Public Diplomacy Practices of American Presidents towards the Islamic World After 9/11
Işıklar, Zübeyde Selcen
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This thesis examines the public diplomacy activities of the United States, mainly by focusing on the period after the September 11 attacks. The US, known as the inventor and best implementer of public diplomacy wanted to activate its soft power besides its hard power as an important component of its national power, for its war on terror strategy. Along with its strategy of fighting against terrorism, the US tried to restructure and institutionalize its public diplomacy activities which it had stopped at the end of the Cold War following the collapse of the Soviet Union with the belief that there was no more need for it. The research question of the thesis, therefore, is whether the US has been successful in the policies conducted with the aim of increasing its soft power, summarily winning hearts and minds, as the main part of its public diplomacy alongside with its military power that is also utilized within the scope of the US’ war on terror strategy. In this context, the public diplomacy policies implemented by different American Presidents since September 11, 2001 are examined. As a result of the study, it has been found out that despite short-lived successes during some Administrations, the public diplomacy strategies carried out by the US to improve its image failed in general, mainly because of two reasons; disregard for the different characteristics of the nations it addressed and failure to comprehend the sources of negativity especially in the heavily Muslim populated countries.