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Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

by on November 13, 2012

Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

Diplomacy is understood as to be an essential political activity. It is based on communication and the purpose is to able states to deal with each other using skilful engines to meet their foreign policies. It is a pacific way that states have to interact with one and another. Commonly known as negotiation because it involves various discrete activities, until 1796, Edmund Burke gave it a new identity and labelled it as Diplomacy. Although it initiated centuries ago in the Italian peninsula, however, the art of diplomacy is the base, is arguably “the most important institution of our society of state” (Berridge, 2002, 1).

The study of  public diplomacy does not present an exact definition. Different view will put it in different context. However it can mean talking or even passing on ideas using strategic means of communication. The absence of its definition term may suggest to be a positive concept, a public good for the public good. It relays more on the spoken word as much as on the written and visual image. Is about “Conducting foreign policy by engaging with the foreign public” (

What we know is that, that state governments can not achieve their goals without the support of ordinary people, simple people , this is the informed public who sustain their political will of their governments. Public diplomacy (PD) works well against smart power. On the other hand, it can also be regarded as soft power nurse PD. The use of soft power can bring nations together, even the most difficult one. For instance, the “Pin Pong Diplomacy” between the communist China and the rest of the World (, an event that was broadcasted around the world. We can arguable consider that the media and other method of communication are one of the many tools that public diplomacy have as resources to further their bilateral relationship as well as domestic (which for some label it as propaganda).

To resist terrorism and to “win the heart and the mind “of a nation, the USA had branded Osama Bin Laden as being a terrorist, and spread  using all possible resources of communication around the globe (everyone new Bin laden). Yet, a small group in Jordan were skeptical and praised him as being an “holy man” (Hoffman, 2002, 83-95). This action shows how far the public diplomacy can be accepted. There is some sort of limitation, and to some nations it can be viewed as propaganda.  




G. R. Berridge, “Diplomacy: Theory and Practice”, Second Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002

H. David, “Foreign Affairs”, Vol. 81, No. 2 (Mar. – Apr., 2002), pp. 83-95


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  1. oskinnn permalink

    Just to rectify my post I will be posting the same post. The difference will be web pages that I visited, they will mention the dates that I have accessed them.
    Many thanks in advance.


  2. cbm07 permalink

    Very Intresting that you brought up what actully is meant by diplomacy today! But we have to remember that it is something that changes a little bit over time since the media is more involved today.
    I do agre with you “What we know is that, that state governments can not achieve their goals without the support of ordinary people, simple people , this is the informed public who sustain their political will of their governments.” In order to do so I think that the media today is more influencial than we really think, the government will do whats in their power to make us feel/think in a certain way about something through our eyes.

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