Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams, Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home, (Routledge, 2010). Adams (American University) and Williams (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) examine the institutions and processes that support national security resource planning. In separate chapters, they discuss planning and resource allocation in the State Department, dispersed foreign assistance programs, the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security, the White House, and Congress. Concluding chapters focus on the politics of national security budgeting, efforts to reform the process, and their views on the need for integrated planning and coordination. Public diplomacy and international broadcasting are dealt with as aspects of international affairs and State Department budgeting.
Sean Aday, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, John Sides, John Kelly, and Ethan Zuckerman, Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics, Peaceworks No. 65, United States Institute of Peace, September 2010. Aday, Farrell, Lynch, and Sides (a team from George Washington University), Kelly (Morningside Analytica), and Zuckerman ( Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University) assess "cyberutopian" and "cyberskeptic" approaches to the role of new media in political movements. The authors examine "five interlocking levels of analysis: individual transformation, intergroup relations, collective action, regime policies, and external attention." Their study includes methods for improving analysis of new media in politics and a case study of Iran's presidential election in 2009. They urge scholars and policymakers to adopt a more nuanced view of the positive and negative effects of new media in democratization and social change.
Sean Aday, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, and John Sides, Advancing New Media Research, US Institute of Peace, Special Report 250, September 2010. Four of the authors of Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics update their earlier study drawing on proceedings at a conference on the topic held at USIP on July 8, 2010.
W. Lance Bennett, News: The Politics of Illusion, 8th edition (Pearson Longman, 2009). In the latest edition of his text on politics and the news media, Bennett (University of Washington) provides new material on participatory media, fragmentation of news audiences, uses of strategic communication in shaping political messages, connections between news stories and the polling process, and new case studies on political comedy and global warming. Central themes in Bennett's scholarship include assessment of strategic communication in politics and governance, the influence of communication professionals in shaping news images, and limits on the extent to which news media influence public opinion.
Tony Blair, A Journey: My Political Life, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010). Former British PM Blair's engaging memoir will be read and reviewed for many reasons given his central role in two decades of British and global politics. Elements of particular interest to public diplomacy enthusiasts include an amusing account of his first visit to the United States as an International Visitor in 1985, his views on the media and its changing role in mediated politics, and insights on the instrumental value of communication strategies in politics and diplomacy.
Peter Cary, The Pentagon, Information Operations, and Media Development, A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), National Endowment for Democracy, October 19, 2010. Cary (former managing editor and Pentagon reporter at US News and World Report) examines information and media activities of the Department of Defense (DoD) in Iraq and Afghanistan. His report looks at budget, policy, and structural issues during the past decade, the rise and demise of the Office of Strategic Influence, the work of defense contractors such as the Lincoln Group, relations between the Departments of State and Defense in public diplomacy and strategic communication, and adaptation of US departments and contractors to the challenges of social media. Cary recommends tightened Congressional oversight of DoD's information operations and media activities, transfer of DoD activities, such as the Trans Regional Web Initiative, to the State Department or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a scaling back on such DoD activities generally, and creation of a comprehensive national security strategy on information and media strategy.
Eugene Chow and Richard Weitz, Rebuilding Diplomacy: A Survey of Past Calls for State Department Transformation, Policy Brief, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), August 2010. As the US Department of State prepares to launch its first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), Chow (former CNAS Research Assistant) and Weitz (CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow) summarize findings and recommendations in past reports calling for State Department reform. Key Issues: increasing resources, aligning resources with strategic goals, training and recruitment, engaging nonstate actors, and upgrading and integrating technology.
Costas M. Constantinou and James Der Derian, eds., Sustainable Diplomacies, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Constantinou (University of Nicosia) and Der Derian (Brown University) have compiled a collection of essays that "seeks to synchronize the study and practice of diplomacy with transformations taking place in international politics." The editors offer two meanings for the term "sustainable diplomacy": first, the "durability" of diplomacy rather than something to be disposed of as an unnecessary delay before getting to desired results; and second, diplomacy as "the long-term reconciliation and/or coexistence of competing entities and ways of living." Includes the following chapters:
-- Constantinou and Der Derian, "Introduction: Sustaining Global Hope: Sovereignty, Power, and the Transformation of Diplomacy."
