Diplomacy and Signalling

  • Graham Spencer


The politics of using the news media for purposes of diplomacy invites us to consider such diplomacy as a form of theatre, The gestures, presentations and language (both verbal and non-verbal) which communicate, with varying degrees of complexity, signals to recipients and audiences, point towards a multitude of meanings and potential messages which constitute diplomatic exchanges. Along with key contributions which address news and diplomacy, I want to consider this complexify by drawing on Elderman’s discussion of the symbolic uses of politics, which concentrates on the relationship between meanings, emotions and symbols (1967), and Goffman’s analysis about presentation of the self, which outlines the importance of theatrical performance as a basis for guiding and controlling impressions of the self (1969), The value of Elderman’s work on politics and symbols is that it helps us to view political communications as a process which constantly uses symbols (for example around concerns of leadership, language, perceptions and settings) in order to arouse responses which act as a threat or a reassurance to audiences, and it is the production of responses around these two themes which are self-evidently imperative in diplomactic relations.


Political Communication Visual Impression Television News Mass Audience Constructive Ambiguity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Graham Spencer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Creative Arts, Film and MediaUniversity of PortsmouthUK

Personalised recommendations