US public diplomacy in the Middle East and the Digital Outreach Team
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Several studies have been written that provided extensive details on various areas and historical stages of US public diplomacy in the Middle East (Vaughan in: The failure of American and British Propaganda in the Arab Middle East, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2005; Rugh in: American encounters with Arabs: the” soft power” of US public diplomacy in the Middle East, Greenwood Publishing Group, New York, 2006, in: Front line public diplomacy: How US Embassies Communicate with Foreign Publics, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2014, Cull in: The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, in: CPD Perspect Public Dipl 2:19, 2009, in: The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989–2001, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012, Seib in: Toward a new public diplomacy, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2009; Seib in: Real-time diplomacy: politics and power in the social media era, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2012). After offering a brief survey of the different developments in American public diplomacy efforts in the Middle East, this paper focuses on the US Department of State’s Digital Outreach Team (DOT) and presents an analysis of the social media outlets run by DOT. The paper concludes that the overwhelming responses are negative in nature and suggests that DOT has not achieved its intended goals because a more focused approach is needed.
KeywordsUS public diplomacy Middle East Soft power Arab world
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