Spring 2010 Course Description

Policy Research Project

Section Title: Public Diplomacy
Instructor(s): Kenneth Matwiczak
Course: P A 682GB - Policy Research Project
Unique Number: 62325
Day & Time: Thursdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.316
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This project proposes to attempt an assessment (both qualitative and also quantitative) of the correlation between Public Diplomacy (PD) resource levels and programming, on the one hand, and PD outcomes (e.g., favorability ratings toward the United States – or perhaps some other metric(s)?) on the other. The basic research question would be: Is there, or is there not, a correlation between the public diplomacy activities of the U.S. government and how the public in the given theater of operation actually views U.S. policy and the United States more broadly? At present, the basic metric of effectiveness of US Government PD programming is the “anecdote”. Only in the last two or three years has the Department of State started to think about how we measure effectiveness of PD efforts in a meaningful way. – e.g., with some attempts to use surveys and control groups, etc., and try to isolate out the actual impact, to the degree it can be disaggregated and discerned, of US PD programming on foreign views of our country. But, a reliable model for how to do this has not yet been developed. Students in this project would draw on problem-framing, policy analysis, and quantitative methodology skills to attempt to develop such a model for the US Department of State.

During the course of this project, we hope to address topics such as:


The project may involve travel to a few international locations, depending on funding availability, timing, etc. The project will also produce a publishable report for the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. Students will be provided the opportunity to present, in person, project results to the Advisory Commission, and other distinguished guests, at various points in the project. This will be a “student-led” project, with guidance and expectations provided by the instructor and the client, (the Advisory Commission).

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