The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers: Insights from Indonesia and Turkey

Principal Investigator:
Ellen Huijgh, CPD Research Fellow 2013-15

Contributing Researchers:
Jun Gao
Jordan Warlick

The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers, Part 1: The Case of Turkey

CPD Blog: Indonesia: "A Thousand Friends," But No BFF.

The global order is changing, and a new geopolitical blueprint is emerging. Trend watchers, leading economists, international scholars and policymakers are closely scrutinizing certain countries developing into powerful regional and global players: the emerging powers. Emerging powers influence countries’ foreign policy making and conduct, of which public diplomacy is an intrinsic part. While forward-looking conceptual and empirical research is lacking, emerging powers’ growing global position and populations affect their public diplomacy as well as that of (Western) countries which develop relations with them. It thus influences public diplomacy’s thought, practice, and future.

As public diplomacy research needs to be developed in today’s circumstances, this research’s objective is to illuminate the public diplomacy of new emerging powers beyond the BRICS, paying particular attention to its domestic foundation and insights from Indonesia and Turkey. The current literature comparing Indonesia’s and Turkey’s public diplomacy may be scarce but will increasingly draw public diplomacy scholars’ and practitioners’ interest in conjunction with the countries’ growing world position; a tendency already occurring in the more expansive scholarly and policy domain of international relations.Both countries’ membership in clusters of noteworthy economies; their strategic location; large Muslim populations; transformation into young democracies; evolution of public diplomacy as a logical consequence and precondition of ongoing foreign policy democratization processes; and its narrative of the coexistence of Islam, modernity and democracy offer firm ground to investigate and compare them in greater detail, and open it up to broader research.

The research project proceeds in three phases. It first analyses the emerging powers’ broader context, international relations, soft power and public diplomacy and addresses pertinent questions. Second, it analyzes and maps Indonesia’s and Turkey’s public diplomacy and its domestic dimension within their context as emerging powers, and compares them. Finally it will build up the comparative case results to deduce insights and stimulate debate on the countries’ public diplomacy and the consequences for peers and other countries. Feedback from both scholars and policymakers will be gathered and incorporated into the research, and will serve to determine further research needs.

Read Huijgh's CPD Perspectives articles, "The PD of Emerging Power Part 1: The Case of Turkey" here, and "The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers Part 2: The Case of Indonesia" here.