Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Seung Hwan Ryu


PhD Candidate

Lansstraße 7-9
Raum 213
14195 Berlin


Doctoral Fellow, History, Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, October 2021 – present.

  • DAAD-GSSP Fellow (until September 2025).
  • Current Doctoral Research Project: “North Korean Socialist Globalization Project in Tanzania, 1965–89.”

Master of Arts, Global Studies, Erasmus Mundus Master in “Global Studies – A European Perspective”, Leipzig University (Germany) and the University of Vienna (Austria), October 2019 – September 2021.

  • Master’s Thesis: “Provincializing “1968”: The Emergence of New Political Subjects and Social Movements in South Korea (1988–1997).”

Bachelor of Arts and Economics, History and Economics (Double degree), Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea, February 2014 – August 2019.

Grants and Scholarships:

  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Graduate School Scholarship Programme. October 2021 September 2025.
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. October 2019 September 2021.
  • Sogang University, Sogang Research Grant, c. 850 €, November 2018.


  • “Between Second and Third World: North Korean Use of “Imagined Affinity” in the Socialist Globalization Project with Regard to Tanzania.” Comparativ (forthcoming in Fall 2023).
  • “North Korean Engagement in Africa during the Cold War: A Survey of Recent Historiographical Analyses.” Korea Europe Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Politics, Society, and Economics 2 (June 2022). DOI: 10.48770/ker.2022.no2.13.

Research Experience:

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea, April 2023 – June 2023.
  • Visiting Research Student, King’s College London, January – March 2023.
  • Research Assistant, Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea, August 2018 – August 2019.

Research Interests:

  • Global Cold War
  • Globalization of Socialism and Postcolonialism
  • Operation of Memory in Afro-Asian Solidarity
  • East-South and South-South Cooperation

Research Summary:

Seung Hwan Ryu is a doctoral fellow at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. His doctoral research on North Korean Socialist Globalisation Project in Tanzania, 1965-89 investigates how and why North Korea established solidarity with Tanzania during the double dynamics of decolonisation and the Cold War. Despite not being the most influential countries in the socialist and postcolonial world, the solidarity and cooperation between North Korea and Tanzania demonstrates the efforts of postcolonial nations to establish an alternative world order and pursue development without relying on aid from the Soviet Union and China. His research examines various events and points of entanglement between North Korea and Tanzania, including the inter-Korean competition for the membership of international organizations, North Korean involvement in southern African national liberation movements, Julius Nyerere’s visits to Pyongyang, and the shared emphasis on the slogan of ‘self-reliance’ by postcolonial political leaders. Based on multi-archival research, this study contributes to the global history of socialism and Third World internationalism, as it exemplifies a particular edition of socialist globalization projects during the Cold War era. This trajectory of solidarity also highlights the unique cooperation between the two postcolonial nations in East Asia and East Africa, which collectively envisioned an alternative world order through ‘imagined affinity’ and practical collaboration that challenged the dominance of the Cold War patrons.