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Palgrave Macmillan

Front Line Public Diplomacy

How US Embassies Communicate with Foreign Publics

ISBN 9781137444141
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy

This book presents the first-ever close and up-to-date look at how American diplomats working at our embassies abroad communicate with foreign audiences to explain US foreign policy and American culture and society. Projecting an American voice abroad has become more difficult in the twenty-first century, as terrorists and others hostile to America use modern communication means to criticize us, and as new communication tools have greatly expanded the worldwide discussion of issues important to us, so that terrorists and others hostile to us have added negative voices to the global dialogue. It analyzes the communication tools our public diplomacy professionals use, and how they employ interpersonal and language skills to engage our critics. It shows how they overcome obstacles erected by unfriendly governments, and explains that diplomats do not simply to reiterate set policy formulations but engage a variety of people from different cultures in a creative ways to increase their understanding of America.

William A. Rugh was a Foreign Service Officer for 31 years and served twice as US ambassador. He holds a PhD and has taught public diplomacy at the Fletcher School. He is the author of books and articles on public diplomacy and US foreign policy.

Table of Contents
1. Legacy: Philosophy and Legal Basis
2. Public Diplomacy Personnel as FSOs
3. The Public Affairs Officer
4. Contacts and Personal Networking
5. Traditional Media
6. Social Media: Use in Public Diplomacy
7. Social Media: Factors to Consider
8. Cultural Programs
9. Centers, Libraries and Other American Spaces
10. Educational Exchanges
11. Defense Department Communications Expansion
12. Comparing DOD and State's Communications
13. Changes and Enduring Principles in PD Practice


"Ambassador William Rugh, one of the most distinguished American practitioners of the art of public diplomacy, has written a remarkable book. From basic principles through to the subtleties of today's social media this is the essential guide for any public diplomat headed for the field or for any analyst who wishes to understand how this essential element of international relations is practiced. This book will be required reading in diplomatic training classes in the US and one anticipates further afield also." Nicholas J. Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, USA
"Ambassador Rugh presents a comprehensive, current and insightful overview of US public diplomacy field operations, filling a long-vacant niche in real-world PD resources for professors and students. His deep background as a distinguished practitioner of PD makes for a nuanced, yet focused, presentation of the opportunities and challenges facing PD professionals past and present." - Elizabeth Whitaker, Georgetown University and George Washington University Adjunct Professor of Public Diplomacy, USA, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and senior Public Diplomacy Officer
"As the role of public opinion in policy making continues to grow around the globe, there is increasing appreciation for the importance of public diplomacy as an aspect of U.S. foreign policy. Rugh picks up this theme, delivering an expert account not only of the 'theory' of what public diplomacy is and how to best practice it; he also shares insightful, real-world examples, drawn both from his own extensive professional experience and from the now rather considerable PD literature. Reflecting his own passion, Rugh describes PD as a profession and a commitment, more a 'calling' than a 'job.'...Ambassador Rugh has provided an invaluable resource to the field of public diplomacy, one destined to become indispensible in the teaching of PD tradecraft, as well as a go-to reference for current practitioners in the field." - Middle East Policy
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