CB3Blog, "Public Diplomacy as an Academic Discipline," Posted May 15, 2009. CB3 Communications (a UK consulting firm with ties to Cambridge University) surveys the small number of degree programs and courses on public diplomacy in the United States. The blog entry finds there are even fewer institutions outside the U.S. providing academic courses on public diplomacy. CB3 calls on the UK and other countries to look at academic approaches to preparing "its young people for 21st century diplomacy and communication environments." Contains a six-minute YouTube video featuring Syracuse University students discussing public diplomacy.
Jared Cohen, "Diverting the Radicalization Track," Policy Review, April & May, 2009, No. 154, 51-63. Cohen (an appointee to the State Department's Policy Planning Staff in 2006) begins with the dubious proposition that "The struggle against violent extremism is the most significant national security challenge of the 21st century." Drawing on the thinking of former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman, Cohen argues that "America's target audience for public diplomacy needs to be disaffected youths and those who influence them." His strategy focuses on social media, networking with civil society partners, and providing alternatives for population segments vulnerable to extremist influence rather than winning hearts and minds.
Daryl Copeland, Guerilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations,(Lynne Reinner, 2009). Retired diplomat Daryl Copeland draws on academic research, literature, film, interviews, and years as a practitioner in Canada's foreign service to make an imaginative case for reinventing diplomacy. Calling for stronger linkages between development and security as an alternative to force, he explores the meaning of development, the importance of science and technology to diplomacy, public diplomacy, and needed reforms in foreign ministries and the foreign service. Today's diplomat, he argues, must be able to manage a wide range of new issues, engage multiple new actors, and be "happier mixing with the population than mingling with colleagues inside embassy walls." Copeland's new Guerilla Diplomacy blog can be visited at the link.
Leslie H. Gelb, Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy, (HarperCollins Publishers, 2009). Gelb brings the insights of a former senior official in the State and Defense Departments, journalist for The New York Times, and President of the Council on Foreign Relations to an analysis of how power should be wielded in today's world and recommendations on what America needs to to relearn the effective use its power. Gelb challenges ideas of leading thinkers: Thomas Friedman ("the world is flat"), Joseph Nye ("soft power"), Richard Haass (the world is "nonpolar"), and Charles Krauthammer (the exercise of will and military power). Contains chapters on the nature of power, strategy, policies, intelligence, domestic politics, military power, economic power, and public diplomacy (aka "stage-setting power").
Jakub Grygiel, "The Power of Statelessness," Policy Review, April & May, 2009, 35-50. Grygiel (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) looks at political groups who seek their objectives through forms of social cohesion other than control of the state. Grygiel examines four trends underlying the rise of stateless groups: (1) new technologies that foster virtual networks, (2) proliferation of weapons and dual use technologies that challenge the state's monopoly of violence, (3) the desirability of a low profile as a strategy of survival in the face of traditional state power, and (4) goals grounded in religious or ideological extremism better served by means other than the political compromise required of traditional nation-states. Grygiel argues the appeal of statelessness will continue to increase.
John Maxwell Hamilton, "In the Foothills of Change: Foreign Coverage Seems Doomed, But It's Only Just Begun," Columbia Journalism Review, March/April, 2009, 51-57. In this essay, Hamilton (Louisiana State University) briefly outlines changes in the history of foreign reporting from Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette to his forecast of a new era with a "clear, defining feature: many types of foreign correspondents operating at once." In addition to traditional foreign correspondents, he identifies foreign nationals who work for American news organizations, local foreign correspondents who cover the world from their hometowns, parachute foreign correspondents, premium foreign correspondents who charge fees for specialized in-depth reporting, in-house foreign correspondents who gather news for corporate employers, citizen foreign corespondents, and foreign local correspondents whose reporting for indigenous media are read globally on the Internet. Hamilton assesses the strengths, limitations, and implications of this experimentation with new forms of foreign coverage. Abstract available online.
