International Trust and Public Diplomacy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Countries struggle to find ways to be perceived as trustworthy by people around the world because trust is linked to efficiency, business opportunities and political influence. Social trust is also important for democracy to function. A central concept in this paper is International Trust as described by Brewer, Gross, Aday and Willnat (2004). The paper is based on case studies of five Public Diplomacy activities: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s letter in The Washington Post (2013); Denmark’s trust-building effort in Pakistan following the so-called “Muhammad crisis” (from 2010); The British Council’s strategy for trust-building in China (2012); Russian President Vladimir Putin’s letter in The New York Times (2013), and the USA’s trust-building effort in Turkey (from 2006). The best results have been obtained where Public Diplomacy has been linked to successful traditional diplomacy at state-level (Iran) or has created a framework for people-to-people relations (Denmark, UK and USA). A backlash was experienced in the case where a foreign state leader patronized the national leader (Russia). In all cases, respect for people in other countries despite differences in culture seems fundamental for a Public Diplomacy initiative to succeed. From a social responsible perspective journalists may have a role to play in creating international trust, and Public Diplomacy staffs consider it already important
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateAug 2014
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
EventAEJMC - Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 6 Aug 20149 Aug 2014


LocationLe Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel

Bibliographical note

The revised, final, definitive version of this paper is expected to be published in the International Communication Gazette, volume 77, by Sage Publication Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright Kirsten Mogensen.


  • Public Diplomacy
  • International trust
  • Iran
  • Russia
  • British Council
  • Pakistan

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