Adapting Public Diplomacy to the Populist Challenge

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Andrew F. Cooper Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada

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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.


Public diplomacy has until recently been framed through a number of interrelated progressive lenses. As a model, public diplomacy is interpreted as an advance on traditional statecraft associated with a closed culture. Rather than an exclusively inter-state approach, ample space is allowed for engagement with numerous publics. Shared concerns, instead of the promotion of national interests, are showcased. Network, not club, diplomacy is privileged.2 From an ideational perspective, public diplomacy has been judged to be a positive development, especially — albeit not exclusively — in liberal Western democracies. It not only promoted democratization in the machinery of diplomacy, but placed enhanced value on the normatively oriented status of an actor. Only through the measure of attractiveness, via a strategy of assertive reputation-building, can authentic public diplomacy be implemented. Here, the contrast between public diplomacy and disinformation or propaganda campaigns still remains instructive.3

In anticipating future trends, however, it is the severe contestation facing public diplomacy in a newly disruptive political environment that jumps out. This predicament is largely because of the externalized focus of the model. Viewed through mainstream lenses, the orientation of public diplomacy has been directed beyond the borders of the state. From the time of Woodrow Wilson, US-based public diplomacy was premised on ‘the belief that it was possible to apply to the conduct of external affairs, the ideas and practices which, in the conduct of internal affairs, had for generations been regarded as the essentials of liberal democracy’.4 In similar fashion, the cornerstone of European Union (EU) public diplomacy has been ‘improving the reputation of the EU to the external public’, with emphasis on a brand that underscores the concepts of ‘peace, abundance, prosperity, democracy and freedom’.5

Although viable and valuable in the past, this model faces strong backlash in an era of insurgent populism, driven by the image of public diplomacy as disconnected from domestic publics. If, as Nicholas Cull suggests, the ‘best public diplomacy begins with listening’, a major weakness of the traditional approach has been that the listening process only started ‘beyond the water’s edge’.6 Indeed, this external/internal disconnect has been acknowledged by sophisticated observers. As Jan Melissen has remarked, ‘many scholars today regard public diplomacy’s domestic dimension as alien territory, or even an oxymoron’.7 An important exception, however, is Ellen Huijgh, who has pointed to the need ‘to involve domestic citizens in broader (public) diplomacy projects and to see them as part of the concept, or public diplomacy’s domestic dimension’.8

Populism and Anti-diplomatic Impulses

Such a disconnect plays into the hands of those political forces deeply suspicious of diplomats and diplomatic culture. At the moment — and most likely stretching into the future — these anti-diplomatic impulses are on the rise again through a widespread populist challenge. In a markedly different way than nationalists, populists contest the international system as well as diplomacy and diplomats as constraining forces, part of a self-serving and controlling technocracy.9 From the theoretical tradition associated with Ernesto Laclau, the populist logic may be contrasted from nationalists in a fundamental dimension.10 Whereas nationalists differentiate horizontally between those inside and outside (that is, the ‘other’) the nation state, populists differentiate on a down/up basis with antagonism between the elite and ‘the people’ as underdogs.

With this challenge in mind, a wide number of commentators have scrutinized about how anti-systemic pressures have shifted from one with an exclusively external locus to one that has an important internal dimension. Ulrich Speck, for example, highlights the stresses coming from inside liberal democracies, ‘where populist politicians are pushing back against open borders and open societies’.11 This is not to say, of course, that such impulses are completely novel. Illustrations of populist challenges to diplomacy — and diplomats — have been widespread within much of the Global South for generations. To give just one recent illustration, Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) celebrated the disruption of orthodox practices through the mixture of charismatic leadership and so‐called ‘diplomacy of the peoples’ (diplomácia de los pueblos). The difference under current conditions is that the populist challenge has moved from the periphery to parts within the centre of the system. No less than in Venezuela, where Elsa Cardozo highlighted the deterioration of professional diplomacy in favour of personalism and the ‘diplomacy of microphones’,12 the disruption of accepted ways in practice is attractive to many constituencies in foundational domains of liberal democratic culture.

