The ‘Logics’ of Public Diplomacy: In Search of What Unites a Multidisciplinary Research Field

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A decade ago, Matt Armstrong noted that the War on Terror set the scene for US public diplomacy (PD) to be heavily focused on security. Other countries have focused their PD on image promotion, relationship-building or cultural relations. As digital media practices have slowly been adopted by the majority of foreign ministries, the logics governing social and digital media have also been increasingly internalised into diplomatic practice. Lacking in current PD research is a theory of the ‘logics’ that drive and motivate public diplomacy. This article explores the application of ‘PD logics’ as a theoretical framework for interpreting the ways in which foreign policy priorities, such as securitisation, trade promotion and strategic partnerships, shape PD practices. With a particular focus on the most recent wave of social and digital media adoption practices, this article establishes a theory of ‘PD logics’ that could provide new avenues for developing theories of public diplomacy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • digitalisation
  • logics
  • meta-review
  • public diplomacy (PD)
  • theory


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