Department of Politics and International Studies

Professor Tat Yan Kong

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Professor of Comparative Politics and Development Studies Centre of Korean Studies Academic Staff, Centre of Korean Studies China Institute Academic Staff, SOAS China Institute London Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Science Steering Committee Member, Co-Director
Department of Politics and International Studies
BA (Newcastle), MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0) 20 7898 4743
Support hours
Term 1:
Monday 2-3pm (online)
Friday 2-3pm (in person)


Tat Yan Kong (BA Newcastle upon Tyne, MPhil and DPhil Oxford, FHEA) is Professor of Comparative Politics & Development Studies at SOAS, University of London and Co-Director of the London Asia Pacific Centre for Social Science. He is also the Co-Editor of Studies of the Contemporary Asia Pacific, a recently created series from Hong Kong University Press.

His research focuses on comparative political economy (pathways of development, socialist to market transitions, economic and social sustainability of advanced capitalism) with reference to East Asia. He is also interested in security and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Prof. Kong is the author of The Politics of Economic Reform in South Korea: A Fragile Miracle (London and New York: Routledge, 2000). His other publications include articles in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Economy & Society, Government & Opposition, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Modern Asian Studies, New Political Economy, Pacific Review, Political Studies, Politics & Society, and Review of International Political Economy. He is currently completing a monograph on North Korea’s political and economic development in the 21st century (Singapore: World Scientific Press, forthcoming).

As a postgraduate, Prof. Kong was the recipient of an ESRC Studentship. He has received research and conference grants from bodies such as the Academy of Korean Studies, British Academy, Economic & Social Research Council, Nuffield Foundation, and the Sino-British Fellowship Trust. He is currently a co-investigator on a joint project entitled Globalization, Economic Institutions and Power Relations: Inclusive Growth in East Asia (supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong).

Prof. Kong is a former Head of the Department of Politics & International Studies at SOAS. He has also given evidence on East Asian affairs to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and provided commentary to media and other outlets. He welcomes PhD applications relating to East Asia in the sub-fields of comparative politics, international politics, and political economy.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Sirada Khemanitthathai Emigration State in Transition: Myanmar and the utilisation of emigration as a foreign policy instrument
Kilhee Kwak The Transformation and Continuation of South Korean Foreign Policy towards Japan 1965-2015
Irem Cihan Muter Cultural Persuasion, Power and Foreign Policy: South Korea and Turkey
Daniel Songjun Yu The Status of Ideology in Post-Cold War China-North Korea Relations


Contact Tat Yan