International Public Relations: Perspectives from deeply divided societies (Hardback) book cover

International Public Relations

Perspectives from deeply divided societies

Edited by Ian Somerville, Owen Hargie, Maureen Taylor, Margalit Toledano

© 2017 – Routledge

260 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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International Public Relations: Perspectives from deeply divided societies is positioned at the intersection of public relations (PR) practice with socio-political environments in divided, conflict and post-conflict societies. While most studies of PR focus on the activity as it is practiced within stable democratic societies, this book explores perspectives from contexts that have tended to be marginalized or uncharted.

Presenting research from a diverse range of societies still deeply divided along racial, ethnic, religious or linguistic lines, this collection engages with a variety of questions including how PR practice in these societies may contribute to our understanding of PR theory building. Importantly, it highlights the role of communication strategies for actors that still deploy political violence to achieve their goals, as well as those that use it in building peace, resolving conflict, and assisting in the development of civil society.

Featuring a uniquely wide range of original empirical research, including studies from Israel/Palestine, Mozambique, Northern Ireland, former Yugoslavia, former Czechoslovakia, Spain, Malaysia and Turkey, this groundbreaking book will be of interest not only to scholars of public relations, but also political communication, international relations, and peace and conflict studies.

With a Foreword by Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Editor of The Global Public Relations Handbook


The supply for knowledge on international public relations has certainly not kept pace with the increased demand from practice. So, every attempt to add to the body of knowledge should be welcomed with enthusiastic support. This volume goes beyond that basic need by setting new vistas for future studies with the goal of expanding horizons. All those who are passionate about global public relations should applaud every such attempt at building a holistic and comprehensive body of knowledge that will also have relevance to practice. - From the Foreword by Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Purdue University, USA

'This is an important contribution to public relations scholarship as it strongly positions the field outside the liberal democratic and corporatist norm, with emphasis on dialogue in divided societies supported by national and situational case studies.' - Tom Watson, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University, UK

'This book opens up ways of seeing how public relations and communication operates in complex, fraught environments where the idea of setting clear objectives, targeting audiences, delivering slick messages, are continually undermined by the fluid contexts of conflict and division. It will be an important addition to the growing body of work on public relations beyond the organisational context.' - Lee Edwards, Associate Professor, Communication Studies and PR, University of Leeds, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Public Relations in Deeply Divided Societies (Ian Somerville, Owen Hargie, Maureen Taylor, Margalit Toledano) 2. Nation Building in the Former Yugoslavia: A Twenty-Year Retrospective to Understand How Public Relations Rebuilds Relationships in Divided Societies (Maureen Taylor and Michael Kent) 3. Dialogue with the Enemy: Lessons for Public Relations on Dialogue Facilitation Drawn From the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Margalit Toledano) 4. Making Sense of Communication in Societies Divided By Terrorism: Lessons from Northern Ireland (Owen Hargie and Pauline Irving) 5. ‘Deliberative Democracy and Government Public Relations in a Deeply Divided Society: Exploring the Perspectives of Government Information Officers in Northern Ireland.’ (Ian Somerville and Charis Rice) 6. The Entity-Agent-Framework As A Starting Point For International Public Relations And Public Diplomacy Research (Diana Ingenhoff, Alexander Buhmann) 7. Catalonia’s Public Diplomacy and Media Relations Strategy. The Case Study of ‘Eugeni Xammar Programme’ On International Communication and Public Relations (Jordi De San Eugenio, Xavier Ginesta and Jordi Xifra) 8. Government Communication in Mozambique: The Open Presidencies of Armando Guebuza as a Public Relations Strategy to Strengthen National Identity (Stélia Neta J. Mboene and Gisela Gonçalves) 9. ‘1Malaysia "People First, Performance Now": A Critical Perspective on the Nation Building Approach in Malaysia’s Government Public Relations’ (Zeti Azreen Ahmad and Syed Arabi Idid) 10. Propaganda in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s: Life in a Ritualised Lie (Denisa Hejlová and David Klimeš) 11. Bipolar Attitudes in Turkish Political PR: The Kurdish Question (İlker Bıçakçı, Pelin Hürmeriç and A. Banu Bıçakçı) 12. Computer-Mediated Public Relations of Ethno-Nationalist Terrorist Groups (Liane Rothenberger)

About the Editors


Owen Hargie

Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Learn more about Owen Hargie >>

Ian Somerville is a Reader in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK.

Owen Hargie is Professor of Communication at Ulster University, UK.

Maureen Taylor is Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information, at the University of Tennessee, USA.

Margalit Toledano, APR, is a senior lecturer of Management Communication at the Waikato Management School, New Zealand.

About the Series

Routledge New Directions in Public Relations & Communication Research

Current academic thinking about PR and related communication is a lively, expanding marketplace of ideas and many scholars believe that it’s time for its radical approach to be deepened. Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research is the forum of choice for this new thinking. Its key strength is its remit, publishing critical and challenging responses to continuities and fractures in contemporary PR thinking and practice, tracking its spread into new geographies and political economies. It questions its contested role in market-orientated, capitalist, liberal democracies around the world, and examines its invasion of all media spaces, old, new, and as yet unenvisaged. The New Directions series has already published and commissioned diverse original work on: PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation building; its origins in the history of ideas; a Jungian approach to its ethics and professionalism; global perspectives on its professional practice; PR as an everyday language for everyone; as emotional labour; as communication in conflicted societies, and its relationships to cooperation, justice and paradox. We actively invite new contributions and offer academics a welcoming place for the publication of their analyses of a universal, persuasive mind-set that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General