(online) = ISSN 2285 – 3642

ISSN-L = 2285 – 3642

Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People

Volume 5, Issue 3, 2016


URL: http://jedep.spiruharet.ro

e-mail: office_jedep@spiruharet.ro



New Public Diplomacy and its Effects on International Level

Elena Gurgu, Aristide Cociuban

Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Economics, 46G Fabricii Street, District 6, Bucharest

Phone: 0213169785, maei_elenagurgu@spiruharet.ro, tedycociuban@yahoo.com


Abstract.The purpose of this article is to make known the new type of public diplomacy and the effects it may have on international scene. The objectives of our article refer to the context of change, the role of the media in public diplomacy, new approaches and elements of public diplomacy, current diplomacy in scientific and technical way and the use of scientific cooperation to improve bilateral relations between countries. 

Keywords: public diplomacy, contemporary diplomacy, soft power, public policy, intergovernmental relations, advocacy

JEL Codes: K2

1.       Introduction

In this article we want to cover issues of public diplomacy through the effects that it spreads internationally. This issue we consider to be of public interest because in recent years a number of changes in the international environment have increased in importance, as the public relations of the foreign ministries, as well as public diplomacy. The contemporary diplomacy is related to the concepts of globalization and the information age [http://publicdiplomacy.org/ http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/]. In this paper we intend to answer that question by following approaches.

First of all, globalization has led to the increased possibility of citizens to access and disseminate information. News cycles have begun to have a duration of 24 hours and the information intended for domestic public began to be mixed with the information intended for foreign audience and vice versa, often no longer distinguish the difference. The Internet has allowed people permanent access to stored information, transmitting this information and even manipulated at will. This leads to widening the target audience of any exercise of public diplomacy at a scale never before seen, resulting in a much larger distance between transmitter and receiver [Guceac, Porcescu: 2010].

Secondly audience around the world is faced with the opportunity to explore and engage in support of positions in a variety of problems due to the explosion in information technology and communications infrastructure, and this creates the possibility of widely citizen activism . Items pertaining to the domestic policy of a state, such as environmental issues, humanitarian, health problems, get to keep foreign policy, while becoming key issues of global security. [Zorzoliu R., Gurgu E: 2015].

Thirdly, the late 80s and early 90s have seen the disappearance of many totalitarian states and the emergence of democratic policy (phenomenon continued today by the Arab Spring), especially in Central and Eastern Europe, which have caused  Francis Fukuyama to declare the "end of history" as time winner of the universal values of liberal democracies.

However, the emergence of a large number of democratic states, along with the Cold War meant a significant increase in global public opinion. In a great extent , the increasingly larger policy choices of states are derived from the ideas and opinions of its citizens, including in foreign policy. This way, it becomes logical the need to grow increasingly the influence of public opinion, related to an actor on the international stage for the leaders of the state that receives communication to become more benevolent, more responsive, more acceptable, compared to the foreign policies of the state transmitter. Also, the nature of imperfect democracies newly established over a large proportion of the world population, coupled with unprecedented access to information, including on the activities of their own government have led to a reduction in the confidence of the population from governments or from the transmitter on official positions, reducing their reliability, which is essential especially for developing successful public diplomacy activities. Thus, in literature, appears the prevalence concept of "new public diplomacy".

2.       Literature References

The term of public diplomacy was first introduced in academia in 1965 by researcher and career diplomat Edmund Guillon, which will establish the Center for Public Diplomacy at the University Edward R. Murrow Tufts. This term was first described in the information material of the Center as "influence public attitudes in the formation and execution of foreign policies. It encompasses dimensions of international relations beyond traditional diplomacy ... [including] the formation of governments, of public opinion in other countries; interaction between private interest groups from different countries; inform the population on international affairs and their influence on domestic policy; communication between those whose function is communication even, as well as diplomats and foreign journalists; (And) the process of intercultural communication."[Dizard Jr. Wilson: 2001]

This term was taken shortly by USIA (United States Information Agency) that handled between 1953 and 1999 the dissemination of information and broadcast media official of the United States of America, taking over the role that Voice of America had since the time of the Second World War. Because their activities were defined in public opinion basically as propaganda, term that had acquired negative connotations, USIA accepted the term of "public diplomacy" as descriptor of his official activity. The US State Department defines public diplomacy as US government-funded programs, designed to inform or influence public opinion abroad [Charles Wolf, Jr., Brian Rosen: 2004].

