U.S. Public Diplomacy & Barack Obama: Change or Continuity?

by Philip Conway
[www.circlingsquares.blogspot.com]

U.S. Public Diplomacy & Barack Obama: Change or Continuity?

Table of Contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS............................................................................................................................ II ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................................. II 1: INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 1 TRAUMA AND RESPONSE........................................................................................................................2 ‘CHANGE’...................................................................................................................................................6 CONCLUSIONS ..........................................................................................................................................9 2: WHAT IS PUBLIC DIPLOMACY? ...............................................................................10 THE PRACTICE........................................................................................................................................10 THE PHRASE............................................................................................................................................11 Definitions.................................................................................................................................11 Genesis .....................................................................................................................................11 THE THEORY ..........................................................................................................................................13 Soft Power .................................................................................................................................13 Two ‘Schools’ .............................................................................................................................15 CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................................................................17 3: WHAT IS TO BE DONE? ............................................................................................18 HISTORIO-GRAPHY ................................................................................................................................18 THE ARBITRARY SIGN...........................................................................................................................19 GENEALOGY ...........................................................................................................................................20 4: GENEALOGY................................................................................................................21 REPRESENTATION .................................................................................................................................22 Etymology..................................................................................................................................22 17th Century ..............................................................................................................................23 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................27 DIPLOMACY.............................................................................................................................................28 Etymology..................................................................................................................................28 17th Century ..............................................................................................................................29 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................33 PUBLIC/S..................................................................................................................................................34 Etymology..................................................................................................................................34 17th Century ..............................................................................................................................35 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................38 PROPAGANDA .........................................................................................................................................38 Etymology..................................................................................................................................38 17th Century ..............................................................................................................................39 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................41 5: CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................................41 STATES......................................................................................................................................................41 PUBLIC/S..................................................................................................................................................43 AUTHORS .................................................................................................................................................46 SUMMATION ............................................................................................................................................51 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................... 55

Table of Figures
FIGURE 1 – BARACK OBAMA, CAIRO UNIVERSITY, 4 JUNE 2009............................................... 6 FIGURE 2 – WILLIS CONOVER AND LOUIS ARMSTRONG, VOICE OF AMERICA, 1955. .............. 10 FIGURE 3 – FRONTISPIECE TO HOBBES’S LEVIATHAN – THE PERSON OF STATE. ................... 26 FIGURE 4 – RONALD REAGAN, VOICE OF AMERICA.............................................................. 52

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U.S. Public Diplomacy & Barack Obama: Change or Continuity?

Acknowledgments
Thanks go to everyone at Bristol University who engaged, challenged and educated me this past year. I am particularly grateful to Richard Little whose kind guidance has been consistently invaluable.

Abstract
‘Public diplomacy’ is in vogue like never before. The election of President Obama, the “soft power president”1 has put the subject back on the policy agenda, Master’s programs and professorships dedicated to the subject have sprung up across the United States, while academic literature has proliferated at a startling rate. However, the current literature remains undertheorised, dehistoricised and, despite the claims of some, profoundly conservative. This paper is an attempt to open up a more critical wing of analysis, going beyond the re-constructive critiques of Snow et al. Drawing on poststructuralist political theory, it argues that the recent increase in interest in public diplomacy is indicative of a ‘narrative of misrepresentation’, which is deeply embedded in the American state’s mythologisation. The subject is historicised by looking at its conceptual roots in the struggles of seventeenth-century England. By revealing the contingencies inherent but ignored in public diplomacy discourse, those who would claim its potential as a more peaceful, ethical form of statecraft are forcefully rebuked.

1

Thomas F. Schaller, "U.S. Needs 'Soft Power' Leader, and He Could Be Our Man," Baltimore Sun, 21/05/2008 2008.

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1: Introduction

F

rom a public diplomacy perspective, the election of Barack Obama promised to improve in the fortunes of the U.S. ‘brand’ abroad. He embodied an apparently widespread American desire for representational change,2 which went a long way towards defining his campaign and the expectations of his administration thereafter. Whether the Obama administration has altered the course of U.S. foreign policy and if his leadership will “turn back the tide of anti-Americanism”3 are questions of gathering momentum. This essay, however, does not chart these short-term changes in perception but instead questions, in a longer timeframe, the desire to make these changes happen.4 From the premises: (a) Barack Obama has promised representational change for U.S. public diplomacy; and (b) his own political narrative closely correlates to the ‘mis-representational’ agenda of post-‘9/11’ America, a closer evaluation of what it means to ‘represent’ a unified national image is demanded. Given that ‘public diplomacy’ is the ‘official’ means by which such representation is supposed to happen, this is the object of study, narrowly speaking. More broadly, this is also an investigation of the re-presentational agenda ‘embodied’ by Obama and the historical conditions of possibility in which this notion resides. I begin by setting the topic, ‘public diplomacy’, in the context of its revival: first, in the representational ‘trauma’ of ‘9/11’; and, second, in the representational promise of Obama. I then evaluate the existing literature available for understanding public diplomacy, finding it to be poorly theorised, conservative in historical scope and lacking critical thinking. The remedy I propose for this is a post-positivist genealogical analysis that takes the subject outside of its historical, geographical and thematic

See, for example: Gary Younge, "'Skinny Kid with a Funny Name' Reshapes Us Politics," Guardian.co.uk, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jan/05/barackobama.uselections20081. Accessed: 05/08/2009.; Nancy Snow, "Hey World, What Do You Think of Us Now?," Huffingtonpost.com, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-snow/hey-world-what-do-youthi_b_141669.html. Accessed: 01/0/2009.; Ruben Navarrette Jr., "Commentary: Obama Embodies the American Dream," CNN.com, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/05/navarrette.victory/index.html. Accessed: 17/07/2009.; Harry Smith, "One Week in, Obama Embodies Change," CBSnews.com, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/27/opinion/smith/main4757570.shtml. Accessed: 12/08/2009. 3 Heather Carreiro, "Pakistanis Celebrate Obama's Victory," Associatedcontent.com, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1187578/pakistanis_celebrate_obamas_victory.html?cat =9. Accessed: 01/08/2009. 4 ’Desire’ here does not mean any essentialised ‘drive’ (à la Freud) but simply an historically contingent, highly efficacious discursive construct.

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comfort zones by setting it in the context of the political contestations of seventeenth-century England. In this period I track the pre/histories of four closely related and significantly constitutive precursor concepts to ‘public diplomacy’: representation, diplomacy, public/s and propaganda. I find that multiple ruptures and revolutions helped bring about the world in which ‘public diplomacy’ (as a re-presentational palliative) can be understood. The conclusions are damning for advocates of public diplomacy and Obama’s re-presentational agenda as it is found that the nation-state cannot be so unproblematically re-presented as it is customarily assumed.

Trauma and Response
Set against the horrors of 11 September, 2001 and the terror that followed, it seems a little gratuitous to say that this day changed everything for public diplomacy too – but it did. It was the day that “changed everything”;5 the event that would “always be a fixed point in the life of America”.6 As with Sarajevo in 1914, Pearl Harbor in 1941, and Berlin in 1989, 9/11 is presented by pundits of diverse political hues as being a transformational moment where the fabric of history was violently torn.7 The day became more than a day – it became ‘9/11’. Although most of the world was directly unaffected by the events (as was most of America, for that matter) ‘9/11’ came to exist, for all those affected by the narrative of American political life, as the moment that changed everything for everyone; the landmark, the watershed, the jagged cusp of an epoch. This tall tale emerged from a traumatic ‘event’8 – a ‘surprise’ – that, in Jean-Luc Nancy’s terminology, did “not belong to the order of representation”.9 It rendered the existing narrative of American political life untenable. A ‘reality’ was precipitated “that the [existing] national meta-narratives could neither comprehend nor master.”10 It exceeded
5

See, for example: Dick Cheney, "Cheney Says U.S. Faces Continuing Threat of Terrorist Attack," America.gov, http://www.america.gov/st/washfileenglish/2003/December/20031223125302ssor0.59013.html. Accessed: 16/08/2009. 6 George W. Bush, "Text of Bush Ellis Island Speech," BBC.com, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/americas/2252515.stm. Accessed: 26/07/2009. 7 Lloyd Cox, "Review Essay: Reflecting on Globalization and Empire after 9/11," Thesis Eleven 90, no. 1 (2007): p.97. 8 Jenny Edkins, Trauma and the Memory of Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 9 Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, Meridian, Crossing Aesthetics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), p.173. 10 D. E. Pease, "The Global Homeland State: Bush's Biopolitical Settlement," Boundary 2-an International Journal of Literature and Culture 30, no. 3 (2003): p.2.

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what could “take place within the order of signification”11 and dislocated the American people “from the mythology productive of their imaginary relation to the state”.12 “Attempts to make things meaningful”, to impose understanding on this incomprehensible occurrence “began the moment the events unfolded and have not ceased.”13 Such dislocation and contestation placed the state in a perilous position; authorities had to step in and impose order on the semiotic chaos. Inevitably, the Other was the first to be (un)ceremoniously sacrificed. President Bush made the following offering: They hate … our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.14 This was matched by the media: ‘they’ hate “America and all that she stands for”15, chimed a USA Today cover-story. By this account, it was not just those who perished on that day, their families and friends and those around them who suffered: America ‘herself’ was violated. It was her history, her values and her ‘freedom’ that lay at the epicentre of the event/s. It was, therefore, her honour that must be defended. As Bush reiterated on the first anniversary of ‘9/11’: The attack on our nation was also an attack on the ideals that make us a nation.16 Moreover, continued the USA Today story, Americans “should not shrink from saying” that the American people have “provided more freedom to more people than any other nation in the history of mankind.”17 The narrative of righteousness and (most importantly) unity in the face of violation by an indistinct but fearsome outside force made sense of the events, narrativised ‘9/11’ and constructed a national identity for this (in)security era. But these were responses to the questions ‘who?’, ‘what?’ and ‘how?’. Many also asked ‘why?’: ‘why do they hate us?’18 This is precisely the question ‘public diplomacy’ is supposed to ask, answer and remedy.

Ibid.: p.17-18. Ibid.: p.7. 13 David Campbell, "Time Is Broken: The Return of the Past in the Response to September 11" Theory and Event 5, no. 4 (2001). 14 George W. Bush, "Text: President Bush Addresses the Nation," Washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/bushaddress_092001.html. Accessed: 01/06/2009. 15 "A Nation Worth Defending," USA Today, 01/11/2002 2001. 16 Bush, "Text of Bush Ellis Island Speech." 17 "A Nation Worth Defending," USA Today, 01/11/2002. 18 Fareed Zakaria, "The Politics of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us?," Newsweek/Fareedzakaria.com, http://fareedzakaria.com/ARTICLES/newsweek/101501_why.html. Accessed: 01/09/2009.;
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It has been claimed that: [After] ‘9/11’ … public diplomacy was without doubt the hottest item in the U.S. foreign policy establishment.19 As excessively hyperbolic as that may or may not be, it nevertheless seems fair to say that: Terrorism has changed the way people think about public diplomacy. Today, no serious observer can deny the link between perceptions of the United States and the country’s national security.20 It seems fair to say this because this assertion has become common sense. It is an accepted fact that inter-civilisational (that is, ‘inter-cultural’) difference led to the events (and thus the trauma that disrupted the predominant common sense-making narrative) by precipitating misunderstanding, animosity and hatred. In short it was clear that difference makes a difference and it is dangerous. A necessary consequence of this assumption is that cultural difference is a risk and thus the ‘national security state’ has a responsibility to securitise21 such threats. By November 2001, it was commonplace to make claims such as: Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 … Americans now better understand how culture affects the way we are viewed by some people in other parts of the world. … [W]e must … nourish a truer picture of American values, American culture, and American democracy.22 This neatly summarises the reaction of public diplomacy advocates, however it hardly tells the whole story. The call for outright war was doubtless louder and more readily received than the communicative concerns of any peacenik niche. To simplify the debate, two overlapping and interdependent ideal typical ‘reactions’ can be outlined: The ‘war reaction’ asked the ‘who?’, ‘what?’ and ‘how?’ questions and bore the conviction that, while the Islamist Other clearly had a false impression of the U.S., this was due to an irrevocable flaw in its nature eradicable only by quarantine and extermination. This reaction was undoubtedly the largest, loudest and most terrifying; however, this American Leviathan was not an entirely univocal beast. The ‘communication reaction’, asked the ‘why?’ question. Equally certain of the misrepresentation of the American identity, it
Jan Melissen, ed. The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations, Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan,2005), p.xix. 20 C. Ross, "Public Diplomacy Comes of Age," Washington Quarterly 25, no. 2 (2002): p.82. 21 Ole Wæver, "Securitization and Desecuritization," in On Security, ed. Ronnie D. Lipschutz (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995). 22 Harvey B. Feigenbaum, "Globalization and Cultural Diplomacy," (Center For Arts and Culture, 2001), p.5.
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conceded that if large parts of the world disliked America then America should have done more to promulgate and project its true, likable identity. This reaction, for the most part, shared the assertion that bodies infested with Islamism were beyond reason or cure, however it noted the importance of those surrounding, supporting and possibly abetting the ‘extremists’, directly or indirectly. While misguided, these moderate or immoderate masses could be shown the error of their ways; the misrepresentations that infected their minds and their culture could be corrected.23 Despite differences in the details, these reactions were entirely at one in their conviction that the U.S. had been misrepresented. America’s mis/representation around the world became a serious political issue. A congressional review of public diplomacy, published in 2004, showed particular concern for ‘presence’ and ‘representation’: [W]e watched a program … titled “The Americanization of Islam,” whose theme was that the United States had embarked on a sinister plot to change the 1,500-year-old religion. The true American position was nowhere represented. Our views were absent from the program, just as we are absent … from much of the intense daily discourse on U.S. policy and values taking place throughout the Arab and Muslim world.24 By what qualification the U.S. position deserves to be represented in Arab and Muslim discourse is unclear, however what is clear from this report is that the U.S. can and must be ‘in’ on these debates and that such ‘absence’ is a national security issue. Moreover it is clear that there is a ‘true’ American ‘position’ to be made present at some (undisclosed) point in time and space. This assertion is consistent with much public diplomacy discourse in that it invokes a singular, ‘legitimate’ identity that has been distorted in transmission or insufficiently projected by the organs of state, leading to “skewed, negative, and unrepresentative”25 depictions dominating foreign minds. In short, such discourse emphasises the state’s duty to ensure the ‘correct’ representation of its nation is made across the world. This ‘narrative of misrepresentation’ is in no small part constitutive of public diplomacy as it is presently understood.

