The Banality of Soft Power

In the autumn of 1990, Joseph Nye sought to re-imagine what American power would like in the 21st century. Writing near the end of the Cold War, Nye offered scholars and policy makers a new conceptual framework through which they could understand power dynamics in a changing world. The Cold War would soon be over,... Continue Reading →

Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age

This blog post is an excerpt from a recent special issue of the Hague Journal of Diplomacy dealing with the future of public diplomacy. For the full article click here  Corneliu Bjola, Jennifer Cassidy and Ilan Manor The scope, volume and intensity of global data connectivity are expected to explode in the coming years. The... Continue Reading →

What Can Cultural Theory Tell Us About Trump’s Populist Public Diplomacy the Digital Age?

Paweł Surowiec (University of Sheffield) and Chris Miles (Bournemouth University) During the Cold War, the categorisation between ‘high’ and ‘low’ politics, mirrored by 'high' and 'low' cultures, was distinguishable as a trend in public diplomacy. These distinctions became blurred and, in the early 2000s, a new trend emerged whereby ‘high’ politics began borrowing from 'low'... Continue Reading →

Revisiting Putnam’s two-level game theory in the digital age: Domestic digital diplomacy and the Iran nuclear deal

Note: This post was originally published on the blog of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and was co-authored with Corneliu Bjola.   In 1988, Robert Putnam conceptualised diplomatic negotiations as a two-level game in which national and international politics often collide. In this framework, constituents and interest groups (labour unions, activist groups, etc.) pursue their interests at... Continue Reading →

How Diplomats Can Combat Digital Propaganda

James Pamment has written that for most of the 20th century the term public diplomacy was associated with the term propaganda. According to the Oxford Dictionary propaganda relates to information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view. During the 21st century, the field of public... Continue Reading →

Narrative Alignment as Public Diplomacy Evaluation

Despite the emergence of new technologies the task of evaluating public diplomacy activities remains a daunting one. While scholars and practitioners have offered numerous definitions for the term public diplomacy, they have yet to agree upon a method for measuring the impact of public diplomacy activities. Some have suggested that public diplomacy is a means... Continue Reading →

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