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DAFF 2920A - Competing for Influence: A Comparison of Soft Power and Public Diplomacy Models in World Politics

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The global competition for influence has led many countries – both democratic and authoritarian – to diversify their foreign policy apparatus to increase their soft power, enhance their potential of attraction, portray a more positive national image or broadcast their voices and narratives abroad. This process consisted in the development of various instruments of public diplomacy, like cultural institutes, branding agencies, think tanks, NGOs or international mass media. It has included many types of initiatives, such as the creation of the Alliance française in the 1880's, the foundation of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1961 or the launching of Russia's international TV channel RT in 2005. This course intends to underline the highly competitive nature of a soft-power-based global environment: first, by providing students with a better understanding of the conceptual framework of public diplomacy studies (soft power, nation branding, cultural diplomacy, mediated public diplomacy, non-state public diplomacy, etc.); secondly, by acquainting them – in a comparative perspective – with its various interpretations and practical applications throughout the world.


AUDINET, Maxime (PhD student)

Course validation

Oral presentation (10 minutes – 25%) Collective discussion of RQ (15 min. – 25 %) Final paper in form of an argumentative essay based on a case study, including the course's conceptual framework and references and personal research (20 000 characters – 35 % – the topic must be chosen on week 4 and the paper shall be submitted on week 11) Attending, active and regular participation in collective discussions (15 %)


Each session will be organized as follows: 1/ Introduction by the teacher. 2/ Oral presentation by 2 or 3 students (10 min. each max.), who will present and compare two or several specific soft power's policies, mechanisms or instruments. 3/ Questions, discussion and debate with the class. 4/ Critical discussion of a research question, by relying on the weekly readings (team work, 2 students, 15 min.) 5/ Debate with the class. The weekly readings are mandatory for everyone. Questions may be asked arbitrarily by the teacher during the discussions.

Required reading

  • MELISSEN, Jan (dir.), The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations, Londres, Palgrave MacMillan, 2005, 221 p.
  • NYE, Joseph S. Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, New York PublicAffairs, 2004, 192 p.
  • NYE, Joseph S. Jr., The Future of Power, New York, PublicAffairs, 2011, 298 p.
  • ANG, Ien, ISAR, Yudhishtir Raj, MAR, Phillip, « Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest », in International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 21, n°4, 2015, p. 365-381
  • ANHOLT, Simon, Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions, Londres, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, 134 p..

