The website of Aidan Foster-Carter. Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Modern Korea, Leeds University.



Note: I'm far too disorganized to keep a full CV on the go. Fortunately, it's almost 30 years since I last had to apply for a job. Besides, who wants to scrutinize every teeny strand of someone else's navel fluff? Here are the basics, culled from a single page bio - honest! - which I do update fairly regularly. But I've probably forgotten something.

Personal details

Full name: Aidan George Foster-Carter
Born: London, 7 November 1947
Citizenship: British
Ethnicity: Anglo-Irish
Family status: Divorced. One son, born 1979


Address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK
Tel: [+44] (0)1274 588586
Fax: [+44] (0)1274 773663
Mobile: [+44] (0)7970 741307
ISDN: [+44] (0)1274 589280


1960-65: Eton College. A-levels: Latin, Greek, Ancient History, French, Economics (grades A, A, A, A, C; also S-level grade 1 for the first four)
1966-69: Balliol College, Oxford. BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Viva'd at length for a 1st; result II:1
1969-71: Hull University. PhD study in Sociology; thesis on Marxist development theory (unfinished)

Employment: universities

1971-72: Lecturer in Sociology, University of Hull
1972-74: ditto, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
1974-97: Lecturer - from 1985, Senior Lecturer - in Sociology, University of Leeds
1997 - : Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Modern Korea, Leeds
1985: visiting Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at Santa Cruz.


Courses on Third World development, Korea, comparative sociology,nationalism, research methodology, social trends and movements. Also Open University, adult classes, and in four prisons


Phd/DPhils for Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Sussex, et al; plus universities in Australia, Holland and Sweden. Also MA and BA courses at Sussex and East Anglia

Employment: regular freelance

All involve writing about Korea, unless otherwise stated

1983-: Economist Intelligence Unit: quarterly Country Reports and Forecasts on North and (most of) South Korea; Country Profiles on N Korea; regular shorter articles for Business Asia and Viewswire
1987-: Oxford Analytica: writing regular briefs on Korea; speaker at annual business conference
1990-: Europa Publications: updating Korea sections in annual survey The Far East and Australasia
1994-: Enterprise LSE: short articles on Korea for Asian Regional Markets (
2000-: CSIS-Pacific Forum: Overviews of North Korea and north-south ties for Comparative Connections (quarterly online journal)
Sep 2000-: Asia Times Online (Bangkok): weekly Pyongyang Watch column
2001-: Asia Intelligence Ltd (AsiaInt): Articles on Korea, as commissioned

1993-97: Author of monthly business/policy report to blue chip clients published in Seoul, successively as Korea Countdown (Merit Consulting, 93-95) and North Korea Report (Breen & Gustaveson, 95-97)
1990- 2000: MENAS Associates: quarterly comments and reviews on Korea, for clients in the energy and insurance fields
2000-01: eCountries: Regular articles on Korea, until it dotbombed
1992-2000: Updates Conferences, E Conferences: chairing and speaking at large A-level student day conferences, on various subjects, all over the UK

In last 5-6 years alone, various one-off reports, retainers, and other commissions for:

  • Multinationals:
    BHP, British Aerospace, British Gas, Caltex, Coca-Cola, Rio Tinto, Unilever, et al

  • International bodies:
    UNHCR (three times), UNICEF

  • Risk assessors, insurers, lawyers & Co:
    Control Risks, Hiscox, Herbert Smith
  • Banks, investment houses, & Co:
    EBRD, Jardine Fleming, UBS, Newton

The Sociology of Development Causeway Press 1985; also in Malay, and ? Bengali
Korea's Coming Reunification EIU 1992
North Korea after Kim Il-sung EIU 1994

Several dozen academic papers, book chapters, etc, on development and/or Korea;
Some translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Japanese, as well as Korean.

Also dozens of shorter pieces of analysis/journalism, mainly on Korea, for inter alios:
Global: Economist, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune
Asia: Asiaweek (r.i.p.), Asian Wall Street Journal, Far Eastern Economic Review
Korea: Korea Herald, Hankook Ilbo; various government and one-off publications
UK: Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman, Evening Standard, Prospect, New Statesman, Marie-Claire (yes really)
Europe: various newspapers in Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands

Guest lectures, visits & Co

South Korea (19), US (13), Japan (6), Netherlands (6), Singapore (4), Germany (4), Sweden (3), North Korea, Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Norway, Switzerland (all 2); Canada, China, Latvia, Macau, Turkey.

In US:
Institute for International Economics, United States Institute of Peace, Pacific Forum-CSIS, Allied Social Science Associations, et al. Universities: Columbia, Yale, MIT, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Washington, Hawaii, SUNY Binghamton, et al

In Korea:
too many to list, but including:
Korea Development Institute
Korean Institute for National Unification
Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security
Academy of Korean Studies
Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Universities: Seoul National, Yonsei, Korea, Chungang, Dong-A, Choson, et al
Met Kim Dae-jung 4 times, including for 2 days discussing unification issues in 1993

In UK:
again too numerous to list, but including:
Confederation of British Industry
Department of Trade and Industry
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (including Wilton Park)
International Institute of Strategic Studies
Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House)
Royal College of Defence Studies (annual lecture)
Royal United Services Institute
Universities: Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, SOAS, Manchester, and many more.


Frequent commentary on Korea for BBC World Service radio and TV; also for radio in Austria, France, Germany, and Netherlands, plus occasionally for 6-7 more countries.

Presented Nightwaves (BBC Radio 3 arts magazine programme) three times in 1995-96.

Other interests

Mainly musical:
at age 17 set all Shakespeare's songs for guitar; in 1970s played semi-professionally in northern clubs and East African hotels. Occasional satirical cabaret.

Other joys:
my son, concerts, poetry, walks rural and urban, food and drink, travel, good fellowship.

  • To continue to be introduced as "Britain's leading Korea-watcher". (BBC Radio 4).
  • To increase understanding of Korea, help preserve its peace, and promote reunification.
  • To travel by train from Pusan to Paris.

Aidan Foster-Carter
February 2002