DEFINITIONS OF "PUBLIC DIPLOMACY"


The following are various definitions of the term public diplomacy taken from the cited sources:

1. USIA Mission Statement, 1997

The mission of the United States Information Agency is to promote the national interest and national security of the United States through understanding, informing and influencing foreign publics, and broadening dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their counterparts abroad.

2. Dr. Joseph Duffey, USIA Director, at Town Hall Meeting, Department of State, April 29, 1997

Public diplomacy is the studied attempt to understand foreign cultures and institutions so as to enhance the communication and advocacy of the national goals and interests of the United States. And public diplomacy is the active engagement in such communication based upon study and analysis and thought. It requires intense involvement with non-governmental institutions here and abroad. It involves a light touch when it comes to bureaucracy and a respect for the capacity of ordinary citizens in their local communities and institutions. It involves exchanges, programmed visits, speakers, conferences, intellectual encounters, broadcasting, and, most of all, strategic planning and not broadside public relations.

3. Excerpt from Public Diplomacy in a Restructured Foreign Affairs Community, The Public Diplomacy Foundation, May, 1997

The Public Diplomacy Foundation (is) convinced that direct communications with the people of other nations, as well as understanding and influencing public attitudes abroad, is essential to the conduct of U.S. international relations. Indeed, the exponential growth in instantaneous global communications--whether via the Internet, fax, cellular telephone or direct satellite TV combined with the rapid spread of democratic institutions and market-oriented economies in the wake of the collapse of Communism, only serves to emphasize the key role public diplomacy can and must play as part of America's overall foreign policy.

Emphasizing the critical importance of public diplomacy also recognizes the reality that, in a more democratic world, people do have a direct influence on the positions, policies, and attitudes of their elected governments. Dealing with those people considering their views, and helping them to understand the history and ideals of the United States along with the full spectrum of its citizens' diverse opinions, is the Foundation believes, manifestly in the national interest.

4. Excerpts from USIA 2000: Report of the Senior Review Committee, internal USIA report authored by senior managers, August 1, 1995

Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century

By the dawn of the 21st century, public diplomacy will be an essential element in ensuring America's security and prosperity. . . In this complex international environment, the maintenance of American security and the promotion of American prosperity depend on our ability to reach foreign audiences with accurate and authoritative information about U.S. policies and perspectives, engage them in dialogue about our differences in the hope of gaining their understanding, if not support, and connect them with individuals in the U.S. working on the same issues to bring the power of American society to bear. The globalization of American society increases the incentives and opportunities for individuals, as well as state and regional institutions, to become more involved, meaningful actors in world affairs.

5. Excerpt from the 1995 Report of the United States Commission on Public Diplomacy

Public diplomacy is the communication of U.S. interests and ideals beyond governments to foreign publics. People all over the world now have more power to shape events and the actions of government than at any time in history, making public diplomacy as essential to U.S. interests as diplomacy between governments.

6. Excerpt from the 1993 Report of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

Public diplomacy describes activities that foster dialogue and open communication between the United States and the people of other countries. It complements and strengthens traditional diplomacy, conducted between governments.

Through public diplomacy, the U.S. government communicates its views to people around the world, together with information about the United States that puts them in perspective. By enabling Americans to observe other cultures, and by bringing others here to see the American democratic experience for themselves, public diplomacy helps to build relationships and mutual understandings that support the nation s long-term interests.

Press and information activities of U.S. missions overseas, educational and cultural exchanges, and international radio and television broadcasting are essential elements of public diplomacy.

Explaining U.S. policies, communicating ideas, sharing national experiences, and bringing people together is what public diplomacy is all about.

7. Hans N. Tuch (Communicating with the World. New-York: St. Martins Press, 1990, p. 3)

A government's process of communicating with foreign publics in an attempt to bring about understanding for its nation's ideas and ideals, its institutions and culture, as well as its national goals and current policies.

8. Philip F. Habib (Concluding Remarks, in Richard F. Staar, ed., Public Diplomacy, Hoover Institution Press, 1986, p. 283)

There has been a constant preoccupation with definitions: How do we define public diplomacy? There is a distinct difference between public diplomacy and public affairs. The word diplomacy means outside and has nothing to do with what you are trying to do with the American people, which is altogether different. Gaining the support of the American people for U.S. foreign policy initiatives is entirely different from attempting to pursue the interests of the United States in the foreign arena. This is what diplomacy is all about - that is, the representation of the national interest abroad.

9. Examples of public diplomacy in action, from the 1993 Report of the United States Advisory Commission Public Diplomacy

It is public diplomacy when:

-- Remarks by the President of the United States to a civic association in Chicago are broadcast worldwide by U.S. and foreign satellite networks.

-- USIA sponsors workshops on the meaning of a free press with journalists in Russia, and on the rule of law with judges in South Africa.

-- The Voice of America leases facilities on Radio Ukraine in 71 cities for simulcasts of VOA programs in Ukrainian on AM, FM, cable, and shortwave.

-- The Prime Minister of Thailand s new democratic government, eight cabinet ministers, and 33 members of the National Assembly all visit the United States on International Visitor grants.

-- USIA s Office of Research provides U.S. policy makers with public opinion surveys in Russia.

-- The U.S. Public Affairs Officer in Albania facilitates translation of the Federalist Papers for distribution to the Constitutional Drafting Commission.

-- The American embassy in Beijing hosts a program on the U.S. Presidential election for approximately 4,000 Chinese, providing TV and radio coverage of the results, as well as books, articles, and conversation on the U.S. political process.

Foreign Affairs Agencies Reorganization
U.S. Information Agency