Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy: November 2019

The November edition of CPD Faculty Fellow Bruce Gregory's public diplomacy reading list is now available. Known affectionately at CPD as "Bruce's List," this list is a compilation of books, journal articles, papers and blogs on a wide variety of PD topics and features a number of CPD scholars.

Highlights from this latest list include:

Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Silada Rojratanakiat and Soravis Taekasem“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Social Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Tweets from Pakistan,” USC Center on Public Diplomacy, CPD Perspectives, October 2019. Ahmed (Deakin University, Australia), Rojratanakiat and Taekasem (University of Southern California) use critical discourse analysis to investigate how the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was framed in social media (primarily Twitter) during the first six months of 2015. They conclude that most top Twitter handles originated in Pakistan’s government ministries. They promoted not just the CPEC but also China’s positive intentions toward Pakistan. These accounts also used Twitter to counter Indian critiques of CPEC. Negative tweets originated in India and opposition parties in Pakistan. Neutral tweets originated from news media in Pakistan and India. Overall, nearly half of the tweets in their data set were positive on CPEC.

Efe Sevin, Emily Metzgar and Craig Hayden“The Scholarship of Public Diplomacy: Analysis of a Growing Field,” International Journal of Communication, 13(2019), 4814-4837. Sevin (Towson University), Metzgar (Indiana University) and Hayden (Marine Corps University), three of the most active and knowledgeable scholars in diplomacy and communication studies today, provide an excellent evidence-based survey of public diplomacy as a field of academic inquiry. Their article (1) addresses “the challenge of drawing institutional and conceptual boundaries for research;” (2) analyzes decades of English language peer-reviewed public diplomacy articles (N = 2,124); (3) highlights trends in scholarship, patterns of topics that co-occur, and ways topics vary among countries and regions; (4) identifies and ranks journals that publish articles on public diplomacy; (5) offers thoughts on conceptual boundaries in the field drawing on high frequency concepts and topics in the literature, and (6) makes recommendations for future work.

They acknowledge limitations in their data set, particularly the absence of rich insights available in think tank and government policy reports. Nevertheless, they reach interesting conclusions well worth ongoing discussion. Researchers should be more receptive to insights and literature beyond their own disciplines if public diplomacy is to deserve the label cross-disciplinary. Articles on public diplomacy have not consistently appeared in “higher tier” journals, which points to a lack of visibility and potential for future studies. The oft-lamented absence of a unifying theory of public diplomacy may be a strength rather than a constraint. The authors have made a valuable contribution to an area of study long challenged by definitional differences, unclear institutional and conceptual boundaries, uncertain connections with other disciplines, and a disconnect between what scholars and academic professional associations are doing and the relatively few courses and degree programs in academic institutions. (Read more about this research in Sevin, Metzgar and Hayden's CPD Blog post.)

Diana Ingenhoff and Sarah Marschlich, “Corporate Diplomacy and Political CSR: Similarities, Differences and Theoretical Implications,” Public Relations Review, 45 (2019), 348-371. Ingenhoff and Marschlich (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) review the literature on corporate diplomacy (CD) and political corporate social responsibility (PCSR) from the cross-disciplinary perspectives of journals in public relations, public diplomacy, general management and business ethics. Their goals are first to examine definitions and theories in the CD and PCSR domains and then to identify differences and commonalities underlying the two concepts. Building on this research, they seek to redefine CD and PCSR and develop a theoretical framework for CD that integrates PCSR, international public relations and public diplomacy. Strengths of their article rest on their extensive literature review and discussion of conceptual issues. Their proposed theoretical framework for corporate diplomacy, which attempts to integrate PCSR, public relations and public diplomacy, raises many interesting and difficult issues that the authors and readers likely will agree warrant considerable further discussion and research. (Courtesy of Kathy Fitzpatrick)

The full list, including works by CPD Faculty Fellows Nicholas J. Cull, Corneliu BjolaR.S. Zaharna and Bruce Gregory; CPD Research Fellow Alexander Buhmann (2016-2018); and CPD Blog Contributors Natalia Grincheva, Ilan Manor, Leila Nazarian and Bridget Sprott, is available here.

 

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