Hans Tuch defined public diplomacy as represented by "official government efforts to train abroad communication environment in which US foreign policy is conducted to reduce the degree to which misconceptions and errors of perception complicate relations between the U.S. and other nations."[Hans Tuch: 2010]. Objectives and national interests are disclosed to a foreign public through a variety of means, including international programs, cultivating journalists and foreign academics, cultural activities, educational visits and scheduled conferences and publications.

Griffin Malone expanded its definition including the need to understand others as fundamental to the success of public diplomacy. He said: "If we want to have success in our efforts to create understanding for our society and for our policies we must first understand leitmotifs, culture, history and psychology of peoples with whom we want to communicate, and certainly their language."

Public diplomacy, as perceived traditionally, includes:

• governmental support programs in the cultural, educational and informational parts,

• exchanges of citizens,

• programs oriented to informing and influencing foreign audiences.

From the report on US Public Diplomacy we conclude that this is an open exchange of ideas and information, is an inherent characteristic of democratic societies. Its mission is essential to global and foreign policy and is indispensable for the interests of [national] ideals and leadership in the world "[Commission's Report on Public Diplomacy: 1991]

US Congressman Henry Hyde believes that "the role set for our diplomacy public [is] to recruit people of the world in a common cause and to convince them that the objectives towards which tend themselves - freedom, security and prosperity - are the same ones United States tend to promote abroad "[Joseph S. Nye: 2005].

3.       The Changing Context - New Public Diplomacy           

The literature speaks in recent years about the new public diplomacy. Although this term is compatible with previous definitions of public diplomacy, still attract attention to some changes in approach.

A first change is that a growing number of international actors are non-traditional, or NGOs. Information transmission mechanisms have changed in recent years, going to the dissemination of information in real time, mainly due to Internet. The emergence of these new technologies have led to a differentiation increasingly smaller spheres between domestic and international news. Instead of the traditional concepts of propaganda, public diplomacy is used increasingly more concepts derived from marketing such as countrybranding, locationbranding, and concepts of the theory of the communication network, such as occurs a new terminology of public diplomacy, one in which the focus is not about prestige and international image, but on the branding and soft power.

The new public diplomacy is a chuck to the approach of actor- people starting to fall emphasis on people-people communication, international communication in which the actor has the role of facilitator. In this model, the former focusing on communication vertically from top to bottom, is eclipsed and the main task of public diplomacy is to create relationships.

4.       The Role of New Media in Public Diplomacy

Media centralized approach to public diplomacy still has an important role to play in the new public diplomacy, because governments need to correct misrepresentation of their policies, but also to send a strategic message on long term. The main advantage of the approach is far-reaching media exposure and ability to generate media impact in the public consciousness, but the disadvantage is the inability to influence how the message is perceived in different cultures [Cociuban A, Gurgu E: 2015].

Using the media is one of the most effective tools to promote public diplomacy. For someone who despised modernity and globalization, seeking shelter in an Islamic country where television is banned, bin Laden has shown remarkable talent in the field of public diplomacy. Following the September 11 attacks, bin Laden used the Al Jazeera television to communicate their message to two audiences of particular importance to his plans - Western communication media and the general public in the Arab world. Uncensored and unrestricted in any of the countries in which it was received, the signal of Al Jazeera satellite transmitted directly to bin Laden's pleadings about 34 million potential viewers in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Americans watched stupefied as the exclusive channel for material about bin Laden and al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to ensure its superiority in its media achievements to less Western media.

