Although the concept of public diplomacy has been part of America's wartime strategy as far back as the Revolutionary War, the term itself is relatively new. In the wake of the events of September 11 and the ensuing War on Terror, there has been an increasing awareness of the negative global image of the United States and intense concern over how communication may be used to improve that image. Within that context, the concept and term public diplomacy have become more notable among practitioners and the American public.
Yet public diplomacy has mostly been neglected by scholars and only recently begun to attract academic attention. This volume of The ANNALS commences the first collection of scholarly articles focusing on public diplomacy--the practice through which international actors attempt to advance the ends of policy by engaging with foreign publics--and examines it as an international phenomenon and an important component of statecraft.
Most of the papers of this compelling volume sprang from the Center on Public Diplomacy, at the University of Southern California, which launched the first master's degree program in public diplomacy. Although many of the authors provide practitioner experiences to their work, they write from the perspective of academic disciplines.
The opening section provides a solid foundation for the theoretical understanding of public diplomacy, with six papers written from a variety of disciplines, including communication, international relations, history, and politics.
Next, the focus turns to how practitioners implement public diplomacy. By studying the popular tools of public diplomacy, the second section considers the roles of place branding, international broadcasting, and exchange programs.
Although grounded in American scholarship, this volume acknowledges that the concept of public diplomacy is international. Featuring case studies that stretch beyond the United States to Venezuela, Cuba, and China, the final section provides an international composition of the role public diplomacy.
Researchers, students, and practitioners alike will find this leading-edge collection of articles to inspire future debate, research, and inquiry in a field of study that is ripe for growth.