Power Relations in Development Communication and Public Diplomacy: US and Chinese Practices in Afghanistan

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)


While international development and public diplomacy can both be considered as the process of transferring resources in the pursuit of desired outcomes, they have contrasted stances in representing the interest and power of different acting organizations. Development assistance has a more overly ethical and normative purpose, whereas public diplomacy represents the interests of the acting organization and concerns policy outcomes. In this chapter, the author investigates the power relations in public diplomacy and development communication through network analysis, and unpacks the US and Chinese networks of their foreign assistance to Afghanistan. With a comparison of two resource transaction networks, the author concludes that the US aid to Afghanistan empowers contractors, while Chinese aid gives power to state-owned enterprises.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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