5.       Media and Islam

Local independent media could help open closed societies in the Islamic world who are against democratic culture. The fact that most of the Muslim world opposes many aspects of American policy does not prevent these people to want an independent and pluralistic communication based on objective Western-style journalism. In many Muslim countries, globalization and communication revolution means new opportunities for independent media, journalists and local entrepreneurs who are eager to use them. Even repressive governments will be difficult to resist this pressure because modern media communication are essential gates for globalized economy.

Communication environments are also directly involved in the tumultuous relationships between the Middle East and the USA. Especially young people - and most people in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Iraq that are under 25 - are both seduced and horrified by American culture. The most popular program of MBC's is "Want to Be a Millionaire?" Same young people who shout "Death to America!" are now going home to read pirated copies of Hollywood magazines. What Daryush Shayegan, Iranian philosopher calls "cultural schizophrenia" of Islam - the struggle between tradition and modernity of Western secularized culture, between fundamentalism and globalization - grind souls of many Muslims.

Iran, a country still dominated by fundamentalists clerics, where the judiciary conservative suspended at least 52 publications and sent him to prison on the most direct columnists from 1997 to today, provides a telling example on the growing demand for open environments. This demand for more diversity on media can only increase throughout the Middle East and South Asia as regional radio channels and satellite television will continue to enter the clearance sovereign Muslim countries.

Public diplomacy through the use of media communication may be how the US could attract sympathy by supporting those forces within the Muslim community who strive to create modern democracies and institutionalizing the rule of law. The fact that most of the Muslim world opposes many aspects of American policy does not prevent these people want, while the average independent and pluralistic communication based on objective Western-style journalism.

6.       Public Diplomacy Through the Media - Gateway to Democracy

The experiences of Eastern Europe since 80s and '90s suggest that supporting local independent media plays a vital role in promoting freedom and democracy. When Soviet power was collapsed in the late 1980’s, local pirate stations occupied frequencies, transmitting often unlicensed software or pirating programs on Western satellites or even disseminating tapes obtained by smuggling. In 1989 the first pirate station, Kanal X in Leipzig, East Germany, began transmitting through a transmitter placed on the roof of the Freedom House office after leaving the state television program. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, tens and hundreds of pirate stations have emerged in basements, warehouses and apartment buildings in Eastern European countries and former Soviet Republics. Media revolution began. A non-governmental media organization, Internews, was involved in the battle, creating a network of six independent television in Russia.

American Government aid for independent media came after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, and has grown considerably in the 1990s than 1,600 posts and 30,000 journalists and media professionals have benefited from technical assistance and training programs US financed. More than 12 national television networks were set up after these efforts, totaling over 200 million viewers. As a result, citizens of every city in the former Soviet Union now have a variety of channels from which to choose. In Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic where employment by the broadcasters from around Sarajevo precipitated the civil war in Bosnia, independent radio and television stations supported by the Soros Foundation, USAID, European governments and others played a vital role for the survival of the democratic opposition. Radio stations have resisted harassments that have undergone permanent, presenting alternative views and news from outside the region, making it impossible for Milosevic to control information - and thus the country.

7.       Network Communication for Effective Public Diplomacy

Network communication takes advantage of two-way communication and relationships between people to overcome cultural barriers. This type of decentralization and flexibility is difficult to achieve by governments who blame their inherent centralized structure. So NGOs shows greater flexibility in the use of networks which facilitate the creation of relationships between civil society actors from different countries [Ungureanu A, BraicuC, Ungureanu Ad.:2015].

In this approach to public diplomacy, government policy is oriented towards promoting and participating in cross-border networks, by not controlling them. As we said above, a very strict control of governments or even just an apparent control of governments can undermine the credibility of such networks.

