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Public Diplomacy

The course offers an overview of the main patterns and traditions of public diplomacy, mixing a historical perspective with the study of contemporary practices and applications in the framework of international relations theory, communication and public opinion studies. By combining frontal teaching, individual work and guest lectures, the course will introduce students to the practice of public diplomacy in the 21st century, including its relationship with the concepts of public relations, propaganda, branding, advertising, advocacy and other forms of strategic communication for public persuasion. Students will be acquainted with the main actors and strategies of public diplomacy and they will be asked to reflect upon the meaning and implications of public diplomacy for state and non-state actors. The impact of structural, social and technological changes on ‘soft power’ strategies as well as the individual and social effects of media exposure on foreign publics will be examined. While investigating the notion of world public opinion and its impact on the dynamics of international diplomacy, students will learn how to search for public opinion data, how to evaluate the quality of the same data, and how to study empirically foreign publics’ feelings and attitudes towards selected international actors.