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Insights From The U.S. Experience: Challenges Ahead

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Chapter Summary

Over the course of half a century, the United States built one of the most sophisticated and successful public diplomacy operations in the world - and then destroyed it. What have one learned in the process? How can the U.S. experience in public diplomacy inform contemporary thinking and practices in public diplomacy? This chapter offers ten observations concerning the evolution of American public diplomacy that help to answer these questions. Some of the observations include: the lack of a coherent and consistent definition has stifled public diplomacy's advancement; and historically-based misperceptions of public diplomacy as government "propaganda" are detrimental to public diplomacy's future. It also includes prejudices against public diplomacy both in the diplomatic community and outside undermine public diplomacy efforts, and public diplomacy must be recognized as an integral part of a nation's broader diplomatic mission.

Keywords: diplomatic community; public diplomacy; U.S. experience



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