New book co-edited by Vanessa Bravo examines diaspora-targeted public diplomacy efforts in Latin America

The chair of the Strategic Communications Department authored or co-authored four chapters in the new publication, titled “Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy,” which was published as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Global Public Diplomacy series.

Vanessa Bravo, associate professor and chair of the Strategic Communications Department, reached a new academic milestone this month, co-editing the recently published book, “Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy.”

Vanessa Bravo (pictured), associate professor and chair of the Strategic Communications Department, collaborated with Maria De Moya, associate professor and chair of advertising and public relations at DePaul University, to produce the new book, “Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy.”

Published by Palgrave Macmillan as part of its Global Public Diplomacy series, the book examines ­– through case studies – the different strategic roles that diaspora groups play in modern public diplomacy efforts. The book provides, in its 13 chapters, the perspective of Latin American diaspora communities and nations, which are severely underrepresented in the public diplomacy literature. The book provides cases of both state-led and diaspora-led public diplomacy efforts in the region.

The new peer-reviewed book is a collaboration between Bravo and Maria De Moya, associate professor and chair of advertising and public relations at DePaul University. Together, Bravo and De Moya worked for approximately two years on the book proposal, submitting it for peer review, conducting a public call for chapters, reviewing the chapter proposals received, accepting nine chapters, and editing those nine chapters. It is noteworthy that the chapters were submitted by 15 Latin American scholars from 12 different universities across seven different countries.

Bravo wrote or co-wrote four chapters investigating a variety of topics. In addition to the introduction, Bravo contributed the following chapters:

  • “State-diaspora relations in El Salvador and Colombia”
  • “The new Cuban diaspora”
  • “Lessons learned and future research”

The book’s remaining chapters cover the following topics:

  • “Transnational Social Protection and the Role of Countries of Origin: The Cases of Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and Ecuador,” by Karla Valenzuela Moreno, Universidad Iberoamericana, México
  • “Diaspora Engagement Policies in Argentina: The Unfolding of a Still Lukewarm Approach,” by Ana Margheritis, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • “Chileans in China and How They View Their Role in Public Diplomacy: Between Entrepreneurship and State Policies,” by Claudia Labarca, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile, and Philippe Werner-Wildner, Central China Normal University, China
  • “#RickyRenuncia: The Hashtag That Took Collective Outrage from Social Media to the Streets,” by Yadira Nieves Pizarro, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico – Bayamón, and Juan Mundel, Arizona State University
  • “Civil Society as an Advocate of Mexicans and Latinos in the United States: The Chicago Case,” by Tania Gómez Zapata, Universidad de las Americas – Puebla, México
  • “The Diaspora of Bahia and AfroBrazilian Culture in Contemporary France,” by Clarice Ferreira Menezes, Deborah Rebello Lima and Leonardo de Souza Boy, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • “The Strategy of the Venezuelan Diaspora: Collaboration, Representation, and Reconstruction of Venezuelan People in Colombia, Latin America and the World,” by Tomás Páez Bravo, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela
  • “Mexican Diasporic Women in Public Diplomacy: A Case Study of ‘Mex and the City’ in the United States,” by Eduardo Luciano Tadeo Hernández, Universidad Iberoamericana, México
  • “Brazilian Ethnic Media in the United States: An Analysis of Their Social Control and Pluralistic Functions in an Electoral Context,” (Juliana Fernandes, University of Florida
Bravo received a copy of her book in the mail in early August.

“The timing of this book could not be better, and it is welcome,” wrote Juan Carlos Molleda, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, in the book’s foreward. “As a global phenomenon, the deadly pandemic has contracted regional economies, stressed their health systems, and threatened weak government structures and other national institutions. Recovering from this contraction or recession will take years. Acknowledging that COVID-19 has impacted every country on earth, Latin American diasporas, especially those living in advanced economies, will play an important role in the recovery plans of their homelands where they have roots, family members, relatives, friends, and perhaps economic or political interests.”

Molleda added: “The conceptualization chapters and case studies included in this publication will help scholars and strategic communication professionals working on behalf of Latin American nations to understand and prognosticate the power and influence of diaspora communities in challenging times for their homelands.”

Palgrave Macmillan’s Global Public Diplomacy series examines theory and practice in public diplomacy from a global perspective, looking closely at public diplomacy concepts, policies, and practices in various regions of the world. The purpose is to enhance understanding of the importance of public diplomacy, to advance public diplomacy thinking, and to contribute to improved public diplomacy practices. Kathy Fitzpatrick, director of the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, and Philip Seib, professor emeritus of journalism and public diplomacy at the University of Southern California, coordinate the series.

“Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy” can be purchased on Amazon.