SUNDAY, 05/16/2021 | 8:00PM EDT

Foreign Affairs


Future Leaders

In the Shadows of Giants: Middle Powers in Great Power Competition


Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT

Hosted on Zoom - the link and optional background materials will be emailed to you after registration


When it comes to issues of nuclear security, particularly with regard to breakout states like Iran and North Korea, it is often assumed that the great powers should lead and play the central roles in negotiating deals and resolving crises. However, this conventional wisdom overlooks the important role that middle powers play in diplomacy. In this event, Yeseul Woo will discuss the role of middle powers in nuclear weapon breakout challenges, the motivations for middle powers to participate in nuclear negotiations, and the differences between existing middle powers and emerging middle powers when it comes to nuclear diplomacy, with a special focus on the case of South Korea.

Foreign Affairs with Future Leaders is a series of youth-led discussions which analyze various international issues and topics by collaboratively addressing their most critical questions. They are co-hosted by the Onero Institute, the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority at GWU, the Women In International Security GW Student Branch, and the School for Ethics and Global Leadership.



Yeseul Woo is a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies, at King’s College London. She is also a Developing Scholar at the Hudson Institute, and previously served as journalist for South Korean and US media outlets and as a fellow at the East West Center, at the Pacific Forum and at the Harry S. Truman Institute. Her research interests include nuclear non-proliferation policy, arms control, and the contributions of great and middle powers to nuclear policy.


Andrew Ma is a native of Seattle, Washington, and a third-year student at Williams College. He is majoring in Political Science and concentrating in International Relations, American Foreign Policy, Justice and Law Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. After graduation he wishes to pursue a career in international law.

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