Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Frank (born in 1969) is a German economist and internationally renowned expert on North Korea and East Asia. He currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria, as a tenured full professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna. Frank also serves as the Head of the Department of East Asian Studies in Vienna and is an adjunct professor at Korea University and at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
Frank's main areas of research are socialist transformation in East Asia and Europe, with a focus on North Korea, state-business relations in East Asia and regional integration in East Asia.
Frank received an MA in Korean studies, Economics and International Relations at Humboldt University of Berlin and a PhD in Economics from Mercator-University in Duisburg. Prior to his appointment as Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, he taught at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in New York from 2002 to 2003.
Born and raised in East Germany and the Soviet Union, and having spent one semester as a language student at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang in 1991/1992, Frank is one of very few experts on North Korea who have lived in and experienced German, Soviet and North Korean socialist systems for a substantial period of time. He uses his equally rare combined background in Economics, Korean Studies and International Relations to analyze and comment on a wide range of economic and security issues in East Asia and North Korea from various perspectives. In 2014, his unique insights into North Korea culminated in the book "Nordkorea. Innenansichten eines totalen Staates".
Frank is Chair Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna and Head of the Department of East Asian Studies. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Korea University and at the University of North Korean Studies (Kyungnam University), Seoul. He holds an M.A. in Korean Studies, Economics and International Relations and a Ph.D. in Economics. Visiting professorships have included Columbia University New York and Korea University Seoul.
In 2013, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ranked Frank one of Germany's 50 most influential economists.
Current academic positions
His functions include:
- Head of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna
- Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna
- Council Member of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe
- Council Member of the Austrian Association of University Professors
- Deputy Chief Editor of the European Journal of East Asian Studies
- Co-Editor of the book series Korea: Politics, Economy, Society
- Member of the Board of Editors, Brill's Korean Studies Library
- Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Korea and Japan, German Association of Asian Studies
- Member of the World Economic Forum
- Associate, The Asia Pacific Journal aka Japan Focus