Relational Public Diplomacy: The Perspective of Sociological Globalism

Seong-Hun Yun


This article attempts to go beyond “citizen diplomacy,” or private sector–driven public diplomacy, by setting its sights on global people-mobility—a perpetual, systemic dynamic for creating relationship linkages—and understanding its consequences for relational public diplomacy. To this end, the article considers relational elements of three groups of global migrants, examining how their differing nexuses influence public diplomacy. It begins with diasporas, expands to international students, and then focuses on a survey of global temporary laborers, a long overlooked yet powerfully emergent group that presents both risks and beneficial opportunities. The conclusion discusses temporary laborers’ potential role in democratizing the Western monopoly over public diplomacy and calls for a departure from soft power toward relationship-centered theory and practices.

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