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Call for Papers: Rethinking Public Dipl...

Conference from April 19-21, 2007 at the Mershon Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

We invite proposals for an academic conference that will form the basis for a planned volume on the theme: Rethinking Public Diplomacy: Toward an International History. Public diplomacy entails using communication methods –propaganda, media, policy initiatives, cultural production, or other means – to achieve desired geopolitical aims. Our goal is to bring together the latest scholarship on public diplomacy from a number of different disciplines and international perspectives, with an eye toward the publication of an edited book that will introduce scholars, graduate students, practitioners, and the general public to the “state of the field” in public diplomacy studies.

Ideally, the book will serve as a launching point for future analyses of public diplomacy. We hope to foster intelligent, historically well-informed dialogue within the academic and policy communities about the potentialities and limits of public diplomacy as both an ingredient of statecraft and an object of scholarly analysis. We are especially interested in exploring the international dimensions of public diplomacy – how nations other than the United States have used public diplomacy as instruments of foreign policy. We also hope to encourage comparisons across geographical and chronological lines. In addition, we hope to address the difficult, but exceedingly important, question of effectiveness: how do we assess the impact and effectiveness of public diplomacy programs? Finally, we hope to search the record of past public diplomacy programs for lessons for the future.

The focus of this project then is neither on one country or one set of countries nor on one era or range of eras; rather the conference and edited book are primarily concerned with the nature of public diplomacy itself, and how scholars have wrestled with integrating it into the historical study of foreign policy, domestic culture, media studies, and the like. As such, the organizers are particularly interested in papers that illuminate and innovatively address some of the common concerns that affect all studies of public diplomacy, such as:

Makers –what actors, aside from national policymakers, have been involved in making public diplomacy? Motivations – what have practitioners of public diplomacy hoped to accomplish? Strategies and Tactics– how have practitioners of public diplomacy sought to achieve their objectives? Methodologies –how can scholars apply different methodologies and theories to analyses of public diplomacy? Effectiveness – how should scholars assess the impact and effectiveness of public diplomacy campaigns?

Essays should go beyond mere narratives of public diplomacy campaigns to assess broad conceptual issues related to the history and analysis of public diplomacy (including but not limited to those cited above). We also welcome papers than discuss historiographical trends, or that analyze the role of the intersection between public diplomacy and the related fields of cultural relations, advertising, public relations, and others.

Since the ultimate objective is an edited book that addresses public diplomacy as a process and phenomenon, case studies are welcome provided that they illuminate fresh approaches in dealing with the process of public diplomacy for understanding international relations. We are keenly interested in exploring the international dimensions of public diplomacy during the 20th century, as well as historical precedents from earlier periods. Although we do welcome papers on the US, we especially encourage papers addressing the public diplomacy of nations other than the United States.

Invited participants will be asked to submit their 30-35 double-spaced page paper approximately one month before the conference is held. In the interest of fostering dialogue, participants will also be asked to provide comments on the paper of a fellow participant. It is anticipated that 10-12 scholars will be invited to present.

Funds are available to compensate participants for travel to the conference and to cover their local accommodations, and perhaps for modest honoraria.

Paper proposals should consist of a brief abstract (no more than 3 pages) and cv (of no longer than 3 pages). In addition to spelling out the parameters of the study, abstracts must address how the proposed project contributes to the conference goals articulated above. Please submit your proposals electronically on or before September 30, 2006 to both: and

Questions should be directed to:

Kenneth Osgood, University College Dublin,

Brian Etheridge, Louisiana Tech University,

Robert McMahon, Ohio State University,

Peter Hahn, Ohio State University,

Funding for the conference is provided by the Mershon Center at the Ohio State University and the American Foreign Policy Center at Louisiana Tech University.

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