Quebec's public diplomacy: A study on the conceptual convergence of public diplomacy and public relations

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Title: Quebec's public diplomacy: A study on the conceptual convergence of public diplomacy and public relations
Authors: Bouzanis, Jason
Date: 2009
Abstract: The thesis expands Signitzer and Coombs' (1992) seminal study on the conceptual convergence of public diplomacy and public relations. Similar to international public relations, public diplomacy serves to transmit infolination, promote influence, create understanding and build relationships. However, a review of the existing academic literature reveals that the public diplomacy/public relations nexus has received insufficient attention from scholars. The purpose of the study is to determine whether there exists a strong enough similarity between the two domains to actively theorize public diplomacy from a communications (public relations) perspective. The research systematically applies the Signitzer and Coombs comparative model to interpret evidence of conceptual convergence in five areas of Quebec's public diplomacy (academic and cultural relations, investment and tourism promotion, and sports diplomacy). It is demonstrated that public diplomacy and public relations are both premised on the concept of symmetry, but also share asymmetrical tendencies. The findings suggest that the two disciplines are experiencing a process of convergence and support the value of exploring public diplomacy with public relations-based theories and models. However, public diplomacy practitioners are generally unwilling to recognize the relationship between public diplomacy and public relations. The development of shared concepts is therefore encouraged to overcome these perceptual gaps. Future research centred on common functions, such as reputation management and relationship building, is proposed and the thesis concludes that interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary to advance the public diplomacy scholarship. Keywords. public diplomacy, public relations, Quebec international relations, international communications, nation branding, cultural relations, academic relations, investment promotion, tourism promotion, sports diplomacy, conceptual convergence.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/28121
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-12396
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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