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Title: Gastrodiplomacy: Winning Hearts and Blowing Minds through the Stomach
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: PHYLLIS YEO XINBI (2018-04-02). Gastrodiplomacy: Winning Hearts and Blowing Minds through the Stomach. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In recent years, middle powers, such as Korea and Japan, have turned towards gastrodiplomacy, which is the use of their national cuisine to engage with foreign publics. The existing literature on gastrodiplomacy laud it as an innovative tool for countries to create a distinctive national brand. However, the relationship between gastrodiplomacy and soft power has yet to be explicitly examined. To address this gap in the literature, this study will be guided by the question, “How effective is gastrodiplomacy in enhancing soft power?” First, I examine the practices of Korea and Japan and demonstrate the potential of gastrodiplomacy as a soft power resource. Then, I highlight the theories which explain why gastrodiplomacy enhances soft power. Food has a broad appeal which makes it a critical soft power resource. Moreover, the non-logocentric form of communication along with the practice of commensality allows foreigners to fully immerse themselves in the practitioner’s culture. This generates real soft power. Furthermore, a food-tasting experiment was conducted to measure the effects of gastrodiplomacy campaigns on a sample of 22 NUS undergraduate students. Overall, the findings support my central argument that state-led gastrodiplomacy encourages foreigners to personally partake in its culture, which generates foreign receptiveness towards its ideas and norms. This generates affective soft power, which is able to endure the rise and fall of governments.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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