Bill Berkeley, "Bloggers vs. Mullahs: How the Internet Roils Iran," World Policy Journal, XXIII, Spring 2006, 71-78.
Columbia University's Bill Berkeley reviews We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs by Iranian journalist Nasrin Alavi (Soft Skull Press, 2005) and offers his own analysis of the Iranian blogosphere. Both writers discuss evidence of ways (Alavi through extensive blog excerpts) in which the Internet provides public space for political, cultural, and personal expression, especially among Iran's educated younger generation.
John Brown, "Three Schools of Thought on Culture and Foreign Policy During the Cold War," Place Branding: A Quarterly Review of Branding, Marketing and Public Diplomacy for National, Regional and Civic Development, Issue 4 (November 2005).
Brown's essay on recent books about the role of culture in international relations during the Cold War is now available in the journal Place Branding. His three schools: (1) U.S. cultural programs effectively contributed to opening repressive societies; (2) narratives that reflect leftist suspicion of U.S. power: and (3) a category in between that acknowledges doubts and raises concerns. Brown is a retired U.S. diplomat and compiler of USC Annenberg's Public Diplomacy Press Review.
Steven R. Corman and Jill S. Schiefelbein, Communication and Media in the Jihadi War of Ideas, Consortium for Strategic Communication, Arizona State University, April 20, 2006.
The authors of this paper look at goals and means in communication strategies used by groups promoting jihad. Relying on open source documents, many of which have been released by the United States Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center, the paper looks at a variety of strategies with particular emphasis on jihadist use of the Internet. Includes recommendations based on the analysis. (Courtesy of Tom Bayoumi)
Thomas Carothers, Responding to the Democracy Promotion Backlash, Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 8, 2006.
The director of the Carnegie Endowment's Democracy and Rule of Law Project analyzes difficulties in U.S. government and NGO democracy assistance programs prompted by U.S. policies (the Iraq war as the leading edge of U.S. democratization); the "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan; strengthened non-democratic regimes due to high oil and gas prices; and other factors. Carothers offers recommendations to NGOs (strategy adjustments) and the U.S. Government (policy adjustments including not confusing regime change with democracy promotion, changes in prisoner detention and interrogation policies, not taking sides in foreign elections, reducing the double standard in differentiating between countries helpful and not helpful to U.S. interests, and increased partnership with European governments and international organizations).
Philip Evans, Perspectives: From Reciprocity to Reputation, The Boston Consulting Group, April 6, 2006.
In this brief essay in a series on networks and transaction costs, a senior vice president for the Boston Consulting Group looks at how technology is "driving the substitution of one form of trust for another: reputation for reciprocity." Evans contends that cheap, multiple, and redundant information channels can create trust relationships based not on thin, mutually dependent reciprocal signals, but on reputations that emerge from network "trust technologies." For example, in a blogosphere where millions "vote" with hyperlink clicks, top bloggers gain "authority" in their content domain through navigation services that analyze citations and traffic patterns.
Josef Joffe, Uberpower: The Imperial Temptation of America, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2006).
Die Zeit's editor and longtime observer of U.S. foreign policy examines the gap between American power and legitimacy and complexities in the world's anti-Americanism and non-military forms of "balancing." Joffe cautions both sides: the U.S. must "match self-interest with obligation," power with responsibility; the world should reevaluate the roots and consequences of its anti-Americanism. Useful for its detailed analysis of forms of hard and soft power, deficiencies in American grand strategy, varieties of anti-Americanism, and the range of balancing options available to opponents of American power.
Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes, America Against the World: How We Are Different, Why We are Disliked, (Henry Holt and Company, 2006).
Based extensively on survey data collected by the Pew Global Attitudes Project (and others), the authors examine how American attitudes and values differ from other publics - and how those differences are manifest in attitudes toward the United States. One stop shopping for those interested in what surveys show about anti-Americanism and views of global publics on democracy, globalization, unilateralism, business, religion, social attitudes, use of military force, the role of government, and the role of individuals in society.
Mark Leonard, Andrew Small, and Martin Rose, British Public Diplomacy in the Age of Schisms, Foreign Policy Centre and Counterpoint, 2005.
In this collaborative project, two UK think tanks call for reexamination of the way Britain is perceived in the world consequent to its role in the Iraq war. The paper looks broadly at six political, religious, and economic "cultural divides" and calls for "a new public diplomacy" focused on mapping these schisms and bridging them through long-term efforts focused on mutuality and trust rather than message delivery. The Foreign Policy Centre was launched by PM Tony Blair. Counterpoint is the British Council's think tank on "Cultural Relations and Public Diplomacy."
Douglas McGray, "Lost in America," Foreign Policy, May/June 2006, pp. 40-48.
McGray, a fellow at the New America Foundation, looks at challenges of globalization and deficiencies in the study of global languages, politics, culture, and history in U.S. schools. Includes a brief discussion of the U.S. government's National Security Language Initiative and efforts in America's business and education communities to foster foreign language study. A sidebar by journalist Michael Erard discusses ways China is making it easier for foreigners to learn Mandarin.
Jan Melissen, ed., The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations, (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2005).