In looking more closely at the disconnect between the ‘elite’ and the ‘people’, two themes are highly salient in weakening the model of public diplomacy. As reviewed above, the first relates to the divide between an external and internal orientation. In both ideational and material terms, the focus of attention on the part of diplomats has been looking outward to the international community or society. By way of contrast, the focus of attention on the part of the aroused publics that constitute the populist base is intensely localistic. For diplomats, the practice of public diplomacy — as with other activities — is contingent on the key tenets of two-way dialogue and the building of transnational connections. For the populist base, national interest and identity begin (and end) at home, reflective of a spatial enclosed and aggressively self-absorbed mindset.

Moreover, the second theme is the distance between a public diplomacy that is predicated on inducing change of ‘others’ and the value placed by the populist base on the hold of continuity among themselves. At the core of the public diplomacy model are enthusiasm and confidence about the firm link between public diplomacy and an ambitious transformation in governance practices. Michael McFaul, a prominent scholar in the field of democratization and the former US Ambassador to Russia, for example, claimed in the post-9/11 context that democracy as a constitutive norm of the West was stronger than ever before and remained equally important for the foreign policy of Western states on both sides of the Atlantic.13 Such an ambitious agenda was anathema to populists. In part this attitude came to be wrapped up in an increasingly cynical attitude towards diplomacy, as captured by Joseph Nye, caught up in the wider problem of publics that are ‘sceptical of authority’.14 Yet these sentiments go much deeper among populists, because of their visceral opposition to globalization, cosmopolitan values, transnational connections, and specific initiatives including global corporate social responsibility and global/regional trade arrangements.

The Implications for Public Diplomacy of the Anti-diplomatic Impulses

It is one thing in terms of the implications for diplomacy (and diplomats) to have populism in ascendancy on the margins of the international system; it is another thing to have these political forces presenting a challenge at the core. Populism in Venezuela, or for that matter in the Philippines with Rodrigo Duterte, built on significant national cultures, but it is not an upsurge in populism in these sites that is systematically important. Nor for that matter is populism still dominant in all its traditional sites. On the contrary, in many of the legacy ‘homes’ of populism in the Global South, the trend has been completely different. In Argentina, for instance, President Mauricio Macri has pushed back against the tradition, stating that ‘Argentina suffered a lot because of populism’.15

What merits greater attention is the rise of populism in systemically important states, as exhibited by Narendra Modi in India and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Yet even with these salient examples, it is unlikely that the challenge of populism would be treated with the seriousness that it merits without the spread of disruptive forces in many parts of the EU (including Hungary and Poland), within the United Kingdom (UK), and especially with the election of President Donald Trump in the United States. A common theme throughout these contexts is that the progressive model of public diplomacy is interpreted as a constraining force, part of an entrenched repertoire of a self-serving and controlling establishment

This anti-diplomatic/anti-foreign ministry sentiment is most noticeable in the aversion towards insiders and communities of identity and interest beyond the national. A case in point is the comment by the former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, on the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers (the permanent representative of the UK to the EU), that: ‘it would be appropriate if a lot more people in that position, British ambassadors, left. The world has changed, [which] the political establishment in this country and the diplomatic service just doesn’t accept’.16

What is more, this type of anti-system, anti-diplomatic sentiment can be located over multiple sites beyond the classic ones in the Global South. To give another illustration, Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Rally (formerly known as the National Front), conflates diplomacy with other key considerations for the ‘total failure’ of the EU: ‘It’s a social failure, it’s an economic failure, it’s a failure in terms of power, it’s a diplomatic failure’.17

On top of all this, of course, is the serious threat to contemporary diplomatic culture that US President Donald Trump presents. In contradistinction to the progressive diplomatic culture symbolized by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, Trump’s operational style is focused on personalism, the use of bilateral one-on-ones, constant surprises, and direct and highly targeted communication with ‘his’ domestic supporters. At its core is a winner-take-all approach to any external engagement, in which asymmetrical structural advantages are translated into transactional leverage. The goal is not to stabilize institutions or to enhance followership or goodwill among strategic allies or commercial partners, but to extract material advantages on a self-help basis. The audience is exclusively domestic communities, with a great onus on publicizing successful outcomes (or ‘wins’) with their interests in mind.

