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Public Diplomacy in Theory and Practice: Culture, Information and Interpretation in Australian-Indian Relations [30/01/2011] ]
full name / name of organization:
Dr Amit Sarwal, Asst. Prof., Department of English, Rajdhani College (University of Delhi), New Delhi
Public Diplomacy in Theory and Practice:
(A Two Day International Conference)
8th & 9th April 2011, New Delhi
Public Diplomacy is rapidly becoming the focus of government initiatives, including those by Australian and Indian governments. It is also an expanding field of activity, with both state and non-state actors seeking to communicate with publics overseas. At the same time, public diplomacy is becoming recognised as a mutlidisciplinary field of study, logically suggesting conceptual links to several disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.
There remains a fundamental tension, in approaching the task of public diplomacy between those who see it as a new tool with which to manage relationships conceptalised in traditional ways, and those who see it as an opportunity to enlarge the bases of international relationships. The former group sees public diplomacy largely as a form of public relations, intending that certain images are maintained and that negative images might be countered; and the enlargers tend to see it either in the conext of ‘soft power’ assumptions about new modes of exercising infuence, or a more liberal notion of relationships between nations benefiting from a rich context of exchange.
How does this depiction stand up in against current thinking and initatives? Given the need for breadth and multiple layers of tissue in a growing relationship, especially one that has been shown to be vulnerable to sudden shocks, it is also time to explore the significance of public diplomacy in the Australian-Indian relationship, both past and present. Our starting proposition is that not only have Australian and Indian acts of public diplomacy been more significant than realised for the Australian-Indian relationship, but Australian and Indian scholars are well-placed to offer insights from regional and bilateral perspectives.
We invite abstracts from Indian scholars through email for presentations of approx 20 minutes by 30th Jan 2011. Also attach a short biographical note (100 words) mentioning your designation, university/institute, area of study, academic interests and relevant publications. Include contact information (your postal and preferred email address and phone).