Nicholas J. Cull

A chat with public diplomacy's lead historian on his new book, Public Diplomacy: Foundations for Global Engagement in the Digital Age.

A single-volume introduction to public diplomacy practice, speeches on the images of D-Day, essays on the image of President Kennedy, and more.

Episode 1 of this podcast series hosted by CPD Student Fellow Madison Jones features an interview with Nicholas J. Cull.

A chat with the co-editor of US Public Diplomacy and Democratization in Spain: Selling Democracy.  

The choice of the topic is itself germane. In today’s turbulent world, diplomacy means that a country must take steps to achieve political goals and to promote its image in the international arena. It is becoming old fashioned for any country to rely solely on military and economic means in its relationship with other countries of the world. Countries interact with each other through diplomatic channels.

In recent years, diplomatic circles have been relying on the term “engagement” to describe various communication and public diplomacy activities with foreign publics. The term is used almost universally in government, the military, academia, corporations and think tanks to describe a range of practices designed to influence or persuade foreign audiences.

The ability to talk is not the same as the ability to communicate. That was the advice from USC’s Nicholas Cull at a public diplomacy conference here. Asked what advice he would give to the new Secretary of State, Cull said he would first ask a question: “What’s possible? Am I going to waste my time talking about projects that can never see the light of day?”

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