KRI conducts research projects in all areas of Korean Studies with specialisations in Political Studies, Economics, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Language and History.
In its disciplinary specialisations, KRI identified four key interdisciplinary research areas as Politics and Public Administration; Economic Development and International Business; Society, Culture and Cultural Industries; and Korean Language Education and Linguistics.
The majority of research projects at KRI are conducted through its collaborative research networks with research partners in Australasia, Korea and Southeast Asia, and through regional hubs around the globe. Distinctively, there are two major collaborative research networks in operation. The first is the Universities Network (also known as Ten Strategic Partner Universities) and the second is the Universities-Government Institutions Network (also known as CPPR Forum).
KRI specialises in and carries out research projects in politics, public policies, state capacities, development studies, public administration and reform policies of global political systems. Although it contributes to the field of political studies on a global scale, more emphasis is placed on Southeast Asia, Korea and Australasia. KRI conducts comparative studies of its focus countries and contributes its research outputs to policymakers of their corresponding governments.
KRI is one of the leading institutions in the region for research fields of economics, development studies, public entrepreneurship, institutional developments, state-owned enterprises, economic policy reforms and international business studies. Together with its geographical specialisations and interdisciplinary approaches, KRI conducts large-scale collaborative and comparative research projects.
With a surge of Korean Wave breaking the paradigm of Hollywood-dominated popular culture around the globe, new forms of cultural integrations, cultural diplomacies and regionalisation of cultural industries spawn out. Although countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Australasia differ significantly in cultural diversities and consequentially cultural identities are apparent, there are also commonalities. As culture is a forefront medium of intangible institutions, how culture shapes the societal structures of different countries requires much attention. KRI recognised this phenomenon and led the development of research areas in this new age field since its inception. It now produces significant research outputs.
KRI plays a pivotal role in the development of Korean Language Education not only at UNSW but throughout Southeast Asia. KRI conducts research of pedagogical development in Korean Language Education and Korean Studies Programs. KRI doesn't confine its key strengths to tertiary levels but also reaches out to primary and secondary schools as they form the foundation for tertiary-level programs. KRI helped partner universities in Southeast Asia to initiate and develop Korean Studies and Korean Language Programs with support from the Korean Government.