Public diplomacy (PD) lacks an agreed-upon definition and boundaries. The ambiguity surrounding the conceptualization of the term leads to confusion among scholars and practitioners and hinders the consolidation of PD as an academic field. This article surveys 160 articles and books on PD, categorizes diverse perspectives into a taxonomy, and explores the coherence of each. The taxonomy can be categorized into these perspectives: state-centric, neo-statist, nontraditional, society-centric, and accommodative. The article maps the boundaries of public diplomacy with much needed clear and coherent criteria and positions PD within the broader discipline of international relations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
An earlier version of this paper was presented at 57th Annual Conference of International Communication Association in San Diego, California, on May 29, 2017. The author is indebted to Efe Sevin, Natalia Grincheva, Sevde Arpaci Ayhan, and three anonymous reviewers for their invaluable feedback on earlier drafts.
© The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association. All rights reserved.
- Diplomacy studies
- International relations theories
- Nonstate actors
- Public diplomacy