module specification

GI6007 - Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Public Diplomacy and Global Communication
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
54 hours Guided independent study
246 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay
Coursework 50%   Report
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This cutting-edge module explores one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding fields of contemporary diplomatic studies and an area which has seen a wide variety of innovations in state practice in recent decades. As public opinion has come to be seen as increasingly influential and important in world politics, states and other international actors have rediscovered public and cultural diplomacy, a form of diplomatic practice in which states engage with publics both abroad and at home. Due to changes in global communications, this form of diplomacy is undergoing rapid change, which makes it especially interesting and important.
The module examines the changing nature of public and cultural diplomacy in the context of the evolution of global political communications. It explores the nature of international political communication, evaluating key concepts such as propaganda, place branding and strategic communications, and examines the role of culture in world politics more broadly, including media such as film and the internet, as well as key actors such as celebrity diplomats. It explores competing definitions and interpretations of public and cultural diplomacy, along with how their practice has changed in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War.
This is a practically-oriented module which will ensure equitability in student learning experiences towards the overall degree qualification. . Blended learning is encouraged in the classroom through the use of multimedia and internet resources. This is complimented by students gaining experience of the nature of contemporary public diplomacy and international political communication through visits to embassies, guest lectures by serving or former public diplomats, and role-play exercises and simulations.

Prior learning requirements

GI5005;GI5006; GI5062


Exploring public diplomacy, strategic communications, nation branding and propaganda; the origins and evolution of public and cultural diplomacy;  the conceptual analysis of  the new public diplomacy; public diplomacy and soft power, national branding, the roles of diplomatic institutions and non-state actors in public diplomacy. LO1

The evolving nature of international political communication; the globalisation of communications;  the media and information society’s role in representing diplomacy and conflict; the setting of the media and communications agenda by states, international organisations and NGOs; celebrity diplomacy and goodwill ambassadors. LO2,LO3

The challenges of public diplomacy after 9/11; the public diplomacy of specific states and organisations, such as the US, UK, Canada, China and the EU. LO2,LO3

Employability Enhancement – researching and writing assessments based on on-line materials, primary and secondary sources. LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching will comprise weekly lectures and seminars. The seminar will involve small group discussions, debates and group work. There will also be a small number of simulations and role-play activities exploring the nature of negotiation and practical strategies that can be employed.  
The module makes extensive use of blended learning, including full use of the dedicated BlackBoard site for the module, including interactive use of the mail and discussion tools, lecture PowerPoint slides, full reading lists with hyperlinks, and scanned copies of key texts not otherwise electronically available; and frequent emails from the tutor.
Reflective and independent learning will be encouraged through reflective report planning, practical activities and the regular interactive lectures and seminar discussions. Students will be required to attend all classes, to engage in the set activities, to prepare in advance by attempting assigned readings, to complete coursework ahead of deadlines and to collect marked work and act on the feedback they receive.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Evaluate the major theoretical and conceptual perspectives on public diplomacy and international political communication for syllabus knowledge.
2. Apply their resulting analytical expertise to write and comment with authority on the subject of public diplomacy and global communication for assessment.
3. Develop effective transferable skills in writing, the presentation of ideas, time management and competence in defining academic analysis in a logical and coherent manner for degree progression.

Assessment strategy

Coursework 50%   Essay (2500 words) -
Coursework 50%  
Report (3000 words)

Formative Feedback: Submission of report plans at end of Autumn term (x1) and in Spring term (x1) to receive comments within one week of submission. Dialogue is promoted for a shared understanding of academic judgements and marking criteria is provided for students to develop skills for good practice. This feedback is timely, constructive and developmental

           Summative Feedback: Submission of essay/report and returned with marks comments     via Turnitin within two weeks of submission. Deadlines, marking and moderating processes are communicated via weblearn and within lectures/classes.



Core Text:

Arndt, R. (2007)The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books.
Bound, K., R. Briggs, J. Holden and S. Jones (2007)Cultural Diplomacy. London: Demos
Clingendael Diplomatic Studies Programme:
Constantinou, C. P.Kerr and P. Sharp (2016), The Sage Handbook of Diplomacy.London: Sage.
Cowan, G. and N. Cull (eds) (2008) Public Diplomacy in a Changing World. London: Sage
Finn, H. (2003) ‘The Case for Cultural Diplomacy.’Foreign Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 6
Herman, E. S. and N. Chomsky (1988)Manufacturing Consent. New York: Pantheon Books.
Leonard, M. (2002)Public Diplomacy. London: Foreign Policy Centre Melissen, J. (ed.), The New Public Diplomacy. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Pigman, G. and A. Deos (2008) ‘Consuls for Hire: Private Actors, Public Diplomacy.’Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 4, No. 1
Pigman , G. (2010) . Contemporary Diplomacy: Representation and communication in the global world . Cambridge : Polity
Savingy, H. (2017) Political Communication: A critical introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Snow, N. and P. Taylor (eds) (2009)The Routledge Public Diplomacy Handbook. London: Routledge

Other Texts:

Alleyne, M. D. (2003)Global Lies? Propaganda, the UN and the World Order. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cooper, A. F. (2008)Celebrity Diplomacy. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
Iosifidis, P., & Wheeler, M. (2016)Public spheres and mediated social networks in the western context and beyond. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Taylor, P. M. (1997)Global Communications: International Affairs and the Media since 1945. London: Routledge.
Tsaliki, L. A. Huliaras and C. A. Frangonikolopoulos (eds) (2011) Transnational Celebrity Activism in Global Politics Changing the World? Bristol: Intellect
USC Center on Public Diplomacy:
Wheeler, M. (2011) ‘Celebrity Diplomacy: United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace.’Celebrity Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1.
Wheeler, M. 2013: Celebrity Politics.: Image and Identity in Modern Political Communications Cambridge: Polity.

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.
Celebrity Studies.
Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy.

USC Center on Public Diplomacy: