Chapter 11

Public Diplomacy

Jan Melissen

This chapter discusses the concept of public diplomacy—that is, diplomatic engagement with people—in contemporary diplomatic practice. Public diplomacy is a multidisciplinary area of scholarship that is now receiving more attention by scholars than any other aspect of diplomacy. It is analyzed here as part of the evolution of contemporary diplomatic practice; this chapter is not a guide explaining how public diplomacy should be undertaken. Besides states, many different actors are involved in public diplomacy, and fascination with this aspect of diplomatic practice is by no means limited to the West. The academic debate about public diplomacy only emerged after the turn of the twenty-first century, which still leaves important conceptual and theoretical issues to be determined. Public diplomacy has many advocates, but is not without its critics, and the concept underlines how diplomatic practice is constantly changing.

Glossary exercises

Take–home messages

Answering the book's "big" questions



Case studies

Counterfactual reasoning exercises

Guide to further reading

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