1st Edition

Diplomatic Style and Foreign Policy A Case Study of South Korea

By Jeffrey Robertson Copyright 2016
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    The book explores diplomatic style and its use as a means to provide analytical insight into a state’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on South Korea.

    Diplomatic style attracts scant attention from scholars. It is dismissed as irrelevant in the context of diplomacy’s universalism; misconstrued as a component of foreign policy; alluded to perfunctorily amidst broader considerations of foreign policy; or wholly absented from discussions in which it should comprise an important component. In contrast to these views, practitioners maintain a faith-like confidence in diplomatic style. They assume it plays an important role in providing analytical insight, giving them advantage over scholars in the analysis of foreign policy. This book explores diplomatic style and its use as a means to provide analytical insight into foreign policy, using South Korea as a case study. It determines that style remains important to diplomatic practitioners, and provides analytical insight into a state’s foreign policy by highlighting phenomena of policy relevance, which narrows the range of information an analyst must cover. The book demonstrates how South Korea’s diplomatic style – which has a tendency towards emotionalism, and is affected by status, generational change, cosmopolitanism, and estrangement from international society – can be a guide to understanding South Korea’s contemporary foreign policy.

    This book will be of much interest to students of diplomacy studies, foreign policy, Asian politics, and International Relations in general.

    Introduction: The problem of diplomatic style

    1. Diplomacy and style

    2. Defining diplomatic style

    3. Ideal types and ideal diplomats

    4. Four ideal types of diplomatic style

    5. Accessing diplomatic style: A case study of South Korea

    6. Diplomatic style: Narratives of South Korean diplomats

    7. Diplomatic style: Narratives of the Seoul diplomatic corps

    8. Analytical insight and South Korean diplomatic style

    Conclusion: Diplomatic style as foreign policy insight


    Jeffrey Robertson is Assistant Professor at Yonsei University, South Korea and a Visiting Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD), the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University (ANU).