Public diplomacy is the art of cultivating public opinion to achieve foreign policy objectives. A vital tool in contemporary statecraft, public diplomacy is also one of the most poorly understood elements of a nation’s “soft power.”
The United States and Public Diplomacy adds historical perspective to the ongoing global conversation about public diplomacy and its proper role in foreign affairs. It highlights the fact that the United States has not only been an important sponsor of public diplomacy, it also has been a frequent target of public diplomacy initiatives sponsored by others. Many of the essays in this collection look beyond Washington to explore the ways in which foreign states, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens have used public diplomacy to influence the government and people of the United States.