10/11/2022 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Theoretical Origin and Application of Strategic Communication in U.S. Diplomacy


Strategic communication has attracted much attention in political and academic circles because of its application to politics, economy, military and diplomacy. By tracing the development of strategic communication and exploring core concepts advocated by Edward Bernays, the founder of modern public relations, the thesis explores the theoretical origin of strategic communication, namely, psychological analysis of target groups, creation of iconic symbols, and scientific persuasion, focuses on the characteristics of the Reagan administration’s strategic communication to the Soviet Union, and analyzes the core elements guaranteeing the effectiveness of strategic communication. The study finds that strategic communication has the ultimate goal of “informing” and “influencing” to change the behavior of the audience for its strategic purpose. The core elements that ensure the success of strategic communication are the alignment between strategy and tactics, the close linkage between values and iconic symbols, and the persuasion based on professional knowledge.


ZHENG Hua, Professor of International Relations from Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversitySJTU, director of Leading Team Incubation Program of in social science, SJTU (2022); chief expert of major projects of National Social Science Foundation (2021); Fulbright Scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University (2018-2019); Senior Associate Member of St. Antony College, Oxford University (2010-2011).She is mainly engaged in the study of diplomatic patterns as summit diplomacy, public diplomacy and science and technology diplomacy, specializing in application of discourse analysis to interpret international hot issues. Her book Summit Diplomacy: Discourse Analysis of Sino-US Leaders’ Negotiations 1969-1972 was published as a much appreciated monograph in China in 2008 and later included by Harvard library.