Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication

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Georgetown University Press, Nov 27, 2012 - Political Science - 304 pages
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Now more than ever, in the arenas of national security, diplomacy, and military operations, effective communication strategy is of paramount importance. A 24/7 television, radio, and Internet news cycle paired with an explosion in social media demands it.

According to James P. Farwell, a former political consultant, the US government's approach to strategic communication has been misguided. Persausion and Power stands apart for its critical evaluation of the concepts, doctrines, and activities that the US Department of Defense and Department of State employ for the art of strategic communication including psychological operations, military information support operations, propaganda, and public diplomacy. Farwell stresses that words, deeds, actions, and symbols may qualify as strategic communication and aim to mold or shape public opinion to influence behavior in order to attain specific objectives, advance interests, or—viewed from a military perspective—satisfy or create conditions that produce a desired end-state. He contends that a message that is true, consistent, and persuasive is more powerful than any deception.

Persuasion and Power is a book about the art of strategic communication, how it is used, where, and why. Using historical examples, Farwell illustrates how its principles have made a critical difference throughout history in the outcomes of crises, conflicts, politics, and diplomacy across different cultures and societies. This insightful volume will help communications officers, policymakers, and students understand when, where, and how they can apply the principles of strategic communication to advance national security interests.

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About the author (2012)

James P. Farwell is a defense consultant who advises the US Department of Defense and the US Special Operations Command on a range of global initiatives and actions including strategic communication. He is also a senior research fellow in strategic studies at the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination, and Instability.

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