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Han Hee Lee
Han Hee Lee

Han Hee Lee

PhD student

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Han Hee Lee is PhD student in the Department of International Development. In Korea, he is a Professor of School of Global Service at Sookmyung Women’s University.

He was a Fellow of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School and at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University; a Special Adviser on International Affairs and Inter-Korean Cooperation to the Governor of GyeonGi-Do Provincial Government, ROK; a Senior Research Fellow of the Samsung Economic Research Institute (Seoul, ROK); a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the World Bank (Washington, DC); and a Fellow of the Committee of International Relations at the US House of Representatives (Washington, DC).

Han Hee is a specialist in North Korea, Transition Economies of former Communist Countries in Eastern Bloc, and International Development Cooperation. He was a former member of the internal country team that worked on developing potential reconstruction plans of North Korea at the World Bank. He represented a Renewable Energy Development Project in cooperation with the UN FAO, GEF, GyeongGi-Do Provincial Government of ROK, North Korean Government and Liaoning Provincial Government of China between 2007 and 2009. He was also PM of a quarterly research project of Korean Peninsula Security Index report of Samsung Economic Research Institute.

Han Hee received a BA from Korea University in 1998, a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2002 and PhD in North Korean Studies from Kyungnam University in 2012.


Thesis title: 'A historical-institutional analysis of the reconstruction of the Republic of Korea by the United Nations and its affiliated agencies with policy implications for the economic development of developing countries'

Although Korea’s reconstruction and economic development depends on the United Nations and is considered common knowledge, previous scholarship lacks a historical understanding of what role the United Nations played in the successful development of Korea in the 1950s and 60s. Moreover, even if there is also a wide consensus across the social sciences that institutions have been a key determinant of the economic growth and development of nations, previous scholarship neglects new institutions created by the United Nations, as well as the role the United Nations played in the creation of new institutions during the same periods, thus contributing to the sustained development of the 1960s and 1970s.

Hence, this study intends to collect and analyse primary data on activities of the United Nations and its affiliated agencies regarding the reconstruction and economic development of Korea, and undertake a historiographical analysis of the data. It further investigates how the institutions that enabled the sustained economic growth and development of Korea in the 1960s and 1970s were created in the 1950s and 1960s, what role the United Nations played in the creation, and what conditions Korea’s particular trajectory of development followed. 

PhD supervision

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See Han Hee's research profile