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Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy

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Beata Ociepka

This book analyzes when and how Poland implemented public diplomacy. The author explains it as a form of external political communication of governments conducted in cooperation with non-state actors to position the country internationally. The Polish case illustrates how a mid-size country in Europe attempts to impact the public opinion formation abroad while implementing soft power tools. Since 2004, when Poland joined the EU, the country has used public diplomacy to inform the world about its achievements. Poland’s public diplomacy has been strongly oriented on Europe and shaped by geopolitics. It integrated transmission and network models of communication. The Polish model reflects the relevance of public diplomacy domestic dimension and the focus on foreign politics on memory.

«The book (…) is the first monograph analyzing contemporary Polish public diplomacy written in English, being at the same time a methodologically sound piece of research, based on extensive primary source research.»

Professor Andrzej Mania, Chair of American Studies and the History of Diplomacy and International Politics, Jagiellonian University

«An excellent case study of public diplomacy. Ociepka systematically analyzed the Polish utilization of key public diplomacy instruments including cultural diplomacy, branding and Twiplomacy, and properly placed them within historical and theoretical contexts.»

Professor Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

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1. Introduction

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“Don’t Panic. We are from Poland” (Don’t Panic, 2016)

1.   Introduction

The title of this book intentionally goes back to a report on public diplomacy in 2013–2014 entitled New Ways of Diplomacy, which was published by Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 2015. At the time of its release, Poland had achieved a good position within the European Union (EU) as a credible and reliable political partner with a sound economy. This was at least partly because of the smart implementation of the New Way of public diplomacy in Poland’s foreign policy.

Public diplomacy (PD) is not a new field in international studies and international communication, but in the last twenty years it gained considerable popularity in research and became a fashionable tool of foreign policy that has been implemented worldwide. Even the neorealists started to realize that states can implement not only military and economic power, but can also activate their soft assets to improve their security (Andrei and Rittberger, 2015: 16). Thus, the theoretical models that attempt to introduce frames for the analysis of public diplomacy have largely been developed by the neoliberal school in international relations. In international communication research, public diplomacy is nowadays understood as a new paradigm, replacing – or following – cultural imperialism. Indeed, some researchers and practitioners equate public diplomacy not only with propaganda, but also with cultural imperialism.

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