© 2015

Understanding Public Diplomacy in East Asia

Middle Powers in a Troubled Region

  • Editors
  • Jan Melissen
  • Yul Sohn
  • Offers a close look at diplomacy in Asia, the world’s fastest rising economic region but also one of the parts of the world with the greatest potential for conflict


About this book


Set against the backdrop of tensions in East Asia, this book analyzes how East Asia's "new middle powers" and emerging powers employ public diplomacy as a key element of their foreign policy strategy and in so doing influence regional power dynamics. The volume brings together contributions from an international and influential group of scholars, who are leading debates on public diplomacy within East Asia. Where the study of public diplomacy has so far focused primarily on the West, the essays in this book highlight the distinct strategies of East Asian powers and demonstrate that understanding public diplomacy requires studying its strategies and practices outside as much as within the Western world. A focus on public diplomacy likewise gives us a more varied picture of state-to-state relations in East Asia.


Public diplomacy East Asia middle power soft power democracy regionalism Diplomacy work

About the authors

Jan Melissen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael in The Hague and Professor of Diplomacy at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. 

Yul Sohn is a Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University, Korea. 

Bibliographic information

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“This edited volume is comprehensive in both geographic scope and analytical breadth and, with several thematic chapters and six case studies, largely succeeds at its appointed task. … I enjoyed the diverse array of viewpoints and case studies offered by this volume. Individual chapters are clearly presented and well written, and the manuscript provides an informative and valuable starting point for both politics students and lays audiences interested in the use of public diplomacy in East Asia.” (Erin Zimmerman, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Vol. 4 (2), September, 2017)