East Asia Institute - EPIK Young Leaders Essay Competition 2013

14 March 2013
East Asia Institute - EPIK Young Leaders Essay Competition 2013
Deadline: 29 March 2013

The East Asia Institute(EAI) invites undergraduate and master's degree students (including recent graduates) to share their visions on the critical challenges facing the global society through the "EPIK Young Leaders Conference 2013: Essay Competition." The EPIK Young Leaders Conference has become an academic forum for sharing a global mindset among next generation leaders since its successful start in 2010.

In light of the global challenges lying ahead, the role of youth in addressing them has been growing. This essay competition strives to offer a great opportunity for students not only to present their innovative ideas but also to enrich the extensive networks with each other by exchanging their views. We encourage you to think analytically, creatively, and strategically while participating the "EPIK Young Leaders Conference 2013: Essay Competition."

The EAI hopes that the participants will be able to share their thoughts on various areas including, but not limited to, international politics, security, economics, business management, and science as well as to ponder their roles in this ever changing world. Participants will also develop their academic ability to express ideas and share their visions.


"When is Conflict Better than Cooperation?"

Conflict, in all-encompassing spectrum, is inevitable. Following the growth of multiple actors and entities with heterogeneous interests, our world today is witnessing more and more conflicts on the individual, national as well as the international level. Tensions among countries have always formed and shifted power orders in both regional and international level, which more than often led to physical or non-physical wars. Tensions are also increasingly notable within countries as we witness civil wars, ethnic strife, group conflicts, and protests. Moreover, technological developments and practices have stirred up controversies and tensions, often conflicting with human rights values.

Traditionally, conflict - both violent and non-violent - has been accounted for hindering peaceful communication, optimal resolution, and synergetic outcomes. As a consequence, cooperative behavior was almost always preferred over contradictory behavior.

Conflict, however, could be a source of creation and constructive transformation. On one hand, conflict may generate new outcomes by challenging traditional norms, ideas and beliefs. On the other hand, conflict may be a valuable pathway towards positive change. For instance, the Civil Rights Movement in America during the 50s and 60s challenged the idea of inequality, and the efforts led to improvements in the legal rights of the oppressed minorities. Also, cartel activities are frequently blamed to disrupt competition and drive the society off the utility maximization. The list goes on.

In this regard, the 2013 EPIK Young Leaders Conference would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on the question, When is conflict better than cooperation? You are encouraged to engage with the question in any academic field of your choice. The following tracks are for your guidance, but they should not restrict your other methodologies.
  • Theoretical track: What are the intrinsic values of conflict and how does it compare to the values of cooperation? Can conflict be better than cooperation? If so, when is it better than cooperation?
  • Empirical track: Does the empirical evidence tell us that conflict is better than cooperation? If so, what are the conditions under which conflict is better than cooperation? You can either provide illustrative case studies and historical examples or quantitative analyses of data.
Selected papers will be presented at the conference with notable experts and peer readers in the summer of 2013.


The competition is open to domestic/overseas undergraduate and master's degree students (including the recent graduates who completed the program within the previous 2 years), who were born in between 1979 and 1996. The participants must submit an attested copy of their student Identity Card (or Degree Certificate for graduates) along with required documents.


1. First Round
  • Deadline: March 29, 2013
  • Result Announcement: April 19, 2013
  • Required Documents:
    • Application - Abstract should not exceed 400 words.
    • Resume
    • Copy of a student Identity Card or Degree Certificate for graduates
2. Second Round
  • Deadline: June 7, 2013
  • Result Announcement: June 28, 2013
  • Required Document: First draft
    • Essays should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding abstract and references).
    • Essays must be submitted and formatted in Microsoft Word
    • Use Times New Roman, 11-points, 1.5 interlinear spacing. Text should be justified.
3. Third Round
  • Deadline: July 19, 2013
  • Finalist Announcement: July 26, 2013
  • Required Documents
    • Final draft after consultation with the reviewers
    • PowerPoint (or other types of visual aids) for presentation
4. Essay Presentation and Award Ceremony
  • Date: Thursday, August 8, 2013 1PM
  • Venue: Hotel Kukdo, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Finalists will attend the conference and present their papers followed by discussion with members of EPIK spiders.

One first-place winner and one second-place winner will be selected and announced at the conference on Thursday, August 8, 2013. The finalists' papers will be published online as a series of EPIK Journals Online at EAI website.
  • 1st-place winner: 2,000,000 KRW
  • 2nd-place winner: 1,000,000 KRW
*Travel expenses will not be covered by EAI.

  • All requirements must be submitted by each deadline only electronically to epik2013@eai.or.kr.
  • Papers that poorly address the theme with irrelevant ideas and/or not meeting all requirements will be disqualified from the contest.
  • About plagiarism policy, refer to plagiarism.org.
  • Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
  • Only original and unpublished essays will be considered for the competition.

For queries/ submissions: epik2013@eai.or.kr

Website: http://epik.eai.or.kr/
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