Looking back to the early 1990s, some experienced diplomatic practitioners warned of the rise of this type of domestic threat, even as they considered diplomacy to have had a positive external record in the post-Cold War era. A generalized concern was expressed, particularly about a potential backlash ‘by constituents who have felt over-constrained by excessive paternalism, been empowered by information technology, and stirred to act by the apparent lack of accountability in the institutions that they entrusted with their affairs’.18 In detailing in a more retrospective manner the specific sources of the US divide between perceived elites and the people, Geoffrey Wiseman points to how the forces of isolation in early American history built on a culture of distrust about diplomacy.19 To be sure, notable American politicians prior to Donald Trump echoed these sentiments.20

Yet notwithstanding these warnings, diplomats have been placed in a tenuous situation in an era of rising populism. This fragility is particularly evident in the United States, but it extends well beyond American exceptionalism. It has long been assumed, with some validity, that public diplomacy facilitates mediation, but in other ways, public diplomacy has promoted a disintermediation dilemma. Disintermediation showcases the disconnect between the priorities defined by a worldly elite as opposed to a localistic public. To exacerbate the dilemma, the effect of disintermediation is felt more pervasively because of the array of avenues and means by which citizens can go around established institutions.

Another route that accentuates this dynamic, paradoxically given the anti-elitist bias of populism, is via the proliferation of hyper-empowered individuals who become the champions of ‘the people’. Personalism is no longer restricted to the leaders of distinctive political parties. The cult of celebrity, free of loyalty to established ways of doing things, comes into play.21 Even the most cynical citizens are drawn to the aura of these hyper individuals, allowing them to speak for the ‘people’ even if this interpretation is at odds with what diplomatic culture — based on an understanding of the national interest — represents. Making the challenge even more formidable is the ability of these hyper-empowered individuals to represent themselves as flagbearers for the frustrations of ordinary and often left-behind citizens through free-wheeling tactics stretching from the use of referenda, social media, and ‘soft-entry’ institutions including the EU Parliament. The common theme in each of these vehicles is loose networking as outsiders, rather than the use of insiders’ closed clubs.

Given the power of the disintermediation dilemma, an opportunistic set of ascendant political leaders — even those located at the core of the international system — have considerable incentives to diminish ‘their’ own diplomats as part of a wider campaign to stigmatize the traditional establishment. Difference in messaging is not tolerated, as witnessed in the US case by the firing of Steve Goldstein, the US State Department’s Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, when he contradicted the White House’s account of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s departure.22 Significantly, Goldstein was replaced by Heather Nauert, a former anchor at Fox and Friends, a television programme that acts as a key conduit between President Trump and his base.

Facing up to the Challenge of Populism: A Menu for the Future

While the challenge of populism should not be conflated out of proportion, it should not be ignored. What is required is a recalibrated model of public diplomacy that builds on the strengths of the current public diplomacy model, while compensating for its weaknesses. In terms of a menu of adaptation to the populist challenge, a number of key ingredients come to the fore. First, the generalized focus of engagement must be relocated. That is to say, the revised framework of public diplomacy needs to be directed towards domestic as well as towards foreign audiences. At every opportunity, diplomacy and diplomats should counter the image of ‘denationati[zation]’ — originally put forward as a concern by Sir Harold Nicolson in the inter-war years,23 but a concept that in the context of the populist challenge underscores the disconnect between the practitioners of public diplomacy and a localistic-oriented public. In common with creative proposals for rebuilding trust in other institutions,24 diplomacy needs to draw on the knowledge of a wider set of domestic publics.

Second, we must accept that into the future the personalistic public diplomatic brand of leaders will be just as important as the brand of a country. Given the prominence of hyper-empowered individuals in the populist challenge, it is the response of anti-populist leaders that is salient at the apex of a reconfigured public diplomacy. With President Trump’s massive Twitter presence, US diplomacy and diplomats will be faced by constant surprises from the White House to which they will have to react. As one commentator, an advisor to the Obama administration, put it: ‘how to follow the lead of a president who seems uninterested in consistency, protocol and nuance?’25 By way of contrast, it is contingent on anti-populist leaders to utilize a different style of communication and substantive narrative.

