Sample Essay on Public Diplomacy Questions

Public Diplomacy Questions

Question 1

True Enough is an article that discusses the second age of PR. PR in this case stands for public relations, which is a common practice among human beings in their efforts to manage the spread or transfer of information from one individual or organization to another in public. This article thus addresses PR in relation to how it is exhibited by media personalities and companies. One of the personalities mentioned in the article is Ivy Lee. Ivy Lee is a minister’s son and is a former reporter at the New York World. He is one of the major contributors to the fall of journalism and instead propagated the rise of public relations. Lee tipped reports an accident on the Pennsylvania Railroad. It is notable that before then, railroads had done everything they could to cover up accidents. However, Lee’s objective was to expose this vice to the public. Therefore, when he figured that crashes, which tend to leave visible wreckage, were hard to hide, he decided to leak them to the public. Since the era of Ivy Lee, particularly in recent years, press releases can easily find their way into newspapers and news websites almost unchanged. This takes place because of a number of factors. For instance, the article True Enough articulates that journalism was losing grip among humankind, hence they preferred to get information from direct press releases. The article opines that people became more conscious that they were not getting direct access to information and somebody else was screening that information for them. This idea has been transferred to the modern generation. Thus, today, people have decided to have first hand information about facts and incidences, and have ever since avoided information from the media and journalists who give second hand information. Besides, the media most of the time give their own false and interpreted information and this has forced people to avoid the media leaving the journalists with no work to do (Dizard, 2004).


Question 2

Public diplomacy is fast becoming one of the most talked about aspects across the globe. We would not say that countries are at war, but it would be right to say that some levels of disagreements among countries have forced other parties to join in bringing countries together. For instance, the US and Asian countries such as Afghanistan and North Korea have been at loggerheads for years now. There has been a push for public diplomacy such that the disagreements and conflicts among these countries are solved. The article De-Americanizing Soft Power Discourse discusses at length how other countries are getting into the public diplomacy game in ways that were not possible before. The article defines soft power as the ability possessed by an individual or party to attract or pull people to one side without coercion. However, some countries have embraced orthodox ways and means of attaining soft power. For instance, the U.S has used its formidable political, economic, technological and military power to get into public diplomacy (Waller, 2007). Other countries such as Russia at one time used their military power to get into public diplomacy. Far East countries have also concentrated on the manufacture of nuclear weapons in order to get into public diplomacy and not all these ways were possible before. It is notable that in almost all media spheres, the US media giants dwarf their global competitors from almost all sectors such as entertainment and sports. This was not possible before because such technological developments were absent. The avenues that have been used by countries such as the US to get into the diplomacy game have been valuable to them, as they have come out very powerful and respected in all sectors globally. Besides, the approach by countries has helped or rather propagated economic and technological developments in these countries.

Question 3

The article A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy articulates that in an increasingly multi polar global system, emerging-economy countries are now paying greater attention to cultural developments and communication. Such countries have considered the two concepts as part of the symbolic domain of their national power in the affairs and operations witnessed across the globe. The article adds that there are a number of institutions that have propagated the development of culture globally, one of them being the Confucius Institute. The article addresses the institute’s success and failures. It is notable that Confucius Institutes are spreading faster than any of the Western cultural institutes and they are expanding most rapidly in liberal democracies. To start with, one of the successes of the Institutes is that they have strong ‘network structures’ guaranteed by the dual hubs of Hanban and the programs website and this has played an integral part in the success of the institutes. Secondly, the institutes have created “network synergy” by connecting online and offline activities, recognizing the fact that online resources are solidified by interpersonal relations. The other success of the Institutes is that they employ “network strategy” through the persuasion of foreigners to be involved through task-social and identity-based narratives. Despite the several successes, the institutes have a number of weaknesses. For instance, the article points out that the institutes are explicitly linked to the Chinese foreign policy agenda to an extent that is not seen in other regions where the institutes are found. This means that the institutes stress more on the Chinese culture and policies even in foreign countries where the citizens are not interested in the Chinese culture and policies. Through this, the institutes overstep their mandate in foreign countries. The other weakness is that the teaching materials of the institute are designed for Western students, and are not always appropriate for the African cultural and linguistic contexts where other branches of the institute are found. The Goethe Institute is however different as compared to the Confucius Institute. Dr. Gabriele Landwehr articulates that the Goethe Institute is one of the European Institutes in Abu Dhabi that offers cultural activities and thus gives the best opportunities for countries to create a strong identity within the process of globalization. She articulates that in contrast to the Confucius Institutes that stress on monocultural understanding, the Goethe Institute stresses on multicultural understanding. She adds that the materials designed for the Goethe Institutes across the world are meant not only for the Western people but also for every person who has access to the services of the institute.

