Public Diplomacy in the Digital Era – Toward New Partnerships

Written by Dr. Michael Schneider

Practitioners and students 2.0 steps into the digital revolution in 2010 are challenged to develop a coherent understanding of public diplomacy.  Many changes in international communication have occurred, and roles and responsibilities are only partially sorted out.  In my view public diplomacy should be a shared enterprise of global engagement involving government, communicators, policy experts, civil society and academe. Each sector has special expertise and points of view to contribute.  There are boundaries and limits to collaboration, of course, but mutual interests will determine the opportunities.

For a coherent national response to our challenging times, practitioners, scholars and students need to consider:  (a) global trends that will shape communication; (b) ways to enhance the institutional arrangements for public diplomacy; (c) the mix of new media, field-based personal communication and academic and civic exchanges; (d) opportunities and limits to public/private initiatives; and (e) how Americans can become more knowledgeable of international affairs.

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