Taeju Kim is an affiliate faculty/visiting scholar in the Department of History at Brigham Young University. Dr. Kim received his master’s degree in international relations and his Ph.D. in international history from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on Japan’s grand strategy and U.S.-East Asia relations, particularly economic modernization, liberal internationalism, and social change in postwar Japan, all of which he frames within the contentious politics of war memories, economic nationalism, and human rights. Dr. Kim is currently working on his book manuscript “Moral Realism: Paradoxes of Liberal Internationalism in Postwar Japan.” His book explores how moderate, oppositional conservative liberals in Japan rationalized the presence of the American military and bilateral partnership, while engendering an anti-colonial civic culture and transnational sense of community, which characterized the end of Cold War American hegemonic control. Using transnational archival sources, previously classified government documents, popular journal articles, and political economic data analysis, Dr. Kim illustrates how postwar globalization proactively contributed to both conflict and a renewed normative understanding between Japan and the U.S., explaining key structural changes over time.
In addition to the research for his book project, Dr. Kim also studies the role of international apologies, gendered politics of memory, and the development of economic civil society in East Asia, including the politics of nuclear environmentalism, non-proliferation, and energy competition.
Dr. Kim’s teaching interests cover a number of diverse subjects: East Asian civilization, U.S.-East Asia relations, human rights (refugees, human trafficking, public health, etc.), war memories, nationalism, racial and gender politics, and the history of economic liberalism in postcolonial East Asia. He has taught classes at the University of Chicago on Japanese politics for the Department of Political Science and the course “Cold War Modern: US-Japan Relations” as a Von Holst Prize Lecturer in the Department of History. He has served as a preceptor and instructor for graduate students in the University of Chicago's Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences and for undergraduates in the College’s Public Policy Studies Program.