Natalia Grincheva and Robert Kelley
Andrew F. Cooper
Public diplomacy has been externally directed via a strategy of assertive reputation-building. In an era of insurgent populism, this model faces strong backlash, driven by the image of public diplomacy being disconnected from domestic publics. Under these conditions, an opportunistic set of ascendant political leaders — even those located at the international system’s core — have considerable incentive to diminish ‘their’ own diplomats as part of a wider campaign to stigmatize the traditional establishment. While more attention needs to be directed to the causes of this disconnection between diplomats and public, this article highlights a number of key ingredients in a menu of adaptation to the populist challenge. Above all, the focus of engagement in public diplomacy should be broadened to include domestic as well as foreign audiences. Disruption, it must be emphasized, does not mean the end of public diplomacy. Rather, public diplomacy must take a domestic turn.
Joseph S. Nye Jr
Soft power is the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction and persuasion rather than coercion or payment. A country’s soft power rests on its resources of culture, values and policies. A smart-power strategy combines hard- and soft-power resources. Public diplomacy has a long history as a means of promoting a country’s soft power, and soft power was essential in winning the Cold War. Smart public diplomacy requires an understanding of the roles of credibility, self-criticism and civil society in generating soft power. As authoritarian states today use new cyber technologies and other means to disrupt political processes in democracies, questions arise about the boundaries of soft power and the appropriate policies for public diplomacy.