One interesting illustration of a leader who is willing and ready to provide an explicit anti-populist form of public diplomacy is Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau. In terms of communication, Trudeau has provided a more systemic approach to rebranding Canada: not through random tweets, but a relatively consistent stream of political ‘moments’, especially so as they are sharable — via ‘hugs, hand-on-the-heart gestures, selfies, and Twitter town halls’.26 In terms of substance, the emphasis is on promoting Canada as an open, progressive country.

Trudeau’s celebrity status gives him impressive visibility in the US media market, including CBS’s 60 Minutes, and the cover of GQ magazine, access embellished by his role as a ‘Viral PM’. It also links him to other sources of non-state soft-power influence such as Canadian rapper/musical artist Drake and the closely related ‘We The North’ campaign.

Although the Trudeau approach showcases a different form of identity politics, the focus of public diplomacy from a wider number of countries is to try to temper the challenge of populism that is manifested in protectionist and self-help measures in the economic and security domain. Some of these efforts will have a traditional air about them, such as the use of golf by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe as a means of interacting on a leader-to-leader basis with Donald Trump.

This type of approach, however, anticipates the use of greater personality profiling in future public diplomacy. As it is, several countries have used psychology experts in an attempt to interpret Donald Trump.27 Still, the results of this preparation have been mixed. The early February 2017 visit to the United States by Abe (with five meals, five hours of golf, a number of rides in the presidential limousine and several meetings with President Trump) showed positive signs. During their summit, Abe discussed the extended pattern of investment and job creation by Japanese automotive companies in the United States. Trump, who had earlier complained that the Japan–US auto trade relationship was ‘not fair’, welcomed the continued production of Japanese automakers within the United States. Nonetheless, the impact of Abe’s charm offensive has subsequently stalled. Instead of listening to his Japanese counterpart, Trump has listened to his domestic political base on issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In consequence, at least one Japanese expert argues that ‘the concept of “public diplomacy” is getting more ambiguous and problematic’ in an age of populist backlash.28

Despite these setbacks, it is more likely that a variety of countries will continue to refine the personalistic approach to public diplomacy. One indication of what will become accepted practice in the future was the April 2018 state visit of Emmanuel Macron to the United States. While Trump’s anti-globalist instincts biased him towards Macron’s main opponent, the hard-populist Marine Le Pen, Macron has been able to cut through the differences and build a strong personal relationship with the US president. Gérard Araud, the French Ambassador to Washington, in acknowledging the contrasts between the worldviews and personalities of the two presidents, argued that there were strong bonds between them. On the one hand, both were ‘disruptors’ whose elections had surprised and challenged the old political order in their countries; and on the other hand, both spoke their mind: ‘Donald Trump has never hidden what he thinks, and Emmanuel Macron is the same — so they have built a dialogue’.29

What cannot be overlooked is that at least in the case of the Trump administration, public diplomacy is unlikely to be successful with only a symbolic dimension. Accordingly, a third ingredient for future public diplomacy should be a greater transactional component. As Japan found out, a charm offensive directed exclusively at the United States can only get you so far without some substantive trade-offs. Nicholas Cull, for example, has argued in his historical analysis of public diplomacy that ‘what counts is not what you say but what you do’.30 The difference from the past is that under current conditions this approach must be directed at showcasing why US allies such as Japan need to push initiatives that go around the United States, such as the push for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership as an alternative to the TPP. The priority of public diplomacy needs to be to sell this type of alternative — and still contested — initiative in a manner that targets localized interests.

Notwithstanding all of this turbulence, a fourth ingredient of future public diplomacy should be the revitalization of some traditional components of public diplomacy. This will be most visible in cultural exchanges and other related techniques of soft power. To some considerable extent, this trend relates to the insertion of not only a symbolic but an instrumental dynamic into public diplomacy. If there are some clear red lines in the Trump–Macron relationship, it is clear that the mobilization of the enormous capacity of French soft power in terms of inviting Trump to the Bastille Day celebration in July 2017 was effective in two different ways. On the one hand, there was an emulation effect in that Trump pushed for a ceremony along similar lines. On the other hand, Macron achieved a prime objective in receiving a reciprocal invitation, with a state visit to the United States in April 2018.

