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Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy


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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11. Conclusion


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11.   Conclusion

When this book was almost finished, Poland celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Polish–German Treaty on Good Neighborship and Friendly Cooperation from 1991. On this occasion, the ISP – the Polish think tank to which I often refer, and used its research in my study – published a report on Polish–German perceptions. The report revealed that as the effect of the change of government in Poland in 2015 had a profound change on the messages sent by Polish political elites abroad, the once-bolstered image of Poland as a reliable partner and a normal state started to fade. At the beginning of 2016, Poland’s perception troubles mounted. The European Commission declared that it would launch the first-ever rule-of-law review against Poland and initiated a legal action over poor air quality. In 2015, the next discursive change in Poland took place with its October 2015 elections, giving the current study a historical character.

The objective of this book was to analyze the case of Poland as a medium-sized state striving for the position of a regional middle power. Between 2004 and 2015, Poland purposefully developed the New Public Diplomacy to compensate for its lack of hard assets. As the institutional analysis revealed, in around 2015, the emerging middle power had a set of governmental institutions, linked closely to their domestic stakeholders, which constituted a network of public diplomacy. Returning to the questions asked in the book’s introduction, the model was close to...

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