Thursday, 4 August 2011

Two excellent books

I want to take this opportunity to recommend two books that I have read so far during my time in Taiwan. They are both excellent discussions that combine empirical and theoretical insights into public diplomacy and soft power, and they make a significant contribution to the de-westernization of both practices.

The books are:  Public Diplomacy and Soft Power in East Asia edited by Sook Jong Lee and Jan Melissen (2011). This collection is published in the Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy edited by Kathy Fitzpatrick and Phil Seib. Young Wook Lee's chapter on 'Soft Power as Productive Power' is a particularly useful and sophisticated re-examination of soft power, while Rizal Sukma's chapter on Indonesia should be essential reading for policy makers undertaking public diplomacy in this unique Muslim nation.

The second book I wish to recommend is Soft Power: China's Emerging Strategy in International Politics edited by Mingjiang Li (published in 2009 by Lexington; paperback 2011). The contributers have provoked me to rethink my understanding of Chinese soft power and have turned some of my ideas on their head. Again, it is is the thoretical richness of the book that is its most valuable contribution.   


  1. I only recently got a glimpse of the Lee and Melissen book. Looks really interesting. But the Li Mingiang volume significantly influenced my understanding of Chinese public diplomacy and soft power.

  2. Rizal Sukma now is Indonesian Ambassador to the UK based in London