Global politics, Diplomacy, and Foreign Direct Investment
(Book Conference Scheduled at the Niehaus Center for Fall 2023)
My book project “Global Politics, Commercial Diplomacy, and Foreign Direct Investment” is based on my dissertation, which explores the role of global politics in commercial diplomacy and its impact on foreign direct investment based on data from South Korea. In the book, I focus on how broader global dynamics - such as interstate relations - can shape the outcomes of bilateral commercial diplomacy, particularly in the context of foreign direct investment.
My central argument is that although favorable interstate relations can create a fertile environment for the home government to assist multinational corporations (MNCs) during various stages of investment, the effectiveness of commercial diplomacy depends on two factors: 1) shared interests between the home government and MNCs, and 2) executive constraints faced by the foreign government. The former determines the home government's willingness to use diplomatic capital to help MNCs, and the latter shapes the foreign government's capacity to respond to the home government's demands. To test this intuition, I leverage novel data on infrastructure investment from 1990-2014, interviews with Korean lawyers and foreign ministry officials, and original surveys of Korean MNCs abroad during three different stages of the investment cycle: investment entry, operation, and conflict resolution.