© 2013

The Rise of Korean Leadership

Emerging Powers and Liberal International Order

  • Authors

Part of the Asia Today book series (ASIAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: Korea and Global Leadership

    1. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 1-14
  3. The Global Financial Crisis and the Rise of Korea as a Global Player

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 17-30
    3. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 31-49
    4. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 51-70
  4. Korea as a Bridge to the Developing World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 73-94
    3. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 95-113
  5. Korea’s Emerging Role in Global Security

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-115
    2. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 117-144
    3. G. John Ikenberry, Jongryn Mo
      Pages 145-162
  6. Conclusion: Korea, Liberal International Order, and the Future of Global Governance

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 179-211

About this book


South Korea has emerged as a new middle power playing a significant role in a wide range of important global issue areas and supporting liberal international order with its leadership diplomacy. The growing role played by new powers like Korea calls into question the prevailing view that global governance is polarized with emerging powers challenging the liberal international order established by the United States and its European allies after World War II. As the case of Korea shows, large developing countries like the BRICS are not the only emerging powers active in global governance. Newly developed or high income developing countries like South Korea, Turkey and Mexico are also active emerging powers, taking new initiatives, setting agendas and mediating conflicts between rival groups on the global stage. Because these high income developing countries have advanced under and benefited from the liberal international order, they see a great stake in its stability and show a willingness to protect it. "Liberal internationalist" developing countries are joining the expanding list of middle powers who contribute to the maintenance of liberal international order as niche players and system supporters.


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About the authors

Author G. John Ikenberry: G. John Ikenberry is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Ikenberry is also a Global Eminence Scholar at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea. He is the author of After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars (2001), which won the 2002 Schroeder-Jervis Award, and is co-author of Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the 21st Century (2009), The Alliance Constrained: The U.S.- Japan Security Alliance and Regional Multilateralism (2011), edited with Takashi Inoguchi and Yoichiro Sato, and Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order (2011). Author Mo Jongryn: Professor of International Political Economy at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

Bibliographic information


"Ikenberry and Mo chronicle an impressive array of South Korean efforts to 'punch above its weight' and influence the global governance agenda despite its relatively small size and limited power. The story of South Korea's contributions, in the face of ever-widening challenges to global leadership, affirm a clear interest and role for emerging middle powers such as South Korea in perpetuating a liberal international order. The story of South Korea's efforts provides an intriguing counterargument to predictions that either anarchy or rivalry are inevitable features of the emerging global system." - Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director, the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, USA

"What does the 'rise of the rest,' the non-Western powers, portend for international order? Most analysts look for answers in the preferences of China, and some conclude that the open world economy underwritten by the United States since the late 1940s is doomed. Ikenberry and Mo direct our attention instead to middle-range wealthy countries, particularly South Korea. They show that Korea has a significant stake in liberal global order and already has been using its considerable leverage to help maintain and reform that order." - John Owen, Taylor Professor of Politics, University of Virginia, USA

"Rarely do empirical cases affect the way we innovate theories of state behavior. This book demonstrates how Korea has changed the way we think about middle powers in the leadership of the international system. The liberal internationalist model put forth by the authors is carefully and comprehensively argued. It is a wonderful book." - Victor Cha, D.S. Song-KF Professor of Government and Director, Asian Studies, Georgetown University, USA