Celebrity diplomacy

Wheeler, Mark (2016) Celebrity diplomacy. In: The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy. SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 530-539. ISBN 9781446298565


This chapter - from The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy edited by Costas M. Constantinou (University of Cyprus), Pauline Kerr (Australian National University) and Paul Sharp (University of Minnesota, Duluth - examines the rise of transnational forms of celebrity diplomacy - the employment of well-known or famous individuals to publicize international causes and to engage in foreign policy decision-making circles. International governmental organizations (IGOs) including the United Nations (UN) have a long-standing tradition of appointing Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace. In turn, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children, have been represented by celebrity advocates. These developments emerged from a transition between state-centric to public diplomatic state-people and people-people initiatives. A new ‘currency’ of public diplomacy has occurred in which emotion and rhetoric helps shapes the outcome of international affairs. Moreover, with the rise of 24/7 news programming, the accompanying ‘CNN effect’ on foreign policymaking and the social media, there has been a reconfiguration of international public opinion from elite interest to grassroots representation.


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