The boundaries of public diplomacy and nonstate actors: A taxonomy of perspectives

Kadir Jun Ayhan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 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
  • Taxonomy


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