Spring 2010 Course Description

Topics in Global Policy Studies

Section Title: Transforming Public Diplomacy
Instructor(s): Karen Hughes
Course: P A 188G - Topics in Global Policy Studies
Unique Number: 62400
Day & Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.221
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Class will meet 1/25/2010 to 2/22/2010

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

Description: U.S. public diplomacy seeks to inform, engage and affect foreign publics in many different ways and in almost every country in the world. Today’s increasingly interconnected world and its communications environment are dramatically different from the Cold War era when public diplomacy sought to share information with publics in largely closed societies whose people were hungry for outside news. Today, America competes for attention and credibility in a world saturated with information, much of it instant. The Internet, mass availability of satellite television, text messaging and other new communications tools are dramatically changing the environment for public diplomacy.

Foreign views of America are also shaped by many different factors, from our words to our deeds, from our government policies to our private sector practices. We speak with many voices, and our own voices don’t always agree.

This course will take a comprehensive look at the two-way street that is Public Diplomacy, discussing its many tools and practices as well as its many challenges. We’ll look at provocative questions: In today’s information saturated world, should the U.S. government still be in the news business? How can America communicate effectively with so many different voices and often contradictory views in our own country? How has our language, particularly our efforts to define the threat from Al Qaeda, affected foreign views? Should our development assistance and “deeds” be a bigger part of our public diplomacy efforts? Each week will cover different facets of public diplomacy including our efforts to engage, exchange, educate, empower and evaluate public diplomacy.

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