-- David Joseph Wellman (DePaul University), "The Promise of Sustainable Diplomacy: Refining the Praxis of Ecological Realism."
-- Hussein Bania (Brown University), "Diplomacy and Public Imagination."
-- Costas M. Constantinou, "Diplomacy, Spirituality, Alterity."
-- Noe Cornago, (University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain), "Perforated Sovereignties, Agonistic Pluralism and the Durability of (Para)diplomacy."
-- Iver B. Neumann, (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Oslo University), "Sustainability and Transformation in Diplomatic Culture: The Case of Eurocentrism."
-- Sam Okoth Opondo, (University of Hawaii, Manoa) "Decolonizing Diplomacy: Reflections on African Estrangement and Exclusion."
-- Anthony Deos (University of Otago) and Geoffrey Allen Pigman (Bennington College), "Sustainable Public Diplomacy: Communicating About Identity, Interests and Terrorism."
-- Arne Strand (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway), "Sustained Peacebuilding: The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations and Researchers."
-- Mai'a K. Davis Cross (University of Southern California), "Sustainable Diplomacy in the European Union."
-- Geoffrey Wiseman (University of Southern California), "Engaging the Enemy: An Essential Norm for Sustainable US Diplomacy."
-- Roland Bleiker (University of Queensland), "Toward a Sustainable Diplomacy in Divided Korea."
-- Paul Sharp (University of Minnesota, Duluth), "The US-Iranian Conflict in Obama's New Era of Engagement: Smart Power or Sustainable Diplomacy?" Nicholas J. Cull, "Speeding the Strange Death of American Public Diplomacy: The George H. W. Bush Administration and the U.S. Information Agency," Diplomatic History, Vol. 34, No. 1 (January 2010), 47-60. Drawing on a wide range of interviews, archival records, and academic and public policy literature, Cull (University of Southern California) examines "the significant decline in the fortunes" of USIA during the years 1989-1993. His assessment focuses on deficiencies in USIA's management, Voice of America broadcasts in China, USIA's role in the 1991 war with Iraq, and public diplomacy in Eastern Europe in the years following the political revolutions in 1989. Cull's article is part of a forthcoming history of U.S. public diplomacy from 1989 to the present.
Timothy Cunningham, "Strategic Communication in the New Media Sphere," Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 59, 4th quarter, 2010, 110-114. Cunningham (National Intelligence Open Source Center) urges civilian and military practitioners to adopt distinct communication strategies when dealing with traditional media and new media. Characteristics of the new media environment -- feedback, dialogue, decentralized generation of content, time required for effective engagement, etc. -- require a distributed work environment. This means, he argues, the practice of strategic communication in new media should be "the responsibility not of professional strategic communicators insulated from the policy execution process, but of those individuals directly charged with executing policy or carrying out a plan."
Daniel W. Drezner, "Weighing the Scales: The Internet's Effect on State-Society Relations,"The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Spring/Summer 2010, 31-44. In looking at how the Internet has affected relations between the state and global civil society, Drezner (Tufts University and ForeignPolicy.com blogger) argues that non-state actors are "probably" more empowered than states, but the effects of this empowerment varies according to types of political environment. He examines contrasting views in political science literature, state censorship models, the Internet's impact on transaction-costs for corporate and government hierarchies, differences in normative choices faced by states in political decisions and economic opportunities, and the fragility of information cascades. Drezner concludes with a brief comment on misperceptions in the State Department's "Civil Society 2.0 Initiative" intended to build capacity for civil society groups worldwide. He argues the Initiative presumes that new technologies primarily aid "good" groups and underestimates its potential for empowering illiberal forces.
Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, Inaugural Issue, Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars, Syracuse University, Fall 2010. The mission of Exchange, a publication managed and edited by graduate students at Syracuse University, “is to provide a forum for scholars and practitioners of public diplomacy to share their research, experience, and insights in order to expand and advance the body of public diplomacy literature and analysis.” Exchange “seeks to define a unique intellectual space” that integrates “academic papers” and “featured articles” by public diplomacy practitioners. The inaugural issue includes:
“Featured Articles” -- Bruce Gregory, (George Washington University & Georgetown University), “Public Diplomacy Scholars and Practitioners: Thoughts for an Ongoing Conversation,” 6-9.
