Revisiting Russo-Japanese hegemonic rivalry in East Asia before 1904: Korean railroads

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Illustrating overlooked aspects of a hegemonic conflict surrounding the Korean peninsula amidst changing geopolitical dynamics in the Far East before the Russo-Japanese war, this analysis provides an alternate reading of international history during the age of “New Imperialism”. With Korea’s railroad system enmeshed with Russo-Japanese rivalry in Northeast Asia, a technologically inferior Korea could only resort to concession diplomacy and, relatedly, neutralisation – also attempted by Russia – to preserve its fragile independence. Despite the high hopes that accompanied them, such efforts were unable to protect Korea and its railroads from Japanese control as the clouds of the Russo-Japanese War overshadowed the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-230
Number of pages22
JournalDiplomacy and Statecraft
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2020


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