A similar transactional component could well emerge through a renewed US cultural offensive in the future. As is well known, among the Trump administration’s many demands on China has been on China’s use of tools such as the Confucius Institutes, with increased US oversight and a demand for reciprocity in cultural exchanges.31 As argued in a SinoInsider article, one scenario that administrations could entertain in years to come is a push for more cultural exchanges with China as a form of re-engagement. Administrations could, for example, encourage the Chinese government to allow more American centres to be set up in China (there are currently only three) and to relax restrictions on importing ‘Made in USA’ culture and entertainment.

Although initiated by instrumental motivations and means, the attractions of a revitalized public diplomacy based on the lure of popular culture has some sustained appeal, despite the weakened condition of the US State Department, with many positions unfilled and a stream of departures (including from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). To give just one example, if public diplomacy is intended at its core ‘to reinforce the American narrative as the “incubator of people’s dreams”, highlighting American values’,32 the role of athletes has immense value. Support for this scenario came with the February 2018 trip of Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s ‘first’ daughter, to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, where she not only met with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, but cheered on American competitors. However, in an era of Black Lives Matter, the mobilization of a much more diverse set of athletes generally and African-American athletes specifically would present added value.

Finally, a fifth ingredient of future public diplomacy should be to convey positive narratives of how diplomacy and diplomats support the activities of domestic citizens. Through an inward-looking lens, a number of devices can be used as part of a concerted effort to demonstrate value on an instrumental basis. Already happening in some countries, ‘reunions’ of ambassadors and consuls could take place on an annual basis, not only on a fixed/closed basis (meetings in the capital city) but on a more diversified geographical/functional basis. This mechanism is not only valuable in connecting diplomats to domestic policy, but can pinpoint specific features of regional interest. Of value in breaking down the sense of disconnect between diplomats and citizens is the establishment of ‘local’ offices, with an array of activities from investment to passports. Such activities could be supplemented by the extension of features such as award ceremonies showcasing creativity, innovation and dedication to serving the public. Of particular importance here is an amplification of consular services, as witnessed by Mexico’s extensive web of activities in the United States.33 As elaborated in an earlier special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, this trend is connected to the impulse towards the ‘duty of care’ that is moving to the centre of diplomatic practice.34

Even if implemented on a differentiated basis, this type of response offers a platform to demonstrate the capacity of national diplomats at multiple sites ‘on the frontlines’ across a wide spectrum, whether negotiating and mediating on the ground, promoting investment and trade across a wide spectrum of area, providing emergency assistance to distressed travellers, or managing consular issues.35 Attention to the frontlines shifts the image of diplomacy in various ways, most importantly with a focus on how the balance of reward and risk has been altered. In previous eras, diplomacy abroad could be separated from political dynamics at home. This is no longer the case as commercial, disaster, humanitarian diplomacy, and even individual consular cases, attract close scrutiny.

The rewards of showcasing this citizen-support function are particularly important in the case of post-Brexit UK. While excessive privileging of a rejuvenated ‘Global Britain’ by populist politicians may be highly inflated, this should not detract attention away from the need to concentrate on a range of deliverables, from enhanced trade and investment opportunities to protecting the interests of UK expatriates. Still, the obstacles in the way of building support for this type of approach are formidable. For one thing, it will depend on a substantive redeployment of personnel and assets to facilitate well-staffed, well-resourced missions around the world. For another thing, it is premised on the assumption that ‘good’ narratives will outweigh the ‘bad’, not a foregone conclusion if poor performance on the front lines or unattractive features in policy application make media headlines. As with the other ingredients, this component of the menu of a revitalized public diplomacy requires a wide degree of backing by domestic publics.