-- William Kiehl, (PD Worldwide), “Where the Rubber Meets the Road: PD as it is Practiced Abroad,” 10-19.
-- Michael Schneider (Syracuse University), “Public Diplomacy in the Digital Era: Toward New Partnerships,” 18-20.
-- Andrew Kneale, (British Council, USA), “The Public Diplomacy Enlightenment,” 21-24.
“Academic Papers” -- Dennis Kinsey (Syracuse University) and Olga Zatepilina (Appalachian State University), “The Impact of Visual Images on Non-U.S. Citizens' Attitudes about the United States: A-Q Study in Visual Public Diplomacy,” 25-32.
-- H. Efe Sevin (American University), “See for Yourself: Rebranding Northern Baja through Public Diplomacy,” 33-40.
-- Caitlin Byrne (Bond University), “Not Quite the Sum of its Parts: Public Diplomacy from an Australian Perspective,” 41-53.
-- Jana Peterkova (University of Economics, Prague), “Contemporary Trends in Czech Public Diplomacy,” 54-65. Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, U.S. Public Diplomacy's Neglected Domestic Mandate,CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Paper 3, (Figueroa Press, October 2010). In 1977, President Jimmy Carter directed the US Information Agency to pursue “two distinct but related goals” -- “to tell the world about our society and policies” and also “to tell ourselves about the world.” Fitzpatrick (Quinnipiac University) examines the origins and implications of this neglected “second mandate.” She explores the evolution of US public diplomacy's missions and mandates and considerations that influence public diplomacy practices that target Americans. She identifies questions for scholars and practitioners and calls for greater emphasis on activities that increase Americans' understanding of the policies, ideas, and values of others.
Richard Fontaine and Brian M. Burton, Eye to the Future: Refocusing State Department Policy Planning, Policy Brief, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), August 2010. CNAS Fellows Fontaine and Burton assess challenges facing the State Department's policy planning staff grounded in the gap between its responsibilities (and expectations) and its lack of formal authority. Issues include: connecting long-range planning to current activities, overcoming State's lack of a "planning culture," and interagency coordination. The authors offer recommendations for reform in the context of the Department's forthcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).
Malcolm Gladwell, "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted," The New Yorker, October 4, 2010, 42-49. Using examples of high risk activism in the US civil rights movement, the author of The Tipping Point (2000), Blink (2005), and Outliers (2008) explores strengths and limitations of social media platforms built on "weak ties." Social media are good at innovation, collaboration, matching buyers and sellers, as sources of information and ideas, and at creating resilient networks in low-risk situations requiring minimal commitment. But "weak tie" connections, Gladwell argues, rarely lead to high-risk activism, which depends on authority, hierarchical structures, and formal operating procedures. His article includes a critique of the social media enthusiasms of former State Department Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman and the author of Here Comes Everybody (2008) Clay Shirky. (Courtesy of Jeremy Holden)
John Hughes, Islamic Extremism and the War of Ideas: Lessons from Indonesia, (Hoover Institution Press, 2010). Hughes (Brigham Young University) draws on experiences as a journalist (foreign correspondent, editor Christian Science Monitor) and government official (USIA associate director, VOA director, and State Department spokesman) to make his case for a revitalized US public diplomacy and a new independent government agency that replicates "the best features and energy of the now defunct USIA." His views are framed in a critique of a US public diplomacy now "in disarray," his memories of the strengths of Cold War public diplomacy, a message of freedom that America must project to the world in fighting "Islamist extremism," and creation of a cabinet level public diplomacy agency.
Walter Isaacson, "Celebrating 60 Years of RFE," Remarks at the Newseum, Washington, DC, September 28, 2010. On the occasion of Radio Free Europe's 60th anniversary, Isaacson (Chair, US Broadcasting Board of Governors; President and CEO of the Aspen Institute) reflects on RFE's past and outlines his vision for US government international broadcasting in the digital age. Broadcasting's future, he argues, calls for idea labs and case studies of what works and does not work using social media platforms, building online communities on issues of mutual concern, mastering the tricky mix of shared and disseminated information, facilitating sharing networks of information, creating a virtual global news service, capitalizing on translation technology, supporting Internet freedom, and preserving US broadcasting's fundamental mission, "fostering freedom through credible journalism."
