Reciprocity and asymmetry in digital diplomacy: Geopolitics of national identity in South Korea–Japan and South Korea–US relations
Source of Publication
Policy and Internet
An emerging line of research has drawn attention to the significance of national identity in shaping digital diplomatic practices. In this study, we look at the reciprocal construction of national identity on Twitter by corresponding foreign missions. Specifically, we examine one year of Twitter posts from the South Korean missions in Japan and the United States as well as the reciprocal missions of Japan and the United States in South Korea. Our study indicates that tweets from the Korea–US dyad reproduce the two nations as allies, even as the United States is constructed as the “big brother” to Korea's “little brother,” while the Korea–Japan dyad enacts and reinforces an adversarial relationship. Tweets from all four embassies reflect deep-rooted national aspirations: Japan's hope to be accepted as morally superior to Korea, the US interest in maintaining its position as a global leader, and Korea's desire for international ascendance through economic and cultural export. We find that reciprocal identity construction is most evident in the text of the tweets but not so much in the use of Twitter's visual and interactional features. Going beyond reciprocity, our analysis sheds light on to how tweeting practices reproduce asymmetries of power in the international order.
digital diplomacy, Japan, national identity, South Korea, Twitter, United States
Lee, Kyungsun Karen and Shahin, Saif, "Reciprocity and asymmetry in digital diplomacy: Geopolitics of national identity in South Korea–Japan and South Korea–US relations" (2023). All Works. 6035.
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