The United States and Public Diplomacy: Toward an International History
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Series/Report no.:Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Conferences
The United States and Public Diplomacy: Toward an International History will bring together the latest scholarship on the history of public diplomacy from a variety of disciplines, with an eye toward publication of an edited book intended to introduce scholars, graduate students, practitioners, and the general public to public diplomacy studies. While at times a slippery term, public diplomacy denotes activities designed to shape, manipulate, or otherwise influence public opinion to facilitate the achievement of foreign policy objectives. Its practitioners have harbored ambitions ranging from advancing particular ideologies such as Nazism or communism, to spreading cultural values and products, to simply fostering goodwill between nations. Practitioners of public diplomacy have also used a range of methods to achieve their objectives, including • The creation of films, pamphlets, and other propaganda; the suppression of cultural products deemed injurious to their interest. • The employment of local people and firms to disseminate their message. • The building of coalitions with state and non-state allies to achieve their public diplomacy objectives. In particular, this conference will explore the ways public diplomacy reflects ideas and beliefs that inform security policy. Public diplomacy serves as an ideal nexus through which scholars can observe and analyze the interplay of culture and diplomacy, domestic and international politics, and security concerns and civil liberties.
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