There is vast literature on the influence of nonstate actors (NSAs) on intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Successful cases have been documented in which transnational advocacy networks (TANs) use the platforms provided by intergovernmental organizations for their own participation in treaty making, agenda-setting, policy formation and implementation, and to change repressive and norm-violating states’ behavior. However, little has been said about IGOs engaging NSAs to influence their own member states’ preferences. This paper uses the case of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United States on the eve of Palestine’s admission as a member state of the U.N. agency as an illustration of the need for IGOs to implement public diplomacy strategies as a means of influencing member states’ decisions. Using Keck and Sikkink’s “boomerang pattern,” this paper demonstrates how the pattern, classically associated with TANs, can be used by UNESCO to influence U.S. domestic politics and regain its funding. It concludes that public diplomacy can be a means for UNESCO to tackle two important challenges: the lack of public awareness about the organization and the negative perceptions from both publics and elites.



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