Gilles Kepel, Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East, (Harvard University Press, 2008). Kepel (Institute of Political Studies, Paris, and author of Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam and The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West) challenges the "exhausted narratives" of George W. Bush's war on terror and Osama bin Laden's call for an uprising against apostate regimes. Kepel offers an alternative vision grounded in "the human capital of the Mediterranean, the expertise and economic stability of Europe, and the entrepreneurial ambitions of the energy-producing nations in a concerted move away from violence and toward sustainable prosperity."
David Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of the Big One, (Oxford University Press, 2009). Kilcullen (anthropologist, former Australian Army officer, and counterinsurgency advisor to the Department of State and to General David Petraeus in Iraq) summarizes insights from his years of experience in Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He distinguishes between two classes of non-state adversary: deliberate, postmodern neo-Salafi extremists and traditionalist local fighters who are often "accidental guerrillas" and fight "because we are in his space, not because he wishes to invade ours." He examines four overlapping models of today's armed conflict environment: a backlash against globalization, globalized insurgency, the Islamic civil war theory, and the asymmetric warfare model. Kilcullen offers many recommendations for "this new era of hybrid warfare." A national level, whole of government "strategic information" capability, he argues, "is perhaps the most important."
Rita J. King and Joshua S. Fouts, Understanding Islam Through Virtual Worlds, Dancing Ink Productions, January 29, 2009. King and Fouts, senior fellows at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and principals of Dancing Ink Productions, released the findings of this Carnegie Council project in three digital formats: (1) "Digital Diplomacy," an assessment with recommendations on the potential value of virtual worlds for digital diplomacy (PDF print version); (2) "Collaboration, Community and Culture," a documentary video highlighting some of the findings and available on YouTube and in broadcast quality form; and (3) a project narrative in the form of a graphic novel. Their goal: "to see what we could learn about Islam — not by inviting particular people with particular perspectives into Second Life, but rather to follow the trail of what was already happening culturally in the space that might yield new insight about Islam."
James R. Locher III, "Forging a New Shield," The American Interest, January/February 2009, 15-26. The executive director of the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) summarizes the PNSR's November 2008 reportcalling for transformation of national security mindsets and structures rooted in the National Security Act of 1947. Recommendations include: creation of a President's Security Council that would replace the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council, a shift from interagency committees to empowered interagency teams capable of implementing a "whole of government" approach to issues, an integrated national security budget and mandated six-year budget projections by departments and agencies, creation of a National Security Professional Corps trained for interagency assignments, and a quadrennial national security review. Locher's article (available in full to subscribers) gists PNSR's massive 702-page report (available by download at the second link).
Judith McHale, "Opening Statement as Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs," Senate Foreign Relations Committee, May 13, 2009. State's Under Secretary-designate voices her belief that public diplomacy is "integral to our foreign policy and essential for our national security" and outlines six core principles that will guide her approach to U.S. public diplomacy.
Gustavo S. Mesch, “The Internet and Youth Culture,” The Hedgehog Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2009, 50-60. In an issue of the Review devoted to youth culture, Mesch (University of Haifa) discusses technology's influence on values, attitudes, and behavior in the context of perspectives on technological determinism and the social construction of technologies in literature on the Internet and youth culture. He concludes that the Internet plays important roles in adolescence “as a cultural artifact and a culture in itself.” It is important to recognize, however, that “Rather than thinking of the internet in dichotomous terms, either reflecting social values and norms or generating a Net-generation, it is useful to think of constant interrelations that are being created, bridging and mutually affecting online and offline youth lives.”
PD, Public Diplomacy Magazine, Issue 1, Winter 2009, a publication of the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars (APDS) at the University of Southern California. The editors of this new publication -- Anoush Rima Tatevossian, Desa Philadelphia, and Lorena M. Sanchez -- describe its mission as providing "a common forum for the views of both scholars and practitioners from around the globe." PD is labeled a magazine "because of the accessibility it suggests" rather than an academic journal. Its goal, however, is to address public diplomacy's hybrid identity as an area of study and body of practice and to "tackle everything from conceptualizing public diplomacy, debating its relevance, and discussing the roles of various actors, to developing evaluation methods, sharing best practices and even a little proselytizing."
