The end of the Cold War saw the United States retrenching its public diplomacy program. However, as the sole remaining superpower, it saw the opportunity to spread its values and ideals – particularly those of liberal democracy, human rights, and the free market economy – to those countries that were lacking in them. Paradoxically, intense public diplomacy efforts were required in pursuit of that objective. Traditional diplomats then began to take on public diplomacy functions, but, in so doing, often violated Article 41 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. They were mostly from the United States, while the rest were from Europe and regional powers, whereas the host countries were mostly developing nations complaining of interference in their internal political affairs. While some such interference may be expected, they are better done through traditional diplomats discreetly communicating with the host government. Cowboy diplomacy by traditional diplomats probably does more harm than good to both the home country aspirations in, and the internal political dynamics of, the host nation.



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