What diplomats do: US citizen perspectives on the work of public diplomacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research uses Q methodology to study the perceptions that US citizens hold of diplomatic practice. It builds upon prior research into the self-perceptions that US diplomats, specifically public diplomacy practitioners, hold of the work that they do and the attributes of their profession. The research effort seeks to identify and categorize specific attributes to contribute to a greater understanding of said attributes; to facilitate the hiring, training, and management of diplomatic practitioners; and to contribute to the elaboration of a sociology of the profession of public diplomacy. Data analysis of the Q study responses of multiple survey groups in 2019 and 2021 reveal clusters of consistency in the views that diplomats and citizens share of the diplomatic profession, with regard not only to attributes considered most representative but also those considered most unrepresentative of diplomats and diplomatic behavior. In fact, second-order factor analysis revealed that while there is an observable consensus on certain values or attributes that diplomats do (or should) share, there is an even stronger and more consistent consensus on values that respondents do not consider representative of the diplomatic profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-455
Number of pages14
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Diplomacy
  • Public Diplomacy
  • Q methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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