The Role of Symbols in International Exchange
Although international exchanges have been a mainstay in public diplomacy since their inception—and academic discussions regarding exchanges have been commonplace—these discussions have traditionally been based on what Andreas Pacher terms the "opinion leader-model."
Thus, Pacher proposes a different model for examining exchanges: Interaction Ritual Theory.
"[I]nternational exchanges are rituals which strategically immerse targeted individuals into personal experiences with a shared focus on the host country, transforming the latter into a symbol charged with emotional energy," writes Pacher. "The symbol is then recurrently invoked to re-circulate through the networks of the participants."
The article, "The Ritual Creation of Political Symbols: International Exchanges in Public Diplomacy" is available here.