International trust and public diplomacy

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National leaders struggle to communicate in ways that are perceived as trustworthy by citizens of other nations because trust is linked to efficiency, business opportunities, and political influence. In this article, four recent public diplomacy activities are analyzed from a trust-building perspective: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's letter in The Washington Post, The British Council's strategy for trust building in China, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin's letter in The New York Times, and the USA's trust-building effort in Turkey. The analyses are based on already publicized descriptions of public diplomacy activities, public polls, and scholarly literature. Public diplomacy ideas discussed include lightshow, hand-on cooperation, win-win projects, and the creation of frameworks for self-expression. A central concept is international trust as described by Brewer, Gross, Aday, and Willnat. Based on the analysis it is suggested to amend the concept, to distinguish between trust in foreign people and trust in foreign governments.
TidsskriftInternational Communication Gazette
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)315-336
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 1 jun. 2015

Bibliografisk note

Online first version to be printed later. The published paper is a revised version of a paper presented to the three conferences listed below. The version presented to AEJMC is up-loaded separately (embargo due to copyright). Thanks to the reviewers suggestions, the printed version is very different from the conference paper that was first submitted to the journal.


  • British Council
  • International trust
  • strategic communication
  • Hassan Rouhani
  • People-to-people diplomacy
  • Public diplomacy
  • trust building
  • US-Turkey relations
  • Young filmmakers
  • Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program

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