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Mapping Boundaries in Diplomacy’s Public Dimension

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Radical changes in diplomacy’s global environment challenge traditional categories in diplomacy’s study and practice. The “foreign” and “domestic” divide is blurred beyond easy recognition. Public diplomacy is no longer a separate instrument of diplomacy. The term marginalizes a public dimension that is now central in diplomatic practice. This article examines four boundaries that both separate and connect: (1) a distinction between diplomacy and foreign policy that benefits diplomacy studies and clarifies choices in practice; (2) a framework for diplomacy’s public dimension that connects types of diplomatic actors with process variables; (3) a separation between diplomacy and civil society that distinguishes diplomacy from other relationships between groups; and (4) characteristics of diplomacy and governance that explain how they differ from other political and social categories. Diplomatic and governance actors are categorized in trans-governmental and polylateral networks. Civil society and private sector actors are categorized in cosmopolitan and private governance networks.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, George Washington University Washington, dc United States


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