York in the World: Political science professor heads to Korea

Thomas Klassen, a professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Policy & Administration in the Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, has been invited to South Korea to be a visiting researcher.

Thomas KlassenRight: Thomas Klassen

The Korea Labor Institute has asked Klassen to conduct research on new policies for Korea’s labour force and to share his findings with decision-makers. The institute is responsible for contributing to public policy and raising awareness of labour issues through timely and analytical research. As well, Klassen will spend several months studying Korea’s retirement policies. Specifically, he will examine how the changing labour market, particularly a rapidly aging population, impacts mandatory retirement practices.

His research in Korea will also provide insights for Canada, which also has a rapid increase in older workers.

An expert on retirement policies, Klassen teaches courses on the politics of aging. He is the co-editor of Time’s Up (2005), the only book on mandatory retirement in Canada . Last year, Klassen co-edited with Jae-jin Yang the book Retirement, Work and Pensions in an Ageing Korea (Routledge, 2010).

This will not be Klassen’s first working stint in South Korea. In 2006-2007, he taught at Yonsei University in Seoul and wrote about the lighter side of the experience for YorkU magazine under the title “Lost in Translation”.