AMST40130 Public Diplomacy and Soft Power

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module will analyse historical and emergent roles of public diplomacy as the 'soft power' wing of American foreign policy. It will consider the ways in which the power of the American state is manifested in its operations across national boarders, and examine the implications for cultural production and knowledge- formation shaped by the operations of this power. We will examine communications strategies that evidence new and sophisticated relations between public relations and public diplomacy; and comment on how these strategies are tied to (but also in tension with) foreign policy initiatives.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will learn about key ideas and concepts in public diplomacy. They will work with multidisciplinary sources and texts, and develop skills of critical analysis and interpretation.

Indicative Module Content:

Key issues include:
strategic communications and information warfare;
the promotion of educational and cultural programmes;
private/public networks and the role of non-state actors and NGOs in delivering and contesting public diplomacy goals;
the role of rights discourse in public diplomacy;
the impact of new media technologies on public diplomacy.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Classroom discussion based on assigned readings

Each student will make a formal presentation
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Presentation: Presentation Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Continuous Assessment: Participation in in-class activities including individual and group presentations; debates; and other activities. The total number of unexcused absences will also affect this grade component. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 5000 word essay Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback provided both pre- and post-assessment

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Tues 14:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Tues 15:00 - 15:50