For example: “Bin Laden and his fellow fanatics are products of failed societies that breed their anger. America needs a plan that will not only defeat terror but reform the Arab world.” Zakaria, "The Politics of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us?." 24 Edward P. Djerejian, "Changing Minds, Winning Peace: A New Strategic Direction for U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Arab & Muslim World," (Washigton D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, 2003), p.16. Emphasis added. 25 Ross, "Public Diplomacy Comes of Age," p.81.

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Figure 1 – Barack Obama, Cairo University, 4 June 2009.

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‘Change’
Despite the hype and hyperbole and although increasingly ‘polityrelevant’26 since ‘9/11’, public diplomacy remained a marginal foreign policy issue. A second event, however, has pushed it further towards the limelight. In January 2009, Anne-Marie Slaughter27 wrote that: On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will set about restoring the moral authority of the United States. 28 On 4th June 2009, President Obama stood before a packed Cairo University audience and addressed ‘the Muslim world’29 in an act of public diplomacy of almost unprecedented hype and celebration.30 His stated intention was to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect[.]31 Delivered on his 134th day as president it was by no means Obama’s first foray into these waters, nor his first attempt to build rhetorical bridges across them. His first interview as president was granted to Saudi owned TV station al-Arabiya32 and he fulfilled his campaign pledge to speak from the capital of a majority Muslim country in his first hundred days when he

Relevant to polity rather than policy. (Former Dean of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and current Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department): "Biography: Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter," State.gov, http://www.state.gov/s/p/115437.htm. Accessed: 04/09/2009. 28 A. M. Slaughter, "America's Edge Power in the Networked Century," Foreign Affairs 88, no. 1 (2009): p.96. 29 Although he did not use this phrase in his speech it was implied, he had used it before and it was widely used by the media. e.g.: "Obama Reaches out to Muslim World," BBC.co.uk, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8082676.stm. Accessed: 17/08/2009.; Thom Shanker, "U.S. Fails to Explain Policies to Muslim World, Panel Says " NYtimes.com, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9903E1DC143EF937A15752C1A9629C8B63&se c=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Accessed: 22/08/2009.; Steven R. Weisman, "U.S. Must Counteract Image in Muslim World, Panel Says," NYtimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/01/world/us-must-counteract-image-in-muslim-world-panelsays.html?scp=6&sq=&pagewanted=all. Accessed: 22/08/2009. 30 David Ignatius, "Obama's Preamble in Cairo," Washingtonpost.com, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/06/obamas_preamble_in_cairo.html. Accessed: 17/08/2009.; Ben Knight, "Obama Prepares Historic Cairo Speech," ABC.net.au, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/04/2588889.htm. Accessed: 17/08/2009.; "Obama Reaches out to Muslim World." 31 "Barack Obama Speech: The Full Transcript," Telegraph.co.uk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5443448/BarackObama-speech-the-full-transcript.html. Accessed: 11/07/2009. 32 "President Gives First Interview since Taking Office to Arab Tv: Obama Tells Al Arabiya Peace Talks Should Resume," alarabiya.net, http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/01/27/65087.html. Accessed: 17/08/2009.
27

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visited Turkey.33 Moreover, his inauguration speech was full of talk of healing America’s rifts with the world.34 All this came from a man whose very election, it is said, “had the potential to be the nation’s most consequential act of public diplomacy since the Marshall Plan.”35 Nancy Snow36 summed up the sentiment of many liberal Americans when she wrote: There were many symptoms of Brand America's power loss: Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Axis of Evil, Shock and Awe, Hurricane Katrina. Then along comes one guy who steps into this media and mind space to reboot our national image in … a year.37 For such commentators Obama was “not just “our” president but the world’s hope”38 – “some believed that literally he embodied change.”39 Engulfed in spontaneous hubris though this appears, it was a carefully cultivated delirium. Note, for instance, the rhetoric of Obama’s inauguration speech: And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores … a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.40 Campaign slogans emblazoned with ‘change’ and set-piece speeches brazened by an up-swell of youthful support struck a chord most pleasing to the American political centre in late-2008. The cusp Obama bestrode was joyful rather than jagged (as it was with ‘9/11’) but equally epochal was the pretension of the narrative. With his promises to heal historic rifts wheresoever they lay, Obama’s campaign followed and expanded upon the recommendations public diplomacy advocates had been making for years. While he was praised by Snow as “illustrative of new thinking in

Sarah Lovenheim, "Potus Events: Obama Visits Turkey," Washingtonpost.com, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/04/06/potus_events_45.html. Accessed: 17/08/2009. 34 Barack Obama, "Transcript: Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address" NYtimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-obama.html. Accessed: 28/08/2009. 35 Rich Lowry, "In Cairo, a Qualified Success," National Review Online, http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGMzOTBhMDk4OTczNjU0N2U3Y2E3NDk0OTJjOWY5 NmE=. Accessed: 12/04/2009. 36 Associate Professor of Public Diplomacy at Syracuse University: "Center Bios: Nancy Snow," USCpublicdiplomacy.com, http://uscpublicdiplomacy.com/index.php/about/bio_detail/nancy_snow/. Accessed: 01/09/2009. 37 Nancy Snow, "Brand Obama Trumps Brand America," Huffingtonpost.com, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-snow/brand-obama-trumps-brand_b_160764.html. Accessed: 01/09/2009. 38 Ibid. 39 Younge, "'Skinny Kid with a Funny Name' Reshapes Us Politics." ; Snow, "Hey World, What Do You Think of Us Now?." ; Navarrette Jr., "Commentary: Obama Embodies the American Dream." ; Smith, "One Week in, Obama Embodies Change." 40 Barack Obama, "Transcript: 'This Is Your Victory,' Says Obama," CNN.com, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/. Accessed: 01/09/2009.

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American public diplomacy”,41 he nevertheless fully ascribed to the ‘difference is dangerous’ narrative described above: So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace[.]42 The problem of difference within state security projects is thus a matter of significant contemporary interest, as is the role the Obama administration may be playing in the reorientation of identity politics internationally. These are the points where the promise of change for both Obama and public diplomacy meet, the points where ‘change’ as desire is most closely observable and, therefore, the points which form the focus of this essay.

Conclusions
Public diplomacy, as it is understood and studied today, is inseparable from both the events of ‘9/11’ and the ways in which being American was subsequently understood. The ‘narrative of misunderstanding’ did not work alone but it did provide a means by which the American self-identity could maintain its exceptionalism by assuming that the violence directed towards it was born of misunderstanding (and hence a matter for public diplomacy). Obama has fully followed this narrative. Moreover, Obama promised to bring about a solution to it by way of re-presentation. ‘Public diplomacy’ is not only promised further reinvigoration under his tutelage but it can be seen to thematically, emotively and aesthetically parallel his own political strategies, all of which links these two objects of study under the general theme of ‘representation’. Overall, the entire process can be seen as one of securitising cultural difference and placing the blame for various acts of violence on that perceived division. While “the problem of difference”43 is a pressing one (I am not seeking to deny its importance in any way), its narrativisation within a discourse of conflictual causality is unproblematised. A closer of analysis of public diplomacy could correct this. For fear of false-starting, however, all of this begs a question of clarification: what is ‘public diplomacy’?

Nancy Snow, "Rethinking Public Diplomacy," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), p.5. 42 "Barack Obama Speech: The Full Transcript." Emphasis added. 43 Naeem Inayatullah and David L. Blaney, International Relations and the Problem of Difference, Global Horizons V. 1 (New York: Routledge, 2004).

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2: What is Public Diplomacy?

Figure 2 – Willis Conover and Louis Armstrong, Voice of America, 1955.

The Practice
In Nicholas Cull’s account, the practical components of public diplomacy are “as old as statecraft”44 and comprise five elements45: 1) ‘Listening’: collecting information on foreign public opinion (opinion polls, media surveillance, etc.); 2) ‘Advocacy’: directly promoting short term goals (press releases, lobbying, etc.); 3) ‘Cultural diplomacy’: promoting a nation’s cultural resources abroad (travelling museum exhibits, cultural ambassadors, etc.); 4) ‘Exchange diplomacy’: reciprocal, strategic exchange of citizens (educational or professional);

N. J. Cull, "Public Diplomacy: Taxonomies and Histories," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008): p.32. 45 Ibid.

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5) ‘International broadcasting’: operation of state-run media organisations to affect local and global media environments (BBC World Service, Voice of America, etc.). Although this is a useful overview, what practices are said to bear the name ‘public diplomacy’ is only part of the story. What matters more for this study is how the phrase is defined, how this definition is contested and how these understandings came about.

The Phrase
Definitions For most writers on public diplomacy, the lack of a clear and widely accepted definition is a thorn in the side of study and practice.46 Definitions in common circulation range from the simple: Public diplomacy is the promotion of the national interest by informing, engaging, and influencing people around the world.47 To the rather more complex: [P]ublic diplomacy is [meant] to identify, empower, encourage (and possibly equip) self-organizing systems[, which] currently or potentially support, directly or indirectly, the foreign policy objectives of the public diplomacy-sponsoring actor.48 For the purposes of this essay, a typical (though thoroughly contested) definition might be: ‘the means by which states are represented to foreign publics’. An exact definition is unnecessary given the deconstructive (rather than propositive) aims of this essay, however it has been assumed from the outset that the phrase relates to practices of representation. (And, more particularly, it is assumed that ‘public diplomacy’ in its latest guises is a response to the ‘narrative of misrepresentation’.) Genesis While its definitions vary, the origin-story of the phrase ‘public diplomacy’ is deceptively definite. It “was coined in 1965” when Edmund Gullion founded a center to study foreign policy conducted “through engagement with international publics.”49 While this was usually called ‘propaganda’, the “negative connotations” of this phrase “placed it beyond the pale.”50 Instead, Gullion chose to name his new institution the

See for example: E. Gilboa, "Searching for a Theory of Public Diplomacy," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008): p.57. 47 Djerejian, "Changing Minds, Winning Peace," p.13. 48 Matt Armstrong, "Defining Public Diplomacy (Again)," Mountainrunner.us, http://mountainrunner.us/2009/07/defining_publicdiplomacy.html. Accessed: 01/08/2009. 49 Jolyon Welsh and Daniel Fearn, "Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalised World." (London: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2008), www.fco.gov.uk/pdpublication. 50 Ibid. Emphasis added.

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“Edward R. Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy”.51 The phrase gradually entered the foreign policy lexicon over the next thirty years and after ‘9/11’ became familiar to any regular reader of an American broadsheet newspaper.52 However, “Gullion’s phrase was not so much a new coinage in 1965 as a fresh use of an established phrase”.53 The earliest use of the phrase “public diplomacy” to surface is … in a leader piece from the London Times in January 1856 … as a synonym for civility in a piece criticizing the posturing of President Franklin Pierce.54 ‘Public diplomacy’ as a synonym for ‘open’ or ‘democratic diplomacy’ appeared with increasing regularity from this point onwards.55 This pre-history is not contended but its significance is unrecognised. It might be a noteworthy aside or a neat introduction but is taken to be nothing of any concrete consequence. Like so often in the study of international relations, when the historical is invoked, it simply functions as a trope that appropriates history’s authoritative weight but remains detached from the substance of the citation. This ‘forgetfulness’ is reflected in much public diplomacy literature, most of which remembers only the Cold War,56 some of which can recall the First World War,57 while a handful of studies proudly (if anecdotally) recollect the American Revolution.58 There is little written outside of these historically and geographically specific enclosures – this highly conservative historicism is unnecessarily analytically restrictive.
"The Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy," The Fletcher School, Tufts University, http://fletcher.tufts.edu/murrow/about.html. Accessed: 18/08/2009. 52 A fraction of the output from the New York Times alone: Weisman, "U.S. Must Counteract Image in Muslim World, Panel Says." ; Michael Holtzman, "Washington's Sour Sales Pitch," NYtimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/04/opinion/washington-s-sour-salespitch.html?scp=10&sq>=. Accessed: 22/08/2009.; Shanker, "U.S. Fails to Explain Policies to Muslim World, Panel Says ". ; "Selling America ", NYtimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/opinion/04sun3.html?_r=1&scp=7&sq=. Accessed: 22/08/2009.; Thomas L. Friedman, "Obama on the Nile" NYtimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/opinion/11friedman.html?scp=3&sq>=. Accessed: 22/08/2009. 53 Nicholas J. Cull, "Public Diplomacy before Gullion: The Evolution of a Phrase," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), p.22. 54 Ibid. 55 Ibid. 56 Gilboa, "Searching for a Theory of Public Diplomacy," p.56.; Nicholas J. Cull, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 19451989 (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).; 57 B. Gregory, "Public Diplomacy: Sunrise of an Academic Field," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008): p.276.; Hans N. Tuch, Communicating with the World: U.S. Public Diplomacy Overseas (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), p.14. 58 Wilson P. Dizard, Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the U.S. Information Agency (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004), p.14-16.; J. Michael Waller, ed. The Public Diplomacy Reader (Washington D.C.: The Institute of World Politics Press,2007), p.40-100.
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The Theory
Public diplomacy as an object of academic study has boomed over the past eight years. According to some, it “is rapidly becoming a field of study in its own right.”59 Others argue that it is “one of the most multidisciplinary areas in modern scholarship.”60 However, upon closer inspection, the field is profoundly limited. A critical overview of the theory of ‘soft power’ and a division of the remaining literature into two ‘schools’ will serve here to establish a critical topography of the literature available, ascertain the flaws therein and suggest how this essay might depart from these limitations. Soft Power While there are many potential frameworks for analysing public diplomacy,61 there is no possibility of critiquing them all here. ‘Soft power’ is by far the most influential of them all and so stands critique in their stead. A famous diplomatic aphorism has it that: Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.62 The same quip could easily be made of ‘soft power’, the primary theoretical framework currently available for conceptualising public diplomacy. According to Joseph Nye, one can affect others and thus exercise power “in three main ways:” [T]hreats of coercion (“sticks”), inducements and payments (“carrots”), and attraction.63 The latter is the domain of ‘soft power’ and involves “getting others to want the outcomes that you want.” This “co-opts people rather than coerces them”.64 The term gradually became popularised in political,65
R.S. Zaharna, "Mapping out a Spectrum of Public Diplomacy Initiatives: Information and Relational Communication Frameworks," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), p.86. 60 Gilboa, "Searching for a Theory of Public Diplomacy," p.56. 61 For other available though vastly less influential ‘frameworks’ see: Ibid.; Shelton A. Gunaratne, "Public Diplomacy, Global Communication and World Order: An Analysis Based on Theory of Living Systems," Current Sociology 53, no. 5 (2005).; John Arquilla and David F. Ronfeldt, The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward an American Information Strategy (Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 1999).; Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, "The Future of U.S. Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate," (Boston: Brill, 2009 forthcoming).; Ben D. Mor, "The Rhetoric of Public Diplomacy and Propaganda Wars: A View from Self-Presentation Theory," European Journal of Political Research 46, no. 5 (2007). 62 Daniele Vere quoted in: Inc. Icon Group International, Mediating: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases (San Diego: Icon Group International, Inc., 2008), p.2. 63 Joseph. S. Nye, "Public Diplomacy and Soft Power," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008): p.94-5. 64 Ibid. 65 e.g.: Mariko Kato, "Both Japan, U.S. Must Improve Their 'Soft Power': Experts," Japantimes.co.jp, http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090619f1.html. Accessed: 05/09/2009.; Philippe Naughton, "Hillary Clinton Says 'Smart Power' Will Restore American
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civil66 and academic67 discourse and has to a significant extent become synonymous with ‘public diplomacy’.68 Although it is routinely taken to imply the peaceful application of influence, “[s]oft power has a very hard edge”,69 which is revealed both by its stated intentions and its theoretical incoherence. With regard to its intentions, Nye originally coined the term in his 1990 book ‘Bound to lead: the changing nature of American power’ in response to Americans supposedly being “worried about national decline.”70 He sought to show that although power “is becoming … less tangible”,71 “American leadership remains essential to the future world order.”72 ‘Soft power’ was thus a deliberate attempt to halt the declinist narrative and convince Americans of their essential pre-eminence in world politics. If it is true that “theory is always for someone and for some purpose”73 then soft power belongs to the drive towards maximising state power and justifying its ever increasing encroachment on private life in the name of the public (or even, in its more hubristic excesses, the universal) good. With regard to its incoherence, as Janice Bially Mattern argues, Nye theorises ‘soft power’ (1) as a “natural objective experience” based on “the allegedly universally attractive values of cosmopolitanism, democracy, and peace”; and, (2) as “a social construct”, emphasising the importance
Leadership," Timesonline.co.uk, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5510049.ece. Accessed: 17/08/2009.; Leonard Doyle, "Clinton Leads Bid to Restore Us 'Soft Power'," Independent.ie, http://www.independent.ie/world-news/clinton-leads-bid-to-restore-us-soft-power-1559991.html. Accessed: 17/08/2009. 66 e.g.: Paul Harris, "Hawks Depart as Clinton Ushers in New Era of Us 'Soft Power'," Guardian.co.uk, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/11/obama-white-house-clinton. Accessed: 17/08/2009.; S. Nossel, "Smart Power," Foreign Affairs 83, no. 2 (2004).; "Smart Power Initiative," Center for International and Strategic Studies, http://csis.org/program/smart-powerinitiative. Accessed: 17/08/2009. 67 e.g.: J. B. Mattern, "Why 'Soft Power' Isn't So Soft: Representational Force and the Sociolinguistic Construction of Attraction in World Politics," Millennium-Journal of International Studies 33, no. 3 (2005).; Y. W. Wang, "Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Chinese Soft Power," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008).; Joshua Kurlantzick, Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).; E. J. Wilson, "Hard Power, Soft Power, Smart Power," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008). 68 Fitzpatrick, "The Future of U.S. Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate." 69 Anthony Pratkanis, "Public Diplomacy in International Conflicts: A Social Influence Analysis," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), p.111. 70 Joseph S. Nye, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990), p.ix. 71 Ibid., p.188. 72 Ibid., p.259. 73 Robert W. Cox, "Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory," in Neorealism and Its Critics, ed. Robert O. Keohane (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), p.207.

