Public Diplomacy


Public opinion can hold great power over politics and government action. Popular support can initiate war, give power to officials, or bring down corrupt politicians. Mass media furthers public influence, actively shaping and reflecting public opinion, giving light to individual viewpoints and spreading new knowledge.

Tracking attitudes and trends allows for an understanding of national sentiment and support. Dynamically changing, public opinion can be laden with passionate emotion, yet easily stricken with misinformed judgment. Yet fact-based calculations on opinion polls allow leaders to know where they stand, and, most importantly, where they should go. It is the mission of international research and polling agencies to follow these changes, providing unbiased, accurate findings that will shape political action and galvanize national support.

Critical Topics for Public Diplomacy

The following represents a list of key terms and ideas that are used in reference to broader discussions about public opinion and public diplomacy.

  • The Chinese Charm Offensive
  • The Clash of Civilizations - i.e. the perception that there exists a fundamental clash of civilizations. This term is normally used to describe the perceived societal clashes between the West and the Middle East.
  • East-West Relations
  • Muslims and the United States

Public Opinion Surveys

The following is a list of key public opinion surveys which frequently appear in conversations about the successes and failures of the public diplomacy campaigns of respective nations. Public opinion surveys relevant to particular countries/campaigns are listed on the individual country pages.

National & International Pollsters