Daniel J. Smith


This paper examines the construction of the ―Self‖ in regional community building—that is, the ―actorness‖ of a regional entity in the international system. Specifically, I address the function of official public diplomacy in regional organization. I contend that formal public diplomacy is a crucial component to the internal identity formation and external image formation processes that constitute regional ―community building,‖ leading to the ―Self.‖ In explicating the development of a regional institution’s actorness, public diplomacy is conceptualized through constructivist networks. I posit that these network representations reflect the continuous nature of identity and image in community building. I have two purposes in this analysis: first, to advance network interpretations of identity formation and image formation, demonstrating the various functions of public diplomacy conceptualized in regional organization; and second, to apply them to the community building of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which explicates the envisaged function of public diplomacy in the ―Roadmap‖ to integration, and in resolving the credibility disconnects of ASEAN’s present actorness.





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