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date: 22 October 2018

Summary and Keywords

Communication has a significant impact on foreign policy, both in the policy-making process and at a higher level associated with the nexus of foreign policy and international relations. Communication involves the transmission or conveying of information through a system of symbols, signs, or behavior. Communication connects individuals and groups; (re)constructs the context; and defines, describes, and delineates foreign policy options. The current trends are the synthesis in many areas, with a focus on the psychological processes associated with who communicates, how, to whom, and with what effect in the realm of foreign policy; and the structural characteristics of communication or discourse. The major areas of study on foreign policy and communication include: (1) the making of foreign policy and the role of mass media in this process; (2) how foreign policy is understood as a communicated message by allies and adversaries in international relations; and (3) constructivism, poststructuralism, and discourse analysis. Within the scope of foreign policy and media falls work associated with the CNN effect, framing, and public opinion. Work within international relations has focused on how foreign policy signals international intent, including threat and willingness to cooperate. Constructivism and discourse analysis emphasize the need to look at the (re)construction of ideas, identities, and interests rather than taking them for granted.

Keywords: foreign policy, communications, international relations, constructivism, postructuralism, discourse analysis

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