8.       The New Public Diplomacy and Soft Power

A central aspect of the new public diplomacy is the concept of soft power. The term soft power, as we said, was introduced by Joseph Nye at the end of the Cold War and refers to the ability of an actor to get what he wants in the international environment due to the attractiveness of its culture and its values, not because of its military or economicpower [Joseph S. Nye: 2004]. Therefore, public diplomacy may be the mechanism for the use of soft power by promoting cultural values of a state actor, by persuading the population to other actors on the attractiveness of its cultural values.

9.       Approaches and Elements of the New Public Diplomacy

As we mentioned briefly before, in a 2003 article published in the Harvard International Review, Christopher Ross has identified seven pillars followed by the public diplomacy of the United States to fulfill its mandate to "inform, captivate and to influence the "foreign public. [Christopher Ross: 2003]

The first pillar is advocacy for policies in order to support US national interests, with a first part to help foreign audiences understand US policies for  what they are, not what others say they are. Early discussions help to transform public diplomacy in a "series of ad-hoc responses to changing events" by explaining policies, using the general themes, established and consistent messages.

The second pillar is to provide context for US policies to foreign audiences, context-driven cultural principles and values of American society. By prioritizing information disseminated public diplomacy actors should provide the rationale, the reasons for certain foreign policy and explain those reasons in the context of American cultural values.

The third pillar is credibility as a fundamental element in any communication exercise, credibility that stems from the consistent message. General stability should be issued for posts, must be prioritized information and communication campaigns coordinated so as not to contradict the messages between them.

Ross identified the fourth pillar as the ability to tailor the message for different audiences. Because understanding a message depends in good measure a culture receiver, value system, language used, adaptation is essential for the message to be perceived in the same way in different cultures, which derives from the need of the third pillar for consistency the message, not to damage credibility.

The fifth pillar is the role of the media. As more and more people have access to information, public diplomacy is necessary that the message is not provided by a small group of influencers then be disseminated to the public. Such action would lead to a distortion of the final message. It is necessary to use all forms of communication available, national and transnational television, internet, radio, press, to reach a wider audience.

The sixth pillar of American public diplomacy in the acceptance of Ross consists of alliances and partnerships. Given that a variety of non-state actors have an important increasingly higher on the international scene, either directly or indirectly, the US should enter into partnerships with private actors, whether corporations or humanitarian organizations or NGO’s, to reach new audiences. Associating with such actors can also enhance the credibility of the message by officially distancing from a transmitter.

The seventh pillar is dialogue and exchanges, as the basis for the principle of mutual trust and understanding. Listening is an important part of the exercise of public diplomacy in essential communication. One of the most powerful means of implementing dialogue and mutual understanding is the educational and cultural exchanges all sponsored or supervised by the US government each year (approx. a number of 35 000 people in 2014). Such exchanges help propagate the ideas and values of American culture, American culture helping to acquire information about other cultures at the same time.

Ross believes that an approach based on these seven pillars will help the United States to spread universal values of freedom and equality, besides helping to promote the national interest.

In a report prepared for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Great Britain, Nicholas Cull identified six elements of public diplomacy as needed for the best possible promotion of the interests of a nation from this perspective [Nicholas J. Cull: 2009]:

1. Listening , element deliberately chosen as the first of the author, is thought to precede any action of successful public diplomacy. Cull defines listening as an actor approach to manage the international environment by collecting and analyzing data about public and his views and use the data to redirect foreign policy or approach to public diplomacy. An approach centered on this item would bring changes in foreign policy of a state based on public perceptions of target states emitter policy to the state or against the policy itself. The example cited for this item is Switzerland's approach to foreign policy and directions for improving public image.

2.Advocacy, defined here as an actor approach to manage the international environment through international communication to promote a certain element of foreign policy, an idea or general interest of the public that a foreign actor has in mind. This item includes media relations work of embassies and information to enable a better understanding and acceptance. Elements of advocacy are found in all areas of public diplomacy, but it is a dominant feature of American public diplomacy that emphasizes "selling the idea of America."

