Rebuilding the U.S. Global Image

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a highly polarized nation, recent protests against racial injustice, and U.S. foreign policies among other factors, have tarnished the global image and appeal of the country. This in turn undermines U.S. soft power and raises questions about what can be done to overcome the challenge. A number of scholars and diplomats in our network have shared insightful commentary on the topic. Here is a roundup of the articles for you:

Statue of Liberty Crying

U.S. Image Drops to Record Lows in Many Countries

By: Richard Wike
The Director of Global Attitudes at Pew Research Center, Richard Wike, draws on polling data to describe how America’s global image has suffered in recent years amid widespread opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump and the country's handling of COVID-19.

Black Lives Matter Protester

The George Floyd Movement Inspired The World

By: Naima Green-Riley
Harvard University Ph.D. Candidate and CPD 2019 Dissertation Grant Recipient, Naima Green-Riley, argues that “if America is to find its way back to a position of leadership, it will need to embrace the call for justice that resonated with so many around the world following the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement."


Will US Elections be a Missed Chance for Public Diplomacy?

By: Neil Simon
Vice President of Portland-based Bighorn Communications Neil Simon argues that "visiting a country amid a national election campaign is to see its civic life most animated" but that the U.S. could miss this opportunity in the 2020 elections.

American Cube

Rebuilding the American Brand

By: Mieczysław (Mietek) Boduszyński & Sarah Alaoui
British Journalist Gary Younge examines the relationship between Black Americans and Europeans, while taking a critical look at Europe’s perceptions and biases of its own racial inequality.

American Flag

International Trust & PD Fundamentals, Home and Abroad

By: Elizabeth McKay
Elizabeth McKay, CPD’s 2018–20 Public Diplomat in Residence, invites policymakers to embrace how historical lessons can guide U.S. policymakers now to address the issues that negatively impact the global image of the U.S.

American Flag Cloudy

A Revived Diplomacy: Collective Engagement as the Way Forward

By: Earle & Barbara Scarlett
Former U.S. diplomats Earle and Barbara Scarlett make policy recommendations for the U.S.' role on the global stage, arguing for collective engagement with the rest of the world as a means to improve US credibility and legitimacy on the world stage.

Globe American Flag

Restoring U.S. Public Diplomacy

By: William A. Rugh & Zachary Shapiro
Ambassador (ret.) William A. Rugh and Zachary Shapiro of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy suggest three key reforms for U.S. public diplomacy in the event of Joe Biden winning the 2020 election.

Black Lives Matter Protesters

Addressing Systematic Inequalities is Crucial for National Security

By: Sohaela Amiri
CPD Research Associate Sohaela Amiri examines the relationship between public diplomacy and national identity, values and image.

Paper Faces

Why Inclusion Matters in Public Diplomacy

By: Julia Wilson
CEO & founder of DC-based consultancy Wilson Global Communications Julia Wilson writes about building a pipeline of future foreign diplomats based on diversity and inclusion.



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