Assistant Professor, International Relations and Political Science

Ph.D, City University of Hong Kong
MA and BA, Sciences Po Paris

Office: Kaletsch Campus, Office 3 
Phone: +41 91 985 22 64

Juliette Schwak received her Ph.D. from City University of Hong Kong in 2017 and was Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at Tokyo International University (2017-2019) before joining Franklin University Switzerland in 2019. A French citizen, she has lived for several years in South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

She specializes in International Political Economy, which she approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective combining methodological and theoretical instruments from sociology, anthropology, and critical theory. Her areas of research include everyday political economy, promotional politics and nation branding and global development studies. She has particular interest in the economy and society of the Republic of Korea, where she has conducted extensive field research.

Juliette Schwak has been invited to give guest talks in various institutions across Asia and Europe. Her work has been published in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Asian Studies ReviewJournal of Contemporary Asia, Review of International Political Economy, Global Society and Third World Quarterly. She is also a regular contributor to Asia-focused fora and publications of Paris-based research and policy center Asia Centre.

Her current research critically investigates the extension of the economic notion of competition beyond traditional market spaces. She is working on a book project on the everyday politics of economic competitiveness in South Korea, in which she retraces the modern political project of turning competition into the driving principle of Korean society. She is also running two collaborative projects: one focuses on the European politics of benchmarking, while the other one analyses contemporary Korean popular culture and constructions of Korea’s national identity. Her next research project will explore the political economic dimensions of nostalgia in East Asian societies. 

Professional Experience:

Assistant Professor of International Political Economy, Tokyo International University, 2017-2019

Visiting Fellow, Asian Development Institute, Seoul National University, 2016

Visiting researcher, Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance De la Salle University, Manila, 2015


2022-2023 Courses

POL 303 Key Concepts in Political Economy FALL 2022
POL 311 Contemporary Diplomacy FALL 2022
SOC 100T Introduction to Sociology (Paris) FALL 2022
POL 227 Politics and Society in East Asia SPRING 2023
POL 377 International Political Economy SPRING 2023
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology SPRING 2023


Peer-reviewed articles:

Forthcoming, ‘Exporting the will to compete in Korea’s global Saemaul Undong’, Journal of Contemporary Asia.

2021, ‘Foreign aid and discourses of National Social Responsibility: Evidence from South Korea’, Journal of Global Ethics, Online First. 

2021, ‘Domesticating competitive common sense: nation branding discourses, policy-makers and promotional consultants in Korea’, Global Society, 35 (2), 247-268.  

2020, co-authored with Iain Watson, ‘Materiality, Territory and Sovereignty: Responding to Contradictory Water Security Issues in the Mekong Region’, Asian International Studies Review, 21 (1), 25-45.  

2020, ‘Film in an International Political Economy classroom: for a critical pedagogy of the everyday’, Review of International Political Economy, 27 (6), 1330-1353.  

2020, ‘Nothing under the sun: Korea’s developmental promises and neoliberal illusions’, Third World Quarterly, 41 (2), 302-320. 

2019, co-authored with Iain Watson: ‘Water Security, Riparian Identity and Korean Nation Branding in the Mekong Sub-Region’, Pacific Focus, 34 (2), 153-182. 

2019 ‘Dangerous Liaisons? State-Chaebol Cooperation and the Global Privatization of Development’, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 49(1), 104-126. 

2018 ‘All the World’s a Stage: Promotional Politics and Branded Identities in Asia’, Asian Studies Review, 42(4), 648-661.  

2016 ‘Branding South Korea in a Competitive World Order: Discourses and Dispositives in Neoliberal Governmentality’, Asian Studies Review, 40 (3), 426-443. 

Other publications:

2021 ‘Unlocking Start-Ups: South Korea’s Efforts to Curb the Dominance of Chaebol’, Commentary with Francesca Frassineti, Istituto Per Gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), 19 April.

2021, ‘K-Quarantine: exporting South Korea’s COVID-19 management strategy’, East Asia Forum, 11 March 2021.

2020 ‘Chaebol reform still an uphill battle after Lee Kun-hee’, East Asia Forum, 4 December.

2020 ‘A Democratic tour de force: How the Korean State Successfully Limited the Spread of COVID-19’, Policy Paper Asie.Visions, n°117, November 2020, French Institute of International Relations.

2020. ‘Review of Juanita Elias (2020) Gender Politics and the Pursuit of Competitiveness in Malaysia. Women on Board. London: Routledge.’ Journal of Contemporary Asia, Online First.

2020. ‘La fin du libre-échange?’ [The end of free trade?], Esprit, September.

2020, ‘Winning the image war: Korea and Japan’s COVID-19 management strategies’, with Sarah A. Son, East Asia Forum, 4 June.

2020. ‘Coronavirus en Corée du Sud : quand la population fait confiance à l'État.’ Asialyst, May 2020.  

2019. ‘Nation branding en Corée du Sud : ruptures et continuités d’une stratégie promotionnelle’ [Nation branding in South Korea : shifts and continuities in Korea’s promotional strategy], Asia Trends 5.  

2018 ‘When Public and Private Merge: South Korea and the Chaebol’, AsiaGlobal Online. November 22.

2018 ‘Review of Michael J. Green (2017) By More Than Providence. Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783. New York: Columbia University Press’. Inter-disciplinary Political Studies, 4(1), 239-242. 

2018 ‘Place Branding’, pedagogical piece for the I-PEEL project (International Political Economy of Everyday Life), funded and managed by the University of Warwick (UK).  

2017 ‘Review of Gladys Pak Lei Chong (2017) Chinese subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics, London: Rowman and Littlefield’. New Books Asia.  

2016 ‘La société coréenne confrontée à l’Islam [Korean society and the challenge of Islam]’, Korea Analysis, 11, 21-25. 

2016 ‘L’inquiétant taux de suicide des personnes âgées en Corée du Sud [The worrying suicide rate of the elderly in South Korea]’, Korea Analysis, 9, 24-28. 

2015 ‘La multiplication des violences appelle à une réforme en profondeur de l’armée [The multiplication of violence urges for a deep reform of the army]’, Korea Analysis, 6, 23-28. 

2014 ‘Privatisation des entreprises publiques: le cas de Korea Development Bank [Privatization of public companies: the case of Korea Development Bank]’, Korea Analysis, 3, 14-19. 

Awards and Honors:

2021 Professional service award, Franklin University Switzerland Award recognizing faculty’s research performance

2018-2019 POSCO TJ Park Foundation Research Grant Joint researcher (PI: Iain Watson, Ajou University, Republic of Korea) ‘Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Southeast Asia: Evaluating New Opportunities for Asian ODA Cooperation in Water Security’.

2016 Visiting Fellowship awarded by the Asian Development Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. 500US$.

2016 Research Tuition Scholarship. Waiving tuition for academic year 2016-2017.

2016 Supplementary Fund for Research Degree Studies, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong.

2014 - 17 Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Awarded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council.

2014 Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarship, awarded by the Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies, City University of Hong Kong.


Current projects:

Everyday political economy of competitiveness in South Korea 

South Korea’s ODA and Saemaul Undong development programs in Southeast Asia 

Nation branding and International Political Economy 

Crash Landing on You and Korea’s national identities 

The politics of benchmarking in Europe


Interviewed in the ‘Cultures Monde’ program of the French national radio "France Culture."