Branding Korea as ‘My Friend’s Country’ The Case of VANK’s Cyber Public Diplomats (Korea Observer, 2018, 49(1))

Branding Korea as “My Friend’s Country”: The Case of VANK’s Cyber Public Diplomats

Kadir Ayhan, Ph.D.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

 

The role of non-state actors in public diplomacy remains an unsettled question in the literature. However, various transnational activities of non-state actors are often called public diplomacy, without discrimination. The lack of empirical studies on non-state public diplomacy is to blame for this conceptual confusion. Analytical and empirical studies of non-state public diplomacy are needed to consolidate this phenomenon, which is relatively new, while maintaining the conceptual clarity of public diplomacy. This study explores how Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a Korean NGO, conducts public diplomacy and nation branding of Korea based on its members’ relationships with foreigners. To gain an in-depth understanding of VANK’s activities from the perspectives of public diplomacy and nation branding, this study follows an exploratory single case study method. The findings of this article suggest how VANK and similar non-state actors offer potential for public diplomacy and nation branding that can be utilized also by state agencies.

Keywords: public diplomacy, nation branding, cyber public diplomacy, non-state actors, relationship management

Advertisements
Branding Korea as ‘My Friend’s Country’ The Case of VANK’s Cyber Public Diplomats (Korea Observer, 2018, 49(1))

[Preprint] The Boundaries of Public Diplomacy and Non-State Actors: A Taxonomy of Perspectives (International Studies Perspectives, 2019, 20(1))

The Boundaries of Public Diplomacy and Non-State Actors: A Taxonomy of Perspectives

Kadir Ayhan

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

 

Public diplomacy (PD) lacks an agreed-upon definition and boundaries. The ambiguity surrounding the nature of conceptualization of the term leads to confusion among scholars and practitioners and hinders the consolidation of PD as an academic field. This article surveys 160 articles and books on PD and categorizes diverse perspectives into a taxonomy and explores the coherence of each: State-Centric Perspectives, Neo-Statist Perspectives, Nontraditional Perspectives, Society-Centric Perspectives and Accommodative Perspectives. The article maps the boundaries of public diplomacy with much-needed clear and coherent criteria and positions PD within the broader discipline of International Relations (IR).

Keywords: public diplomacy, non-state actors, taxonomy, diplomacy studies, international relations theories

 

[Preprint] The Boundaries of Public Diplomacy and Non-State Actors: A Taxonomy of Perspectives (International Studies Perspectives, 2019, 20(1))

Utilizing Non-state Actors for Korean Public Diplomacy

Public diplomacy is relatively a new concept in the field of international relations. Public diplomacy’s meaning and scope is still being contested, yet many experts –both practitioners and academics- share the view that the role non-state actors can play has become vital for effective public diplomacy. Nevertheless, non-state actors’ networking capability and credibility with target audiences of public diplomacy is not utilized enough. Korea is one of the countries that have realized not only the importance of new trends in public diplomacy, but also advantages of cooperation with non-state actors to conduct more effective public diplomacy. This article analyzes non-state actors’ role in South Korea’s public diplomacy and suggests ways to exploit unrealized potential more effectively.
Utilizing Non-state Actors for Korean Public Diplomacy

Why Do We Need Non-state Actors in Public Diplomacy?: Theoretical Discussion of Relational, Networked and Collaborative Public Diplomacy

Lee, G., & Ayhan, K. (2015). Why Do We Need Non-state Actors in Public Diplomacy?: Theoretical Discussion of Relational, Networked and Collaborative Public Diplomacy. Journal of International and Area Studies, 23(1), 57-77.

As a consequence of changing domestic and international socio-political environment, public diplomacy policies require relational, networked and collaborative approaches for more effective and long-term outcomes. This article explores the relevance of non-state actors to public diplomacy and suggests why and how collaboration takes place between state and non-state actors. Furthermore, the article develops a typology of collaboration between state and non-state actors for public diplomacy initiatives based on two dimensions: whose objectives are prioritized in the collaboration and who  proposes collaboration. The article suggests that non-state actors’ potential for public diplomacy can be tapped by state when state approaches non-state actors for collaboration as well as opening its channels for collaboration opportunities coming from non-state actors.

Keywords: public diplomacy, non-state actors, public relations, social networks, collaboration

Why Do We Need Non-state Actors in Public Diplomacy?: Theoretical Discussion of Relational, Networked and Collaborative Public Diplomacy