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Yong Pil Rhee

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Yong Pil Rhee (December 20, 1933 – March 23, 2004) was a Korean political scientist, systems scientist and professor and chairman of the board of trustees at the Seoul National University, South Korea. He was one of the first systems theorists, who demonstrated that the system is dynamic and experiences change.[1]


Yong Pil Rhee received a B.A. from Yonsei University in 1957, and a M.A. in 1959. In that time he corresponded with Hans Kohn. In 1959 he also received a M.A. from Northwestern University, and in 1974 a PhD. from the University of Chicago under David Easton[2] with the thesis "Breakdown of Authority Structure in Korea in 1960: A Systems Approach", a case study of the failure of concerted feedback.[3]

Rhee returned to South Korea, where he started as Lecturer of Political Science, Graduate School of Yonsei University. He became Professor at the Seoul National University later in the 1980s. Around 1998 Rhee also worked at the International Systems Institute.

Yong Pil Rhee was the president of the Korean Society for Systems Science Research, and the president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences in 1996, and the vice-president of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) from 1998 until 2000 and the president of IFSR from 2000 until 2002. He was a member of the editorial board of the journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science, and of the International Advisory Board of the "Systems Thinking: Four-Volume Set": a systems science reference for all libraries of business, management and organization studies.


Rhee wrote several books, articles and papers. A selection:

  • 1982. Breakdown of Authority Structure in Korea in 1960: A Systems Approach . Univ of Hawaii.
  • 1996. Complex systems model of South-North Korean integration. Edited. Seoul : Seoul National University Press.
  • 1997. Systems Thinking, Globalization of Knowledge, and Communitarian Ethics. Edited with Kenneth D. Bailey. Proceedings of the International Society for the Systems Sciences International Conference. Seoul, Korea.
  • 1998. Complexity of Korean Unification Process: System Approach. Seoul: Seoul National University Press,
  • 1999. Dynamics and Complexity of Political System. Seoul, Korea:. Ingansarang Press.
  • 2003. Chaos and order through fluctuations in global capitalism in the twenty-first century (Abstract)


  1. ^ Sung Chull Kim (2006). North Korea Under Kim Jong Il: From Consolidation to Systemic Dissonance. Page 216.
  2. ^ A Memorial to Professor Yong Pil Rhee. Personal comments from Dr Eunjai Rhee, Dr Sung Chull Kim, Professor Ken D. Bailey, Professor Len Troncale and Dr G A Swanson. p.20-22. Accessed July 9, 2009.
  3. ^ American Political Science Association (1968). PS.. University of Michigan. Page 4.
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Yong Pil Rhee
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