The New Public Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice

  • Jan Melissen
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


It is tempting to see public diplomacy as old wine in new bottles. Official communication aimed at foreign publics is after all no new phenomenon in international relations. Image cultivation, propaganda and activities that we would now label as public diplomacy are nearly as old as diplomacy itself. Even in ancient times, prestige-conscious princes and their representatives never completely ignored the potential and pitfalls of public opinion in foreign lands. References to the nation and its image go as far back as the Bible, and international relations in ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantium and the Italian Renaissance were familiar with diplomatic activity aimed at foreign publics.


Civil Society Foreign Policy International Relation Cultural Relation Foreign Ministry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Michael Kunczik, ‘Transnational Public Relations by Foreign Governments’, Sriramesh, Krishnamurthy and Dejan Vercic (eds), The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research and Practice (Mahwah NJ and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003), pp. 399–405. On France and nationbranding, see the chapter in this book by Wally Olins.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On nation-branding, see Wally Olins’ chapter in this book and Wally Olins On Brand (London: Thames & Hudson, 2003).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See, for instance, Joseph S. Nye, ‘Soft Power’, Foreign Policy, no. 80, autumn 1990;Google Scholar
  4. Joseph S. Nye and William A. Owens, ‘America’s Information Edge’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, no. 2, March/April 1996; and, for a recent elaboration of this concept, seeGoogle Scholar
  5. Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004).Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    E. H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1983 (first edn 1939)), pp. 132 and 141.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Hans N. Tuch, Communicating With the World: US Public Diplomacy Overseas (New York: St Martin’s Press 1990);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. and Wilson P. Dizard, Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the US Information Agency (Boulder CO and London: Lynne Rienner, 2004).Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Arno J. Mayer, Political Origins of the New Diplomacy 1917–1918 (New York: Vintage Books, 1970).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Jan Melissen (ed.), Innovation in Diplomatic Practice (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999), pp. xvi—xvii.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    Robert Cooper, The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century (London: Atlantic Books, 2003), p. 76.Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    Shaun Riordan, The New Diplomacy (London: Polity, 2003), especially ch. 9.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Simon Anholt, Brand New Justice: How Branding Places and Products Can Help the Developing World (Amsterdam: Butterworth Heinemann, 2005).Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Jamie Frederic Metzl, ‘Popular Diplomacy’, Daedalus, vol. 128, no. 2, spring 1999, pp. 177–9.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Allan Gottlieb, ‘I’ll be with You in a Minute, Mr Ambassador’: The Education of a Canadian Diplomat in Washington (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1991) p. vii.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Ambassador K. T. Paschke, Report on the Special Inspection of 14 German Embassies in the Countries of the European Union (Berlin: Auswärtiges Amt, 2002).Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Hans Tuch, Communicating With the World: US Public Diplomacy Overseas (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 19.
    On countries and companies ‘swapping places’, see Wally Olins, Trading Identities: Why Countries and Companies are Taking on Each Others’ Roles (London: Foreign Policy Centre, 1999).Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    See for instance Evan H. Potter, Canada and the New Public Diplomacy, Clingendael Discussion Papers in Diplomacy, no. 81 (The Hague: Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’, 2002); and interviews with foreign diplomats.Google Scholar
  20. 22.
    On competitive and collaborative diplomacy, see Mark Leonard with Catherine Stead and Conrad Smewing, Public Diplomacy (London: Foreign Policy Centre, 2002), pp. 22–30.Google Scholar
  21. 23.
    Michael McClellan, ‘Public Diplomacy in the Context of Traditional Diplomacy’, in Gerhard Reiweger (ed.), Public Diplomacy, Favorita Papers, 01/2004 (Vienna: Diplomatische Akademie, 2004), pp. 23 and 24.Google Scholar
  22. 24.
    Mark Leonard, ‘Diplomacy by Other Means’, Foreign Policy, September/ October 2002, p. 56.Google Scholar
  23. 25.
    David Welch, ‘Powers of Persuasion’, History Today, 49, August 1999, pp. 24–6.Google Scholar
  24. 26.
    As two lexicographers suggest, public diplomacy is essentially ‘a late-twentiethcentury form of propaganda conducted by diplomats’; G. R. Berridge and Alan James, A Dictionary of Diplomacy (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), p. 197.Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    Richard Holbrooke, ‘Get The Message Out’, Washington Post, 28 October 2001.Google Scholar
  26. 28.
    Nicholas J. Cull, David Culbert and David Welch, Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present (Oxford and Santa Barbara CA: ABC-Clio, 2003), pp. xv–xxi.Google Scholar
  27. 30.
    E. H. Henderson, ‘Toward a Definition of Propaganda’, Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 18, 1943 p. 83, emphasis added.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 32.
    Jay Black, ‘Semantics and Ethics of Propaganda’, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, vol. 16, nos. 2 and 3, 1986, pp. 133 and 135.Google Scholar
  29. 33.
    Jan Melissen, ‘Where is Place Branding Heading’, Place Branding, vol. 1, no. 1, 2004, pp. 26–7.Google Scholar
  30. 34.
    Simon Anholt, ‘Theory and Practice of Place Branding’, Public Diplomacy and the Media: Diplomatic Academy Proceedings, vol. 6, no. 1 (Zagreb: Diplomatic Academy of the Republic of Croatia, 2004), p. 15.Google Scholar
  31. 35.
    Simon Anholt, ‘Introduction’, Journal of Brand Management, special issue on ‘Country as a Brand’, vol. 9, nos. 4–5, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 36.
    Jan Melissen, ‘Publieksdiplomatie: een goede tandem met branding’, in H. H. Duijvestijn et al., Branding NL: Nederland als merk (Den Haag: Stichting Maatschappij en Onderneming, 2004), pp. 48–9.Google Scholar
  33. 37.
    Benno H. Signitzer and Timothy Coombs, ‘Public Relations and Public Diplomacy: Conceptual Divergences’, Public Relations Review, vol. 18, no. 2, summer 1992, pp. 139–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 38.
    Laurie J. Wilson, ‘Strategic Cooperative Communities: A Synthesis of Strategic, Issue-Management, and Relationship-Building Approaches in Public Relations’, in Hugh M. Culbertson and Ni Chen (eds), International Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis (Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996), p. 78.Google Scholar
  35. 39.
    Mette Lending, Change and Renewal: Norwegian Foreign Cultural Policy 2001–2005 (Oslo: Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2000), pp. 13–14.Google Scholar
  36. 40.
    Martin Rose and Nick Wadham-Smith, Mutuality, Trust and Cultural Relations (London: The British Council, 2004), pp. 34–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jan Melissen 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Melissen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations