The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy : Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere book cover
1st Edition

The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy
Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere

Edited By

Colin R. Alexander

ISBN 9780367343460
Published May 31, 2021 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

This edited volume provides one of the most formidable critical inquiries into public diplomacy’s relationship with hegemony, morality and power. Wherein, the examination of public diplomacy’s ‘frontiers’ will aid scholars and students alike in their acquiring of greater critical understanding around the values and intentions that are at the crux of this area of statecraft.

For the contributing authors to this edited volume, public diplomacy is not just a political communications term, it is also a moral term within which actors attempt to convey a sense of their own virtuosity and ‘goodness’ to international audiences. The book thereby provides fascinating insight into public diplomacy from the under-researched angle of moral philosophy and ethics, arguing that public diplomacy is one of the primary vehicles through which international actors engage in moral rhetoric to meet their power goals.

The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy is a landmark book for scholars, students and practitioners of the subject. At a practical level, it provides a series of interesting case studies of public diplomacy in peripheral settings. However, at a conceptual level, it challenges the reader to consider more fully the assumptions that they may make about public diplomacy and its role within the international system.

Table of Contents


Colin R. Alexander

Part 1: The First Frontier: Understanding Public Diplomacy

1. Hegemony, Morality and Power: A Gramscian Theoretical Framework for Public Diplomacy

Colin R. Alexander

2. Communications Technologies and Public Diplomacy: A History of the Tools of Statecraft

Gary D. Rawnsley

3. Education Beyond Borders: Explaining the Frontiers of Public Diplomacy’s Core

Molly Bettie

Part 2: The Second Frontier: Early Public Diplomats and their Innovations during the Collapse of Colonialism

4. Hegemonic Communications with Colonial Subjects: British Public Diplomacy in Colonial India

Colin R. Alexander

5. Colonial Subjects as Hegemonic Actors: V.S. Srinivasa Sastri's 1922 Public Diplomacy Tour of British Dominion Territories

Vineet Thakur 

6. Non-governmental Public Diplomacy Networks: The Indian National Congress and US Public Opinion, 19141947

Sarah E. Graham

Part 3: The Third Frontier: Emergent Forces in Contemporary Public Diplomacy

7. China's "Exceptional" Public Diplomacy: Dressing Up the Dragon

Benjamin Tze Ern Ho

8. India’s Public Diplomacy Re-posturing: The BJP’s use of Yoga within its Political Communications

Alexander E. Davis

9. Cities as Public Diplomacy Actors: Combining Moral "Good" with Self-interest

Sohaela Amiri & Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi

Part 4: The Fourth Frontier: Public Diplomacy at the Edge of the World

10. Public Diplomacy at the Top of the World: Sub-state Communications between Russia’s North-west and its European Neighbours

Alexander Sergunin

11. Outsourcing Public Diplomacy Operations: Neoliberalism and the Communications of the United Nations since the End of the Cold War

Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob

12. Public Diplomacy on the Frontiers of Madness: North Korea and the Hegemonic Coalition

Colin R. Alexander

13. Conclusions

Colin R. Alexander

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Colin R. Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications at Nottingham Trent University, UK. His expertise surrounds propaganda and public diplomacy and the role of strategic communications in the interplay of world politics. He has particular interests in the politics of East Asia, colonialism, moral philosophy and in philanthropy studies. He is the author of China and Taiwan in Central America: Engaging Foreign Publics in Diplomacy (2014) and Administering Colonialism and War (2019).


"A provocative collection of essays that will challenge and redefine critical scholarship on public diplomacy."

James Pamment, Senior Lecturer, Lund University

"In an era in which public diplomacy is essential to any international actor's success and even survival on the world stage, Colin Alexander has drawn together a terrific collection of essays on its theory and practice. Alexander's own excellent work is front and center. With an engaging mix of established and emerging scholars and a resolutely global perspective this book pushes back against the field's habitual focus on the US and UK. It reveals a set of practices which remain, to a frustrating extent, untapped. Actors considered include India, Russia and North Korea; issues include educational exchange, new technology and the out-sourcing to private contractors. Great questions and challenging answers abound. This is a book for scholars, and practitioners to read and consider with care."

Nicholas J. Cull, Professor of Communication, USC

"Every reading in this rich and very diverse collection of studies brings an original and critical perspective to what the scholars suggest has become a very normative, positive picture of state-centric public diplomacy. The contributors challenge comfortable notions of what public diplomacy can do to promote appealing narratives or images, and raise uncomfortable but necessary questions about power, hegemony, and counter-hegemony, ethics and morality buried within public diplomacy scholarship and practice."

R.S. Zaharna, American University