3. Cultural diplomacy is a major player in approaching the international management, by facilitating cultural broadcasts abroad or by providing information and resources related to the nation's cultural achievements transmitters. Historically, it represents the "export of examples" of culture of a nation.Such approaches are often closely linked with trade diplomacy. This element is traditionally associated with France, which has built an extensive network of educational institutions to support learning French abroad, relying heavily on the notion of survival of Francophony for keeping prestige and influence.

4. Diplomatic exchanges can be defined as an approach to manage an international player by sending own citizens abroad and foreign citizens in the country borders acceptance for a period of study or cultural assimilation. The element of reciprocity is central to this aspect of public diplomacy and builds on the vision of an international learning experiences in which both parties win. Exchanges often overlap with elements of cultural diplomacy, but are also used to promote specific policies such as trade and military cooperation to promote development. Although the US has underway an extensive program of exchanges, this element is not central to their public diplomacy. Japan, in contrast, focused on this element of public diplomacy since the Meiji period of modernization.

5. International issues is an actor approach to manage the international environment by using technologies of mass communication, such as radio, television, Internet, communicate with foreign audiences. Although international trade issues can be considered part of public diplomacy, they are subject to private interests first. Both commercial broadcasts and sponsored by State can affect the environment in which public diplomacy unfolds. Historically, the most potent element of international broadcasting were the news, especially news objectives due to the high degree of credibility. International transmission element is best known element of British public diplomacy, because the enduring influence of the BBC World Services.

6. Cull identify a sixth element of public diplomacy, controversial element, i.e. psychological war. This refers to public communications carried on wartime in enemy country and called propaganda. This propaganda may be "white" when the origin of communication is known or "black" propaganda when communication is of hidden origin, the origin is often presented diametrically opposite to the transmitter.

Although states generally put more emphasis on one of these elements of public diplomacy, the author believes that an ideal of structure would be represented by an incorporation of balanced all elements presented as each element brings its own advantages [Elmer Plischke: 1975] .

In a world which is in full process of change, the expansion of democracy and the nearly global tends are leading to a democratization of relations between states, that is needed primarily of transparency in the adoption of foreign policy in the second row near the front population, to account for the influence of public opinion on political opinion. States can get so close and transparent by giving greater attention to public diplomacy and developing a mix balance in this area.

10.   Technical and Scientific Diplomacy: Part of the New Public Diplomacy

Scientific diplomacy is a comprehensive term that can be used to refer to science in diplomacy, science and science diplomacy [World Science Forum: 2009]. The last form, international scientific cooperation, can be conceptualized as a confluence of scientific goals of access and influence diplomatic goals. Based scientific diplomacy is the common language of science, which helps to dilute the political and cultural differences. In the past, scientific cooperation has helped to establish links between countries were at a politicallyimpasse, parties in conflict are former adversaries. Examples are conclusive: Europe after the Second World War or the Cold War, the US and Japan in the 60s, US-Soviet and US-China in the 70s.

Diplomacy scientific purposes are different and depend on the interests and priorities of states and organizations involved, ranging from solving global challenges, offering mutual insurance security, improving global competitiveness, foster economic development, regional integration, etc. Solving common problems involving science and technologies (water resource management and energy, treat disease, etc.) and topics of regional interest constitute important opportunities for neighbors to work together.

Scientific diplomacy challenges for implementation include:

• the degree of funding and coordination,

• coordinating the foreign policy agenda and scientific cooperation between countries

• asymmetry in capabilities,

• internal opposition and

• identifying partners.

During the Cold War, scientific organizations have established a format for informal discussions on nuclear energy between the US and USSR. Today, science offers an alternative mechanism of cooperation with countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan [The Royal Society: january 2010].

Scientific diplomacy is still a vague concept, although it is considered that this term refers to the role of science and technology policy in three dimensions:

·         Applying scientific expertise in developing foreign policy objectives (science of diplomacy);

·         Facilitate international scientific cooperation (diplomacy for science);

·         Using scientific cooperation to address the bilateral relations between states (for science diplomacy).

