Trials of Engagement
Edited by Ali Fisher, InterMedia, and Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
In the last decade public diplomacy has become one of the most important concepts in the development and implementation of foreign policy. Trials of Engagement: The Future of US Public Diplomacy, with contributors from leading scholars in disciplines from international relations to communications, considers the challenges for this ‘new’ public diplomacy, especially as it is pursued by the US Government. It highlights the challenges of aligning policy and projection, overcoming bureaucratic tensions, and the language used by public diplomats. Most importantly, the volume illustrates that the issues for public diplomacy are more than those of a producer seeking to win the hearts and minds of passive ‘audiences’.
Trials of Engagement portrays public diplomacy as an increasingly public project. To overcome the trials of engagement, public diplomacy must provide more than a rhetorical nod to a “two-way” process. Ultimately, a collaborative public diplomacy must be built on a broad understanding of those involved, the recognition of stakeholders as peers, and effective interaction with networks made up of traditional and new interlocutors.