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“of public diplomacy for” attracting foreigners “to ones’ own values.” These “two ontological statuses [of] attraction”74 are mutually exclusive. ‘Soft power’ thereby naturalises a contradictory hegemonic universalism and what Mattern calls “representational force”;75 which “promotes a ‘power politics of identity’ in which domination is played out through the representations that narrate ‘reality’.”76 Two ‘Schools’ Snow, following Signitzer & Coombs, identifies two ‘schools’ of thought on public diplomacy: 1) The ‘tender-minded school’ aims to “foster mutual understanding between” U.S. citizens “and the people of other countries around the world.”77 2) The ‘tough-minded school’ seeks to maximise state power using whatever tools of influence are the most effective. This schoolification is not always clear cut, however a distinction is discernable. For the ‘tough-minded’, public diplomacy is a branch of ‘smart power’78 (the dialectical synthesis of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power) – one element of the ‘full-spectrum’79 apparatus of state: [A]chieving and sustaining smart power is not just a nice thing to do. It has become an urgent matter of national security, and it needs to be done well and done now.80 For the likes of Richard Armitage81: We don’t engage in soft power or smart power because we’re humanitarian, but because of cold calculation of our national security.82

Mattern, "Why 'Soft Power' Isn't So Soft: Representational Force and the Sociolinguistic Construction of Attraction in World Politics," p.591. 75 Ibid.: p.586. 76 Ibid.: p.611. 77 Snow, "Rethinking Public Diplomacy," p.9. 78 Nossel, "Smart Power."; Wilson, "Hard Power, Soft Power, Smart Power."; Richard L. Armitage and Joseph S. Nye, "A Smarter, More Secure America," (Washington D.C.: CSIS Commission on Smart Power, 2007). 79 Defined by the U.S. Department of Defence report ‘Joint Vision 2020’ as “the ability of US forces, operating unilaterally or in combination with multinational and interagency partners, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the full range of military operations.”: "Joint Vision 2020," (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 2000). 80 Wilson, "Hard Power, Soft Power, Smart Power," p.120. 81 (Former Deputy Secretary of State): "The Honorable Richard L. Armitage," Armitageinternational.com, http://www.armitageinternational.com/team/print.php?print=true&id=1. Accessed: 05/09/2009.

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Nevertheless, the ‘softer’ aspects of public diplomacy remain important for Armitage because of the power they are perceived to bring83: the U.S. must not confuse “public diplomacy with loud speech,”84 he continues. For Nye, the benefit of ‘soft power’ (which, for Nye means both public diplomacy and bi/multi-lateral diplomacy85) is simply that: When you can get others to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction.86 However, even this supposedly cold, ‘hard’, rational (masculine) foreign policy choice lacks the clarity it supposes. As Nye writes at another juncture: [T]he beauty of information as a power resource is that, while it can enhance the effectiveness of raw military power, it ineluctably democratizes societies.87 The ‘information power’ of public diplomacy therefore exceeds mere military might, suggesting a more ethically efficacious outcome, going beyond calculated self-interest. For the ‘tender-minded’ Manuel Castells, public diplomacy is a social device for intercultural communication and a more kindly, collaborative, democratic sort of statecraft: The [purpose of] public diplomacy is not to assert the power of a state … in the form of “soft power.” It is, instead, to harness the dialogue between different social collectives and their cultures in the hope of sharing meaning and understanding[, … aiming] not to convince but to communicate, not to declare but to listen.88 The quintessentially liberal89 emphasis on ‘listening’, ‘communication’ and operating independently of state control correlates with the rest of this school, which is ‘critical’90 insofar as it criticises U.S. government failure to
Richard Armitage quoted in: Kato, "Both Japan, U.S. Must Improve Their 'Soft Power': Experts." 83 Armitage and Nye, "A Smarter, More Secure America," p.47-52. 84 Kato, "Both Japan, U.S. Must Improve Their 'Soft Power': Experts." 85 Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004), p.31. 86 J. S. Nye, "Soft Power and American Foreign Policy," Political Science Quarterly 119, no. 2 (2004): p.256. 87 Joseph. S. Nye and W. A. Owens, "America's Information Edge," Foreign Affairs 75, no. 2 (1996): p.35. 88 M. Castells, "The New Public Sphere: Global Civil Society, Communication Networks, and Global Governance," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008): p.91. 89 Matt Armstrong, "Operationalizing Public Diplomacy," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), p.67. 90 e.g.: Nancy Snow, The Arrogance of American Power: What U.S. Leaders Are Doing Wrong and Why It's Our Duty to Dissent (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006).
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‘soften’ its power strategies, arguing that “while political power may be a by-product of successful public diplomacy,” it is “an inappropriate conceptual basis for the conduct of ethical and effective public diplomacy“91 (those two things being fused). Many in this school look to the Cold War as a bygone (and golden) era when public diplomacy was taken seriously. For Matt Armstrong, the “true roots of public diplomacy”, are gone.92 “American public diplomacy [now] wears combat boots”,93 he laments.94 For Armstrong, public diplomacy should be a “two-way street”; “more than a tool of persuasion”; a “sociological infrastructure that helps interpret and understand different cultures and Diasporas.”95 In other words, in this school’s preferred vision public diplomacy exceeds (though likely correlates with) state interests and is an instrument of peace with civilising undertones.

Conclusions
‘Soft power’ is a flawed theory tightly and proudly bound to nation-state interests. It is exhibitive of exactly the limitations this study seeks to counterpose. Far from offering a potential framework for this study, it serves as an object of critique. The tough-minded school seeks to influence – this ‘public diplomacy’ is therefore instrumental; representations are made on the basis of whatever is perceived to be effective. In quintessentially American fashion, “the truth is whatever works”.96 For this school, public diplomacy is promoted as a useful tool of statecraft. The lines between self-interest and moralism blur but national security is always the explicit raison d’être. The tender-minded school seek to communicate – this ‘public diplomacy’ is personal; representations are made on the basis of what is thought to be proper and genuine. The truth here is the national identity. For this school, public diplomacy is interpreted as a tool for intercultural ‘understanding’. “[W]arm and comforting in contrast to the harsh realities of hardball diplomacy and military action”,97 it ostensibly exceeds the

Fitzpatrick, "The Future of U.S. Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate." Emphasis added. Armstrong, "Operationalizing Public Diplomacy," p.67. 93 Ibid., p.63. 94 Even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has argued this point. See, for example: Robert Gates, "Remarks by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at Kansas State University November 26, 2007," Thepeacealliance.org, http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/524/1/. Accessed: 05/09/2009. 95 Armstrong, "Operationalizing Public Diplomacy," p.68-9. 96 John Taft, American Power: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Globalism, 1918-1988, 1st ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1989), p.78.; Alan Ryan, John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism, 1st ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995). 97 Pratkanis, "Public Diplomacy in International Conflicts: A Social Influence Analysis," p.111.
92

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competency of the state and becomes “people-centric”98 – conducted ‘by publics rather than at publics’.99 However, nowhere is the securitisation of cultural difference questioned and, therefore, the active role of state actors in this process is never scrutinised. As such, even this ‘critical’ approach fails to comprehend its own embeddedness within state security projects. Criticism of public diplomacy usually focuses on the ‘tough-minded’ conception, the argument usually being that it is ‘mere propaganda’.100 The suppositions of the ‘tender-minded’ school have escaped serious scrutiny. Instead of engaging the well-worn and futile question ‘is public diplomacy just propaganda?’, the unificatory, interpellative notion that there is a singular truth to be represented and popularly espoused itself deserves critique, as does the claim that such practices exceed or are consistent with state security projects. To fulfil this ambition, this study will have to go substantially beyond the existing boundaries of the field both historically and theoretically.

3: What is to be done?

101

Having outlined the primary problems (both historical and theoretical), a critical schematic can follow.

Historio-graphy
From the Certeauian perspective that historiography (history-writing) concerns the writing of what “no longer is”,102 history can never be written, to quote Ranke, “wie es eigentlich gewesen” (“as it actually happened”).103 Instead, the writing of history is “a return of the past in the

Karen P. Hughes, ""Waging Peace": A New Paradigm for Public Diplomacy," Mediterranean Quarterly 18, no. 2 (2007): p.19. 99 Castells, "The New Public Sphere: Global Civil Society, Communication Networks, and Global Governance," p.91.; Brian Hocking, "Rethinking the 'New' Public Diplomacy," in The New Public Diplomacy : Soft Power in International Relations, ed. Jan Melissen (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p.32. 100 Nancy Snow, "From Bombs and Bullets to Hearts and Minds: U.S. Public Diplomacy in an Age of Propaganda," in War, Media, and Propaganda : A Global Perspective, ed. Yahya R. Kamalipour and Nancy Snow (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).; Philip M. Taylor, "Can the Information War on Terror Be Won? A Polemical Essay," Media, War & Conflict 1, no. 1 (2008). 101 Vladimir Il ich Lenin, What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement, New World Paperbacks, Nw-107 (New York,: International Publishers, 1969). 102 Michel de Certeau, The Possession at Loudun (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), p.7-8. 103 Leopold von Ranke quoted in Elizabeth A. Clark, History, Theory, Text : Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), P.9.

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present discourse.”104 The search for origin (”the point where the truth of things corresponded to a truthful discourse”) is a search for a “place of inevitable loss.”105 In other words: the past cannot be unproblematically made present. [T]o project the present on to the past … is to abuse history.106 Life, linguistic and otherwise, as it is understood today, cannot be simply backdated. This is not, however, to subscribe to the “extreme linguistic nominalism that asserts that we should not use words for historical phenomena that contemporaries of the time would not have used”.107 While the lack of a common vocabulary with the past serves to highlight its peculiar ‘absence’, this should not serve as a bar on addressing the past with present discourse. The logical consequence of such ‘nominalism’ is that moments of the (recent) past with which we ostensibly do share a common lexis are present and accessible – this is closet positivism. Simply, this goes to show that writing-the-past is a creative procedure – an “historiographical operation”.108 A more critical study of public diplomacy must realise this.

The Arbitrary Sign
This approach to the past hinges on one’s attitude towards the referential or non-referential qualities of the sign. Against traditional historians who “had customarily assumed the adequacy of reference, of words to things”,109 this methodology involves a post-positivist theoretical framework that rejects referential models of language in favour of a relational model in which “there are only differences, and no positive terms”.110 This approach emerged when Saussure and Troubetzkoy began to locate the meaning of verbal or phonetic language elements in terms, not of a ‘meaning’ inherent in the individual sign’s relation to its reference, but rather in a pattern of semantic differentiation, where the meaning of a word or sound was seen to lie, not in its identification with its real-

104

Michel de Certeau and Graham Ward, The Certeau Reader, Blackwell Readers (Oxford ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 2000), p.47. 105 Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice : Selected Essays and Interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977), p.143. 106 James Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement (New York: Blackwell, 1987), p.3. 107 Bob Scribner quoted in: Jason Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers: Propaganda During the English Civil Wars and Interregnum (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), p.2. 108 Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History, European Perspectives (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), p.56. 109 Elizabeth A. Clark, History, Theory, Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), p.47. 110 Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1998), p.118.

