Surviving Imperial Intrigues: Korea’s Struggle for Neutrality amid Empires, 1882-1907

Key information

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Virtual Event

About this event

Dr Sangpil Jin (University of Edinburgh)


This seminar focuses on my upcoming monograph, which sheds light on the following topic: how successful Korean neutralization could have radically transformed the equation of balance of power in East Asia and change major powers’ strategic calculus of the region. While neutralization is the focal point of the project, it also analyses Korea’s multi-faceted relations with China, Japan, Russia, the U.S., and to a lesser degree, Britain, and France. Within the overall framework of Sino-Japanese, Anglo-Russian, and Russo-Japanese rivalries, this work encompasses the critical factors like international agreements and factional conflicts that lurked behind Korea’s journey towards neutralization. Furthermore, this book seeks to provide an analytical lens to understand Korea’s intricate diplomatic relations with major powers, a periphery state in the international system during the imperialist era. Available in English for the first time, this work expands on Korea’s often contentious relations with major powers and their rivalries surrounding the country for three decades. With the timespan stretching from 1882 to 1907, this project entails a meticulous analysis of published and unpublished primary sources from Asia, Europe, and North America.

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Surviving Imperial Intrigues: Korea’s Struggle for Neutrality amid Empires, 1882-1907

Speaker Biography

Sangpil Jin specializes in modern Korean history, diplomatic history, imperial history, and international relations of East Asia. He obtained a PhD in Korean Studies at the School of Oriental Studies, the University of London and his works appeared on Acta Koreana, The International History Review, Diplomacy & Statecraft, East Asia Forum , and The Diplomat . Currently, he serves as Teaching and Research Postdoctoral Fellow in Korean Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Korean Studies

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