Leading the Conversation: Comparing State Department Communication Networks Under Rogers and Kissinger
International Studies Association, 2014
28 Pages Posted: 29 May 2014
Date Written: May 28, 2014
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
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