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world reference, but rather in its being distinct from all other words or sounds in the linguistic referential system.111 From the post-Saussurean, Derridean perspective, because meaning is no more than an effect of “the play of signifiers”,112 it is always ‘deferred’,113 having no transcendental “centre which is itself beyond play”.114 This disrupts the “logic of representation”115 (and thus the representational essentialisms analysed in this essay) because no object is “simply present in the world and then re-presented”.116 Rather, the “presence-of-thepresent is derived from repetition and not the reverse”;117 “a sign necessarily needs to be repeatable to work as a sign”; it has no “ontological foundation” and therefore the effect of ontology - the “presence-of-the-present” - comes to depend on this very repeatability.118 In other words, all objects and subjects achieve ‘presence’ (are ‘real-ised’) through the repetitive play of difference, not any a priori facticity. Representations are thus historically contingent. They may be destabilised by examining the margins of the discourse, which are ignored or made “abject”119 because they reveal the “constitutive outside[s]”120 of the discourse, which must remain externalised in order to sustain inner coherence.

Genealogy
This theoretical and critical ambition coheres with a genealogical historical methodology which “does not pretend to go back in time to restore an unbroken continuity that operates beyond the dispersion of forgotten things”. The aim of such an approach is to “search for descent”; to disturb “what was previously considered immobile;” to fragment “what was
111

Raymond; Leerssen Corbey, Joep, Alterity, Identity, Image: Selves and Others in Society and Scholarship (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991), p.x. Original emphasis. 112 Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p.385. 113 Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Of Grammatology, Corrected ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), p.xliii. 114 Stewart Clegg and Mark Haugaard, "Discourse of Power," in The Sage Handbook of Power, ed. Stewart Clegg and Mark Haugaard (London: SAGE, 2009), p.115. 115 Claire Colebrook, "From Radical Representations to Corporeal Becomings: The Feminist Philosophy of Lloyd, Grosz, and Gatens," Hypatia 15, no. 2 (2000): p.81. 116 Simone Drichel, "Of Political Bottom Lines and Last Ethical Frontiers: The Politics and Ethics Of "The Other"," Borderlands 6, no. 2 (2007). 117 Jacques Derrida, Speech and Phenomena, and Other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973), p.52. 118 Drichel, "Of Political Bottom Lines and Last Ethical Frontiers: The Politics and Ethics Of "The Other"." 119 Julia Kristeva, "Approaching Abjection," in The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, ed. Amelia Jones (London: Routledge, 2003). 120 Judith Butler and Joan Wallach Scott, Feminists Theorize the Political (New York: Routledge, 1992), p.379.

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thought unified;” to show “the heterogeneity of what was imagined consistent with itself.”121 By following the Nietzschean maxim “only something which has no history can be defined”,122 fissures and vistas can be opened within the existing discourse that makes space for inventive conceptualisations. For public diplomacy, this means going outside of the conventional historical limitations and searching the family-tree for precursors (or ‘forebears’) to the concept in order to ascertain its “conditions of understanding”.123 Following James Der Derian’s On Diplomacy, the ambition of this study is, therefore, to “disabuse the history of [public] diplomacy” by looking “backward to discover whether there are symptoms of [public] diplomacy’s crisis inherent yet hidden in the present depictions of its essential beginning and nearly seamless history”.124 A full account of descent exceeds the possibilities of this essay, however a partial account will yield significant results. The period and place chosen for this excursion is seventeenth-century England, a period of enormous upheaval, well outside the comfort zone of existing public diplomacy studies and therefore ripe for a genealogical analysis. Although the revolutions of this century are perhaps overshadowed by those of the next, they were nevertheless formative years in the (hi)story of modernity. If public diplomacy and the ‘narrative of misrepresentation’ are modern phenomena then their roots in this time should be both apparent and revealing.

4: Genealogy
The analysis here considers four genealogical forebears to ‘public diplomacy’: 1) Representation: Insofar as public diplomacy is a representative activity it is discursively indebted to this development. The analysis focuses particularly on Hobbes’s “theory of attributed action”.125 2) Diplomacy: While diplomacy-proper only came into common usage after the seventeenth-century, its development practically and
121 122

Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice : Selected Essays and Interviews, p.146-7. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Keith Ansell-Pearson, and Carol Diethe, On the Genealogy of Morality, Rev. student ed., Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p.53. 123 Certeau, The Writing of History, p.35. 124 Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement, p.3. 125 Quentin Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," Journal of Political Philosophy 7, no. 1 (1999): p.27.

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etymologically at this time is significant and it is the most obvious semantic precursor to public diplomacy. Unlike the other sections, this does not concentrate exclusively on English developments but considers the development of diplomacy in the same period Europe-wide (because, by modern definition, diplomacy is an international system). 3) Public/s: Often ignored when considering the etymology of public diplomacy, the concepts ‘public’/’the public’ underwent significant change in this period. 4) Propaganda: Arguably the closest practical relation to public diplomacy, the word came into common usage at the start of the seventeenth-century and the practice is closely related to the technological and political developments of the time. Each concept is: a) Examined etymologically, setting the context for the analysis; b) Examined in terms of its semantic and practical development in the seventeenth-century; c) Summarised in terms of its role in the ‘conditions of emergence’ of public diplomacy.

Representation
Etymology The concept of representation “emerged only in the early modern period”.126 The shift towards it was gradual, with some crediting its initiation to Plato.127 The graduality of the process is demonstrated by the recognition that, despite the Platonic roots of the concept and although they engaged in activities “which we might say involve representation” (i.e. electing officials, sending ambassadors), the Ancient Greeks had no equivalent word. For them, the world was lived as it was ‘in itself’ rather than what it ‘stood for’: “not as raw matter to be quantified, known and measured, and not as data to be represented.”128 This goes to show that genealogy is not etymology; however, it is a good place to start. ‘Representation’ derives from the Roman word representare meaning “the literal bringing into presence of something previously absent”.129 “From
Hanna F. Pitkin, "Representation and Democracy: Uneasy Alliance," Scandinavian Political Studies 27, no. 3 (2004): p.337.; ———, The Concept of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), p.2. 127 Jacques Derrida, "Sending - on Representation," Social Research 49, no. 2 (1982).; Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 1st Vintage Books ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1988). 128 Claire Colebrook, "Questioning Representation," Sub-Stance, no. 92 (2000): p.52.; see also Derrida’s reading of Heidegger: Derrida, "Sending - on Representation." 129 Pitkin, The Concept of Representation, p.2-3.
126

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about the fourth century,” representare and its associated terms began to refer, within the Christian church, “to the act of speaking or acting in the name of someone else, and more specifically to doing so with permission or authority”.130 By the early Middle Ages, “the term repraesentare had come into standard use”.131 17th Century By the 1620s ‘representation’ had broadened from its “original applications in art, religion and the theatre” and came “to refer to any substituted presence”.132 Furthermore, it become associated with popular representation and linked “with the idea of self-government.”133 In the 1640s, parliamentarians wrote of the representativeness of Parliament in the sense “that it constitutes a recognisable image or likeness of the populace as a whole.” For them, “the two Houses may be said to offer a ‘representation’ – a picture or portrait – of the body of the people.”134 Though politicised, the aesthetic connotations of the word thus remained. By 1641, the Commons was referred to as “the Representative Body of the whole Kingdom”.135 The change in usage was explicitly political, serving as an authority claim by the Commons against both the King and the Lords.136 The claim of Parliament to represent all the people had long been used as a weapon to challenge the king; in the Civil War it [became] a justification for overthrowing him.137 In 1651, “in the midst of this etymological development”,138 Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan, wherein he formulated the most influential theory of representation of the time. Hanna Pitkin has argued that it was “the first examination of the idea of representation in political theory”;139 however, Quentin Skinner has shown that Hobbes presented “a critical commentary on a range of existing theories, especially those put forward by the parliamentarian opponents of the Stuart monarchy at the beginning of the English civil wars.”140 “[A]t the heart of” this critique of the
130

Quentin Skinner, "Hobbes on Representation," European Journal of Philosophy 13, no. 2 (2005): p.161. 131 Ibid.: p.162. 132 Pitkin, The Concept of Representation, p.247-8. 133 Ibid., p.3. 134 Skinner, "Hobbes on Representation," p.163. 135 "House of Commons Journal Volume 2: 03 December 1641," Journal of the House of Commons: volume 2: 16401643 (1802), http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=600. 136 Pitkin, The Concept of Representation, p.249. 137 Ibid., p.252. 138 Ibid., p.250. 139 Hanna F. Pitkin, "Representation," in Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, ed. Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p.140. 140 Skinner, "Hobbes on Representation," p.155. Emphasis added.

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parliamentarian (and, for that matter, the mainstream royalist) arguments lay the “theory of attributed action”141 – Hobbes’s theory of representation. This theory developed representation into a form more comparable with that of today and, significantly, linked it explicitly to authority and sovereignty. Taking a closer look at this theory, therefore, will highlight the development of the term in the time period in question. Hobbes began his analysis by noting that the word persona, which was originally a piece of theatrical terminology142 signifying “the disguise, or outward appearance of a man, counterfeited on the Stage”, had come to mean “any representer of speech and action, as well in tribunals as theatres”.143 Drawing on this association of ‘artifice’ with creativity, performance and theatre (while the modern association of artifice with falsehood became evident in the 1650s144, Hobbes’s use of the word is without this connotation) Hobbes specifies two types of ‘person’ (or persona): natural persons and feigned or artificial persons: A PERSON, is he, whose words or actions are considered, either as his own, or as representing the words or actions of an other man, or of any other thing to whom they are attributed, whether Truly or by Fiction. When they are considered as his owne, then is he called a Naturall Person: And when they are considered as representing the words and actions of an other, then is he a Feigned or Artificiall person.145 A natural person is someone capable of self-representation. Any selfrepresenting, natural person can also, according to Hobbes, be an “author, and hence … capable of authorising other persons to serve as his representatives.”146 Self-representing, natural persons can therefore convert themselves into artificial, represented persons so as to commission others to act in their name. Thus, representations are born of authority (in every sense of that word). For Hobbes, this authority is self evident in the status of the sovereign because the ‘person’ (or persona) of the state comes into existence when the members of a multitude come together and commit their “conjoined powers to a sovereign … by way of agreeing who shall be sovereign,” which at the same time authorises “their sovereign to act in the name of

———, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.27. Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, 3 vols., vol. 2 (Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p.390-1. 143 Thomas Hobbes and Aloysius Martinich, Leviathan, Broadview Editions (New York: Broadview Press, 2005), p.120. Original emphasis. 144 "'Artifice'," Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=artifice. Accessed: 01/08/2009. 145 Hobbes and Martinich, Leviathan, p.120. 146 Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.12-13.
142

141

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the state.”147 Once authorised (once in power) the sovereign is supreme and can do no wrong because he that complaineth of injury from his Soveraigne, complaineth of that whereof he himselfe is Author; and therefore ought not to accuse any man but himselfe.148 Criticism of the sovereign is thus a circular argument. In the words of Rousseau, “the sovereign, by virtue of what it is, is always [already] what it ought to be.”149 This metaphysical incorporation is, for Hobbes, the only means by which, “a Multitude of men,” can be “made One Person”;150 by which a plurality of bodies can create a larger, more powerful, legitimate Unity. The innovation of Hobbes’s argument is twofold: Firstly, he dismisses the parliamentarian arguments that the sovereign, because it must be authorised by the people, is therefore subservient to them. Secondly, for the first time the state is conceived as something separate from both the sovereign body and the people. It is an all powerful third party risen above all else, to which “we have no option but to permit our sovereign to personate … if we are to have any prospect of living together in security and peace.”151 It is: LEVIATHAN, or rather (to speake more reverently) … that Mortall God, to which wee owe under the Immortal God, our peace and defence[.]152 The genius of this creature is that it exceeds all singular corporeality, existing above the multitude and beyond the sovereign. As Alfred Lord Tennyson put it, “Authority forgets a dying king”.153 Though not “Immortal”, Leviathan is closer to such than any single sovereign body; it may, therefore, in effective perpetuity, secure the multitude from the state of nature and the rising bourgeoisie from dispossession.154 In short, it makes possible modernity.

———, Visions of Politics, p.404. Thomas Hobbes and Richard Tuck, Leviathan, Rev. student ed., Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p.124. 149 Jean-Jacques Rousseau quoted in: Costas M. Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, Borderlines (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), p.104. 150 Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.114. 151 Skinner, "Hobbes on Representation," p.179. 152 Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.120. 153 Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems (New York: Signet Classic, 2003), p.280. 154 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, New ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), p.143.
148

147

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Figure 3 – Frontispiece to Hobbes’s Leviathan – the Person of State.

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The Hobbesian conception of the state quickly “succeeded in establishing itself at the heart of political discourse throughout Western Europe.”155 At the start of the eighteenth-century, Henry St. John would write with lament: [T]he State is become, under ancient and known forms, a new and undefinable monster; composed of a king without monarchical splendour, a senate of nobles without aristocratical independency, and a senate of commons without democratical freedom.156 “By the middle of the eighteenth century, [Hobbes’s] vision of the state had become widely accepted in continental Europe.”157 As it became accepted “that sovereignty is lodged not with rulers but with the state,” the norm that “citizens owe their loyalty to the state itself”158 also came to pass. For the later likes of Rousseau, the notion of authorised sovereign representation was fixed firmly at the centre of the debate.159 According to Hardt & Negri, Hobbes’s “proposition of an ultimate and absolute sovereign ruler, a ‘God on earth,’” remains to this day foundational “in the modern construction of a transcendent political apparatus.”160 “[A]t the heart of” this foundation lay the “theory of attributed action”,161 and, therefore, the concept of authorised representation. Conclusion Disagreement over rightful representation lay at the centre of the political contestations of the English Civil War. For his part, Thomas Hobbes scorned all other arguments and set in motion a “conceptual revolution” that reverberated through “the wider political vocabularies of the western European states”,162 making it possible to talk of sovereignty as no longer ‘owned’ by any one individual or organisation. While representation as “the threshold of modernity”163 cannot be simply dated to 1651, Hobbes established a theoretical form of political representation that developed the artistic and theatrical ideas of artifice and persona and fused them with notions of sovereignty and authority. Without Hobbes, therefore, we may still have been able to talk of ‘representation’ but it may not have connoted the political acts it does in the same way. Moreover, at this time the
155 156

Skinner, Visions of Politics, p.406. Henry St. John (lord viscount Bolingbroke), The Works Of ... Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke. With the Life of Lord Bolingbroke by Dr. Goldsmith, Now Enlarged (Oxford: Oxford University, 1809), p.153. 157 Skinner, Visions of Politics, p.408. 158 Ibid., p.410. 159 Claire Colebrook, Philosophy and Post-Structuralist Theory: From Kant to Deleuze (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), p.1.; Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), p.85. 160 Hardt and Negri, Empire, p.83. 161 Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.27. 162 ———, Visions of Politics, p.410. 163 Colebrook, Philosophy and Post-Structuralist Theory: From Kant to Deleuze, p.1.