This issue, "New President. New Public Diplomacy?" contains "Memos to Obama," "Perspectives" from scholars and practitioners (current and former), and a "Case Study: Beijing Olympics." Contributors include Nicholas J. Cull, Kristin Lord, Helle Dale, David Hoffman, James Glassman, Edward Djerejian, Walid Maalouf, Stacy Hope, Tom Edwards, Andy Pryce, Qui Huafei, Jian Wang, Meg Young, Noah Chestnut, Paul Rockower, Iskra Kirova, and Nancy Snow.
Public Diplomacy Collaborative, Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Instituted for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Harvard's PD Collaborative is an independent, non-government-sponsored program that seeks to “promote discussion, mentoring, training, scholarship, and publication in the field of public diplomacy with the aims of expanding and improving public diplomacy practice and ultimately promoting democratic governance.” The Collaborative draws “experts from the academic, corporate, diplomatic, developmental, cultural, military, religious, and media sectors” and fosters “the exchange of public-opinion analyses, regional expertise, measurement tools, and case studies on the strategy and tactics of public diplomacy.” Current initiatives include conferences, publications and research, an academic journal, and working groups on international education and professional interests. The PD Collaborative is directed by Jed Willard. Its affiliated faculty includes Matthew Baum (Faculty Chair), Joseph Nye, Todd Pittinsky, William Rugh, and Ramus Bertelsen. A Board of Advisors is chaired by Mark McDowell (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada).
"Special Issue of Media Psychology and Public Diplomacy,"American Journal of Media Psychology, Volume 1, Nos. 1/2, Winter/Spring 2008. Edited by Michael G. Elasmar (Boston University) the founding issue of this new peer-reviewed journal looks at the role of the media in public diplomacy. The articles examine how "individuals' perceptions of countries and of international events are influenced by their exposure to related media content." The following articles in this issue may be downloaded in pdf format and viewed online.
Erik Nisbet (Ohio State University) and James Shanahan (Fairfield University), Anti-Americanism as a Communication Problem? Foreign Media and Public Opinion toward the United States in Europe and the Middle East.
Xiuli Wang (Peking University), Pamela Shoemaker (Syracuse University), Gang (Kevin) Han (State University of New York at Fredonia), and E. Jordan Storm (Syracuse University), Images of Nations in the Eyes of American Educational Elites
Adrienne McFaul (Rutgers University), Paul Boxer (Rutgers University), and Andrew M. Terranova, (Stephen F. Austin State University), Investigating Effects of Identification with Real-World Aggressors and Victims on the Link between Exposure to Political Violence in the News Media and Aggressive Worldviews
Caroline Walters (Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State) and Sheila Murphy (Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California), Framing the Olympic Games: The Impact of American Television Coverage on Attitudes toward International Cooperation and Foreign Policy in the United States
Gabriele Melischek (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Josef Seethaler (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Media and International Relations: An Attributional Analysis of In-group and Out-group Perceptions in European Press Coverage of the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election
Joshua Cooper Ramo, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It, (Little, Brown and Company, 2009). Ramo (Managing Director of Kissinger Associates) looks at a world where unpredictability and relentless change have exceeded the capacity of traditional ideas and institutions to provide for security and prosperity. His book is filled with insights from history, literature, the arts, economics, psychology, complexity theory, human immunology, network theory and from actors as diverse as Hizb'allah and Google. In the first part of the book, Ramo seeks "to destroy, politely, the idea that our current thinking about international affairs is of much use." He then develops an alternative model, which he calls "deep security," grounded in resilience; institutional experimentation; new ways of seeing, thinking, and acting; and a spirit that "chafes against the classic instinct to hoard power and tightly con trol policy."
