Faith Diplomacy Initiative

Mixing religion and public diplomacy can produce volatile results, but in a world in which the dissemination and influence of religious beliefs are enhanced by new communications technologies, religion is a factor in most foreign policy issues and must be addressed. Faith is such a powerful part of so many people’s lives that it must be incorporated in public diplomacy efforts if they are to have meaningful resonance among the publics they are trying to reach. This initiative seeks to address key issues of faith in an increasingly connected religious world and to provide a better understanding of the role that religion plays in foreign policy. It explores the topics of incorporating religion into public diplomacy, with particular emphasis on engaging the global Islamic community and examining religious organizations as public diplomats.

Launched in 2010, the Faith Diplomacy Initiative produces a number of academic outcomes, the hallmark of which was a CPD conference that explored the nature and impact of faith diplomacy. The initiative also produced a PDiN Monitor, a Media Monitor and Report on faith diplomacy, as well as a regularly updated bibliography of books and journal articles relevant to the topic. The CPD Conference and DC Briefing will result in a publication for the CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy series, and an edited volume to be published by a major academic publisher.

The Faith Diplomacy Initiative is co-sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, USC Center for International Studies, and the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.