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concept of representation developed to such an extent that it became possible to conceive of a nation state as distinct from its sovereign and its people. It therefore became possible to represent a persona of the nation that was tied to no one corporeal body but represented an abstract essence. For the first time, therefore, it became possible to represent the ‘truth’ of a nation in the manner to which public diplomacy is now accustomed. Furthermore, inscribing the descent of the matter in this manner foregrounds unmistakeably the indelible link between what could crudely be called ‘domestic political representation’ and ‘foreign mediated representation’. The latter, the kind of representation that American public diplomacy claims to make (that of presenting to the foreign and estranged a figuration of the American essence), is inexorably attached to the domestic political representation (that has lately, with scant justification, been fused with ‘democracy’164) that determines what the legitimate essence to be represented is and how representations of it are to be accredited. Foreign representation, whether by ambassador or radio station, is thus directly linked to processes of state formation, political legitimisation and representational authentication, the multiple forms of which are inter-reliant.

Diplomacy
Etymology Unlike ‘representation’, ‘diplomacy’ was not in common usage in the seventeenth-century. The origin is usually credited to Edmund Burke who in 1796, spoke of the ‘diplomatic body,’ and used “‘diplomacy’ to mean skill … in the conduct of international intercourse and negotiations.”165 In seventeenth-century Italy, diplomatic agents had become known as “orators” and in most of Europe “ambassadors were still legati”.166 To use ‘diplomacy’ or ‘diplomat’ to refer to events of the seventeenth-century is, therefore, an anachronism,167 however, diplomacy was not “immaculately conceived in the seventeenth, eighteenth, or any other century”168 – there are traces of it throughout history. The Ancient Greeks, for instance, engaged in the sending of ambassadors and heralds; however (as with ‘representation’) they had “no single term that conveyed the themes of diplomacy”, nor any equivalent without “supplementary political
“Only in the English Civil War and then in the eighteenth-century democratic revolutions did the two concepts [representation and democracy] become linked.” Pitkin, "Representation and Democracy: Uneasy Alliance," p.335.; see also Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), p.269.. 165 Ernest Mason Satow, A Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 2 vols., Contributions to International Law and Diplomacy (London: Longmans, Green, 1917), p.3. 166 Garrett Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (London: Cape, 1962), p.130. 167 Maurice Keens-Soper, "Abraham De Wicquefort and Diplomatic Theory," Diplomacy & Statecraft 8, no. 2 (1997): p.29. 168 Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement, p.47.
164

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associations and meanings”.169 Nevertheless, the word does have Ancient Greek roots. The diplo- in ‘diplo-macy’ derives from “the ancient Greek verb diploun (to double), and from the Greek noun diploma”170 (“diplo = folded in two + suffix ma = object”171). ‘Diplomas’ were documents “written on parchment and … papyrus”, “handed over to heralds [and] carried as evidence of their status and authority.” The word diploma later “came to mean a letter of recommendation,” a passport or “an order enabling a traveller to use the public post.”172 As diplomas increased in quantity and importance amidst the fractured jurisdictions of the Middle Ages, the accumulation, organisation and authentication of these documents became an imperative for any self-respecting polity. [C]hanceries were set up to handle ‘diplomatic’ affairs. Indeed, in the early years of the Holy Roman Empire, and particularly in the Empire of the Ottos, control of the disposition of diplomas was tantamount to control of the Empire.173 The -macy in ‘diplo-macy’ derives, according to Costas Constantinou, from the ceremonial staff or mace carried by the heralds and messengers of the Carolingian dynasty (751–987). These items, which were of symbolic rather than defensive utility,174 authorised “the agent as an official medium”.175 These items were presented to messengers (known as ‘missi’) at court ceremonies.176 Of additional etymological significance is that ‘missus’ was “the name for the royal procurator” of this period, while ‘mace’ also denoted “the scepter of sovereignty”.177 17th Century “During the seventeenth century”, ‘diploma’ became associated with ‘diplomatica’, a change that “appears to have started with the charging of … Daniel Van Papenbroeck, with the examination of ancient monastic diplomas in order to determine their authenticity”, the falsity of which “had been suspected since medieval times.”178 Papenbroeck “claimed that almost all Merovingian diplomas and other medieval documents were
169 170

Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.78. Ibid., p.77. 171 José Calvet de Magalhães, The Pure Concept of Diplomacy, Contributions in Political Science, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p.58. 172 Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.77. 173 Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement, p.32. 174 Iver B. Neumann, "The English School on Diplomacy: Scholarly Promise Unfulfilled," International Relations 17, no. 3 (2003): p.358. 175 Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.84. 176 Neumann, "The English School on Diplomacy: Scholarly Promise Unfulfilled," p.358. 177 Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.84. 178 Ibid., p.78-79.

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forgeries”.179 Devastating as these claims were to the archival wealth of his order180 (not to mention the reputation and integrity of the entire system of political communication of the time), the Benedictine monk Jean Mabillon “worked silently for six years” to refute Papenbroeck’s criticisms. He studied “the form, not the content, of old diplomas”181 and his forceful critique compelled even Papenbroeck to accept his methods and conclusions.182 Mabillion’s masterwork ‘De re diplomatica’, first published in 1681,183 established a new science called ‘diplomatic’ or ‘diplomatics’, which Mabillon defined as: [C]ertain and accurate terms and rules by which authentic instruments can be distinguished from spurious, and certain and genuine ones from uncertain and suspect ones.184 His techniques and his definition remain in use to this day.185 In 1693, Gottfried Leibniz published Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus,186 a collection “of treaties and other official documents”187 which attributed “to the adjective diplomatic the meaning of something related to international relations.”188 Such activities were institutionalised across Europe: shortly after his appointment as English historiographer royal in 1693, Thomas Rymer was directed to compile and “publish all records of alliances and other transactions in which England was concerned with foreign powers

Ibid., p.79.; "'Diplomatic'," 1911encyclopedia.org, http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Diplomatic. Accessed: 05/08/2009. 180 Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.79. 181 Ibid. 182 "'Diplomatic'." ; ———, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.79. 183 Jean Mabillon, De Re Diplomatica Libri Vi. In Quibus Quidquid Ad Veterum Instrumentorum Antiquitatem, Materiam, Scriptuam, & Stilum; Quidquid Ad Sigilla, Monogrammata, Subscriptiones, Acnotas Chronologicas; Quidquid Inde Ad Antiquariam, Historicam, Forensemque Disciplinam Pertinet, Explicatur & Illustratur. Accedvnt Commentarius De Antiquis Regum Francorum Palatiis. Veterum Scripturarum Varia Specimina, Asseruntar & Illustrantur (Luteciae Parisiorum,: sumtibus viduæ L. Billaine, 1681). 184 Quoted in: Heather MacNeil, Trusting Records: Legal, Historical, and Diplomatic Perspectives, The Archivist's Library V. 1 (Boston, Mass.: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000), p.20. 185 Ibid., p.86. 186 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus, in Quo Tabulæ Authenticæ Actorum Publicorum, Tractatuum, Aliarumque Rerum Majoris Momenti Per Europam Gestarum, Pleræqve Ineditæ Vel Selectæ, Ipso Verborum Tenore Expressæ Ac Temporum Serie Digestæ, Continentur (Hannoveræ,1693). 187 Satow, A Guide to Diplomatic Practice, p.3. 188 Magalhães, The Pure Concept of Diplomacy, p.58.

179

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from 1101 to the time of publication”.189 (“treaties”).190

This became the Foedera

As Nicolson notes, it was through these works of accumulation and authentication “that the usages of diplomacy as a science based upon precedent and experience came to be established”.191 The association of ‘diplomatic’ with the study of archives rather than inter-sovereign representation persisted until relatively recently.192 Not until Burke’s accreditation with the origin of the term after 1796 did the meaning shift decisively. However, by the late seventeenth century, the “link of the diplomatic with diplomas and handwriting was increasingly overshadowed by the newly established political theme”193 as attention was gradually diverted “away from the form or style of the diplomadocument,”194 towards “what it actually represented in international The meaning of ‘diplomacy’ crossed over from the relations.”195 ‘diplomatic’ verification of documents to the ‘diplomatic’ system of negotiation and communication. So goes the story of the word, but what of the practice? Many aspects of the diplomatic organisation of western and central Europe as it existed by the beginning of the Seventeenth century continued with little essential change down to the French Revolution and indeed beyond.196 Change was slow, however diplomacy gradually became more institutionalised in the late seventeenth-century.197 According to Mattingly, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, foreign affairs remained in a state of confusion due to the nepotism of feudalism, the multiple actors assigned to each task and the multiple tasks assigned to each actor.198 “Everywhere outside of Italy political relationships … were still personal” and diplomatic organisation, just like the rest of
189

"'Thomas Rymer'," 1911encyclopedia.org, http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Thomas_Rymer. Accessed: 07/08/2009. 190 Thomas Rymer et al., Foedera, Conventiones, Literæ Et Cujuscunque Generis Acta Publica, Inter Reges Angliæ Et Alios Quosvis Imperatores, Reges, Pontifices, Principes, Vel Communitates, Ab Ineunte Sæculo Duodecimo, Ed. 3. ed. (Hagæ Comitis,: apud Joannem Neaulme, 1739). 191 Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy (London: T. Butterworth ltd., 1939), p.26-27. 192 Ibid. 193 Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.81. 194 M. Konrad, "International Biodiplomacy and Global Ethical Forms: Relations of Critique between Public Anthropology and Science in Society," Anthropological Quarterly 80, no. 2 (2007): p.332. 195 Alexander Ostrower, Language, Law, and Diplomacy; a Study of Linguistic Diversity in Official International Relations and International Law (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965), p.109.; Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.80-81. 196 M. S. Anderson, The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 1450-1919 (London: Longman, 1993), p.41. 197 Ibid. 198 Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, p.224-29.

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government “was, in 1600 as in 1500, still just the king’s household and his retinue.”199 France under Richelieu was foremost among the reformers. In 1626, Richelieu amalgamated the organisation of foreign relations “within the Ministry of External Affairs, over which he himself maintained constant supervision. He thereby secured that the word of command in foreign affairs should be delivered by a single voice only”.200 By the end of the century, diplomatic representation had lost “any overtones of religiosity”201 and become the prerogative of the sovereign alone.202 In this way, the development of diplomacy matches that of political representation as over the century the “undergrowth of quasidiplomacy”203 was cast aside as absolutism centralised political authority within each distinct territory. It is unlikely to be coincidental that “from the advent of Richelieu to power in 1616 until the Revolution more than a hundred and sixty years later, the diplomatic method of France became the model for all of Europe”.204 For an ambassador in the seventeenth-century, “the safeguarding … of the honour and standing of the monarch” continued to be “the most fundamental of his duties”.205 For Mattingly, such duties were characterised by “pointless squabbling”, perceived insults and dangerous symbolic manoeuvres from which physical violence, even war, followed.206 However, as Der Derian notes: [I]t is as much the “petty” rituals and ceremonies of power as it is the “great” events of power politics or the famous developments of international law which define diplomacy[.]207 Particularly as we are interested in the representative function of ambassadors, the ceremonial aspect of their act is of the utmost significance. The seventeenth-century witnessed an increase in the importance, complexity and (most importantly) the sense of representativeness of ceremony. In Italy “symbolic courtesies” and “emphasis on the representative character of the ambassador’s office”208 had been of the utmost importance since the 1470s, though it was ahead of its time. By the early 1600s in the rest of Europe

199 200

Ibid., p.224. Harold Nicolson, The Evolution of Diplomatic Method (London: Constable, 1954), p.53. 201 Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, p.216. 202 Anderson, The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 1450-1919, p.42. 203 Ibid. 204 Nicolson, The Evolution of Diplomatic Method, p.62. 205 Anderson, The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 1450-1919, p.41. 206 Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, p.252-53. 207 Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement, p.114. 208 Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, p.251.

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ambassadors began to behave as if injury to their master’s subjects was an insult to his crown, and to intervene to protect their fellowcountrymen without waiting for specific instructions to do so.209 The role of the ambassador became such that “in the gesture of obedience or condolence or congratulation which the ambassador performed, he acted as if in the person of his prince.”210 Ambassadors, therefore, became less authorised communicators and more authorised representatives (as we would understand such today). The reasons for this change are too complex to go into, however it is undisputed that, to a large extent, the “emergence of Western diplomacy was driven by the disastrous desolation caused by the Thirty Years’ War“.211 The drive to end this war (or, more accurately, these wars) led to the development of large scale conference diplomacy. “The first of these congresses were the linked meetings held at Münster and Osnabrück (1643-8) which resulted in the Peace of Westphalia.”212 Although they were novel in format, norms of the time prevailed in the details as, despite their close proximity, the delegations negotiated mostly through correspondence.213 The mode of communication thus remained largely textual, paralleling the continued importance of diplomas at this time, although increased physical proximity gradually reduced this dependence. Conclusion Three principle practical developments have been outlined: 1) Gradual bureaucratisation and centralisation; 2) Increasing ‘representativeness’ of ambassadors in ceremonial and administrative functions; 3) Development of conference diplomacy. These are complimented by the etymological development of ‘diplomacy’, both halves of which are related to the authorisation of political communication and the symbolic establishment of sovereign right. The word evolved from its roots in the collection and collation of treaties (e.g. Leibniz, Rymer) and the authentication of such documents (e.g. Mabillon) to the actual engagement with representation and negotiation. It took the developments of early modernity to make the diplomat ‘representative’ as we understand that term now. While ambassadors had,
209 210

Ibid. Ibid. 211 John D. Stempel, "Covert Action and Diplomacy," International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 20, no. 1 (2007): p.122. 212 David H. Dunn, Diplomacy at the Highest Level: The Evolution of International Summitry, Studies in Diplomacy (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996), p.26. 213 Ibid.

