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News and events

04 December 2023

Check out the latest Public Diplomacy and Political Communication (PD-PCF) news and events.


PD-PCF Director Professor Chaban interviews Gerard de Graaf, the EU’s Senior Envoy for Digital to the US

On August 30, 2023, Professor Natalia Chaban interviewed Gerard de Graaf, Senior Envoy for Digital to the US of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.  This interview is a key input into the PD-PCF’s research project “Innovations in Public Diplomacy: Constructing dialogue and mitigating security risks between technology giants and governments”, and specifically its Part II, with the focus on the EU and EU member states.  The interview took place at the EU Delegation to New Zealand in Wellington.  Research team will report the final findings to the Senior Envoy and his team upon the project completion.

Natalia Chaban Gerard de Graaf
Nina Obermaier Olivia Hundleby

Media & Comms student Olivia Hundleby as a “shadow Ambassador” of HE Nina Obermaier, Head of EU Delegation to New Zealand

Olivia Hundleby, BC Political Communication major and a member of the PD-PCF Student Research Hub 2023, was invited by the EU Delegation to New Zealand to be a “shadow Ambassador” and experience a day in the life of an EU Ambassador, HE Nina Obermaier.  On August 28, Olivia participated in meetings at the Christchurch City Council, including a meeting with the Mayor of Christchurch Phil Mauger, met with secondary school teachers who participated in the workshop on the EU at the UC, attended the Ambassador’s keynote address to Model EU participants at the UC, met with local MPs, and visited Lincoln University where she met with NZ academics collaborating with academics from the EU. 

Launching PD-PCF Students Research Hub 2023 “EU Digital Diplomacy to New Zealand”

On August 28, 2023, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to New Zealand  Kevin O’Connell visited the UC where he met with the members of the new PD-PCF Student Research Hub 2023. The meeting launched the work of the Student Research Hub which will explore EU Digital Diplomacy to New Zealand. Members of the Hub will report findings to the EU diplomats in Wellington on December 8, 2023.

EU and NZ Flags

John Irgengioro, PD-PCF visiting researcher from Gent University (Belgium), presents results of the joint project in New Zealand

Within the framework of the joint PD-PCF and University of Gent project “Competing for hearts and minds in today’s multipolar world order: a comparative analysis of the soft power of China, Russia and the European Union in Central Asia”  supported by the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO), a visiting researcher John Irgengioro presented a series of research seminars  reporting the main results of the project across New Zealand.  The seminars took place at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (8 March, 2023), at the Department of Political Science, University of Otago, Dunedin (15 March 2023), and at joint event organised by the NZ Asia Institute of University of Auckland, Centre for China Studies of the University of Auckland, and Massey University, New Zealand (5 April 2023).

PD-PCF UC  Roundtable “Navigating the Uncertain World: Mapping Future Directions in Political Communication”

On March 24, 2023, PD-PCF UC and the UC Department of Media and Communication organised and ran Roundtable “Navigating the Uncertain World: Mapping Future Directions in Political Communication”. The Roundtable discussants included Professor Ralph Schroeder, UC Erskine Fellow, Internet Institute, Oxford University, the UK; John Irgengioro, FWO Research Fellow at PD-PCF, Ghent University, Belgium; Emanuel Stoakes, MA candidate, UC Media & Comms, international news writer, and Professor Natalia Chaban, UC Political Communication Lead/Director, PD-PCF UC. Professor Chaban was the Chair and the Organiser of the Roundtable which involved Political Communication majors (Bachelor of Communication), as well as post-graduate students and academics. The presenter and the audience discussed the directions, opportunities and challenges the changing world presents to those who focus their study, research and practice on political communication – domestic and international – in the 21st century.

PC Roundtable Flyer

PD-PCF  hosts a renown international academic:  Professor Thomas Christiansen, LUISS, Rome

In December 2022, supported by the COST Action ENTER “EU Foreign Policy Facing New Realities”, within the COST – PD-PCF collaboration in the COST Work Package 2 “Communication and Perceptions” co-led by Professor Chaban,  Professor Thomas Christiansen of LUISS, Italy, visited the PD-PCF UC for research exchange and presented two seminars for the UC Department of Media and Communication  and wider UC’s academic community: The New Geopolitics after the Ukraine War:  Challenges and Opportunities for the EU (December 16, 2022) and Academic Publishing: Managing the Peer Review Process of Journal Articles and Book Manuscripts (December 14, 2022).  In the latter seminar, Prof Christiansen  reflected on his experiences as an Executive Editor of the Journal of European Integration  and a co-editor of the ‘European Administration Governance’ book series at Palgrave Macmillan publishing house.

Thomas Christiansen
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