Revolutionary States, Outlaw Regimes and the Techniques of Public Diplomacy

  • Paul Sharp
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


Public diplomacy, the process by which direct relations are pursued with a country’s people to advance the interests and extend the values of those being represented, appears to be an idea whose time has come. The consensus is that it is made necessary by economic interdependence, possible by the communications revolution, and desirable by the rise in democratic and popular expectations. Even the emerging civilizational wars, which some argue are disrupting this picture, do not tell against public diplomacy, in fact quite the reverse. In the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001, governments, it is now customary to argue, will have to conduct more public diplomacy and become better at it.1 However, this consensus about the importance of public diplomacy is not matched by a similar consensus regarding the consequences of its use for what remains an international society of states. Are governments merely to work harder at getting their message out to target markets in the same way that private enterprises seek to boost their sales? Or, in so doing, are they participating in the further disaggregation of existing social structures and the replacement of the constricted and constraining communications of states by real conversations between peoples?


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  1. 1.
    See, for example, Margaret D. Tutwiler, ‘US Image Abroad Will Take Years to Repair, Official Testifies’, The New York Times, 5 February 2004; and the US government’s attempts to coordinate public diplomacy, first through the State Department (1999) and more recently through the White House Office of Global Communications, Scholar
  2. 2.
    See John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Brest-Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace, March 1919 (London: Macmillan, 1966);Google Scholar
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© Paul Sharp 2005

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  • Paul Sharp

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