chapter  6
14 Pages

International Broadcasting

Public Diplomacy as a Game in a Marketplace of Loyalties
WithPhillip Arceneaux, Shawn Powers

International broadcasting—a subset of public diplomacy—refers to efforts by nation-states electronically projecting news and information across state boundaries to strategically engage with foreign communities. As globalization and technological advancements lower barriers for entry in the global media space, more and more governments are investing in international broadcasting as a tool to compete for influence. Drawing from theories and models from international relations, law, microeconomics, and communication policy, this chapter proposes that these efforts are best understood as multilevel games, whereby state actors and their proxies engage in a series of negotiations with foreign audiences, foreign governments, and domestic stakeholders to identify strategies that satisfy each constituents’ needs or concerns in order to effectively compete for ideational capital and loyalties. Contrasted to more traditional theories of public diplomacy, this grounded approach is built from the empirical context up. By drawing from scholarship from several disciplines, this model demonstrates the utility and need for a multidisciplinary scope for studying and guiding the practice of public diplomacy. Two case studies highlighting the roles of the US Agency for Global Media in North Korea and China’s China Global Television Network (CGTN) in sub-Saharan Africa are explored through the lens of game theory, specifically addressing how each layer of the negotiations plays out in relation to one another, highlighting the importance of strategies that account for the demonstrable needs of audiences, redlines of foreign governments, and the concerns of an activated domestic citizenry.