Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



This study investigates the use of emotional appeals in the diplomatic communication of U.S. ambassadors in the Middle East. In the realm of diplomacy, actors might strategically and deliberately exhibit emotions to shape and control how their nation is perceived internationally. The project's primary objective is to explore the effectiveness of emotional appeals in generating social media interactions with politicians’ and ambassadors’ messages, and in building relationships with their target audience through these engagements. Using three studies, I examine the diplomatic communications of U.S. ambassadors in the Middle East by focusing on their utilization of Twitter/X and emotional diplomacy strategies. Study 1 examines a two-year (August 2021 to August 2023) Twitter dataset to explore the most common themes and sentiments expressed in the diplomatic communications of U.S. ambassadors in Iraq, Israel, and Qatar, and their impact on public engagement. Next, I looked into how different emotional appeals impact public engagement on Twitter, particularly by analyzing how various emotions influence interactions such as favorites, retweets, and comments. Lastly, utilizing Twitter data from 2017 to 2024, I explored the most influential figures in the networks of U.S. ambassadors in the Middle East and analyzed the most discussed topics and prevalent hashtags within their networks. Together, these studies not only explore the most engaging and participatory methods in the public diplomacy efforts on Twitter but also identify the most effective communication strategies with the audience in the Middle East.



Committee Chair

Dr. Lance Porter


Available for download on Saturday, August 30, 2025