Concluding Reflections on Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in East Asia

  • Jan Melissen
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy book series (GPD)


The large body of academic writing on soft power and the even larger literature on public diplomacy are good news in more than one respect. They are evidence of a growing interest in less threatening forms of power, diplomacy as the predominant mode through which international actors represent themselves and their interests, and the processes of communication and persuasion in an increasingly transnational world. There is, however, a sense that, in the past five years or so, at least a considerable chunk of work in the unabated flood of articles and papers on soft power and public diplomacy is running the risk of delivering diminishing returns. Contributions from non-Western parts of the world are still relatively scarce in the English language and most of the literature deals with occidental experience. This strengthens the case for research in new geographical directions. For the purposes of writing this book, shifting the focus to Asia has led to better understanding of how soft power and public diplomacy work in the fastest rising region of the world.


Civil Society Soft Power Foreign Public Public Diplomacy Middle Power 
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© Sook Jong Lee and Jan Melissen 2011

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  • Jan Melissen

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