Boundary Spanners of Humanity: Three Logics of Communications and Public Diplomacy for Global Collaboration

ISBN : 9780190930271

R.S. Zaharna
264 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2022
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Written by a leading scholar of public diplomacy, Boundary Spanners of Humanity introduces a pan-human vision of communication that can revolutionize how we collaborate to solve global problems. Never before has humanity enjoyed better technological capabilities for interconnection than today. Ironically, rather than benefiting from the global pool of human resources and intellectual wealth to solve shared problems, nations are experiencing public discord and global divisions. Boundary Spanners of Humanity tackles the challenge of how to enhance global collaboration by introducing three pan-human logics of human communication and public diplomacy that can transform how we view diversity in an interconnected world. R.S. Zaharna begins by asking why the very tools needed for global collaboration-communication and public diplomacy-are undermining our efforts to work together. Her research reveals how contemporary communication is based on a nineteenth-century mindset of separateness that divided people into mutually exclusive cultural and national categories. That mindset reinforces human divisions and erodes global collaboration. In a radical break from conventional models, Zaharna introduces a vision of humanity-centered public diplomacy featuring three complementary logics of communication. Zaharna's innovative approach stems from decade-long, interdisciplinary research that spans from ancient cosmologies to emerging neurobiology. She draws on a rich array of global examples from ancient and indigenous precolonial diplomacies to spontaneous online communication during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide insights into overlooked aspects of emotion, empathy, spirituality, and synchrony in how nations and people communicate in the global arena. Ambitiously conceived, this book will bring a new, global understanding of how to conduct public diplomacy for the world's boundary spanners-those who would find commonality among our many divisions-and collaborate on humanity's shared global problems.


Call to the Boundary Spanners
Wicked Problems, Synergistic Problem Solving
Evolutionary Human Capacity to Cooperate
From Mindset of Separateness
To Mindset of Connectivity
Call to the Boundary Spanners
Chapter 1
All Thumbs at Communication
More Global Mis-communication
Public Diplomacy Window
Hidden Communication Template
Breaking out of Assumptions
Three Logics of Communication
For the Boundary Spanners: Beyond All Thumbs
Chapter 2
A World of Relations, World of Communication
Studying the Other: Intercultural Communication
Overlooking the Self, Creating the Other
Lens of Relationalism
A World of Relations and Communication
For the Boundary Spanners
Chapter 3
Individual Logic - Aristotle's Legacy
Aristotle's Legacy of Persuasion
The Communicator
Winning Hearts and Minds
For the Boundary Spanners
Chapter 4
Relational Logic - A Royal Bond of Brotherhood
Amarna Diplomacy: Cultivating Relational Bonds
The Bond
Strengthening Ties that Bind
For the Boundary Spanners
Chapter 5
Holistic Logic - Cosmic Circles
Cosmic Circles: Connecting the Universe
An Indivisible Whole
Harmony of the Whole
For the Boundary Spanners
Chapter 6
Enhancing Collaboration - Speech, Emotion and Synchrony
Globalizing through Blending
Individual Logic: Power of Speech
Enhancing Collaboration thru Storytelling
Relational Logic - Power of Emotion
Enhancing Collaboration through Empathy
Holistic Logic - Power of Synchrony
Enhancing Collaboration through Play
Boundary Spanning Agenda for Global Collaboration
Humanity-level Perspective
Proficiency across the Logics
Blending the Logics
Moving Cooperation to Collaboration
Search for Commonality
Functions of Humanity-centered Diplomacies

About the author: 

R.S. Zaharna is Professor of Communication at the American University in Washington, DC, and Faculty Fellow with the Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California.

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