Conclusion: An Accentuated and Responsive Domestic Turn

Under the weight of the changing conditions of the twenty-first century, many traditional pillars of strength with respect to public diplomacy face severe tests. Not only has the strategic model come up against operational contestation from increasingly confident authoritarian forces in the external domain, but the legitimacy of public diplomacy has been cut into by tshe antagonism of anti-establishment domestic forces at the heart of the populist challenge. While the geopolitical backlash from the outside had been increasingly visible for over a decade, the disruptive societal impulses from inside came to the fore as part of a worldwide debate only with the largely unexpected success of the Trump presidential victory and the Brexit referendum success.

Still, the shift in the sources of pressure was not altogether unanticipated. In the post-Cold War environment, the advance of state-based public diplomacy has been to a great extent in sync with normatively progressive global-oriented societal forces, both in civil society and corporate constituencies. In contradistinction, the scenario that domestic publics could be both inward-looking and illiberal, with important constraining effects for the promotion of the established model of public diplomacy, was largely ignored.

The effects of the disruptive populist challenge mean that many of the accepted mantras about the future of public diplomacy were turned on their head. Disruption, it must be emphasized, does not mean eradication. As the potential adaptive menu showcased above signals, public diplomacy is far from being condemned to disappear. On the contrary, albeit in a highly uneven and messy manner, it looks to be re-energized.

Disruption has brought with it a new emphasis on instrumentality as well, in keeping with the goal of getting results for a wider set of constituents. There is clearly a huge downside in the animation of this approach, in terms of a narrow form of accountability and the downgrading of reciprocity as a means of engagement. Yet although full of potential risks, there can be a type of output legitimacy attached to this form of transactional style. Here, the emphasis placed by Trump and the Brexiteers on hard tangible results, accompanied by a self-congratulatory performance style, sets a very distinctive standard.

Above all, the disruption caused by the challenge of populism highlights the paradox of diplomacy under threat as an elite, outward-oriented activity. As long as public diplomacy is viewed as a strategic model without the ‘people’ in mind — and a larger domestic footprint in place — it will come under intense inward-oriented pressure. Yet, paradoxically, the position of responsibility for diplomacy and diplomats is enhanced. Furthermore, while this challenge in its populist form is highly problematic in a myriad of ways, not the least because of the complete downgrading of the normative component of public diplomacy, there is a menu by which diplomacy and diplomats can weather the challenge now and into the future. Simply put, no longer can the purpose of public diplomacy be regarded as simply affecting the ‘policies, dispositions and actions of other states’.36 Public diplomacy must embrace an accentuated and responsive domestic turn that puts an onus on practical and visible delivery in terms of different strata of society.

Andrew F. Cooper

is Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo, Canada. From 2003 to 2010 he was Associate Director at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Cooper is the author most recently of BRICS VSI (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); Diplomatic Afterlives (Cambridge: Polity, 2014); and Internet Gambling Offshore (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). He is also the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). His scholarly publications have appeared in a number of prestigious journals, including International Organization, International Affairs, World Development and International Studies Review.


The author wishes to thank Marcus Holmes, Jan Melissen, Jay Wang and Jérémie Cornut, as well as three anonymous reviews for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Research support was provided by SSHRC Connection Grant 611-2015-0359.


See, for example, Nancy E. Snow and Philip M. Taylor (eds), Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008); Jan Melissen (ed.), The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Mark Leonard, Public Diplomacy (London: Foreign Policy Centre, 2002).


Ilya Yablokov, Conspiracy Theories as a Russian Public Diplomacy Tool: The Case of Russia Today (RT)’, Politics, vol. 35, nos. 3-4 (2015), pp. 301-315.


Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1939), p. 113.


European Union, Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe (June 2016), available at


Nicholas J. Cull, Public Diplomacy: Lessons from the Past, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy (Los Angeles, CA: Figueroa, 2009), available at


Jan Melissen, ‘Public Diplomacy’, in Pauline Kerr and Geoffrey Wiseman (eds), Diplomacy in a Globalizing World (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018), p. 211.


Ellen Huijgh, ‘Public Diplomacy’s Domestic Dimension in the European Union’, in Mai’a K. Davis Cross and Jan Melissen (eds), European Public Diplomacy: Soft Power at Work (London: Palgrave, 2013); see also Ellen Huijgh, ‘Public Diplomacy in Flux: Introducing the Domestic Dimension’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 7, no. 4 (2012), pp. 359-367.


