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OAFP 5315 - Communicating Europe to the World : EU's Public Diplomacy in a Time of Change

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Basic knowledge: public diplomacy, communication studies, European studies.

Course Description

This course examines concepts, practices, institutions, and critical issues in public diplomacy of International organizations. We will explore the global debate on its meaning and scope in the context of broader changes of their scopes and actions. The course will focus on European Union' strategies and policies of communication and include the evolving roles of its services and departments of communication and information. We will then focus on the experiences of seasoned public diplomacy practitioners and a growing body of academic and practical literature in International Relations, European Studies and Communication.


TOMESCU-HATTO, Odette (Directrice adjointe du Département des activités internationales)

Pedagogical format

First, we will present the strategies of communication used by/ and the organization and functioning of DG Communication and the DG Press& Information (Council of EU). We will thus analyze the communications tools and the messages sent to the target public/country/group of countries following EU's specific actions (internal & external policies – ie. CSDP missions). Second, in examining the policies and politics of communication of EU the class seeks to assess the transformations of its identity since the end of the 1990s. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to evaluate the way in which EU (through its communications policies and strategies) seeks to create a supportive environment for its actions by informing and influencing the public opinions and external audiences.

Course validation

1) An Oral Presentation (30% of the grade) 2) Each Student has to write one reading sheet (4-5 pages 1.5 spaced) resuming one of the required readings of the week (30%). 3) Class Participation & Discussion (10% of the grade). Participation in this class is extremely important. The class participation grade will derive from regular attendance and everyday discussion and analysis. Please be aware that skipping class (unexcused absences) will impact your grade in this area. 4) Students will be called upon to draft a strategy for EU to be determined in advance (30%), by working in teams to define context, strengths, weaknesses, targets and goals. Team leaders will be designated for four teams (6 students by team). Team leaders will then present public diplomacy strategies for EU.


This is a seminar course. Students will be expected to do the readings in advance and discuss them critically in class and online.

Required reading

  • Simon Anholt, « The importance of national reputation”, in Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World, London, Foreign Commonwealth Office, 2008
  • Geoffrey Cowan & Nicholas J. Cull (eds), Public Diplomacy in A Changing World, Sage Publications, 2008
  • Dov LYNCH, “Communicating Europe to the world: what public diplomacy for the EU?”, EPC Working Paper, No.21, November 2005
  • Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, New York, Public Affairs, 2004
  • Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Public Diplomacy and Soft Power”, in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2008, p. 616-694

Additional required reading

  • Felix Berenskoetter & M.J. Williams (eds), Power in World Politics, London, Routledge, 200
  • Geoffrey Cowan & Nicholas J. Cull (eds), Public Diplomacy in A Changing World, Sage Publications, 2008
  • Richard T. Arndt, The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the 20th Century, Brassey's, Inc., 2004
  • Stefanie Babst, Public Diplomacy: The Art of Engaging and Influencing, Speech for Public Diplomacy Strategy at the NATO PfP Symposium on 22 January 2009, available at:
  • Stefanie Babst, “Reinventing NATO's Public Diplomacy”, Research Paper, NATO Defense College Rome, No.41, November 2008
  • Benjamin R. Barber, “Brand America or America the Beautiful? Public Diplomacy in the Obama Era”, in Public Diplomacy Magazine, November 2008, p. 46-48,
  • Nicholas CULL, American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989: The United States Information Agency and the Cold War, Cambridge University Press, 2007
  • Nicholas CULL, Selling War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995