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Supranational Public Diplomacy: The Evolution Of The UN Department Of Public Information And The Rise Of Third World Advocacy

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Chapter Summary

Public diplomacy is usually conceived of as an instrument of powerful states. This chapter explores public diplomacy from the opposite vantage point- the perspective of weak states and non-state actors. It examines the interconnected histories of the United Nations' reliance on public diplomacy to promote its mission and activities, and the rise of Third World efforts to utilize public diplomacy to advance the cause of decolonization and redress perceived North-South injustices. The chapter demonstrates that both the image constructed by critics of a mere propaganda forum and the cautious picture painted by UN officials and scholars of the Department of Public Information (DPI) obscure important realities about the relationship between the United Nations and public diplomacy, especially in the context of an emerging Third World identity.

Keywords: public diplomacy; Third World advocacy; UN Department of Public Information (DPI)



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