What is it about?

This article on digital diplomacy aims to show that South Korea’s practices harmonize well with insights from new media theory, and that both inform the global debate. New media theory advocates the examination of the digital environment in which diplomatic interactions are unfolding, and it articulates the politics behind digital technology. Technological development and innovation in South Korea impact on the sphere of foreign policy. We review four ways in which South Korea has applied technology to diplomacy. Our analysis concludes with general recommendations for diplomatic practitioners across the world.

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Why is it important?

A major debate on the impact of digitization on diplomatic practice is currently taking place in most of the world’s diplomatic services. Western perspectives do however dominate writings on the subject and there is scope for importing new theoretical notions into these discussions. We argue that existing, ‘analogue’ diplomacy is not merely superimposed onto technologies now shaping an environment that is facilitating digitally native practices.

Perspectives

It has been enlightening to interview scores of practitioners during our field work in South Korea. The Seoul goverment is facing the digital challenge in its international relations like any other country, but "becoming technological" has turned into a Korean export asset.,

Jan Melissen
Leiden University and University of Antwerp

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This page is a summary of: Critical Digital Diplomacy as a Global Challenge: The South Korean Experience, Global Policy, April 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12425.
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