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in a sense, always embodied the messages of their employers, during this period they began to act on the sovereign’s behalf and eventually would act on the nation-state’s behalf as sovereignty was alienated from the sovereign body. Although, diplomacy in the seventeenth century “was still far from modern”,214 there was a shift in the kind of representation practiced – from carrying the voice of another human to ventriloquising215 that which has none, a defining feature of both public diplomacy and modernity in general.

Public/s
Etymology The term public had many different senses in early usage[.]216 ‘Public’ comes from the early Latin poplicus (“from the feminine poplus, later the masculine populus, ‘people’”), which led to publicus, “under the influence of pubes, in the sense of ‘adult men,’ ‘male population’.”217 ‘Public’ emerged into English from Old French around the middle of the fifteenth century and by 1542 is observed to have meant “open to all in the community”. The noun meaning “the community” is first found between 1611218 and 1612.219 The sense of being devoted “to the promotion of the public welfare” or being “public spirited” is found from 1607.220 ‘Public’, therefore, historically connoted adulthood and masculinity. Its precursors often referred to common access, as in a “public place.”221 According to Habermas, the res publica was any property generally open to the population.222 “In medieval writings, lordly and public” were used interchangeably223 and the public was associated with power but it did not carry the explicit associations with political office found later.224 The ‘private’, which ‘public’ eventually came to be defined in opposition to,
Anderson, The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 1450-1919, p.80. Jacques Derrida, The Other Heading: Reflections on Today's Europe, Studies in Continental Thought (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), p.87. 216 Vincent Price, Public Opinion, Communication Concepts, (Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1992), p.7. Original emphasis. 217 Joan B. Landes, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988), p.2-3. 218 "'Public'," Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=public. Accessed: 26/08/2009. 219 Patricia Ann Boling, Privacy and the Politics of Intimate Life (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), p.46. 220 Ibid. 221 Price, Public Opinion, p.7. 222 Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), p.4, 112-14. 223 Price, Public Opinion, p.7. 224 Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, p.5.
215 214

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came from the Latin privatus, the “past participle of privare” meaning “to bereave, deprive, dispossess, rob”. This corresponded in later usage to mean a “person who does not hold public office or have rank (1432)” or a “group of persons apart from the general community (1526)”.225 17th Century Like ‘representation’ and unlike ‘diplomacy’, the word ‘public’ was in common usage in the seventeenth-century, although opinion is divided on the extent to which one can draw equivalence between current meanings and those of the period.226 In accordance with its Latin roots, in the seventeenth-century the public was associated with the masculine: Just as today, while a “public man” acted “in and for the universal good”, a ‘public woman’, was “a prostitute, a commoner, a common woman. A public action”, therefore, could only be “authored from or authorized by the masculine position.”227 The parliamentarian Henry Parker’s 1643 pamphlet “The Oath of Pacification…”, in ‘proposing a solution’ for the “‘almost ship-wrackt’ English state”, referred to excluding from his “publike Counsaile”: [A]ll that are not of the Protestant Religion, of the British Nation, of the Masculine Sex, all that not generally reputed virtuous, and sworne to be faithfull servants to the State as well as to the Court.228 In the constitution of public office, for Parker, the unwanted Other(s) must be excluded. The “constitutive outside”229 of publicity was drawn nationally, sexually and religiously. It is clear, though not entirely explicit, also that the public was the realm of the good – the private was that of the irrational and dangerous. Indeed, ‘private’ at this time generally “denoted a passive or subordinate position” removed from the public “sphere of office”.230 A private person, therefore, could be a subordinate person in what we would now commonly call public office. ‘Private’ was a gendered term and related to suggestions of privacy (and subordination) residing within the feminine domestic realm. Privacy, furthermore, suggested “what was hidden beyond public scrutiny, [or] what was secret”.231 “For Henry Parker, the private was virtually synonymous with
225 226

Boling, Privacy and the Politics of Intimate Life, p.43. Mark Gould, Revolution in the Development of Capitalism: The Coming of the English Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).; T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class, and Other Essays (Cambridge: University Press, 1950). 227 Landes, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution, p.3. 228 Henry Parker, "The Oath of Pacification, or, a Forme of Religious Accommodation Humbly Proposed Both to King and Parliament: Thereby, to Set an End to the Present Miseries and Broyles of This Discomposed, Almost Ship-Wrackt State," in Bristol University Arts & Social Sciences Library - Restricted Pamphlet DA412 1643 PAR (London: Robert Bostock, 1643), p.5. 229 Butler and Scott, Feminists Theorize the Political, p.379. 230 Conal Condren, "Public, Private and the Idea of the 'Public Sphere' in Early-Modern England," Intellectual History Review 19, no. 1 (2009): p.22. 231 Ibid.: p.23.

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the factional or the conspiratorial threat to the public.” This distrust went both ways as “Charles I would make the same sort of accusation, with men such as Parker in mind.”232 ‘Public opinion’, prior to the English Revolution, was considered to be thoroughly illegitimate. Only inside parliament, where “a customary right of free speech in the 15th century had evolved into a formal privilege under the Tudors”,233 could speech be a legitimate public matter. As Habermas puts it, “public opinion can by definition only come into existence when a reasoning public is presupposed”234 and in the seventeenth-century, the people were thought to be “fickle, unstable and incapable of rational thought” – they were a “many-headed monster” to be tamed and trained.235 For Sir John Denham in a poem published in 1642: feign’d devotion bends The highest Things, to serve the lowest Ends: For if the many-headed Beast hath broke, Or shaken from his Neck the Royal Yoke, … Then Power’s first Pedigree from Force derives, And calls to mind the old Prerogatives Of free-born Man;236 For the likes of Denham, government itself was “a consequence of the Fall” to be conducted by the privileged few; “democracy, by handing power to the sinful majority, would defeat the objects of government”.237 Thomas Smith argued that common people “have no voice or authority in our commonwealth, and no account is made of them but only to be ruled.”238 Charles I published explanations of his decisions to dissolve Parliament in 1625 and 1626 but was “careful to explain that he was not bound to give an account of his ‘Regall Actions’ to anyone except God”.239 Even Gerrard Winstanley, member of the ‘True Levellers’, compared the

Ibid.: p.25. D. Zaret, "Petitions and the ''Invention'' of Public Opinion in the English Revolution," American Journal of Sociology 101, no. 6 (1996): p.1508. 234 Jürgen Habermas, Sara Lennox, and Frank Lennox, "The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964)," New German Critique, no. 3 (1974): p.50. 235 Christopher Hill, Change and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century England, Rev. ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), p.181. 236 John Denham, Poems and Translations, with the Sophy, 6 ed. (London: Printed For Jacob Tonson, 1719), p.179. 237 Hill, Change and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century England, p.181. 238 Thomas Smith quoted in: David Zaret, Origins of Democratic Culture: Printing, Petitions, and the Public Sphere in Early-Modern England, Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000), p.53. 239 J. P. Sommerville, Politics and Ideology in England, 1603-1640 (London ; New York: Longman, 1986), p.34.
233

232

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“giddy-headed multitude” to “clouds without rain, carried about by the doctrine and dream of new lights beginning to appear”.240 For Hobbes, privacy was dangerous, even blasphemous – duels were “‘private revenges’, exemplifying disobedience to the sovereign.”241 It was the sovereign that Hobbes described as “the Publique Person” who is “Representative of all his own Subjects”.242 As such, all subjects held “a private relationship with the sovereign’s ruling office.” The whole state thus became “the private sphere, made so only by there being a properly obeyed locus of absolute sovereignty, the public representative in office.”243 From seventeenth-century onwards, the “state monopolized the right to declare itself as the primary ‘public’ arena through its claim to successfully represent and defend the general interests of those it governed.”244 It offered the “first freedom” of “security-from-violence”, by removing subjects from the state of nature. Hobbes’s legacy is that, henceforth, “the protection and fostering of life have been understood as the liberal solution to the problem of persuading individuals to submit to the Leviathan.”245 By the people sacrificing liberty and submitting “to the sovereign’s process of power accumulation,”246 the state allowed for the pursuit of ‘private’ interests in a manner compatible with the ‘public’ good.247 By the start of the eighteenth-century, Henry St. John was able to distinguish “private security” from “publick tranquillity” in describing the “ends of good government”.248 “[P]ublick” was associated with “duties” and “private” with “studies”.249 Most importantly, he would further distinguish between “publick revenue” and “private property”,250 while criticising those who would “make a private court at the publick expense”.251 This was a case of actions taking place in the improper domain, rather than one domain having necessary authority over another, a marked contrast to previous associations. Nevertheless, the public as a realm remained that of the political.
240

Gerrard Winstanley quoted in: Hill, Change and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century England, p.289. 241 Condren, "Public, Private and the Idea of the 'Public Sphere' in Early-Modern England," p.23. 242 Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.285. 243 Condren, "Public, Private and the Idea of the 'Public Sphere' in Early-Modern England," p.24. 244 Patricia Owens, "Distinctions, Distinctions: 'Public' and 'Private' Force?," International Affairs 84, no. 5 (2008): p.980. 245 Ibid. 246 Ibid.; Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism. 247 Owens, "Distinctions, Distinctions: 'Public' and 'Private' Force?," p.981. 248 St. John (lord viscount Bolingbroke), The Works Of ... Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke. With the Life of Lord Bolingbroke by Dr. Goldsmith, Now Enlarged, p.302. 249 Ibid., p.201. 250 Ibid., p.120. 251 Ibid., p.253.

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Conclusion In the seventeenth-century, as we have seen, publicity was expressly associated with power and authority – it was not yet explicitly opposed to the state in the manner in which it is now understood but indications of movement in this direction are recognisable. Privacy was associated with femininity and subordination, while public action was associated with political office and characterised by a masculinist ethos.252 While elements of public discourse proliferated throughout this era there was no distinctive, let alone legitimate, private sphere that circumscribed and delineated the public, let alone a sphere populated, of all things, by morally autonomous individuals.253 Thus, Habermas’s communicative ideal “where legitimation is achieved through the unimpeded communication of participants”254 and thus constitutes a ‘public sphere’ cannot be said to be present at this time. Whether a ‘public sphere’ had or had not emerged at this time (if that is even a useful analytical concept), the role of the ‘public’ had evolved alongside the nascent modern state. Public opinion was still loathed and derided by the ruling classes, but its importance was increasingly recognised. To the extent that public diplomacy is diplomacy at, by or for publics, therefore, its conditions of possibility began to emerge at this time.

Propaganda
Etymology ‘Propaganda’ descends from the Latin propago, or propagare, a composite of pro meaning ‘forth’ and the root pag “meaning to set, to fasten down”.255 As a noun, a propago is “a layer or shoot; and the shorter forms of pango and pago suggest fastenings.”256 The OED dates the use of the word ‘propagation’ to 1588, … ‘propagating’ to John Pory in 1600, and the verb ‘to propagate’, including beliefs and doctrine, to 1570.257 The word therefore has deep roots and carries connotations of growing, spreading and disseminating but also of fixing, securing and fastening. While in early modern Britain there was no directly equivalent word to ‘propaganda’, The Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (the Holy Congregation for Propagating the Faith) was founded by the Roman

Landes, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution, p.3. Condren, "Public, Private and the Idea of the 'Public Sphere' in Early-Modern England," p.26. 254 Colebrook, Philosophy and Post-Structuralist Theory: From Kant to Deleuze, p.12. 255 Stanley B. Cunningham, The Idea of Propaganda: A Reconstruction (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2002), p.15-16. 256 Ibid., p.16. 257 Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers, p.2.
253

252

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Catholic Church in 1622, to promote counter-reformation doctrine.258 It was established “to harmonize the content and teaching of faith in its missions and consolidate its power”259, particularly in the New World.260 17th Century [T]he English Revolution of the mid-seventeenth century was accompanied by a concomitant media revolution.261 From methods of production and distribution to the techniques of their formulation and the licensing system “by which the services of writers were employed, and the manner in which their projects were scrutinised, assisted and supervised”, the seventeenth-century “witnessed the growing sophistication of print propaganda, indeed its complete transformation, particularly after the execution of Charles I in 1649.”262 Although it was invented two centuries before,263 the printing press, in its latest guises, “enabled people to involve themselves in politics to an unprecedented degree” throughout the seventeenth-century.264 “From the Reformation and the Dutch Revolt onwards, printing” was used as a medium of revolution that “demanded the twin response of counterpropaganda and censorship from the authorities.”265 This censorship was only “erratically effective”266 and during the ‘first’ English Civil War (164246), “the breakdown of the censorship and licensing system established by the Tudors and Stuarts led to a massive flow of news-sheet propaganda.”267 It took Cromwell’s draconian Printing Act of September 1649 to tame sedition and strangle the opposition press.268 Therefore, although the ‘print revolution’ opened up new possibilities for education of and subversion by those outside the immediate ruling classes (although, of course, restrained by limited literacy and economic inequalities), “it also provided new possibilities for the manipulation and control of public
258

Joad Raymond, News Networks in Seventeenth-Century Britain and Europe (London: Routledge, 2006), p.2. 259 Jay Black, "Semantics and Ethics of Propaganda," Journal of Mass Media Ethics 16, no. 2 & 3 (2001): p.121-22. 260 Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Frontier (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986), p.146. 261 Jeremy D. Popkin, Media and Revolution: Comparative Perspectives (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1995), p.48. 262 Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers, p.305-06. 263 John Man, The Gutenberg Revolution: The Story of a Genius and an Invention That Changed the World (London: Review, 2002). 264 Philip M. Taylor, Munitions of the Mind: A History of Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Present Era, 3rd ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press 2003), p.117. 265 Ibid. 266 Condren, "Public, Private and the Idea of the 'Public Sphere' in Early-Modern England," p.20. 267 Taylor, Munitions of the Mind, p.118. 268 Raymond, News Networks in Seventeenth-Century Britain and Europe, p.85.

