The popularity of Korean culture has increased significantly in the last two decades. This process in general is called ‘Hallyu’. The success of it is based on the professional marketing activity of companies, which use exceptional strategies and activities to reach and motivate their customers. This article introduces the diffusion of the culture of South Korea in Hungary, focusing on the specific marketing aspect of consumer behaviour. The author implemented two pieces of scientific research—one in 2018 and another one in 2022—examining this topic. Comparing the results of the two pieces of research gives an opportunity to examine the changes in the diffusion of Hallyu in this country. The fans of Korea and its culture are a relatively small group in Hungarian society but have specific consumer attributes. Hallyu content (such as music, films, and TV series) consumption is fan based, and the behaviour of customers has specific feature, such as the active usage of social media or a strong interest in other Korean products. Hungarian fans have other unique attributes, like enthusiasm and a close relationship with the Korean language, or the emphasis of personal communication. The article introduces these specialities in detail.
In less than three decades, the People’s Liberation Army Navy developed from a minor coastal-defence force into the largest naval force in the world. China’s rapid rise in seapower has gained significant attention from established naval circles, academia, and the public. In their efforts to explain this development, analysts have often referred to 19th-century naval history, seeking to connect China’s maritime developments to the ideas of influential naval strategists like Alfred Thayer Mahan and Julian Corbett. However, in doing so, these naval thinkers are often used to make a case about long-term developments or strategic implications regarding China’s alleged grand strategy. This paper seeks to turn this methodology around by solely focusing on the reflection of those naval theories—in their own right—against China’s maritime strategy. In doing so, it aims to historicise China’s 21st-century maritime strategy by testing to what extent it is reflected by the ideas of the navalists that are often presumed to influence Chinese strategic circles. It is argued that while on a grand-strategic level, Chinese strategic thinking seems to reflect the essence of Mahan’s seapower argument regarding its focus on the interconnectedness of maritime commerce and national power, a closer analysis reveals significant discrepancies in terms of both implementation and the broader strategic mindset regarding China’s geostrategic situation.
Foreign aid has become an integral instrument of Russia’s policy towards North Korea since the 2000s. Based on quantitative and qualitative data this study systematically maps and discusses Russia’s aid disbursements to the DPRK in 2000–2020. It is shown that debt relief constituted the largest share and the significance of humanitarian assistance had increased. Unlike in the Soviet period when ideological motives prevailed in rendering foreign aid, the beginning of the 21st century saw a re-emerging of Russia’s international assistance mainly driven by pragmatic political and economic considerations without excessive obligations on both bilateral and multilateral levels. Although recipient need was considered in aid allocation, volumes were too small to solve North Korea’s food insecurity and malnutrition. This study contributes to a broader strategic picture of Russia’s policy towards North Korea.
Regional integration theory can explain past and present processes of cross-strait integration and disintegration. Historical institutionalism can analyse how the path dependence of the ‘One China policy’ shapes cross-strait relations until today and how fundamental changes can occur through critical junctures. Neofunctionalism can well explain the dynamics of economic integration through spillovers and spillbacks driven by transnational actors since the 1980s. Liberal intergovernmentalism can shed light on the bargaining processes and their outcomes during the negotiation of various cross-strait agreements under the Ma Ying-jeou administration. Postfunctionalism offers the best explanation for the central role that identity has played in cross-strait relations, in particular since 2014.