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A Study on the "Image Diplomacy" of the First Term of Obama Administration

Author: YangJing
Tutor: LuXiaoKe
School: Beijing Foreign Studies University
Course: Of Diplomacy
Keywords: image diplomacy Obama administration soft power diplomatic strategy
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 17
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National image is considered to be one of the important parts of the national "soft power", which from one aspect can reflect the country’s comprehensive strength and influence. Therefore, building and dissemination of national image has drawn the attention of each administration. Many countries have made adjustment on national image or reshaped it from the height of strategy. Image diplomacy, as a part of diplomacy strategy, is not only one of the objectives aiming at diplomatic activities, but also a way to materialize national interests.This thesis takes "Image Diplomacy" of Obama Administration as the research object, embarking from the perspective of practical activities. It focuses on the analysis of the use of "Image Diplomacy" of Obama administration on its allies, emerging powers and Islamic countries. Then the thesis discusses the mode of diplomatic actions, effect as well as the future prospects of foreign policy in Obama’s new term. The basic structure of this thesis is divided into five parts:The first part is about the basic analysis of the national image and concept of image diplomacy. Firstly, the meaning and importance of national image is explained, and then the analysis of the relationship between national image and the image of diplomacy is clarified. To elucidate the role of image diplomacy, the thesis points out the theory that supports the Obama administration’s utilizing of image diplomacy.The second part, mainly expounds the background of the adoption of image diplomacy for Obama administration. In this part, the explanation is threefold:first, from the perspective of intense international environment; Second is from the perspective of domestic post financial crisis environment; and third is the tradition of America diplomatic history in dealing with foreign affairs. This is the realistic environment for Obama Administration to promote image diplomacy.The third part mainly discusses the practices in actual use. The Obama administration’s practice can be divided into four parts. One is to strengthen relations with allies; two is to improve relations with Russia and China; three is to improve relations with the Islamic countries. This chapter is the main focus of this paper. The fourth part studies the effect of image diplomacy. It explores the positive effect as well as the limitations of this diplomatic adoption and also tries to reveal the reasons behind it.The fifth part focuses on the prospect of Obama’s next term as American president,and the enlightenment to China. Obama will continue the image diplomacy at some level. At the same tome he won’t abandon the use of "hard power"."Act tough and talk soft" may be the best interpretation of the Obama new term foreign policy. China should adopt a more flexible policy and pay attention to the promotion and use of soft power.After Obama came into power, his innovation in the diplomatic field attracts much attention around the world. The Obama administration proposed "Image Diplomacy" out of two main reasons:one is the following of American political pragmatism; two is the demand for alleviating the domestic and international pressure.

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