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In: The United States and Public Diplomacy


This article examines the linkages between diplomacy and public diplomacy activities by tracing the promotion of American Studies in the Netherlands against the backdrop of US-Dutch diplomatic relations. The development of American Studies within the university systems of other nations has been a central part of US public diplomacy strategy since the Second World War. The belief has always been that this will contribute towards foreign publics being well-informed about the United States, its people and policies. By providing opportunities for research and teaching in the United States, and ultimately by establishing permanent positions, an academic community could be nurtured whose members would function as interpreters of all things American within their national environment. In this way a cross-border cultural affinity can be cultivated to provide a positive context for the practice of diplomatic relations. The case of the Netherlands demonstrates the interlinkage of short-term and long-term interests in pursuing this approach.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

The United Nations Information Office (UNIO), dating from 1942, holds the distinction of being both the first international agency of the embryonic UN network and the first to hold the United Nations label. Run from 1942 to 1945 from two offices in New York and London, these two were merged at the end of World War II to form the UN Information Organisation, and subsequently transformed into the Department of Public Information run from UN headquarters in New York. This article adds to the history of the UN by exploring the origins and development of the UNIO during 1940–41, when it was a British-led propaganda operation to gather US support for the allied war effort. It also examines the UNIO from the viewpoint of the power transition from Britain to the United States that took place during the war, and how this reflected a transition of internationalisms: from the British view of world order through benevolent imperialism to the American view of a progressive campaign for global development and human rights.

Open Access
In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
In: Trials of Engagement
In: Diplomatica