Battles to Bridges: US Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy After 9/11

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This book surveys the legacy of public diplomacy initiatives and lessons from the Bush era war on terrorism and discusses how culture, networks and communication dynamics are redefining US public diplomacy grand strategy.

Battles to Bridges provides a rich, historical review and analysis of the critical post-9/11 period of US public diplomacy and lays the ground work for theory building in public diplomacy.

Part I: Crisis Public Diplomacy surveys the programs and legacy of lessons of the now historic, post 9/11 period of US public diplomacy. Part II: Changing Dynamics explores how changes in political and communication features of the international arena, including culture and networks dynamics, impacted US public diplomacy strategy.  Part III is devoted to public diplomacy theory building across the three strategic levels of grand strategy, strategy and tactics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"R.S. Zaharna has written an important and timely intervention in debates about US strategic communications and offers new insight into the processes of American public diplomacy following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The author embeds the empirical work within a rich theoretical framework to provide a comprehensive descriptive and analytical treatment of the subject... This will be considered a major work and will be used by students and scholars for many years to come." —Professor Gary D. Rawnsley, Director of the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, UK
"R.S. Zaharna has consistently been in the top echelon of public diplomacy scholars. Her views are inevitably informed by both academic theory and professional practice. She fully understands the concept of strategic communications and its pillars in their diplomatic, military and media contexts. This long awaited book confirms that reputation. But, more importantly, it brutally analyzes why a huge gulf of misunderstanding has opened up since 9/11 between the western and Islamic worlds. Policy makers ignore this book at your - and our - peril!" —Professor Philip Taylor, Institute of Communication at the University of Leeds, UK
"Battles to Bridges fills a void in the literature, particularly with its emphasis on culture and intercultural communication as it relates to public diplomacy. The 'C' word is a major void in our PD discussion and literature and I can think of no better expert in this area than Dr. Zaharna to tackle this subject. Her work is theory-rich and well-researched, but she has the added ability of stepping outside the Ivory Tower to communicate her work with a wider audience." —Dr Nancy Snow, Associate Professor of Public Diplomacy, Syracuse University Newhouse School and Sr. Fellow of University of Southern California, Center for Public Diplomacy, USA
"R.S. Zaharna is a leading voice bringing fresh insights to the study and practice of public diplomacy. Intelligent, lucid, and deeply knowledgeable, her book is essential reading for all who want to understand U.S. efforts to engage diverse global publics in the 21st century." —Bruce Gregory, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University, USA
"Battles to Bridges is a must piece for practicing diplomats." —Dr. John H. Brown, Adjunct Professor of Liberal Studies, Georgetown University, USA

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Product Details

Meet the Author

R. S. ZAHARNA is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

Pt. I Crisis Public Diplomacy

1 America's Communication Problem 11

2 Battle for Hearts and Minds 29

3 Search for Answers 53

Pt. II Changing Dynamics

4 Changing Dynamics and Strategic Vision 73

5 The Soft Power Differential 92

6 Communication, Culture, and Identity in Public Diplomacy 115

Pt. III Expanding the Vision of Strategic U.S. Public Diplomacy

7 Strategy and Tactics: Conceptual Frameworks 137

8 Grand Strategy: From Battles to Bridges 156

Epilogue 174

Notes 185

Index 221

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