Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2017

Journal

All Azimuth

First Page

1

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.20991/allazimuth.321794

Last Page

16

Abstract

This essay presents a critical and reflexive assessment of contemporary efforts

to innovate the measurement and evaluation of public diplomacy. Analyzing a

recent and pivotal report called “Data-Driven Public Diplomacy,” it explains

how the institutional and ideological residue of the Cold War underwrites

these initiatives in the context of American activities in its contemporary “War

on Terror.” Inspired by Marx’s concept of the fetish—n under-represented

conceptual approach to public diplomacy research—he authors critique

the thinking of public diplomacy scholars and officials, arguing that both an

omnipresent past and a powerful form of technological fetishism are discernible

in the “Data-Driven Public Diplomacy” report. An outcome of the type of

thinking represented in the report, they conclude, has been the pervasiveness of

contradictions and, in this area of foreign policy, disempowering implications.