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Faculty Profiles

John Delury

Professor of Chinese Studies
Chair of International Cooperation Program, GSIS
Director of Yonsei Center on Oceania Studies

  • Ph.D. in History, Yale University, 2007
  • M.A. in History, Yale University, 2003 (with honors)
  • B.A., in History, Yale University, 1997 (Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude)

Email: jdelury@yonsei.ac.kr
Tel: 02-2123-6284


John Delury is a professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), where he serves as chair of the Program in International Cooperation. He is also chair of the undergraduate program in International Studies at Yonsei’s Underwood International College (UIC), and the founding director of the Yonsei Center on Oceania Studies. He is the author, with Orville Schell, of Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century, and is writing a book about US-China relations in the early Cold War. Based in Seoul since 2010, his articles can be found in journals such as Asian Survey, Late Imperial China, and Journal of Asian Studies, his commentaries appear in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Washington Post, and 38 North, and he contributes book reviews for the quarterly journal Global Asia, where he is associate managing editor. John is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, National Committee on US-China Relations, and National Committee on North Korea; he is also a board member of the Pacific Century Institute, a senior fellow of the Asia Society, a leadership council member on the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and an adjunct fellow at the Center on Strategic and International Studies. He is a member of the Republic of Ireland’s foreign affairs advisory network and is invited to offer his analysis on East Asian affairs with governments, think tanks, corporations, and civil society organizations globally.


Ph.D. in History, Yale University, 2007 
M.A. in History, Yale University, 2003 (with honors)
B.A., in History, Yale University, 1997 (Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude)

Courses and Current Research Areas

Courses taught at Yonsei:

  • Modern Chinese History
  • US-China Relations (20th Century)
  • North Korean History and Politics
  • Introduction to International Studies
  • Modern China-Korea Relations
  • History of Chinese Political Thought
  • Late Imperial China (1600-1900)

Current research areas: Modern Chinese history, US-China Relations, Korean peninsula diplomacy 

Selected Publications

Books & Book chapters:
  • Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century, with Orville Schell (Random House, 2013; translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean).
  • Spying, Subversion, and Great Power Identity Conflict between the United States and China, in Japan and Asia’s Contested Order: The Interplay of Security, Economics and Identity, edited by T.J. Pempel and Yul Sohn (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 85-107.
  • Bridging the Divide: Moon Jae-in’s Korean Peace Initiative, edited with Chung-in Moon (Yonsei University Press, 2019)
  •  "What Makes Kim Jong Un Different?," in North Korea: Peace? Nuclear War?, edited by William Overholt (Harvard Kennedy School, 2019)    
  •  "Strong, Prosperous or Great? North Korean Security and Foreign Policy," with Chung-in Moon, in The Oxford Handbook on International Relations in Asia (Oxford, 2014)

