Leading the Conversation: Comparing State Department Communication Networks Under Rogers and Kissinger

International Studies Association, 2014

28 Pages Posted: 29 May 2014

See all articles by James Hollway

James Hollway

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Centre for International Environmental Studies

Jonathan Mellon

University of Manchester

Date Written: May 28, 2014

Abstract

Secretaries of State rely on information gathered by their diplomats to fulfill their role advising the President on matters of foreign policy. How do they interact with this bureaucracy to gain information? To what extent do they set the agenda for information provision? To investigate these and other questions we have constructed a database of diplomatic communications within the US State Department from the NARA archive of 400,000 diplomatic cables. Diplomats send these cables to a set of recipients and can also cite other cables. Setting the agenda is not (only) about sending many messages, but also sending cables that prompt continuing conversations or adapting or restructuring a conversation once begun. Using a novel citation typology, we look at how much influence the Secretary has over conversations emerging from networks of inter-cited messages within the State Department.

Keywords: networks, state department, bureaucracies

Suggested Citation

Hollway, James and Mellon, Jonathan, Leading the Conversation: Comparing State Department Communication Networks Under Rogers and Kissinger (May 28, 2014). International Studies Association, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2443042

James Hollway (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Centre for International Environmental Studies ( email )

Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

Jonathan Mellon

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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