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The Public Diplomacy of Federated Entities: Examining the Quebec Model

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Calls to involve a wide range of actors in public diplomacy are coming thick and fast. Federated entities are waiting in line, hoping to advance their international influence and search for distinctiveness and self-affirmation. Despite the increasing interest the development of most federated entities’ public diplomacy has not yet moved out of the early phases: a borderline activity of ‘nation-branding’ and ‘paradiplomacy’. This is true not only in practice but also in the current research, a situation that this article aims to amend.To this end, it is not necessary to start anew but to expand upon more advanced cases in the field. Particular interest is given to Quebec, which is busy creating a distinct profile for public diplomacy and alluding to a more normatively inspired network model. This article examines the public diplomacy model of Quebec’s ministry of international relations, and interprets the findings for federated entities in light of new evolutions in the field. The article concludes that despite significant discourse on public diplomacy development, major reforms remain in the realm of theory.

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral Candidate, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ The Hague, The Netherlands, Email:


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