Middle Power Pull: Can Middle Powers Use Public Diplomacy to Ameliorate the Image of the West?
This paper addresses whether or not Western middle power states are capable of making an effective, significant contribution to ameliorating the image of the West via public diplomacy. Public diplomacy, often incorrectly labelled as state-sponsored “spin,” is a process of dialogue and relationship-building with application to foreign and security policy development. Relevant literature suggests that middle powers, which are typically understood to emphasize multilateralism in their foreign policy and who pursue “second and third agenda” items, are well positioned to engage in cooperative public diplomacy by virtue of their substantial soft power and established networks. This direction is tested through examination of two states considered to be middle powers: Canada and the Netherlands.