Readings in Public Diplomacy

"What Can Public Diplomacy Achieve"  by Alan K. Henrikson


Public diplomacy, or 'PD', is rarely if ever the decisive factor in foreign policy initiatives. It usually has been an accessory service. Nonetheless, the use by governments of public means of communication as well as contacts with organizations, groups, and individuals within other societies can 'make a difference' in achieving political success. PD is becoming more important as the conditions of international relations, particularly the telecommunications revolution, have changed so radically. Today a 'new conception' of public diplomacy is developing which shifts the focus from indirectly influencing the policies and actions of other governments-essentially still a state-to-state interaction-to shaping the attitudes of other societies, the people themselves-a direct state-to-society interaction. Tight 'coordination' of PD efforts with other governmental efforts abroad may be less effective than a looser 'partnership' arrangement between policy makers and cultural diplomats and media specialists. Five general categories of strategy in which public diplomacy plays a major role are: (1) consolidation, (2) containment, (3) penetration, (4) enlargement, and (5) transformation. Actual cooperation across national lines including exchanges and relationships with private and official 'partners' inside other countries can be a key to political achievement through public diplomacy.

Link to the full article -

"Public Diplomacy Practitioners: 
A Changing Cast of Characters" 
by Crocker Snow Jr. 
Reprinted from The Journal of Business Strategy