What is the role and future of public diplomacy in the world torn between multilateral rule-based order and rough geopolitics? Answers to this question come with critical insights into uncertain international relations set against multiple existential threats and the new media ecology. The talk by Professor Natalia Chaban will focus on the EU-Ukraine public diplomacy in the context of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Employing a perceptual approach to EU foreign policy studies, she will argue that extensive changes following Russia’s escalation of the war in February 2022 have created important opportunities for diminishing, or even closing, many of the perceptual gaps that existed between the EU and Ukraine following the annexation of Crimea. The talk will explore changes in Ukraine’s and the EU’s attitudes towards each other, contextual changes as a result of the war and changes in EU policy on the candidacy of Ukraine – shifts that open up new avenues for closing existing perceptual gaps but also create new challenges for EU-Ukraine public diplomacy.
Speaker bio /
Professor Natalia Chaban of the Department of Media and Communication at University of Canterbury, New Zealand, focuses her interdisciplinary research on cognitive and semiotic aspects of political and media discourses, image and perceptions studies within the EU and IR contexts, and public diplomacy and political communication. Professor Chaban is a twice awarded Jean Monnet Chair, Director of the research centre Public Diplomacy and Political Communication Forum at the University of Canterbury, President of Ukrainian Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, co-editor of the peer-reviewed Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies, and leader of a number of transnational research projects focusing on international political communication and public diplomacy supported by the European Commission, NATO and EU member states. She is a member of Advisory Boards of the leading academics journals (Journal of European Integration, European Security, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Media, War and Conflict, European Foreign Affairs Review). Professor Chaban is widely publishing her research in the top-tier peer-reviewed journals and with leading international publishers.