Engaging Technologies: A Comparative Study of U.S. and Venezuelan Strategies of Influence and Public Diplomacy

Craig Hayden


Nation-state efforts to account for the shift in the global communication environment, such as “public diplomacy 2.0,” appear to reflect inter-related transformations – how information and communication technologies (ICTs) change the instruments of statecraft and, importantly, how communication interventions serve as strategically significant foreign policy objectives in their own right. This paper examines two cases of foreign policy rhetoric that reveal ways in which the social and political role of ICTs is articulated as part of international influence objectives: the case of “public diplomacy 2.0” programs in the United States and Venezuela’s Telesur international broadcasting effort. These provide evidence of the increasing centrality of ICTs to policy concerns and demonstrate how policy makers translate contextualized ideas of communication effects and mediated politics into practical formulations.

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