The Light and Shadow of Foreign Policy Taken by Joseon During the Period of Ming and Qing Dynastic Change

The Light and Shadow of Foreign Policy Taken by Joseon During the Period of Ming and Qing Dynastic Change

The geopolitical reality of the Korean Peninsula is grim. It is sandwiched between China and Japan. After the fall of Goguryeo, once a regional power in East Asia, successive dynasties on the Korean Peninsula faced internal upheaval or crises whenever external powers were exchanged or replaced. This is because they were forced to ‘stand in line’ and ‘choose’ between the existing hegemony (覇權國) and the emerging challenging country. And in the process, the Korean Peninsula was often embroiled in war and pushed into the worst possible crisis. In fact, the Imjin War of the Joseon dynasty (1592-1598), the Byeongja War (1636), the Sino-Japanese War (1894), and the Russo-Japanese War (1904) all took place on the same background. 

The Byeongja War (1636) is a representative case among them. Joseon, which had maintained its security by complying with the commanding system of the Ming since its founding in 1392, faced a crisis in the early 17th century when the Manchus, who had grown in power, challenged the Ming dynasty. For about 30 years in the early 17th century, when the Ming-Qing change was in progress, Joseon struggled to avoid getting caught up in a war between the two countries. However, it was eventually invaded by the Qing dynasty and suffered the tragedy of surrendering in 47 days. 

Why did this happen? Basically, the outbreak of the Byeongja War was closely related to the influence left by the 1592 Imjin War. By examining the political and ideological orientations of the political elites of Joseon from the Imjin War of 1592 to the Byeongja War of 1636, the speaker attempts to reflect on the historical significance of the foreign policy taken by Joseon during the Ming-Qing change.

**THIS IS A HYBRID EVENT. There will be FORTY (40) first come, first serve in-person tickets for attendance at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. IN-PERSON TICKETS ARE RESERVED FOR GW STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF ONLY. For outside affiliations, there will be tickets available to attend virtually via Zoom.**

**Headsets for simultaneous interpretation from Korean to English will be provided during both the presentation and the Q&A session.**

Featured Guests:

Speaker: Myung-Gi Han

Discussant: Ji-Young Lee

Moderator: Jisoo M. Kim

Download Program (PDF)