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Public Diplomacy in Southeast Asia

The themes of international cooperation and collaboration are increasingly popular mechanisms for maintaining security and prosperity while advancing a nation’s policy interests and international image. A review of our expert commentaries over the past three years reveals that international cooperation and collaboration seem to be the most preferred ways to secure bilateral, regional and international relations in Southeast Asia.

Countries in Southeast Asia have worked together, with other states or with non-state actors to overcome globally shared challenges such as pandemics, and they have tied domestic development goals to public diplomacy initiatives. Showing such capacity and competence allows nations to enhance their soft power and boost their international image. You can read highlights here from the CPD Blog:


Indonesia's New Cameroon Embassy and Public Diplomacy Opportunities in the Region 

By: Yokie Rahmad Isjchwansyah
The establishment of Indonesia's new mission in the Republic of Cameroon creates opportunities for public diplomacy in the region.
"Demystifying Indonesia: Why Public Diplomacy Through Writings Matter" 

By: Aristyo Rizka Darmawan
It is important to enhance public diplomacy for Indonesia by publishing research and stories in international outlets for the intellectual community. 
"See Tình" Sparks a Potential Path for Vietnam to Charm the World

By: Nguyen Le
The growing popularity of V-pop makes it an emerging tool for Vietnam to diversify its public diplomacy strategy.
A Conversation with Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri

Watch a conversation on current trends in public diplomacy in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam Steps up Its Public Diplomacy Game in the Region

By: Nguyen Le

In May 2022, Vietnam hosted the largest regional sports event since COVID-19 and opened the door to new PD opportunities.

Strengthening the Technology-Culture Nexus between ASEAN and South Korea

By:  Ratih IndraswariSeksan Anantasirikiat 

From K-pop idols representing ASEAN to maximizing regional information societies, what does the future hold for Korea-ASEAN relations?

Stimulating Entrepreneurship as a Form of Public Diplomacy

By: Jonathan Prosser

Babson College researcher Jonathan Prosser shares about the value of entrepreneurship diplomacy as a form of PD.

How Can Indonesia and South Korea Use PD to Partner for Security Under the New Southern Policy?

By: Aristyo Rizka Darmawan

South Korea's foreign policy opens new avenues for Indonesian-Korean PD.

Public Diplomacy Matters for the Future of ASEAN

By: Seksan Anantasirikiat

The future of ASEAN may rely on community-building, engaging youth and stakeholders, and prioritizing public diplomacy.

Power and Persuasion in the Asian Century

By: Oliver Stelling

Awareness of Asia's global standing since COVID-19 presents opportunities for public diplomacy through international cooperation and new rules of engagement.

Blood Work

Malaria Elimination: The Role of Public and Private Leadership

By: Soft Power 30

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Soft Power 30 revealed how the defining challenges of the 21st century exist beyond borders. They are global in nature, addressed only through collaborative effort.

Chinese Flag

China’s Belt & Road Diplomacy Across ASEAN

By: Hannan Hussain

Hannan Hussain of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) discusses how in recent years, Beijing’s approach to fostering cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has centered on four instruments of Eytan Gilboa’s public diplomacy concept: advocacy, broadcasting, public relations and exchange.

Modern Vietnam

Vietnam’s “Underdog” Public Diplomacy in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Lindsey M. Bier and Phillip C. Arceneaux

Strategic communication experts from the University of Southern California and Miami University explain how the atypical COVID-19 outbreak offers opportunities for governments, especially in Southeast Asia to engage in strategic communication and symbolic actions with potential for lasting impacts on international relations.


When the Fortress Falls: Thailand’s Quest for World-Class Medical Care Rank

By: Silada (Lydia) Rojratanakiat

USC Annenberg graduate Silda Lydia Rojratanakiat discusses why and how success in inventing a COVID-19 vaccine is an even better underdog story than successfully controlling the virus for a country such as Thailand, as it will build on already known strengths of the country in the medical field.

Children Smiling

Small Investments Go a Long Way: How Seed Grants Contribute to American Public Diplomacy

By: Courtney Nelson

Courtney Nelson of Cultural Vistas introduces American Seed grants in Southeast Asia to explain how and why such programs contribute to public diplomacy objectives by focusing on inclusive collaboration with local leaders and situating the U.S. as a global partner.

Children Making Art

Schoolbird Strengthens U.S. Ties in Vietnam Through Education

By: Kayla McCord

Kayla McCord identifies classrooms and educational platforms as untapped incubators full of potential for public diplomacy. She provides the example of Schoolbird, an educational platform that connects Americans to teach internationally in Vietnam, to further illustrate opportunities for cultural exchange and collaboration within the context of the classroom.



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