Monday, January 8, 2018

Public diplomacy: Reappraising the south Korean case through an evolutionary approach

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Abduazimov, M.S. University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Korea Journal
Volume 57, Issue 3, Autumn 2017, Pages 83-111


Despite a rising academic interest in South Korea's public diplomacy, little is known about its origins and evolution. Most existing studies have focused on the modern period of South Korea's public diplomacy, in particular the government's new foreign policy agenda since the late 2000s. Contrary to popular belief, this article argues that the recent infiltration of public diplomacy into South Korea's foreign policy represents de jure intensification of activities that de facto have been practiced from the second half of the 20th century. The present research divides the evolution of South Korea's public diplomacy into four periods: origins, diversification, polycentrism, and institutionalization. Each period has its own specific patterns, ends, and means. For instance, whereas the origins period arose with cultural and sports diplomacies, diversification included specific areas of engagement with foreign publics through official development assistance, knowledge, and exchange diplomacies. In turn, polycentrism has structurally transformed public diplomacy from a solely state-led activity into a polycentric framework of public and private partnership. Lastly, the institutionalization period represents the government's recent efforts to establish a universal coordinative authority above its public diplomacy, which represents a fragmented set of activities conducted by various governmental institutions.

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