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Public Diplomacy, Soft Power and Language: The Case of the Korean Language in Mexico City

  • Hernandez, Eduardo Luciano Tadeo
  • Published : 2018.06.30

Abstract

Public Diplomacy (PD) is the third pillar of South Korean foreign policy. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PD aims to attract foreign audiences by means of art, knowledge transmission, media, language and foreign aid. When it comes to the Korean language, its global profile has seen an especially marked increase in recent years (Kim, 2009). Thus, this paper's objective is to explain the relevance of the Korean language in the generation of South Korea's soft power. I draw from $C{\acute{e}}sar$ Villanueva's reflections in order to problematize how language promotion can be translated into soft power at five different levels: the empathetic, the sympathetic, the geopolitical, the diplomatic and the utilitarian. I observe that in the case of the Korean language in Mexico City, soft power has the potential to be generated on three levels: it helps to increase knowledge of Korean culture (empathetic); it exercises symbolic persuasion (geopolitical), since the products of cultural industries are mostly in Korean; and it is used as a tool for economic transactions in Mexico City (utilitarian).

Keywords

South Korea;public diplomacy;soft power;Korean language;Cultural Center;Mexico City

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