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International Public Relations: Negotiating Culture, Identity, and Power

by Patricia Curtin and T Kenn Gaither SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 320 pages
AU$214.00 NZ$219.13
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International Public Relations: Negotiating Culture, Identity, and Power offers an innovative critical/cultural approach to international public relations theory and practice. The book presents the cultural-economic model of international public relations practice, a model that describes and explains public relations techniques and practices in a variety of regulatory, political, and cultural climates. Going beyond the Western, democratic, corporate perspective, the book critically examines the global diversity of public relations practice in such areas as travel and tourism, sports and international goodwill, non-profits, trade associations, and government national-building and branding efforts.

The book questions existing public relations theory by illustrating how public relations is often practiced in countries significantly different from those in the West. Examples cover countries where totalitarianism reigns, development issues limit the use of Western-based public relations tactics, mass media are state controlled, or where cultural issues hinder traditional Western channels of effective communication. International Public Relations: Negotiating Cutlure, Identity, and Power provides a theoretical and practical foundation for public relations researchers and scholars that accounts for cultural differences and the challenges of public relations practice in an era of increasing global interdependence and interconnectedness.

The cultural-economic model is built around the circuit of culture and its five moments—regulation, representation, production, consumption, and identity. Each chapter is supported by numerous examples of public relations practice around the world and a chapter summary of key points that take into account issues of culture, identity, and power. The World Health Organization’s smallpox eradication campaign is used as an extended case study throughout to illustrate how theory informs practice.

The book represents a paradigm shift in international public relations scholarship, extending well beyond regional and case study approaches. On a practical level, the book provides the analytic skills needed to more effectively negotiate the international terrain by transferring theory into a practice matrix and guidelines for ethical practice. This shift from global to local and abstract to concrete makes International Public Relations: Negotiating Culture, Identity, and Power an essential tool for public relations scholars, students, and practitioners.

This text provides:

The first comprehensive critical/cultural approach to international public relations. This integrated approach extends current theory and provides a paradigm shift.
A practice matrix to show students how to apply the circuit-of-culture theory to any particular problem or issue.
Extensive examples in each chapter in addition to an extended case study about the World Health Organization and small pox. These examples allow students to see how complex theoretical issues play out in practice.
Chapter summaries in easy to read bulleted format to stimulate class discussion.
An emphasis on values and ethics with critical examination throughout the text to stimulate student thinking.
A truly international scope with examples from around world, not just Western countries.

1. The Challenges of International Public Relations
In Search of an Identity: Defining Public Relations
Myriad Forms of Public Relations
Cultural Relationship Constructs
International Public Relations Today
Chapter Summary
2. Opening Global Gateways
Multinational Corporations: Global Opportunities and Problems
National Image Cultivation
Travel and Tourism
Sports and International Goodwill
Nonprofits and International NGOs
Trade Associations
Keys to Opening Global Gateways
Chapter Summary
3. Global Public Relations and the Circuit of Culture
Language, Meaning, and Culture
The Circuit of Culture Model
Applying the Circuit of Culture to Practice
Chapter Summary
4. The Regulatory Environments of Global Public Relations Practice
Notions of Regulation
Shifting Politics, Evolving Public Relations
The Agents of Blurring Boundaries
Cultural Norms: The Hidden Regulators
Regulating Global Public Relations Practice
Chapter Summary
Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign
International Power and Politics
Bucking the Bureaucracy
Adapting to Local Norms and Cultures
Implications for International Practice
5. The Face and Shape of Global Public Relations Campaigns Materials
Representing Representation
New Discourses Through Technology and Trade Shows
The Representation of a Fast Food Superpower in Asia
Paradise Found in the Galápagos Islands
Of Representation and New Understandings
Chapter Summary
Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign
Government Relations
Employee Relations: Creating a Global Army
Movilizing Public Support for Eradication
Media Relations
Implications for International Practice
6. Practicing Public Relations in a Global Environment
Global Dimensions of Public Relations
The Globalization of Public Relations and the Circuit of Culture
The Internal-External Paradox Meets the Global-Local Nexus
Negotiating Asymmetry
Chapter Summary
Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign
Technology and Production
Campaign Strategies
Managing a Global Workforce
Implications for International Practice
7. Consumption: Rethinking Publics and Practice
The Moment of Consumption
Public Relations Practice and Consumption
The Challenges and Ambiguities of New Technology and Globalization
Chapter Summary
Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign
Smallpox Deified
Cultural Factors Leading to Preferred or Negotiated Readings
Cultural Factors Leading to Oppositional Readings
Implications for International Practice
8. Contested Identities, Shifting Publics in a Globalized World
Constructing Identities
Organizational Identities
Defining National Identities
Chapter Summary
Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign
Negotiating National Versus International Identities
First World Versus Third World Values
Holy Warriors Versus the Enemy
Creating Campaign Icons
Implications for International Practice
9. Capturing the Synergy of the Circuit: The Cultural-Economic Model
Lessons From the Smallpox Eradication Campaign
Needed: A New Model of International Public Relations Practice
The Cultural-Economic Model of International Public Relations Practice
Chapter Summary
10. Circuiting the Globe: A Practice Matrix
Assumptions of International Public Relations
A Practice Matrix for International Public Relations
Applying the Matrix
Contributions of the Matrix
Chapter Summary
11. Ethical Considerations in Global Practice
The Problem of Cultural Relativism
Globalization and the Shift of Power
Common Approaches to Public Relations Ethics
New Ethical Approaches and Practitioners' Roles
Chapter Summary
12. The Future of International Public Relations Practice
Implications for Practitioners Embracing the Cultural-Economic Model
Where Do We Go From Here?
Chapter Summary
About the Authors