Professor Alan Henrikson Delivers a Lecture on Public Diplomacy at the American Center in Moscow

On April 24, 2018, Alan Henrikson, Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History Emeritus and founding Director of Diplomatic Studies at The Fletcher School, gave a lecture on public diplomacy at the American Center in Moscow located at the Embassy of the United States.

In his opening remarks, Henrikson stressed the importance of public diplomacy by asserting that it is the most critical part of an ambassador’s job. Throughout the lecture, he highlighted the significance of diplomatic understanding, which encompasses the need to take a longer view, consider unintended consequences of formal deals and agreements, and understand and appreciate the fact that cultures differ greatly.



Then Henrikson proceeded to discuss the similarities and differences between public diplomacy and propaganda. He explained that although there is some overlap between the two concepts, they are not completely identical. During his presentation, Henrikson spoke about the origins of public diplomacy, its historical development, its main functions as well as different means of conducting public diplomacy. He spent some time discussing the importance of media framing and the increasing role of social media in public diplomacy.

Henrikson concluded his lecture by saying that public diplomacy strategies aim to achieve various goals, ranging from wider public diplomatic understanding to containment. He also stated that public diplomacy is used by a variety of actors, including but not limited to states, international organizations, political groups, and social movements. The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session.


Leave a Reply