Scientific values, such as rationality, transparency and universality are generally accepted prerequisites for trust relationships between different peoples. Science without ideology provides an environment for a free exchange of ideas between staff, irrespective of their religious, national or cultural.For the scientific community, international cooperation means access to qualified human resources, scientific infrastructure developed or new sources of funding. For diplomats, the scientific means of communication networks and channels that can be used to support political endeavors.

History of the concept of diplomacy science has its beginning in 1941, when Charles Galton Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin) was appointed by the British government director of the Office of Science Central Washington in order to collaborate with scientific institutions in the US and facilitate exchange of scientific information. However, the Second World War and the use of the atomic bomb led to a greater involvement of scientists in international business management.

On July 9, 1955, Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein published a manifesto urging the scientists to use all means of political persuasion to neutralize the threat caused by nuclear weapons. As a result, in 1957 it held the first Pugwash Conference on Science and the World Problems. Today, the board at Pugwash are considered to be an important platform for discussion on non-proliferation, international security, arms reduction, receiving the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his merits.

Through other organizations that have influenced the development of diplomacy scientific, we can mention NATO, which created in 1957 a program for scientific cooperation, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR that took place during ' 80 parallel committee on international security and arms control and have created conducive ground for dialogue between the presidents Reagan and Gorbachev.

In 2000, the US administration has set Adviser in science and technology secretary of state, who has the task of strengthening partnerships within the international scientific community, the development of scientific capacity in the Department of State and the identification of scientific developments that may influence US national interests.

Britain created in 2001 a Network in science and innovation, in order to connect science to its external priorities. After eight years, the network had about 90 people in 40 cities in 25 countries. These people working in the British embassy and British scientists facilitates collaboration with the host countries on the edge of a whole range of topics, including energy, climate change and innovation. In 2009, Professor David Clary was appointed senior scientific Adviser of the British Foreign Office.

Japan is also active in this area, policy Japanese identifying four objectives: negotiating the participation of Japanese scientists to international research programs, providing scientific expertise in the development of foreign policy, assistance in creating scientific capacity within countries in developing and using science to Japan's increasing prestige internationally and attracting investments.

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) decided in 2001 to create a scientific diplomacy initiatives to improve scientific and technical advice offering in multilateral negotiations and implementation of the results of these negotiations at national level.

Using scientific cooperation between countries to improve bilateral relations may take the following forms:

1. technical and scientific cooperation agreements, which often signified improving political relations between countries like the US, USSR and China in 70’s and 80’s.

2. Creating new institutions - eloquent example in this respect is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which was created after the end of World War II to rebuild confidence between the countries.

3. Educational Scholarships are considered to be a checked mechanism for networking, and encouraging partnerships.

4. Diplomacy of "second level" that can be used to involve experts from outside in the official process of negotiations. For this process to be effective, experts involved must be credible and influential, and their findings are compelling for the negotiating parties and mediation.

5. Scientific festivals and exhibitions that are considered to be successful forms of enhancing the universality of science and common cultural interests.

From the examples highlighted above lies that, the modern, scientific diplomacy contributes to the priorities of foreign policy, sometimes creating the necessary conditions for the relaunch of bilateral relations between states, technical and scientific diplomacy being part of the new public diplomacy.

11.   Conclusion

The emergence of a large number of democratic countries, with the end of the Cold War meant the growing importance of global public opinion. In a move increasingly greater policy choices of states are derived from the ideas and opinions of its citizens, including foreign policy.

So we see that it becomes logical the need of increasingly more the influence of public opinion tied to an actor on the international stage for the leaders of the state which receives communication and who become more benevolent, more responsive, more acceptable to foreign policies state broadcaster.

Through this work we aimed to inform academia regarding the nature of imperfect democracies newly established over a large proportion of the world population, which, coupled with unprecedented access to information, including on the activities of their own government, took time to a reduction of public confidence towards the government or to the emitters of official positions, reducing their reliability, which is essential especially for the successful holding of public diplomacy.


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