Concluding Remarks

The year 2013 was a dynamic and diverse one for public diplomacy. Caitlin Byrne, an Australian public diplomacy scholar and practitioner, said “The scope and versatility of public diplomacy in 2013 is striking. The most significant stories of 2013 reflect public diplomacy’s core challenges: to enable dialogue, align national and global interests and deliver positive change.” 

Three key themes stood out to Byrne: First, public diplomacy continues to give voice to previously unheard or excluded public audiences. Second, public diplomacy finds relevance, credibility and resilience in seeking out the truth. Third, public diplomacy leadership emerges from unlikely people and places. Yet it is the on-the-ground presence, dialogue and interaction in tough conditions – from Kabul to Tacloban – that offers the most inspiring public diplomacy leadership of all.

"In one way or another many key public diplomacy events in 2013 are evidence of the West meeting the Rest in an increasingly democratized global information sphere." 

– Jan Melissen

The public diplomacy activities of 2013 demonstrated several distinct indicators that CPD expects will gain momentum, exposure and relevance throughout the 2014 PD News cycle.

  • The functional area of public diplomacy that will continue to grow is Digital Diplomacy conducted by governments, also referred to as eDiplomacy.
  • International and mega events emphasizing global prominence of a country will continue to make headlines throughout the year.
  • Citizen diplomacy, a less traditional component of PD will trend towards the area of advocacy in PD in which non-state actors and population-based movements are continuing to grow in prominence internationally. These stories won’t disappear from the headlines anytime soon.

The broad range of international news and commentary featured in the 2013 CPD Annual Review demonstrates that public diplomacy is indeed a global phenomenon. CPD will provide periodic updates about trends and developments between now and our next Annual Review.

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