Christopher Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, ‘Populism and Technocracy’, in Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Paul Taggart, Paulina Ochoa Espejo and Pierre Ostiguy (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Populism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), chapter 17.


Ernesto Laclau, ‘Populism: What’s in a Name?’, in Francisco Panizza (ed.), Populism and the Mirror of Democracy (London: Verso, 2005), pp. 32-49.


Ulrich Speck, ‘The Crisis of Liberal Order’, The American Interest (12 September 2016), available at


Elsa Cardozo, ‘La política exterior del gobierno bolivariano y sus implicaciones en el plano doméstico, ildis’ (2010), available at


Michael McFaul, ‘Democracy Promotion as a World Value’, Washington Quarterly, vol. 28, no. 1 (2004-2005), p. 148.


Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2004), p. 127.


César Calero, ‘Mauricio Macri: Argentina sufrió mucho por el populismo’, El Mundo (18 February 2017), available at


Quoted in ‘Farage Says “A Lot More” Diplomats Should Follow Rogers and Resign’, The Guardian (3 January 2017), available at


Interview, Vivienne Walt, Time Magazine (28 June 2016), available at


George Haynal, ‘Diplomacy on the Ascendant in the Age of Disintermediation’, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (2001-2002), available at


Geoffrey Wiseman, ‘Distinctive Characteristics of American Diplomacy’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 6, nos. 3-4 (2011), pp. 235-259.


Wiseman cites, for example, Newt Gingrich, ‘Rogue State Department’, Foreign Policy (July-August 2003), pp. 42-48; and from a scholarly account, S.W. Hook, ‘Domestic Obstacles to International Affairs: The State Department under Fire at Home’, PS: Political Science and Politics (2003), pp. 23-29.


See, for example, Andrew F. Cooper, Celebrity Diplomacy (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishing, 2007); and Diplomatic Afterlives (Cambridge: Polity, 2014).


Eliza Reiman, ‘Trump Fired a Top State Department Official who Contradicted the White House’s Account of Tillerson’s Firing’, Business Insider (13 March 2018), available at


Derek Drinkwater, Sir Harold Nicolson and International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 96.


An excellent example comes from central banking; see Andrew G Haldane, ‘Folk Wisdom’, speech on the 100th Anniversary of the Bank of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia (19 September 2018), available at


Shamila N. Chaudhary, ‘Why the State Department Is Worried About Donald Trump and His Tweets’, Politico (20 December 2016), available at


Evan Solomon, ‘The Soft Power of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Viral PM’, Maclean’s (9 March 2016), available at


According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the assessment could be reduced to: ‘After you hear him speak, say “yes” first. Do not disagree’, and ‘He strongly dislikes being told what he does not know’; see Koya Jibiki and Ken Moriyasu, ‘Abe Scores Big in “Fairway Diplomacy” with Trump’, Nikkei Asian Review (16 February 2017), available at


Yasushi Watanabe, ‘Public Diplomacy and the Evolution of US–Japan Relations’ (March 2018), available at


Angelique Chrisafis, ‘Macron to Put “Trump Whisperer” Skills to Test on State Visit’, The Guardian (2 April 2018), available at


Cull, Public Diplomacy.


Don Tse and Larry Ong, Are Cultural Exchanges Next in Trump’s Push to Get China to Play Fair?’, SinoInsider (19 April 2018), available at


The Aspen Institute, The Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology (2014), available at


Andrés Rozental and Alicia Buenrosto, ‘Bilateral Diplomacy’, in Andrew A. Cooper, Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 229-247.


Jan Melissen and Maaike Okano-Heijmans, ‘Introduction: Diplomacy and the Duty of Care’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 13, no. 2 (2018), pp. 137-145.


Andrew F. Cooper, ‘The Changing Nature of Diplomacy’, in Andrew A. Cooper, Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 35-53.


Alan K. Henrikson, What Can Public Diplomacy Achieve?, Discussion Papers in Diplomacy, no. 4 (The Hague: Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, 2006), p. 8, available at

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