Question 4

Public diplomacy is enhanced in various ways, the most common ways being political diplomacy and sports diplomacy. It is argued that, if done right, athletic or sports diplomacy can be much better and more effective than political outreach or diplomacy (Waller, 2007). The article Does Sports Diplomacy Work discusses and critically analyzes the relationship between sports diplomacy and political diplomacy. The article explains the relationship existing between the two by giving an example of a scenario when t former NBA player Dennis Rodman met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and promised to take other NBA stars with him to help coach and mentor the Pyongyang basketball team. He also promised to hold an international basketball tournament in North Korea. This is a clear indication of sports diplomacy. There has been a major debate across the globe about the difference between public diplomacy and propaganda. Most often, propaganda is known to be the spread of information that is false about an individual, a party or an organization and that is not helpful in one way or another. The article Does Sports Diplomacy Work gives a clear distinction between the two. According to the article, public diplomacy is planned, strategized and implemented. This is evident in the fact that NBA player Dennis Rodman met with Kim Jong-un and planned a tournament, which happened and was a massive success. This is one example of public diplomacy. On the other hand, propaganda is a practice that focuses on the negative rather than the positive. This is where an individual focuses on demolishing one character or organization for self-benefits. Propaganda would have taken place if the two leaders (NBA player and North Korean leader) would have met but nothing tangible or observable would have been seen after their meeting.

Question 5

In the recent years, there have been strong debates trying to come up with explanations and discussions about the difference between lobby groups and public diplomacy. Most individuals understand public diplomacy as a practice by one party to coerce and attract the other party due to one or two reasons. However, the understanding of lobby group has remained to be an uphill task over the years. The article The Israel Lobby and U.S foreign Policy has tried to come up with a clear distinction between the two. To start with, a lobby group is the loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape the policies of one country in a direction that is pro another country. For instance, according to the article, there are individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction (Waller, 2007). Thus, it should be noted that in a lobby group, the relations between countries is only because of benefits. For example, the US benefits from helping Israel and Israel in turn benefits from the US. This occurs only when the two parties involved have common agenda to achieve. On the other hand, public diplomacy does not involve restrictions and conditions and it is not mandatory that the involved parties must benefit. Basing on facts, public diplomacy is more preferable than lobby. This is because public diplomacy does not entail disagreements among parties unlike the lobby groups. In fact, despite how strong a lobby is, it cannot replace public diplomacy. There may be possibilities of disagreements, which will render the lobby groups useless and ineffective. Lobby groups have in the past broken because of disagreements among countries and the effects have been adverse.

Question 6

The world is developing fast in terms of technology. This can be accredited to the scientific discoveries and the researches that have been done by a number of scientists across the world. Technology has played an integral role in promoting public diplomacy across the globe. For instance, technology has enabled the introduction of the internet that has brought up social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp among others that have aided the development or enhancement of public diplomacy. The article Practicing Successful Twitter Public Diplomacy discusses how Twitter, as a social media platform can play a part in ensuring public diplomacy is enhanced or promoted across the globe. The article defines public diplomacy success in Twitter by examining what constitutes public diplomacy overall. The article articulates that successful public diplomacy may include bi-directional communication effort that are aimed at promoting greater appreciation and understanding of U.S society, culture, institutions, values and policies. The article points out that Twitter as a platform of social media has been successful in promoting public diplomacy across the world. The article states that Twitter diplomacy was successful in Venezuela due to a number of reasons. For instance, the article states that Venezuela is one of the countries with much greater internet penetration in comparison to other countries such as Cuba. Twitter diplomacy has been successful in Venezuela as 19% of internet users in the country use Twitter, thus, making it the country with the third highest Twitter penetration in the world. Venezuela comes after Indonesia and Brazil. The large number of Twitter users in Venezuela has enhanced Twitter diplomacy in the country (Waller, 2007).

