Summer 2014- The Power of Non-State Actors

In recent decades, the emergence of the Internet and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has revolutionized the possibilities within the international political landscape. With expanded opportunities to cultivate networks over distances, Non-State Actors (NSAs) have emerged as significant players in the global system. While the traditional definition of public diplomacy refers to governmental practices of informing and influencing foreign publics through intercultural communication, NSAs have rapidly adopted public diplomacy processes in their increased diplomatic relations with state actors. The 12th issue of Public Diplomacy Magazine, “The Power of Non-State Actors,” enlists a wide range of expertise to illustrate the diversity of NSAs and the public diplomacy tools they employ.

The rise of NSAs advocating for change from the bottom up is one of the central themes of this issue. In our Features section, Mary Finley-Brook focuses on civil society actors who are socializing the international community to their norms and values through action-oriented, people-to-people diplomacy. As ICT prices decrease, public diplomacy strategies will continue to be key in managing the network’s activities and relationships.

In addition to pressuring states to make changes, NSAs also collaborate with states. Richard Wike’s contribution, “Survey Research and International Affairs,” considers states’ reliance on research and survey organizations like Pew Research Center to provide public opinion information to policymakers. Our interview with the Master of Public Diplomacy delegation to São Paulo draws attention to Campus Brasil, an educational NSA in Brazil which collaborates with the state to bring cultural exchange students to the country. Partnering with states can add legitimacy to NSAs and increase access to funding.

Other actors discussed in this issue include celebrities, diasporas, refugees, violent NSAs, and corporations. We hope that the breadth of topics featured throughout this issue adds to the reader’s understanding of NSAs and their public diplomacy tools. For more on public diplomacy trends and access to current and past issues of the magazine, we encourage you to visit

As always, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the USC Center for Public Diplomacy, the Annenberg Press, the USC Dornsife School of International Relations, and the USC Master of Public Diplomacy Program. Without their support and advice, this student-run publication would not be possible. Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank all our contributors for adding dimension to the dialogue. Finally, this issue concludes my tenure as editor-in-chief. It is with great confidence that we pass the reins to the Master of Public Diplomacy Class of 2015.

Shannon Haugh




Climate Justice Advocacy by Mary Finley-Brook

Conflicting Interests in Non-State Actor Diplomacy: A Case Study of Corporate Diplomacy in Art and Sport by Rook Campbell

Operationalizing the Responsibility to Protect: The Potential for Transnational Public Diplomacy to Advance Effective, Domestic Responsibility  by Horacio Trujillo & David Elam


Diaspora Diplomacy: Influences from Philippine Migrants by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez


PASSOP: A Non-Profit Organization for Refugees’ Rights in South Africa

Non-State Actors in Brazilian Public Diplomacy: An Interview with the USC Master of Public Diplomacy Delegation to Brazil

What is Hollywood’s Diplomatic Role? An Interview with Film Producer Mike Medavoy

Case Studies

Survey Research and International Affairs by Richard Wike

Celebrity Diplomacy Without Effects: Danny Kaye and Unicef by Ira Wagman

For the Lulz: Anonymous’s Influence on the World by Matthew Wallin

Non-State Actors: 21st Century Activism for Influencing Public Policy by Linda Reinstein

Surviving the Struggle: Engagement and the Transformation of Violent Non-State Actors by Kevin Grisham

Displaced Religious Minorities in Chiapas: Communication Strategies for Agency by Laura Rubio Diaz-Leal

Book Review

Max Boot’s Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present by Maria Portela


Our Winter 2015 Issue: The LGBT Movement & Public Diplomacy: An Interview with Patrick J. Linehan United States Consul General, Osaka-Kobe, Japan