Celebrity Diplomacy


  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-479-1
  • Publish date: October 2007
  • List Price: $38.95
  • Your Price: $33.11


  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-478-4
  • Publish date: October 2007
  • List Price: $163.00
  • Your Price: $138.55


Time magazine named Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates their “Persons of the Year.” The United Nations tapped Angelina Jolie as a goodwill ambassador. Bob Geldof organized the Live8 concert to push the G8 leaders’ summit on AIDS and debt relief. What has come to be called “celebrity diplomacy” attracts wide media attention, significant money, and top official access around the world. But is this phenomenon just the latest fad? Are celebrities dabbling in an arena that is out of their depth, or are they bringing justified notice to important problems that might otherwise languish on the crowded international diplomatic scene? This book is the first to examine celebrity diplomacy as a serious global project with important implications, both positive and negative. Intended for readers who might not normally read about celebrities, it will also attract audiences often turned off by international affairs. Celebrities bring optimism and “buzz” to issues that seem deep and gloomy. Even if their lofty goals remain elusive, when celebrities speak, other actors in the global system listen.

Read a review of Celebrity Diplomacy at: http://www.embassymag.ca

Read another review of Celebrity Diplomacy at: http://uscpublicdiplomacy.com/

ABC has a segment on celebrities engaged in diplomatic and charitable missions that features Andrew Cooper and Celebrity Diplomacy. Read the story here: http://www.abcnews.go.com

Watch an interview with Andrew Cooper at: http://youtube.com

  • Covers popular culture celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Bono and global political figures including Nelson Mandela, George Soros, and Bill Gates.
  • Looks at what these figures are doing and should be doing—and with what success.
  • Taps into a celebrity obsessed culture with meaning and substance.
  • Offers a positive spin to often gloomy global affairs.
  • Should attract lots of attention from major media around the world.

Author Info

Andrew F. Cooper is Associate Director and Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. He has authored and edited many books published internationally as well as in the U.S. and Canada.

Mme. Louise Frechette is the former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General


“What leaps out from these pages of this book is the need to appreciate the emergent role of these celebrities in any comprehensive reading of global affairs in the new millennium. The image of celebrity diplomacy as a mere fad does not hold up. Cooper captures the essence of this vital and multi-dimensional phenomenon that will continue to grab our attention for years to come.”
Louise Fréchette, from the foreword

“ … Cooper’s analysis gives convincing depth to a phenomenon commonly and unfairly derided as superficial posturing, and confirms the rising power of non-state actors in a globalized world. …Celebrity Diplomacy poses great questions, features characters who are larger than life, and builds a powerful intellectual case that the insular world of diplomacy has been irredeemably transformed by celebrity culture.”
Mark Fried in Literary Review of Canada

“… Andrew Cooper has done an outstanding job of exploring this brave, not-quite-new world. Moreover, aside from its substantive virtues, Celebrity Diplomacy displays clear organization, a salutary brevity, and a droll wit. Future scholars of this subject, and I hope there will be many, will owe a great debt to his seminal study.”
Neal Rosendorf from the USC Center on Public Diplomacy

“A new type of transnational activist has emerged, both co-operating and competing with established diplomatic practitioners. Movie stars, musicians, and CEOs have grabbed new roles on the world stage, simultaneously levering their access to world leaders and mass audiences. The global system is increasingly open to and challenged by their participation in a manner that very few would have anticipated. Blending an appreciation of both complex forms of diplomacy and the exciting but unpredictable dynamics of popular culture, Andrew F. Cooper brings focus to this significant, yet under-analyzed, area of international relations.”
Jorge Heine, Ambassador of Chile to India and Vice President of the International Political Science Association

“What a fantastic book! Well-written, thoughtful, and original--on a very hot topic that will make a great contribution.”
John Orman, coauthor of Celebrity Politics

“While Thomas More and Benjamin Franklin achieved fame in fields other than statecraft, they did not set the precedent for Bono as a champion in the fight against global poverty or Angelina Jolie as an activist in defense of refugees. Andrew F. Cooper has performed a real service with his study of the application of star power to diplomacy and humanitarian causes, identifying both the benefits and the pitfalls of this thoroughly modern phenomenon.”
Strobe Talbott President, Brookings Institution

“The energy and influence celebrities can bring to global campaigns is of great potential. When done well, and with the appropriate sensitivities, including the recognition of celebrity power, their focused advocacy can complement the collective efforts of civil society, as well as frontline development workers to improve the well being of the most vulnerable. In this study, Cooper shows how a select set of celebrities are using their star power to change the world.”
Kumi Naidoo Secretary-General, CIVICUS

“Bono and Bob Geldof have become principal voices in the fight against global poverty. The Gates Foundation is a leader in global public health delivery. Georges Soros is investing much more money in promoting democracy worldwide than many nation states. In Celebrity Diplomacy, Andrew F. Cooper charts out how an emerging transnational network of pop singers, business leaders, movie stars, and sport heroes is operating in global governance arenas and how influential it is proving to be. Taking into account ‘celebrities as global governance actors’ is something completely new in International Relations – a fascinating book.”
Dirk Messner Director, German Development Institute (DIE)

“People invest their emotions in celebrities. Celebrity diplomats set out to re-channel those emotions towards issues, networking traditional politicians and giving them a share of their charismatic glow in exchange for their association. Cooper demonstrates the scope and intricacies of the networks involved. A pioneering work whose flow of presentation is as seemingly effortless as celebrity work at its best.”
Iver B. Neumann Author of Harry Potter and International Relations

“Celebrity advocacy can no longer be ignored as a factor in global politics, although its impact in helping to address poverty in a sustainable manner is still to be determined. By recognizing the importance of this phenomenon, especially in the African context, Andrew F. Cooper takes an important step to deepening our understanding of a new feature of an old profession.”
Elizabeth Sidiropoulos National Director, South African Institute of International Affairs

“Andrew Cooper's path-breaking new book takes us into a fascinating realm where popular fame and activism mix. Choosing a number of instructive cases, he sets out not only the opportunities that modern celebrities can seize, but also some of the pitfalls they can confront. In doing so, he adds to our understanding of the operations of modern diplomacy and lifts the veil from a world that many of us can view from a distance but never experience directly.”
William Maley Director, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy


Foreword Mme. Louis Frechette

Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Celebrity Diplomacy: Who Does It, How, and Why?

Chapter 2: Star Power and the United Nations: From Audrey Hepburn to Angelina Jolie

Chapter 3: The Bonoization of Diplomacy?

Chapter 4: Bob Geldof: The Antidiplomat

Chapter 5: Davos: Mixing Glamorous Buzz with Material Bite

Chapter 6: (Uneasily) Moving Celebrity Diplomacy beyond the Anglo-Sphere

Conclusion: The Contentious Future of Celebrity Diplomacy

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