Question 7

As discussed in the earlier questions, public diplomacy involves the communication with foreign public with the aim of putting up a dialogue or a venue that is aimed at influencing or informing the public. Public diplomacy is an aspect that has been enhanced by international organizations such as the United Nations. It is worth noting that public diplomacy is one of the reasons behind the political stability and peace that people enjoy around the globe today. Research shows that there are various kinds or rather types of democracy. They include sports diplomacy and political diplomacy among others. However, one important fact that should not be left out is that water is also part of public diplomacy. The question remains how water can be part of public diplomacy. The article Policy Brief: Water and Public Diplomacy tries to discuss and come up with the reasons that make water be considered as part of public diplomacy. Water is natural resource, that although is essential to humankind’s existence, it is increasingly becoming unavailable because of several reasons such as pollution, inadequate conservation programs and mismanagement of water resources. We human beings should accept the fact that water related problems have become global in scope, and despite the struggles and efforts by international bodies to address and solve the issues, public diplomacy  tools must be put together to ensure that this critical topic is tackled and addressed  if water related foreign policies are to be met. The practice of meeting water-related foreign policies is known as water diplomacy. This is the reason why water forms part of public diplomacy. Water is important to the lives of human beings as it used globally for industrial and domestic use. All individuals and all living organism across the globe benefit from water hence the inception of water diplomacy has greatly helped humankind.

Question 8

Public diplomacy has been an issue of debate and concern over the recent years. As a matter of fact, there are a number of efforts and struggles that international organizations such as the United Nations have put in place to ensure that public diplomacy is enhanced across the globe. Public diplomacy has played a great role in changing the images of individuals and how the public think about them. For instance, the article “Tramps vs Sweethearts” tries to come up with the ways and explain how the image of Arab women has changed in US cinema over the years. To start with, it should be noted that the image of Arab women has changed in US cinema over the years. This is due to the fact, unlike before, today examples of stereotypes of Arab women are more difficult to find, as they are largely absent from the cinemas. When they do appear, it is no more flattering than that of their male counterparts. Funnily, if Arab men are seen to appear on screens in cinemas, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is terrorism. Though the American cinemas have given chance to the Arab women, the Arab cinema has still not given a brighter alternative to American women. Instead, the Arab cinemas have given a brighter alternative to their own Arab women. Cinemas have previously and should continue doing more to enhance public diplomacy. In fact, Arab countries should begin using their cinema for public diplomacy. This will make people do away with the common stereotypes such as terrorism by the Arab males, be done away with

Question 9

Public diplomacy is fast becoming an issue of global concern in the modern generation. People are turning towards peaceful and politically stable eras that ensure safety of human kind. A number of leaders across the globe have previously pushed for public diplomacy. For instance, when there were frequent wars and conflicts among the countries in Middle East, the US stepped in and pushed for the end to these conflicts. Described as a major superpower in the modern times, the US has often pushed for ends to conflicts in different ways, one of them being through public diplomacy. Though the country has faced opposition from several countries from the Middle East especially, its efforts have been seen or have been evident in the recent times. The US is one of the countries that often send its military forces to politically heated countries in order to quell the situations. In respect to this, public diplomacy can be defined as the communication often with foreign publics with the aim of ensuring that a dialogue that is designed is designed to inform and influence is designed. The global media have played an integral role in ensuring that public diplomacy is achieved. This is evident in the political stability witnessed in the world today. It is notable that there is peace across the world thanks to the diplomatic relations (Dizard, 2004).

Question 10

Leisure time is spent in various ways across the world. Other individuals spend their leisure time singing, others dancing and others playing football among others. Most of the youths in Abu Dhabi spend their time in the entertainment world and in the internet. Technological developments should be thanked for the introduction of the internet, which has been a platform for many youths and teenagers for communication. The youths in Abu Dhabi spend most of their time communicating with friends overseas or close friends. The social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been on a rampant use globally. Right to information is one of the rights of human beings that have been emphasized by international organizations. However, there are some countries across the world that derail or rather deny their citizens this access to information through social media. A perfect example of a country that has denied its citizens access to social media is China. However, in Abu Dhabi, internet use is high hence social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are the best ways to reach adults in their twenties and early thirties when they are outside work. This is because these individuals often spend much of their leisure time communicating with their colleagues in these platforms. Information passed through social media will reach a number of people and in an effective way (Dizard, 2004)


Dizard, W. P. (2004). Inventing public diplomacy: The story of the U.S. Information Agency. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Waller, J. M. (2007). The public diplomacy reader. Washington, DC: Institute of World Politics Press.