The global public relations handbook : theory, research, and by Krishnamurthy Sriramesh; Dejan VercМЊicМЊ

By Krishnamurthy Sriramesh; Dejan VercМЊicМЊ

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In this chapter, we present the logic behind linking these variables with public relations and suggest ways of operationalizing each variable as a prelude to future studies. In doing so, we collapsed these five variables into three factors: a country’s infrastructure, media environment, and societal culture. We describe each of these three interrelated factors and conceptually identify their relationship with international public relations. INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS We believe that three infrastructural ingredients are key to international public relations: a nation’s political system, its level of economic development, and the level of activism prevalent in that country.

Typically, three types of political systems have been used in the past: Western industrialized democracies (the First World); Communist states (Second World); and the predominantly non-Western, developing countries (Third World). The collapse of the Soviet Union and its impact on the global power structure, among other things, makes this distinction moot. Furthermore, there are many newly industrializing countries that no longer fit the definition of developing countries but are also not democratic in the Western sense and, therefore, cannot be categorized as belonging to the First World, according to the aforementioned definition (Wilson, 1995).

In doing so, the study offered the following seven types of political systems: 1. Democracies wherein multiple parties and individuals compete in open elections to earn the right to rule for a predetermined period (unless there is a constitutionally mandated reason for earlier elections). In democracies, opposition parties have a fair chance of winning power or participate in power sharing as members of a coalition government. 2. Restricted democratic practices in which a single party controls key constituencies such as political institutions, the media, and the electoral process to maintain the status quo.

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