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The Successful Openings of the NAFI International Strategy Research Center, and Grand Strategy for Diplomacy Seminar

Date : 2023-12-15 Writer : NAFI

The Successful Openings of the NAFI International Strategy Research Center, and Grand Strategy for Diplomacy Seminar

- Theoretical discussions on liberal international order, value diplomacy, and national interest diplomacy, and their application in Korea -

NAFI (President Hyeon Kon Kim) International Strategy Research Center opened the “Grand Strategy for Diplomacy: Value, Practicality, and National Interest” seminar on Dec, 15 at 10 AM in the 2nd Meeting Room, Members’ Office Building.

Nationally renowned international political scientists were invited to share their in-depth knowledge and thoughts on “Theoretical discussions of liberal international order, value diplomacy and national interest diplomacy, and their applications in Korea”

President Hyeon Kon Kim of NAFI emphasized that “This seminar should help to organize disputatious diplomatic discussions conceptually and theoretically and raise our diplomatic discussions to the next level both in maturity and in quality” during his opening ceremony.

Secretary General Kwang Jae Lee of the National Assembly highlighted the importance of diplomacy for national interest and emphasized that diplomacy leads to finding solutions for the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the Digital, Climate Change, and 100-year eras, and to pioneer the fate of Korea.

Afterward, during the seminar where Professor Sang Bae Kim of Seoul National University was the moderator, Professor Jae Sung Jeon stressed that a “new framework must be established that goes beyond the competition between value diplomacy and national interest diplomacy” in the era of “the crisis of the liberal international order, and the rise of the multi-order world” during his presentation.

He added on saying that the relationship between value-based diplomacy and national interest diplomacy varies based on a nation’s power. Between the powerful nations that put value-based above national interest-based diplomacy, and small nations that set national interest above value-based diplomacy, if Korea can achieve the status of an advanced country, going beyond a mid-size country, and attains the perception and experiences that national interests can be enhanced through global value diplomacy, then Korea can eventually overcome the confrontation between national interest and values diplomacy. Furthermore, he said it is important for Korea to suggest a future-oriented evolved liberal order.

Afterward, during the panel discussion, Professor Won Kon Park of Ewha Womans University underscored that rule-based international order is key to the application of value diplomacy in Korea and added that further more expansive discussions should be held.

Professor Seung Ju Lee of Chung-Ang University pointed out that both values and national interests are turbulent during this era of super uncertainty. He said a flexible and balanced strategy that includes a diversity of national interests is needed as more sectors with unestablished rules are expanding such as cyberspace.

Professor Yong Wook Lee of Korea University mentioned even from the theoretical perspective of constructivism, the distinction between value diplomacy and practical diplomacy is logically unestablished, and since the perspective of national interest is already based on collectivism, it cannot be divided dichotomously.

Professor Byung Won Woo of Yonsei University highlighted that the crisis of liberal international order typically stems from liberalism-centric countries, and for medium-sized countries like Korea, value-based diplomacy and national interest-centered practical diplomacy can coexist, and the need for value diplomacy and contribution diplomacy that satisfy the global status is on the rise.

Professor Sung Cheol Jung of Myongji University also was against dividing diplomacy into value and national interests and suggested a “status seeker” country where the concept of national interest goes beyond survival and interests into status. He also pointed out that Korea’s goal to become a pivotal state requires further discussions on what type of mid-range country Korea should become.

Professor Tae Seo Cha of Sungkyunkwan University mentioned the inevitability of the appearance of a multi-polar, multi-ideological world, and emphasized that with the existing Western-led liberal order, the stability of the 21st-century world cannot be sustained.

He also suggested a realistic approach of opening the room for compromise for countries because intransigence expands when diplomacy puts too much emphasis on ideological factors.

This seminar, hosted by the NAFI International Strategy Research Center, was broadcasted live on the NAFI YouTube channel, and the documents are uploaded on the NAFI webpage.

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