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opinion.”269 Seventeenth-century politicians came to understand “the developing importance of public opinion,” and were aware of the growing interest of the public in contemporary political events. They recognised propaganda “as being vital in order to explain policies, and to generate and sustain support.”270 “From the late 1630s, the press was exploited to an unprecedented degree, in order to mobilise public opinion, and to justify political actions.”271 During the early seventeenth-century, “the manufacture and dissemination of royal propaganda in pamphlet form was becoming a routine government function.”272 According to Harold Nicolson, Richelieu “was the first to introduce a system of domestic propaganda”, overseeing the circulation of pamphlets “designed to create a body of informed opinion favourable to his policies”. Published from 1605,273 the Mercure François was later used by Richelieu “as a means [of] directing and correcting public opinion”.274 As with the reform of the organisation of diplomacy, Richelieu was heavily involved in the organisation of French propaganda, contending, despite the “undisputed autocracy” of the time, “that no policy could succeed unless it had national opinion behind it.”275 Propaganda by the mid-seventeenth-century became “increasingly bureaucratised, centralised and professionalised”, while there developed “new kinds of relationship between propagandists and politicians.”276 Early in the century, the actions of pamphleteers “reflected a desire to serve the interests of their friends and patrons; to display their personal support for religious and political causes; and to place their services at the Over the period, however, the disposal of political grandees.”277 relationship between authors and politicians moved “away from aristocratic networks towards professionalisation and the emergence of a civil service.”278 The period witnessed the “decline of propaganda and polemic” dedicated to “personal loyalty to patrons”. Instead propagandists became motivated “by the prospect of financial remuneration.” They were integrated “into political life and into
Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers, p.332. Ibid., p.303. 271 Ibid. 272 Jeffrey K. Sawyer, Printed Poison: Pamphlet Propaganda, Faction Politics, and the Public Sphere in Early Seventeenth-Century France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p.25. 273 "'Mercure François'," primary-sources.eui.eu, http://primary-sources.eui.eu/website/mercurefran%C3%A7ois. Accessed: 10/08/2009. 274 Michel de Certeau, "History Is Never Sure," Social Semiotics 6, no. 1 (1996): p.15. 275 Nicolson, The Evolution of Diplomatic Method, p.51. 276 Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers, p.305. 277 Ibid., p.303. 278 Ibid., p.27.
270 269

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bureaucratic administrations,” and the range of duties performed exceeded simple distribution, ranging from “intelligence gathering to the logistical management of propaganda, and from the composition of official statements to subtle polemic”. It was this new institutional basis that “formed key elements of the machinery of propaganda.”279 In exploiting “the means of legitimation”,280 propaganda became centred on the early modern government, wherein the resources of the executive and its bureaucracy were brought to bear on the world of publishing. As such, it reflects directly upon the formation of the state in seventeenth-century England.281 Conclusion The “first high-profile, popular use of the term propaganda”, as we have seen, comes from “the foundation of the Congregation dedicated to doctrinal uniformity within the Roman Catholic Church’s worldwide religious community.”282 The theme of bureaucratisation and the changing shape of state power in the period, as seen with representation and diplomacy, characterised the emergence of mass propaganda in Europe. Its role in state-formation indicates that, despite the non-emergence of a clear cut ‘public sphere’, and although it was largely a conceptual impossibility before 1651, ‘public opinion’ did “become a fact of political life” by the later seventeenth-century. Princes and bureaucrats were thus compelled “to control and manipulate this public opinion” and therefore developed “early forms of propaganda”.283

5: Conclusion
While the above analysis has barely scratched the surface of the genealogy of public diplomacy, it has yielded a great deal of interest – an excess, indeed. Three particularly rich veins stand out: states, public/s, authors. Each will be analysed in turn before drawing an overall conclusion.

States
The main theme running across all four strands of the above analysis of is that of state formation. The gradual bureaucratisation of the seventeenthcentury facilitated an increasingly centralised form of state power. For his part, Hobbes’s “Artificiall” person, based on his theory of representation,
279 280

Ibid., p.306. Ibid., p.307. 281 Ibid., p.306. 282 Cunningham, The Idea of Propaganda: A Reconstruction, p.15. 283 Ibid., p.17.

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allowed for the conceptual creation of an ‘artificial’ state. When this insight is combined with the Derridean deconstruction of the “logic of representation”284 we can say that the American state is an imaginary entity that exists only insofar as it is re-presented repetitiously and in distinction to all other signifiers in the language system. The American state, like all others, therefore requires repetitious re-presentation to ‘exist’, both within and outside of its territorial borders. Within an advanced liberal democracy such as the U.S., this representation far exceeds the point of saturation whereby the entity becomes reified and very difficult to ‘think without’. The extent of its extra-territorial representation is considerable (more so than any other state) but significantly less than within its borders, lacking as it does the endlessly imbricated, totally permeated character of the intra-state experience. Moreover, the means by which the state is represented often projects an image that is less than desirable to the U.S.’s super-saturated citizens. For most non-U.S. citizens, America will become ‘real-ised’ through popular culture, businesses or the military. As Armstrong notes: Ironically, Americans as a whole are less in touch with their military, while those beyond our borders, especially in today’s contested regions, experience America first-hand through our military.285 It is hardly surprising then that the U.S. appears so aggressively militarised to much of the world’s population compared to how benign and beatific it often seems to its own. Armstrong continues: Failing to manage perceptions amplifies the mismatch between words and deeds, images and perceptions, allowing the enemy to own the narrative.286 The problem for Armstrong is that the U.S. is misrepresented by its extraterritorial representations when improperly managed (when public diplomacy fails to represent the authentic identity). However, if the state cannot be unproblematically made present – if its ‘presence’ results from repetitious ‘play’ rather than the inverse – then how is this sovereign identity constructed? For Hobbes it is by ‘artifice’. For the structuring arguments of the public diplomacy agenda, there seems to be no equivalent reply. For Armstrong, among others, of course, it is not so much the state as the American public that is to be represented. How then is this entity to be constructed?
284

Colebrook, "From Radical Representations to Corporeal Becomings: The Feminist Philosophy of Lloyd, Grosz, and Gatens," p.81. 285 Armstrong, "Operationalizing Public Diplomacy," p.64. 286 Ibid.

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Public/s
As was briefly noted above, Hobbes’s usage of the words ‘fiction’ and ‘artificiality’ did not carry the connotations of falsity that they do today. In light of this, the following can be considered a particularly ‘forgetful’ notion: A nation’s public diplomacy can reveal the best and contextualise the worst, but it cannot present a fiction.287 Not only are publics, like states, fictions but they are indispensable in the discursive construction of the liberal state. As Michael Warner argues: It’s difficult to imagine the modern world without the ability to attribute agency to publics, although doing so is an extraordinary fiction.288 The genealogy has shown us that the discursive conditions of possibility of publics are affected not just by the technological possibilities of mass media or even the presence of res publica, but also attitudes towards gender, rationality, religion and, above all, power. In this period, privacy denoted unpredictability, submissiveness and femininity. By the end of the century, the shift towards more a familiar publicity, connoting association with public office but carrying more spatial and conceptual associations was noticeable. This is extremely important for the development of the legitimacy of the modern democratic state. To quote Warner again: If it were not possible to think of the public as organized independently of the state or other frameworks, the public could not be sovereign with respect to the state.289 For Hobbes, without a sovereign “Publique Person”290 “to represent it and play its part in the world”,291 the state cannot exist. In modern democracies such as the U.S., “the public is sovereign” and popular representations, public diplomatic and otherwise, serve “to re-present collectively held-norms back to the public, and convince the public that its views coincide with that of the sponsor.”292 In other words, a “reasoning public” must be “presupposed”293 in order to sustain a liberal democratic state; however that public must, in turn, be simultaneously convinced of (a) its distance from the state; and, (b) the mutuality of its interests with
287 288

Cull, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency, p.503. Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (New York: Zone Books, 2002), p.123. 289 ———, "Publics and Counterpublics," Public Culture 14, no. 1 (2002): p.51. Emphasis added. 290 Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.285. 291 Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.22. 292 Daniel Lessard Levin, Representing Popular Sovereignty: The Constitution in American Political Culture, Suny Series, American Constitutionalism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999), p.66. Emphasis added. 293 Habermas, Lennox, and Lennox, "The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964)," p.50.

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the state. To sustain all these conditions, the state is dependent upon the creation of a recognisable, empirically measurable public that legitimates legislative action by having an identifiable corporate identity. Within this system, ‘opinion’ is assumed to be “propositionally summarized … held, transferred, [and] restated indefinitely.”294 As such, the “public is thought to exist empirically and to require persuasion rather than poesis”295 – such an attitude is mistaken. As Derrida puts it: [P]ublic opinion … does not speak in the first person, it is neither subject nor object …; one cites it, one makes it speak, ventriloquizes it[.]296 This ideological requirement is utterly manifest in public diplomacy discourse, especially in the ‘tender-minded’ school wherein public diplomacy is to some degree separable from state action. To sustain this discourse, the poetic preconditions of publics are necessarily suppressed – publics are assumed to have an objective existence. Far from facilitating the operation of extra-statal power, therefore: The projection of a public is a new, creative, and distinctively modern mode of [state] power.297 This is the power to constitute an ‘other’ of the state – a “constitutive outside”298 from which the state can be taken to be delimited, made identifiable, ‘real’ and finite in its pretensions to power. However, defining the public as an entity separate from the state itself (which exists in public but is not the public) obscures the distinction between public and private. As Giorgio Agamben argues, we frequently can no longer differentiate between what is private and what [is] public[. … B]oth sides of the classical opposition appear to be losing their reality.299 In the seventeenth-century the distinction was clear and the associations of publicity with politics and privacy with domesticity were evident though in flux. Today, public diplomacy exhibits the breakdown of that distinction. As Cull argues: Public Diplomacy Is Everyone’s Business[.] … The behavior of one American – whether a tourist, businessman, or service person … plays a part in U.S. public diplomacy.300

Warner, "Publics and Counterpublics," p.83. Ibid.: p.82. Emphasis added. 296 Derrida, The Other Heading: Reflections on Today's Europe, p.87. 297 Warner, "Publics and Counterpublics," p.77. 298 Butler and Scott, Feminists Theorize the Political, p.379. 299 Giorgio Agamben and Ulrich Raulff, " Interview with Giorgio Agamben – Life, a Work of Art without an Author: The State of Exception, the Administration of Disorder and Private Life," German Law Journal 5, no. 5 (2004): p.612.
295

294

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The ostensive progressiveness of conducting foreign policy by, for and through publics is revealed when one problematises the distinction between these ‘realms’, as one must upon revealing their historical contingencies. For public diplomacy the populace is conceived as a resource to be tapped into. Judith McHale (current Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs), for example, argues: [O]ur greatest asset of all … [is] the American people.301 One might commonly reject such sentimentality as ‘mere’ rhetoric, however, in this context, it appears to be more significant than that. Former British diplomat Shaun Riordan, suggests groups that could be utilised for the furthering of public diplomacy plans, including: “universities and individual academics”; “schools and colleges”; “NGOs, national and international”; “journalists”; “political parties”; “citizen groups, ranging from babysitting collectives to local issue lobbies and parent-teacher associations”; “business associations and individual companies”; “youth movements”; “sports clubs”; “chat rooms and usernets.”302 For Condoleezza Rice: Public diplomacy is no longer the job of our experts alone; … we are mobilizing … the American people to help.303 On these accounts, anything even vaguely ‘public’ can be appropriated as a political resource. Although many of the above are all at least tacitly public organisations, their privacy is also plain. In public diplomacy, ‘publicity’ becomes all encompassing in the name of the ‘public’ good – privacy is erased under the cover of ‘engagement’ and ‘understanding’. ‘Publicity’ thus engages in a peculiarly dualistic operation in ‘public’ diplomacy: first, ‘publics’ are assumed to be verifiably isolatable entities existing in opposition to states, legitimating their ‘other’ and capable of quantification; second, ‘public’ in opposition to ‘private’ also denotes the realm of the good, the engagement of civic responsibility for the benefit of the collective – both these situations compliment state imperatives. Upon close inspection, publics are fictions – they are ‘ventriloquized’ objects of discourse, as is shown by their absence in the seventeenth-century under
300 301

Cull, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency, p.502-03. Judith McHale, "Public Diplomacy: Renewing America’s Engagement with the People of the World," U.S. Department of State, http://blogs.state.gov/index.php?/mobile/display/1181. Accessed: 20/08/2009. 302 Shaun Riordan, "Dialogue-Based Public Diplomacy: A New Foreign Policy Paradigm?," in The New Public Diplomacy : Soft Power in International Relations, ed. Jan Melissen (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p.191. 303 Condoleezza Rice quoted in: Richard Nelson and Foad Izadi, "Ethics and Social Issues in Public Diplomacy," in Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor (New York: Routledge, 2009), p.340.

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different political (not just technological) conditions. ‘Public’ diplomacy serves a minor poetic function by allowing the state actors to conceive of the population even in their relative privacy as resources to be ‘mobilized’. If publics lack objective existence, then public diplomacy allows the governmentalised formulation of a public that exists so as to serve the collective good – it allows a topographical, ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of a population’s ‘cultural resources’. Again, such occurs with reference to a unified, common (but still un-authenticated) good. Whether re-presenting states or publics, therefore, the question for public diplomacy remains the same. How is the unified object to be re-presented to be legitimated – that is to say, authorised?

Authors
Diplo-macy, as we have seen, has, far back into its prehistory, been associated with and dependent upon processes of authorisation/authentication. In the Hobbesian theory, an action performed by a representative “can be validly attributed to” an author “if and only if the representative has in some way been duly authorised”.304 A problem for Hobbes’s argument is how to distinguish representation from mis-representation. What enables a sovereign claim, when he or she performs an act of sovereign power, that such an act can properly and validly be attributed to the person of the state?305 Although the state may have “actions ‘truly’ attributed to it”, being ‘artificial’, “the state cannot give authority to anyone to represent it, and cannot therefore authorise its own representation.”306 Hobbes’s solution to this problem is arguing that we, as subjects “covenant in such a way as to authorise some designated man or assembly to represent us, thereby granting them the right and authority to speak and act in our name.”307 The sovereign (be it a king or a parliament), therefore “cannot fail to act in the best interests of the people … [because it] simply is the people represented ‘to the life’.”308 This does not, however, let us understand how extra-territorial representations can be made; how do those who are not subjects realise what is the legitimate, authorised representation? Constantinou describes the process of diplomatic representation thus: I decide to send an embassy. … I name my ambassador, the carrier of my logos. I authorize him to speak in my name. … He reaches
304 305

Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.7. ———, Visions of Politics, p.404. 306 ———, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.22. 307 ———, "Hobbes on Representation," p.167. 308 Ibid.: p.164.

