New Paper: Emotion and Public Diplomacy

Sarah Ellen Graham from the University of Western Sydney, recently published her paper: "Emotion and Public Diplomacy: Dispositions in International Communications, Dialogue, and Persuasionin the International Studies Review. Her study invites International Relations researchers to consider how emotions are displayed and transmitted through public diplomacy and to investigate the salience and nature of persuasion as more and more states are turning to public diplomacy to represent themselves. “Further discussion of the nature and significance of PD may offer theoretically inclined IR scholars a new avenue for theoretical and empirical investigation.”

Paper Abstract:

States use public diplomacy (PD) to transmit information, ideas, and values that support their interests. Despite the centrality of emotion to early academic accounts of  propaganda, emotion has not yet been addressed in contemporary PD studies, even in the context of the field’s recent engagement with relational communication models. This oversight leaves the current scholarship on PD with an under-specified account of what PD actually does when it works—when it influences and persuades —because emotion is involved in these functions. At the same time, investigating these questions shows that PD practices deserve greater attention in debates within International Relations (IR) about language, power, and persuasion. Drawing on theories of emotion within constructivist IR and political theory, this article reviews two key functions of PD and asks how they engage public emotions. I show that emotions are present in argument, reasoning, and persuasion—particularly in the context of discourse about values. I then show how emotional expression reflects cultural difference, thereby influencing cross-cultural dialogue, and how emotion constitutes collective identities.

Dr. Graham, served as CPD Research Fellow from 2011-2013  working on her project, U.S. Public Diplomacy and Indo-American Relations.

The full article is available for purchase here.


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