With both the theory and practice of public diplomacy deeply influenced by the tremendous changes taking place in the Internet era, EWI Vice President David Firestein addressed these developments in a speech at Beijing Foreign Studies University by raising several questions for students to discuss, including: whether public opinion can influence foreign policy; which part of public opinion should be influenced by public diplomacy; and how public diplomacy’s influence can be measured. He explained how the rise of social media—including blogs, Facebook, and Twitter—has affected U.S. public diplomacy in recent years. Despite the widespread use of social media today, Firestein pointed out that the human factor is still among the most important factors in public diplomacy and that face-to-face interaction remains the most effective.

EWI would like to express its gratitude to BFSU for providing footage of Firestein’s talk.


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