Melissen, Director of the Clingendael Diplomatic Studies Programme at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, has edited a strong collection of essays supporting the proposition that public diplomacy is "more than a technical instrument of foreign policy: it has become part of the changing fabric of international relations." Teachers and other public diplomacy enthusiasts will find the nearly $80 (US) worth the investment. Essays include:
-- Jan Melissen, "The New Public Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice"
-- Brian Hocking (Loughborough University), "Rethinking the 'New' Public Diplomacy"
-- Peter van Ham (Netherlands Institute of International Relations), "Power, Public Diplomacy, and the Pax Americana"
-- Alan K. Henrikson (Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy), "Niche Diplomacy in the World Public Arena: the Global 'Corners' of Canada and Norway"
-- Ingrid d'Hooghe (Netherlands Institute of International Relations), "Public Diplomacy in the People's Republic of China"
-- Paul Sharp (University of Minnesota), "Revolutionary States, Outlaw Regimes and the Techniques of Public Diplomacy"
-- Anna Michalski (Netherlands Institute of International Relations), "The EU as a Soft Power: the Force of Persuasion"
-- Cynthia Schneider (Georgetown University), "Culture Communicates: US Diplomacy That Works" -- Wally Olins (Saffron Brand Consultants), "Making a National Brand"
-- Shaun Riordan (ZEIA SL) "Dialogue-based Public Diplomacy: a New Foreign Policy Paradigm"
-- John Hemery (Centre for Political and Diplomatic Studies) "Training for Public Diplomacy: an Evolutionary Perspective"
Hugh Miles, "Al Jazeera," Foreign Policy, July/August, 2006, pp. 20-24. In FP's "Think Again" feature, the author of Al Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel that is Challenging the West (2005), takes a measured look at attitudes toward Al Jazeera in the U.S. and the Arab world. Miles examines conventional arguments: AJ supports terrorism ("False"), AJ is anti-Semitic ("Wrong"), AJ is spreading political freedom ("Wishful Thinking"), AJ is biased ("True"), AJ is censored ("Not Yet"), AJ wants to compete with CNN and BBC ("Yes, and it plans to"), only Arabs will watch AJ International ("Not so Fast").
The Pew Global Attitudes Project, America's Image Slips, But Allies Share U.S. Concerns Over Iran, Hamas, June 13, 2006.
The Pew Research Center's latest annual survey finds "America's global image has again slipped and support for the war on terrorism has declined even among close allies like Japan." Favorable opinions of the U.S. have fallen in most of the 15 countries surveyed, despite some positive feelings in 2005 due in part to US aid for tsunami victims. The U.S. and major allies share concerns over Iran and Hamas in contrast to opinions in predominantly Muslim countries.
Steven Poole, Unspeak : How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality, (New York: Grove Press, 2006). Poole, an author and writer for The Guardian, discusses the uses of language and the construction of meaning through political speech. Drawing on numerous anecdotes, Poole looks at language choices by politicians, governments, interest groups, and the media. Contains extensive references to the Bush administration's word choices in connection with terrorism, freedom and democracy, and the war in Iraq - plus two pages on public diplomacy as a euphemism for propaganda.
Daniel Shulman, "Mind Games," Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 2006, pp. 39-49.
CJR's associate editor examines theory and practice in the U.S. military's information operations after the attacks of 9/11. Issues discussed include: concepts and blurred lines between public affairs and psychological operations, the rise and demise of the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's Information Operations Roadmap and transformation of military information operations, concerns by journalists and retired military officers about the military's information policies, and a recent call for a review of those policies by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Julia E. Sweig, Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century, (Public Affairs, 2006).
Sweig, a senior fellow for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, analyzes roots of anti-Americanism during the Cold War and the domestic politics and identities of countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America that have moved away from traditions of close relations with the United States. Her book concludes with suggestions for change that include government funded public diplomacy programs if they complement changes in policy, manners, and respect for international institutions.
U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department Efforts to Engage Muslim Audiences Lack Certain Communication Elements and Face Significant Challenges, GAO-06-535, Washington, DC, May 2006.
GAO's 60-page examination of State's public diplomacy finds increases in overseas operations budgets and some promise in State's announced transformational diplomacy initiative. GAO develops at length, however, its findings that State and overseas missions lack "important strategic communication elements found in the private sector" which GAO and others have recommended. Includes discussion of challenges created by the need to balance security with outreach, staff shortages, insufficient language capabilities, and the need for more systematic sharing of best practices in public diplomacy.
U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department Efforts Lack Certain Communication Elements and Face Significant Challenges, Testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, Washington, DC, May 3, 2006. A shorter statement of findings in the May 2006 report on State Department Efforts to Engage Muslim Audiences. Includes additional comments drawing on GAO's reports in 2003 and 2005 that the U.S. lacks an interagency communication strategy to guide government-wide public diplomacy activities. Both documents provide information on public diplomacy activities of USAID, the Defense Department, and other agencies.
U.S. Department of State, Jazz Ambassadors Program Evaluation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, May 15, 2005.
Conducted by AMS Planning and Research Corp. and Philliber Research Associates, the evaluation assesses the program's "effectiveness in fostering mutual understanding, serving as a mechanism of public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy, targeting and reaching key audiences, extending awareness of American cultural heritage, and offering unique opportunities for musical education and training." The evaluation is described as "the first of a major Cultural Exchange program at the U.S. Department of State." For a copy of the report, call (202) 453-8808 or email email@example.com.
Wilton Park Conference, Public Diplomacy: Key Challenges and Priorities, Report of a conference co-sponsored by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Foreign Affairs Canada, and the US Embassy in London, WPS06/21, March 10-12. In this 12-page conference summary, Dr. Ann Lane, summarizes the main points discussed by participants: definitions of public diplomacy, partnerships within and outside government, public diplomacy and "the war on terror," two way public diplomacy, branding, measurement and evaluation, bridging public diplomacy and policy, the blogosphere, and harnessing non-governmental actors. (Courtesy of Barry Zorthian)