Globalization, National Identity and Foreign Policy: Understanding 'Global Korea'

Jojin V. John


One of the striking themes in contemporary South Korean foreign policy is a strong emphasis on achieving seonjinguk (advanced nation) status in international affairs, as articulated in the slogan 'Global Korea'. Engaging with the discourse of globalization, the concept of seonjinguk has provided Korea with an interpretive framework for discussions of its national identity and global position. The historical experience of Korea as a hujinguk (backward country) underlies the emphasis accorded to the goal of becoming seonjinguk. The article argues that the discursive practice of Global Korea was not merely a point of departure in Korean foreign policy but was also the key site of Korean national identity construction. Through an exploration of the historical context and diplomatic practice of constructing Global Korea, it illustrates the continuity and authority of the discourse of seonjinguk in interpreting and constructing Korean national identity.


South Korean foreign policy, Global Korea, Korean national identity, Globalization-Segyehwa, Seonjinguk discourse

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Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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