After cold-war era, public diplomacy has become widely used by several countries as a tool in global public relations as public opinion is given more importance due to the fact the world is developing in a more democratic way, leading people to have more rights and freedom and power to non-government organisation. Furthermore, the development of technology and globalisation has make the world to become interconnected because people have more access to more sources of news. Nowadays, several nations in the world has adopted the concept of public diplomacy as its is known as a subtle way to create positive national branding and a clear understanding of a national policy in a way that the government want to be understand and perceive in the global arena, which influence foreign investment, tourism, and education industry. The popularity of public diplomacy had lead to competitive amongst nation to compete against each other in order to gain the benefit out of it and it has also become a framework in the way how international diplomacy is carried out.
This analysis aims to discuss the role of public diplomacy in international affairs by paying attention to the technologies, media formats and communication strategies that are used to present nations in the global arena. Case StudiesThe main objective of this essay is to evaluate how Thailand used public diplomacy as their tool to create positive public international image. Thailand is chosen due to the fact that its a country that national projection is given high regards, yet there are several issues in Thailand that severely damage its reputation including political instability, and prostitution. The government is considered to be weak but the strength of Thailand lies within culture, and tourism.
Thailand has been through several political turmoil by having a statistic of 21 coup d’etat from 20th to 21th century ,but this essay will focus on how the recent post coup and before coup create national branding. Literature ReviewPublic DiplomacyPublic Diplomacy is defined as “the way in which the government deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies. It encompasses dimensions of international relations beyond traditional diplomacy; the cultivation by governments of public opinion in other countries” (Brown. 2005). However, the audience is “free to accept or not to accept the message and persuasion is achieved through gaining trust and confidence” (Zaharna. 2004). Credibility could be regarded as the core of public diplomacy, by showing a small bit of manipulation or deception would result in losing credibility (Ibid. 2004).
The usage of Public diplomacy is also tool for achieving Soft Power. A concept originated by Joseph Nye in 1990 as ” power that is based on intangible or indirect influences such as culture, values, and ideology (Snow 2009). This means influence can be gained through the uses of various types of media including National BrandingCan be define in different wayIn prasert way he interpret thailand this wayHow aboutToday mee krai tum barng 1950 he do dis 1977 he do dis 1980 they say no but at last i choosetechnologies, Media formats Communication strategiesThailand BackgroundThailand main industries consist of tourism, foreign investment, automotive parts and automobiles, electronic parts and electrical, which heavily contribute to the gross-domestic product of the country citation wiki). In order for Thailand to strive and rely on these industry sectors it heavily required positive national projection to attract foreign investment.
However, the reputation of Thailand is heavily plague by infamous prostitution, which tarnished the perception of Thailand in a negative way. Sex tourism means a tourist travelling to other countries solely to buy sexual services (Enloe, 1989). Most sex tourism take place in brothels, restaurants, bars or massage parlours ( R.Hanenberg & W. Rojanapithayakorn 1988). The services may vary from brothels to sex-phone, ping-pong shows, online brides, street prostitution to pornography (Nuttavuthisit, 2006). Several light district in Thailand such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy, Soi Nana , and Pattaya walking have become the main tourist attraction and landmark for sexual tourist to visit.
This reputation even went so far that Bangkok is stated as ‘The capital of Thailand, a place often associated with prostitution ‘ by the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (1993), and in the Economist, volume 369 (December 2003) also mentioned ‘ throw a stone in Bangkok, and the chances are you will hit a gambler or a brothel goer’. Furthermore, it is also portrayed in the American film “The Hangover 2”, leaving a negative impact on Thai national projection, which eventually leads to current Thai prime minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha stating that he is “ashamed” and wanted “to change this perception” ( San Diego Union Tribune 2018).