Reconfiguring public diplomacy from competition to collaboration

29 Jul 2008 - 14:37

Diplomacy has continually adapted to change in the international system, in states and in societies. A growing concern with public diplomacy has to be seen in this context. For decades, foreign ministries and other government agencies have focused on projecting national images for a variety of purposes. The growing integration of economies and societies has enhanced the perceived need to project national brands in a competitive global environment. But alongside this, another perspective on public diplomacy is emerging, which views it in terms of a different way of conducting international policy. This recognises both the need to operate within more complex domestic and international networks and, at the same time, the challenges this environment poses. Working with a more diverse set of stakeholders raises questions about the structures and processes of national diplomatic systems and their policy capacity. More fundamentally, it touches on the principles and norms underpinning a world order in flux.

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More information on this publication is available at the website of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.