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the destination. He gets accredited. He gives the message. His logos now represents me.309 This description demonstrates how the process of authorisation occurs at two points: departure and reception; sender and receiver. Hobbes’s account of authorisation cannot account for the legitimation of extraterritorial, trans-sovereign representation. Diplomatic representation might be technically authorised by ‘diplomatic’ (the authentication of handwriting), as long as the receiving party accepts the sovereignty of the sending, however public diplomacy has no diploma in its asymmetrical operation; it can rely on neither the Hobbesian incorporation process (as it is foreign publics), nor the Mabillonian authentication process (as it is foreign publics). It seems, therefore, that public diplomatic representation can be neither authorised nor authenticated. Perhaps for Hobbes this failure would be irrelevant – for public diplomacy advocates obsessed with the authentic nothing could be more relevant. In Leviathan, a person travelling to another state without direct authorisation from the sovereign cannot be considered that state’s ‘public representative’: [I]f a man be sent into another Country, secretly to explore their counsels, and strength; though both the Authority, and the Businesse be Publique; … he is but a Private Minister; but yet a Minister of the Common-wealth; and may be compared to an Eye in the Body naturall.310 There is a distinction made here between public as a kind of action and the public body (the sovereign) – public circulation does not mean public authority – attribution comes not from production but from authorisation. In such a public/private (rather than public/public) role, one is not entirely divorced from the state but nor does one carry the sovereign essence. The metaphor of the “Eye” suggests a useful functionality, but nothing as highly empowered as state representation. Such a person might be a spy, a lobbyist or a propagandist. Many public diplomacy advocates have gone to great lengths to either: (a) deny the strength of public diplomacy’s affiliation with propaganda; or, (b) deny the indignity of the comparison. As an example of the first manoeuvre, Melissen argues: The distinction between propaganda and public diplomacy lies in the pattern of communication. Modern public diplomacy is a ‘two-way street’ … [it] listens to what people have to say.311
309 310

Constantinou, On the Way to Diplomacy, p.31. Emphasis added. Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.169. 311 Jan Melissen, "The New Public Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice," in The New Public Diplomacy : Soft Power in International Relations, ed. Jan Melissen (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p.18.

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Public diplomacy is thus distinguished by its apparent openness and mutuality. As an example of the second manoeuvre, Philip Taylor argues: [W]e need peace propagandists, not war propagandists – people whose job it is to increase communication, understanding and dialogue between different peoples with different beliefs.312 Propaganda is thus ‘reclaimed’ as something approximating (‘tenderminded’) ‘public diplomacy’. This, in combination with Hobbes’s last point above, allows us to understand that propaganda is that which public diplomacy is trying to escape from, not only because of the word’s nefarious implications, but because propaganda is unrepresentative, illegitimate and therefore subversive of the very narrative that public diplomacy advocates wish to reinforce – the ‘narrative of misrepresentation’. Yet it is propaganda that coheres most with ‘public diplomacy’ in practice, insofar as (unlike diplomacy) it is technically and symbolically asymmetrical. To return to ‘schoolification’: while the ‘tough-minded’ simply seek influence without representation, the ‘tenderminded’ seek active engagement and thus legitimated representation. On the face of it this latter approach seems kinder and more democratic; upon this analysis, it simply seems more problematic. Given that public diplomatic representations can be authenticated in neither the Hobbesian nor Mabillonian sense, how can they possibly be authorised? Accepting the Hobbesian metaphysics that “there are few things incapable of being persons”313 – that anything capable of being represented can have actions attributed to it “whether Truly or by Fiction”314 – then an abstract, American essence of the sort public diplomacy appeals to can ‘exist’ through repetitious citation, however, as with all kinds of representation, there must still be a discursive mechanism to limit interpretational possibility to prevent inevitable semantic dispersion – some sort of process of authentication. One might say that this question is that of the ‘author’. For Foucault this entity is a relatively recent phenomenon: “Texts, books, and discourses”, he argues, only “began to have authors” once “authors became subject to punishment” and “discourses could become transgressive.”315 The author is thus a political construction that coincides with the growth of disciplinary power. It is

Philip Taylor quoted in: Snow, "From Bombs and Bullets to Hearts and Minds: U.S. Public Diplomacy in an Age of Propaganda," p.23. 313 Thomas Hobbes quoted in: Skinner, "Hobbes and the Purely Artificial Person of the State," p.17. 314 Hobbes and Martinich, Leviathan, p.120. 315 Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977), p.108.

312

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a certain functional principle by which … one impedes the free circulation, the free manipulation, the free composition, decomposition, and recomposition of fiction.316 The author, therefore, “does not precede the works”;317 it is not a person, nor even a persona – it is a function of discourse. This more abstract author helps us understand how public diplomatic representations might become authorised. In the discursive milieu of the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote to support his chosen representation/representative; he helped perform the “author function”318 (enclosing and delimiting the range of possible interpretations) for his preferred representational interpretation. For Hobbes the one, true sovereign was the king; for U.S. public diplomacy advocates it is the ‘essence’ of American life. Both attempt to set and settle in their writings, with varying degrees of success, the received facticity of the nation. As people argue over the proper, ‘ethical’ form that public diplomacy should take they are engaging in the process of authorisation (albeit as a minor part of a diffuse assemblage of debaters) of the image to be represented. If the nation has no a priori essence to be unproblematically presented (and, as Hobbes showed us, it cannot) then the truth is whatever is circulated. The argument over public diplomacy’s proper conceptualisation is, therefore, a contest of discursive power seeking to fix a certain interpretation of state power as the authentic one. Public diplomacy is an attempt at maintaining ‘functional-authorisation’; it is entirely dependent upon Leviathan (as a unifying force), but Leviathan is dependent upon its ‘functional authors’ (to police the boundaries of its discourse). To claim ‘truth’ to any discourse (as is the raison d’être of public diplomacy) one must engage both these beasts (Leviathan and the functional-author/s). Public diplomacy advocates are but one tiny corner of this discursive contestation, but that does not change the purpose of their efforts. Three methods of authorisation have thus been outlined. The first Hobbesian method cannot work outside sovereign borders; the second Mabollonian method relies upon communicative symmetry; the third relies the contestation of discursive circulation and is ultimately at the mercy of prevailing trends. A fourth option is suggested by Hobbes’s other, less feared beast, his history of the English Revolution Behemoth, wherein he asks: [H]ow came the people to be so corrupted? And what kind of people were they that could so seduce them?

316 317

Ibid., p.119. Ibid. 318 Ibid.

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Among the blameful for the Revolution were Presbyterians, Papists and “advocates of liberty of religion”, among others. Hobbes perceived a wide-ranging “lack of understanding of the nature of authority and obedience.”319 Particularly reproached were the universities, which had produced “even greater evils than these supine but loyal and (presumably) well-meaning clergy.”320 They were the “core of the rebellion” and while they should not be “cast away” they must be “disciplined”.321 Obedience comes not from “natural wit”, argues Hobbes, rather “it is a science, and built upon sure and clear principles, and to be learned by deep and careful study, or from masters that have deeply studied it.”322 The universities should be purged of dangerous influences and an agenda of discipline and obedience taught to cease the ferment and secure a legitimate and productive literati for the state’s benefit.323 In short, Hobbes self-consciously and self-righteously laid claim to the foundation of modern political science. In a rather Foucualdian turn, it was to rationally evaluate the proper disciplinary mechanisms necessary for an obedient citizenry. In reference to Foucault and Deleuze, Hardt & Negri contrast two kinds of society. The ‘disciplinary society’ is that society in which social command is constructed through a diffuse network of dispositifs or apparatuses that produce and regulate customs, habits, and productive practices.324 This is the society suggested in Hobbes’s plans for academic discipline, the goal of which was to strictly and, if necessary, violently limit intellectual activity so as to foster a productive (bourgeois), obedient (absolutist) society. By contrast, the ‘society of control’ is that society … in which mechanisms of command become ever more “democratic,” ever more immanent to the social field, distributed throughout the brains and bodies of the citizens.325 This is the society suggested in the discourse of public diplomacy, which is born of a collectivity of academics, politicians and practitioners coming together to construct an idea of a more peaceful form of statecraft under the rubric of public diplomacy. It is self-motivated (in all senses of that phrase) and it is heart-felt. It is a product of the highly developed liberal
Royce MacGillivray, "Thomas Hobbes's History of the English Civil War: A Study of Behemoth," Journal of the History of Ideas 31, no. 2 (1970): p.187. 320 Ibid.: p.192. 321 Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth: The History of the Causes of the Civil War (New York: Burt Franklin, 1964), p.74. 322 Ibid., p.200. 323 MacGillivray, "Thomas Hobbes's History of the English Civil War: A Study of Behemoth," p.193. 324 Hardt and Negri, Empire, p.23. 325 Ibid.
319

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state – a state whose citizens fight for the legitimacy of their ‘own’ interpretations. This is the realisation of what, in Aihwa Ong’s words, could be called the citizenary obligation “to be both self-managing and patriotic.”326 In addition to the three above outlined authorisation mechanisms, therefore, we can add two more: the construction of a society to either (a) restrict and discipline; or, (b) re-purpose and control, both thereby orienting the citizenry towards ends productive of the state discourse. Neither can ultimately, finally fix the semantic slippage of the state ideal – as with all projects of securitisation, nothing is ever final – however, these are powerful discursive functions and they are exhibited strongly in public diplomatic discourse.

Summation
Like the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the interest in the subject … lies in its very insubstantiality.327 To state the case with the greatest possible simplicity: public diplomacy is inextricably bound to the modern nation-state both in terms of its current understandings and its entire intellectual lineage (at least as far back as the seventeenth-century). The same is true of the (partially coterminous) representational agenda ‘embodied’ by Barack Obama. Both presume an approved, authorised national essence. The difference between these two things is the manner in which they expect authorisation. While Barack Obama is the incorporate, symbolic representative of the ‘American public’, as ‘artificial’ as that may be, public diplomacy expects to represent an abstract national essence besides this. The way this performance is proposed is the enlisting of any and all possible parts of the population to serve the re-presentational agenda – this tells us a great deal about the modern liberal state. Public diplomacy clearly fails in its attempts to re-present whatever object it is supposed to perform (state/public/nation). It cannot possibly succeed, nor do its cheerleaders often claim in significantly self-certain terms that it can – every eager analysis is capped by a less than confident caveat. It is the attempt to re-present that raises interest. Public diplomacy is interesting in its insubstantiality. Its speaking from the margins marks its very intrigue. Why do those involved evangelise so? And why do those in power pay periodic lip-service to it, even if such is fleeting? Why does a marginal discourse not simply suffocate and disappear altogether?

A. Ong, "Neoliberalism as a Mobile Technology," Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 32, no. 1 (2007): p.6. 327 J. M. Lee, "British Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War: 1946–61," Diplomacy & Statecraft 9, no. 1 (1998): p.112.

326

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Figure 4 – Ronald Reagan, Voice of America.

Although its roots are plainly widespread, public diplomacy remains an American invention. It speaks of the need, not just to dominate, but to be loved – it is a desire for hegemony, domestic and international. It says much of the overwhelming popular desire to exist in a collectivity (a nation state) but also to have that glorified conglomeration be an object of beauty for the whole world to see (and the whole world must see it). It shows just how instruments of statecraft, while differing in their function internally and externally, have a strong performative function on both sides. Public diplomacy sits at the edge of foreign policy discourse, reminding subjects of their beneficence. Spoken from the margins, it (partially) establishes and delimits the centre of the discourse – the fulcrum and zenith of the American representational ideal. In making peace-like representations abroad, Americans make up the peace-like character of the American self-image. Moreover, the discourses in and around public diplomacy and the ‘narrative of misrepresentation’ are immanent to the structure of domination inherent in the society of control. This is demonstrated by the swathes of civil society eager to rush to the aid of ‘public diplomacy’. By such communal, interpellative activities, the thunderous roar of a spectre most vile and violent – the blood-thirsty Leviathan – is silenced from the collective’s own shores via the attempt to quieten it on that of Others.
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As mentioned above, Hobbes’s conceptualisation of the state has dominated Eurocentric political discourse since its inception. As Mattingly gloomily concludes in his masterful account of Renaissance Diplomacy: The community of Europe, from the early seventeenth century for more than three hundred years, was to be composed not of individuals, not of estates and cities and provinces, but of these voracious, amoral, man-made monsters, the Leviathans.328 “The real problem” for all those following this emergence “was the one which mocked Job: by a slender line of logic to draw up Leviathan with a fishhook.”329 In Mattingly’s view, Grotius’s efforts in international law were valuable because: In a world in which the Leviathans were loose, clearly the terms of persuasion had to be altered.330 Then, as now, this seems true. This essay has basically been premised upon a ‘what if?’ argument: what if ‘difference’ is not the problem it is made out to be? This is not to doubt that cultural difference is a political problem,331 nor that it is a potential cause of violence. (Indeed, it is accepted that, in Derridean terms, ‘difference’ is productive of all meaning, identity and possibility for violence.) Nor is this an attempt to deny that communication is preferable to violence in political life. What this essay has tried to show is that the reductive blaming of violence upon difference is part of a ‘narrative of misrepresentation’, which resurrected public diplomacy and is revealed in its theoretical incoherence as significantly less benign than it pretends to be – upon inspecting its genealogy, its founding myths unravel. As Jodi Dean puts it most succinctly: [A]ll this tolerance and attunement to difference and emphasis on hearing another’s pain prevents politicization. Matters … are simply treated … as specific issues to be addressed therapeutically, juridically, spectacularly or disciplinarily rather than being treated as elements of larger signifying chains or political formations.332 The politicisation of the securitisation of difference is urgently necessary – the politicisation of difference itself has already happened. The quasi328 329

Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, p.293. Ibid. 330 Ibid., p.295. 331 e.g.: Inayatullah and Blaney, International Relations and the Problem of Difference.; Richard Shapcott, Justice, Community, and Dialogue in International Relations, Cambridge Studies in International Relations 78 (Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 332 Jodi Dean, "Communicative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics," Cultural Politics: an International Journal 1 (2005): p.56.

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criticism of public diplomacy literature is simply inadequate to this task. This essay has shown that what needs to be considered when thinking about difference from a standpoint embedded within state security projects is that this Leviathan demanding re-presentation may not be, as Hobbes had it, “that Mortall God, to which wee owe … our peace and defence”;333 but rather, as it was for Nietzsche, “the coldest of all cold monsters”, which does its subjects nothing but harm when “this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.” It is a lie!”334

Hobbes and Tuck, Leviathan, p.120. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Thomas Common, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Dover Thrift Editions (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999), p.30.
334

333

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