through the lens of development strategy. South Korea is singularly successful in garnering FTAs with all three players in the global economy: the United States, the European Union, and China. This unprecedented success was built on a strong commitment from three consecutive Korean presidential administrations, each operating within a favorable state-society context that enjoyed the existence of a centralized and effective trade bureaucracy.

Jonathan Krieckhaus is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri and is the author of Dictating Development: How Europe Shaped the Global Periphery.

 “Geopolitical Economy will make a significant contribution to the Korean political economy literature. I also think that this book will receive a lot of scholarly attention. I highly commend the author doing an excellent job, analyzing the important and timely issue.”
—Uk Heo, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Geopolitical Economy is an important contribution to the politics of international economic relations. It is based on superb empirical work on the politics of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between South Korea and each of the three major global economic powers: the United States, the European Union and China. Krieckhaus provides new compelling insights on the politics underlying FTAs, which is valuable to students of International Political Economy.” 
—Bumba Mukherjee, Pennsylvania State University