Category Archives: Case Studies

America’s “Identity Crisis”


Written by Su Kim Photo by Vectorportal The New York Times recently compared the outreach of the Obama Administration to the Bush Administration in the context of Egypt, which has sparked a debate that has recurred in American foreign policy. … Continue reading

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The Impact of Visual Images on Non-U.S. Citizens’ Attitudes About The United States: A Q-study in Visual Public Diplomacy

This visual public diplomacy study explores the impact of photographs on perceptions about the United States. A structured Q sample of 46 photos represented: (1) pop culture, (2) business, (3) people and sports, (4) landmarks and monuments, (5) conflict, (6) politicians, and (7) pro- and anti-American demonstrations. Thirty-three non-U.S. citizens from 20 countries sorted the Q sample from (-4) “makes me feel bad about the United States” to (+4) “makes me feel good about the United States.” Two factors emerged: (A) Iconic America, and (B) Anti-Government / Pro-Celebrity. Factor A participants associate classic images such as national monuments and famous Americans with positive feelings, whereas Factor B participants put a positive emphasis on entertainment personalities. Additionally, those in Factor B perceive as hypocritical any depictions of government’s diplomacy efforts. Continue reading

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Not Quite The Sum of Its Parts: Public Diplomacy From an Australian Perspective

While public diplomacy has emerged as the subject of much attention internationally, Australia appears disengaged from the discussions and Australia’s public diplomacy program appears to be lagging behind. Closer examination of Australia’s public diplomacy program, coordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reveals that public diplomacy is not well understood within bureaucratic and academic circles; is lacking in strategic coordination, and is consistently under-resourced. Indeed, when it comes to Australia’s public diplomacy, it appears that the whole may not be greater than the sum of the parts.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current understanding and nature of Australia’s public diplomacy program, including key systemic shortcomings, in light of broader international trends and discussions. The paper aims to:

1. build upon a limited body of knowledge around the Australian experience of public diplomacy; and

2. engage Australia in broader scholarly and practice based discussion in an effort to deepen understanding and facilitate a reshaping of the program to better leverage public diplomacy as an instrument of strategic foreign policy.

Keywords: Australia, middle power, foreign policy, public diplomacy Continue reading

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See for Yourself: Rebranding Northern Baja Through Public Diplomacy

Baja Norte has been experiencing drastic drops in tourism and business volumes during the last few years due to the negative mediated reality among the American audience created by some events and media coverage. With an attempt to revive the tourism industry and to build a community spirit, the local administration asked for the support of communication scholars. “Baja, California: See for Yourself” is a project which aims to alter the mediated reality and to provide solutions to the local administration through creating a new regional brand. This case study introduces how the project makes use of public diplomacy and grassroots movements in order to raise awareness about the current situation and improvements in the region as well as to fight the negative stereotypes created by the media. See for Yourself targets mainly the American audience in Southern California because of the geographical proximity and tourism market structure. Rosarito en Positivo, RediscoveRosarito, Northern Baja Student Film Festival, and Southern California Campus Events constitute the project’s fundamental public diplomacy and public outreach attempts. The research demonstrates the importance of grassroots movements and two-way communication in place branding attempts after crisis situations.

Key words: Rosarito, Mexico, crisis management, place branding, public diplomacy, grassroots communication Continue reading

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