The dynamics of ‘First Lady public diplomacy’
Keywords:‘First-Lady public diplomacy’, First-Lady diplomacy, First Lady, Poland, Public diplomacy
This paper was prompted by the growing interest in the role and impact first ladies have on how contemporary states achieve their foreign policy goals through diplomatic means. Specifically, the paper’s purpose is to examine whether and how first ladies are involved in the public diplomacy of their states. The literature on this subject is limited, and this paper therefore aims to fill that gap. The argument is that the traditional role of the first lady has evolved – from one outside of any political-oriented activity to one that increasingly involves diplomatic activities, including promoting the respective countries overseas. The main research questions are whether and how any first ladies are involved in public diplomacy activities, and, if so, what are the main areas and directions in which they are involved, and what is the extent of their action? To answer these questions, the paper presents an exploratory, longitudinal single case study about the role and activities of the present First Lady of Poland, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, during the first term of President Andrzej Duda from August 2015 to August 2020. The intention is to both deconstruct and construct a pattern of what we might call ‘first-lady public diplomacy’.
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