Mr Sami Siddiq


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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Sami Siddiq is a Florida native and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied the anthropology and politics of South and Central Asia (in particular that of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) with Professor Robert L. Canfield. Sami is an associate member of the New Zealand South Asia Centre (NZSAC) at the University of Canterbury and has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, and the Swedish Defence University. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis in Sociology at the University of Auckland and is awaiting defense.

Research | Current

PhD thesis title: 'Mediated framing contests in post-9/11 U.S.-Pakistan public diplomacy crises'


Abstract: Public diplomacy is a principal means through which reputation-conscious international actors strive to project favorable self-images and counteract image problems in international politics. In times of highly publicized diplomatic controversies (or ‘public diplomacy crises’), public diplomacy via news media can become a strategy of crisis management. I argue in this study that the resort to such ‘mediated public diplomacy’ is a strategic choice state actors make to maximize the reputational stakes or ‘face’ concerns to pressure (or resist) one another by constraining the bargaining preferences of each disputant in a crisis. In so doing, I draw on insights from sociologically-oriented studies on Goffmanian impression management in international relations, as well as the theoretical literature on mediated public diplomacy in communication studies, and relevant negotiation and conflict resolution research on framing. The study ultimately shows that political actors manage their collective national ‘face’ while symbolically communicating through frames in the news media during public diplomacy crises. In the course of such mediated framing contests, opposing frames dialogically interact with each other during the onset, escalation, and resolution of a crisis. While crisis disputants may have incompatible interests that are conveyed in aggressive exchanges in the media, a shared concern about maintaining ‘face’ can bring crisis interactions to converge on a mutually agreeable frame. For the empirical illustration of my argument, the recourse to mediated public diplomacy during two crises in U.S.-Pakistan relations in 2011 are analyzed. First, the Raymond Davis diplomatic immunity dispute and, second, the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. The data for each case study is drawn from official statements, news reports, and elite/expert interviews.


Scholarships and Grants:

  • University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
  • University of Auckland Faculty of Arts Doctoral Research Fund Award

Areas of expertise

  • International Relations and Political Sociology
  • Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication
  • Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution
  • Media-State Relations

Contact details

Office hours

Currently on research leave in Washington, DC.

Primary office location

Level 9 , Room 929
New Zealand

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