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,
- 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
- 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
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
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
- -- 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
- -- 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
U.S. Information Agency