Reviews of Nicholas J. Cull's The Cold War and the United States Information Agency, (Cambridge University Press, 2008), 533 pages. Martha Bayles, "The Art of Global Public Relations,"The Wall Street Journal / Books, July 24, 2008. Bruce Gregory, Naval War College Review, Spring 2009, Vol. 62, No. 2, 122-123. Walter Roberts, Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 4, Fall 2008, 126-130, Allan M. Winkler, Journal of American History, Vol. 96, No. 1, June 2009 (forthcoming).
David Ronfeldt and Danielle Varda, The Prospects for Cyberocracy (Revisited),Working Paper,Social Science Research Network, Posted January 15, 2009, 70 pages. Ronfeldt (formerly with RAND) and Varda (University of Colorado at Denver), update Ronfeldt's 1992 paper on cyberocracy, which advanced the view that information and its control is becoming a key organizing principle in governance -- (1) "narrowly, as a form of organization that advances traditional forms of bureaucracy and technocracy" and (2) "broadly, as a form of government that may redefine relations between the state and society, and between the public sector and the private sector." Their paper speculates that information is transforming the nature of the state in ways that will result in new kinds of democratic, totalitarian, and hybrid governments and new kinds of state-society relations. They see reasons for optimism and pessimism and suggest that information age societies will "develop new sensory apparatuses, a network-based social sector, new modes of networked governance, and ultimately the cybercratic nexus-state as a successor to the nation-state."
For a five-page online summary of Ronfeldt and Varda's paper that links it to the current writings of Clay Shirky, Yochal Benkler and others, see Patrick Philippe Meier, About ‘The Prospects for Cyberocracy (revisited)’ a paper of David Ronfeldt and Danielle Varda, posted on iRevolution, February 19, 2009.
Teachers and students of public diplomacy will find their work useful in thinking about the changing nature of diplomacy and political communication. For David Ronfeldt's thinking on public diplomacy, see David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla, "Noopolitik: A New Paradigm for Public Diplomacy," in Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor, eds, Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, (2009), 352-365. Also available online in FirstMonday, Vol. 12, No. 8, August 6, 2007.
Gyorgy Szondi, Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding:nbsp Conceptual Similarities and Differences, Clingendael Discussion Paper in Diplomacy, No. 112, November 2008, 42 pages. Szondi (Leeds University) examines origins and definitions of public diplomacy and nation branding and five conceptual models of their potential relationships. His models range from no common ground, to varying levels of integration, to a model in which they are synonyms for the same concept. Szondi discusses whether they can be considered "legitimate professions" with "bodies of knowledge, training and education, professional organizations, and professional norms."
U.S. Government Accountability Office, Higher Education:nbsp Approaches to Attract and Fund International Students in the United States and Abroad, GAO-09-379, April 2009. In a report that contains findings, but no recommendations, GAO collected information from the United States, Australia, China, the European Commission, Germany, and the United Kingdom “to provide insight on how higher education is used to advance public diplomacy and development assistance goals.” GAO's purpose: to examine “(1) the objectives the United States and selected peer governments seek to advance through higher education for international students and the approaches they employ to attract international students, and (2) the characteristics of major U.S. and peer government programs that fund higher education for international students to support public diplomacy and development goals.”
Gem from the Past
U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Virtual Diplomacy Conference,Washington DC, 1997. More than a decade ago, USIP launched a pathbreaking Virtual Diplomacy Initiative focused on the transforming impact of information technologies on diplomacy and international conflict management. USIP's opening conference featured keynote speeches by USIP President Richard Solomon, "The Information Revolution and Conflict Management;" Walter B Wriston (Citicorp), "Bits, Bytes, and Diplomacy;" and former Secretary of State George Shultz, "Diplomacy in the Information Age." Other significant publications in USIP's project include: papers by Canadian diplomat Gordon S. Smith, "Reinventing Diplomacy:nbsp A Virtual Ne cessity" (2000); European diplomat Jean Marie Guehenno, "The Topology of Sovereignty"(2000); and James N. Rosenau (George Washington University, "States, Sovereignty, and Diplomacy in the Information Age"(2000).