Additional required reading

  • ANHOLT, Simon, Places: Identity, Image and Reputation, Londres, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 168 p.
  • ARONCZYK, Melissa, Branding the Nations: The Global Business of National Identity, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, 256 p.
  • ARQUILLA, RONFELDT D. (1999), The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward an American Information Strategy, Santa Monica, RAND Corporation, 125 p.
  • BETSILL, Michelle M., CORELL, Elisabeth, NGO Diplomacy: The Influence of Nongovernmental Organizations in International Environmental Negotiations, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2007, 224 p.
  • BIALLY MATTERN, Janice, « Why ‘Soft Power' Isn't So Soft: Representational Force and the Sociolinguistic Construction of Attraction in World Politics », in Millenium – Journal of International Studies, n°3, vol. 33, n°3, 2005, p. 583-612
  • BJOLA, Corneliu, HOLMES, Marcus (dir.), Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, New York, Routledge, 2015, 238 p.
  • BÖRZEL, Tanja A., RISSE, Thomas, « The Transformative Power of Europe: The European Union and the Diffusion of Ideas, in KFG Working Papers, Freie Universität Berlin, n° 1, Mai 2009, 29 p.
  • CLARKE, David, « Theorising the role of cultural products in cultural diplomacy from a Cultural Studies perspective », in International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 22, n°2, 2016, p. 147-163
  • CULL N. J. (2008), “Public Diplomacy: Taxonomies and Histories”, in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 616, n°1, p. 31-54
  • CULL N. J. (2009), “Public Diplomacy before Gullion”, in SNOW, Nancy, TAYLOR, Philip M., Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, New York, Routledge, chapter 3, p. 19-23
  • DINNIE, Keith, City Branding: Theory and Cases, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 239 p.
  • DINNIE, Keith, Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice, London, Routledge, 2015, 306 p.
  • ENTMAN, Robert M., “Theorizing mediated public diplomacy: The U.S. case”, in Press/Politics, vol. 13, n°2, 2008, p. 87–102
  • FAN, Ying, « Branding the Nation: What is Being Branded? », in Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 12, n° 5, 2006, p. 5-14
  • FAN, Ying, “Branding the nation: Towards a better understanding”, in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol. 6, n°2, 2010, p. 97-103
  • GAMLEN, Alan, « Diaspora Engagement Policies: What Are They, And What Kind of States Use Them? », in University of Oxford's COMPAS' Working Paper, n°32, 2006, p. 31 p.
  • GILBOA, Eytan, “Media Diplomacy: Conceptual Divergences and Applications”, in Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 3, n°3, 1998, P. 56-75
  • GILBOA E. (2009), “Media and Conflict Resolution: A Framework for Analysis”, in Marquette Law Review, vol. 93, n°1, p. 87-110
  • GILBOA E., GABRIELSEN JUMBERT M., MIKLIAN J., ROBINSON P. (2016), “Moving media and conflict studies beyond the CNN effect”, in Review of International Studies, p. 1-19
  • HOFFMAN F. G. (2007), Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Wars, Arlington, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 72 p.
  • HOLDEN, John, « Influence and attraction: culture and the race for soft power in the 21st century », London, British Council, 2013, 39 p.
  • JAFFRELOT, Christophe, New Dehli et le monde : Une puissance émergente entre realpolitik et soft power, Paris, Autrement, 2008
  • KAVARAZIS, Mihalis, “From City Marketing to City Branding: Towards a theoretical framework for developing city brands”, in Place Branding, vol. 1, n°1, 2004, p. 58-73
  • LA PORTE, Teresa, “The Legitimacy and Effectiveness of Non-State Actors and the Public Diplomacy Concept”, in Public Diplomacy and Conceptual Issues, ISA Annual Convention, April 2012, 13 p.
  • LEE, Geun, AYHAN, Kadir, “Why Do We Need Non-state Actors in Public Diplomacy?: Theoretical Discussion of Relational, Networked and Collaborative Public Diplomacy”, in Journal of International and Area Studies, vol. 22, n°1, 2015, p. 57-77
  • LEONARD, Mark, « Public Diplomacy », in The Foreign Policy Centre, 2002, 101 p.
  • LORD, Carnes, Losing Hearts and Minds? Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence in the Age of Terror, Westport, Praeger Security International, 2006, 152 p.
  • MALONE, Gifford D., Political Advocacy and Cultural Communication: Organizing the Nation's Public Diplomacy, Lanham, University Press of America, 1988, 178 p.
  • MANHEIM, Jarol B., Strategic Public Diplomacy and American Foreign Policy: The Evolution of Influence, New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994, 224 p.
  • LIVINGSTON, Steven, « Clarifying the CNN Effect: An Examination of Media Effects According to Type of Military Intervention », in Research Paper of the Joan Shorenstein Center of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, n°18, Juin 1997, 19 p.
  • MONROE, Alice V. (dir.), China's Foreign Policy and Soft Power Influence, New York, Nova Science Publishers, 2010, 189 p.
  • NYE, Joseph S. Jr., Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, New York, Basic Books, 1990, 308 p.
  • NYE, Joseph S. Jr., « Public Diplomacy and Soft Power », in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, n°616, Mars 2008, p. 94-109
  • NYE, Joseph S. Jr., « The Information Revolution and Power », in Current History, vol. 113, n°759, Janvier 2014, p. 19-22
  • PARKER, Holt N., “Toward a Definition of Popular Culture”, in History and Theory, vol. 50, n°2, 2011, p. 147-170
  • PASCHALIDIS, Gregory, « Exporting national culture: histories of Cultural Institutes abroad », in International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 15, n°3, Août 2009, p. 275-289
  • POTTER, Evan, Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power through Public Diplomacy, Montreal, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009, 464 p.
  • PRICE, Monroe E., “Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of International Broadcasting”, in Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal, vol. 21, n°1, 2003, p. 51-85
  • ROSELLE, Laura, MISKIMMON, Alister, O'LOUGHLIN, Ben, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order, New York, Routledge, 2013, 224 p.
  • ROSELLE, Laura, MISKIMMON, Alister, O'LOUGHLIN, Ben, « Strategic Narrative: A New Means to Understand Soft Power », in Media, War & Conflict, vol. 7, n°1, 2014, p. 70-84
  • SCHNEIDER, Cynthia P., « Cultural Diplomacy: Hard to Define, but You'd Know It If You Saw It », in The Brown Journal of World Affairs, vol. 13, n°1, 2006, p. 191-203
  • SHEAFER, Tamir, SHENHAV Shaul .R., “Mediated Public Diplomacy in a New Era of Warfare”, in The Communication Review, 2009, vol. 12, n°3, p. 272-283
  • THUSSU, Daya Kishan, Communicating India's Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood, New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013, 227 p.
  • TUCH, Hans N., Communicating with the World: US Public Diplomacy Overseas, New York, St Martin's Press, Institute for the Study of Public Diplomacy, 1990, 224 p.
  • WANG, Jian (dir.), Soft power in China: Public Diplomacy through Communication, New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011, 208 p..
  • WOJCIUK, Anna, MICHALEK, Maciej, STORMOWSKA, “Education as a source and tool of soft power in international relations”, in European Political Science, 2015, 20 p.