  • "North Korea in 2019: A Year of Strategic Adjustment, Asian Survey (February 2020): 69-78.    
  • "Can Kim Jong Un Be Stopped?: A Report on the North Korean Missile Crisis," Australian Foreign Affairs (October 2017): 109-122.
  • "The Candlelight Revolution," Dissent (Spring 2017): 98-101.
  • "Trump and North Korea: The Art of the Deal," Foreign Affairs (March/April 2017): 46-51.
  • "Irony on Parade: Sino-Korean Friendship 1945/2015," Journal of Asian Studies (November 2015): 797-820.
  • "The Kishi Effect: A Political Genealogy of ROK-Japan Relations," Asian Perspective (July-September 2015): 441-460.
  • "A Peace Deferred: U.S. National Interest in a Korean Peace Process," American Foreign Policy Interests (July/August 2014): 1-6.  
  • "The Constitutional Debate in Early Qing China," Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies (October 2013): 149-168. * Pyongyang Perseveres: Why Washington Should Learn to Work with North Korea, Foreign Affairs (July/August 2013): 177-182.
  • "Gu Yanwu’s Mixed Model and the Problem of Two Despotisms," Late Imperial China (June 2013): 1-27.
  •  "The Disappointments of Disengagement: Assessing Obama’s North Korea Policy," Asian Perspective (April-June 2013): 149-182.
  •  "Harmonious in China: The Ancient Sources of Modern Doctrine," Policy Review (April/May 2008): 35-44.
  • "China as Equal: Putting China as Rival into Historical Context," Perspectives in History (September 17, 2020)
  • "How Democracy Won the First Coronavirus Election," New York Times (April 16, 2020) 
  • "Why Xi Jinping Is Courting Kim Jong Un," New York Times (June 23, 2019) 
  • "South Korean Can Save the Nuclear Talks: After Hanoi, Back to Seoul," Foreign Affairs (March 7, 2019) 
  • "Kim Jong Un Has a Dream. The US Should Help Him Realize It," New York Times (September 21, 2018) 
  • "Panmunjom Spring," 38 North (May 1, 2018) 
  • "Pompeo’s Visit Suggests Trump-Kim Summit Is On Track. Here’s Why Kim Wants To Talk," Washington Post (April 18, 2018) 
  • "North Korea: US Fear Risks Squandering the Chance for Peace," Financial Times (February 8, 2018) 
  • "Normalize the Hermit Kingdom," Foreign Policy (January 18, 2018) 
  • "Inter-Korean Talks Are More Than Just a ‘Good Thing’," Foreign Affairs (January 7, 2018) 
  • "Take Preventive War Off The Table," Foreign Affairs (August 22, 2017) 
  • "Instead of Threatening North Korea, Trump Should Try This," Washington Post (April 23, 2017) 
  • "Cooperate or Else!: North Korea at Mar-A-Lago," 38 North (April 4, 2017) 
  • "How to Make a Deal with North Korea," New York Times (March 29, 2017) 
  • "The China Factor," 38 North (October 31, 2016) 
  • "Listening to Korea’s Liberals," 38 North (April 20, 2016) 
  • "Hong Kong’s New Citizens: Democracy and Resistance in a Changing City," Foreign Affairs (July 13, 2015)
  • "Lessons from North Korea," Foreign Affairs (April 5, 2015) 
  • "The Urgency of Now: Why Obama Needs to Take the Lead on North Korea," 38 North (December 9, 2014). 
  • "Form Controls Content: The Two Koreas Move, Washington Stands Still," 38 North (February 17, 2014). 
  • "Out of Tiananmen’s Shadow: Why the Protestors Have Already Won," Foreign Affairs (October 6, 2014). 
  • "Let’s Be Friends," 38 North (December 5, 2013). 
  • "China’s Labor’s Lost: The End of Re-education Through Labor Camps," Foreign Affairs (November 25, 2013). 
  • "Austerity with Chinese Characteristics," Foreign Affairs (August 7, 2013). 
  • "Park vs. Kim: Who Wins This Game of Thrones?," 38 North (June 18, 2013). 
  • "Reform Sprouts in North Korea?," YaleGlobal (July 26, 2012). 
  • "The Land of Lesser Evils," with Chung-in Moon, Foreign Policy (March 29, 2012). 
  • "Analytical Failure and the North Korean Quagmire," with Chung-in Moon, 38 North (April 7, 2011). 

More Information

Research and Academic Affiliations

  • Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations (New York)
  • Member, National Committee on US-China Relations (NY)
  • Public Intellectual Program fellow, National Committee on US-China Relations
  • Member, National Committee on North Korea (Washington DC)
  • Board of Directors, Pacific Century Institute (Los Angeles)
  • Senior Fellow and Asia 21 Young Leader, Asia Society Center on US-China Relations (NY)
  • Leadership Council Member, National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NY)
  • Adjunct Fellow, CSIS (Washington DC)
  • Managing Associate Editor, Global Asia (Seoul)

Teaching Experience:

  • Future Learn [UK], Instructor on “Korea and China in Modern Times,” Spring 2015
  • Peking University, Visiting Associate Professor of History, Summer 2011
  • Columbia University, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science, Fall 2009
  • Brown University, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, 2007-2008
  • Peking University, Visiting Instructor of History, Spring 2006
  • Yale University, Part-time Acting Instructor of History, Spring 2004
  • Yale University, Teaching Fellow, 2001-2003

Address and Copyright

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