Kenneth Matwiczak, Public Diplomacy Model for the Assessment of Performance, A Report to the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, September 2010. This 148-page report on a research project directed by Matwiczak (LBJ School of Public Affairs) in collaboration with graduate students at the LBJ School was written pursuant to a contract with the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, a bipartisan, presidentially-appointed advisory panel funded by the US Department of State. The report examines public diplomacy evaluation methods and offers an assessment model for quantifying public diplomacy program results and evaluating their success in meeting strategic goals. The report was presented to the Commission at its meeting on September 28, 2010 (transcript is online).
For summaries and thoughtful critiques of the report, see Matt Armstrong (Mountain Runner Institute), “A Notional Model for Evaluating Public Diplomacy," MountainRunner US blog, October 7, 2010; and Craig Hayden (American University), “Assessing the Public Diplomacy Assessment Model Report,” Intermap blog, October 15, 2010.
Mark Maybury, "Social Radar for Smart Power,"Smart Power Newsletter, MITRE Corporation, Summer 2010. Maybury (Director of MITRE's Smart Power Initiative) calls for development of "a social radar capability that will enable near real-time detection and tracking of human dynamics -- perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and intentions." He discusses key characteristics of monitoring systems, the use of computational social science tools, uses of these capabilities in planning and assessment of smart power engagement in diplomacy, development, defense, and intelligence. Robust "social radar" capabilities "will require a collaborative community that brings together diverse experts from government, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)."
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “American and Chinese Power After the Financial Crisis,” The Washington Quarterly, 33:4, October 2010, 143-153. Urging caution in making long-term projections from cyclical events, Nye (Harvard University) looks at alternative futures for the US and China in the aftermath of the great recession of 2008-2009. Issues discussed include soft power in 21st century China, economic interdependence and power, and policy implications of misperceptions about the financial crisis for both countries. The article is drawn in part from Nye's forthcoming book The Future of Power (Public Affairs, February 2011).
Evan H. Potter, Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power Through Public Diplomacy, (McGill-Queens University Press, Paperback edition, 2010, originally published in 2009). Potter's study of the "origins, development, and implementation" of Canada's public diplomacy is now available in paperback. Potter (University of Ottawa) argues that "protecting and nurturing a distinct national identity are essential to Canada's sovereignty and prosperity." He offers policy recommendations on Canada's public diplomacy and examines Canada's use of the instruments of public diplomacy -- cultural programs, international education, international broadcasting, trade, and investment promotion.
Annmaree O'Keefe and Alex Oliver, International Broadcasting and Its Contribution to Public Diplomacy, Working Paper, Lowi Institute for International Policy, September 2010. In this extensive (71 pages) research study commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Lowi Institute's O'Keefe and Oliver examine trends in government international broadcasting and lessons for Australia. Based on research undertaken from December 2009 to June 2010, the Institute's report discusses conceptual issues in the relationship between public diplomacy and international broadcasting; characteristics and plans of international broadcasters in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the United States, and Canada; the relationship between public diplomacy and international broadcasting in Australia; and conclusions for the future of Australia's international broadcasters. (PDF download available at Lowi Institute's website)
Edward Schatz and Renan Levine, "Framing, Public Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism in Central Asia," International Studies Quarterly, (2010), 54, 855-869. Schatz and Levine (University of Toronto) report on a framing experiment designed to assess US public diplomacy efforts in Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. The authors use focus groups, detailed questions, and methods intended to "isolate the effect of varying sources and frames on attitudes" about the United States. They offer conclusions on message framing and recommendations on the conduct of public diplomacy.
SWJ Editors, "Skelton, Davis Introduce Groundbreaking Interagency Reform Legislation," Small Wars Journal, posted October 2, 2010. US House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Representative Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) introduce "The Skelton-Davis Interagency National Security Professional Education, Administration, and Development (INSPEAD) System Act" (H.R. 6249). Drawing on lessons from the Goldwater-Nichols reorganization of the Department of Defense, the legislation is intended to "institutionalize interagency culture across the federal government by focusing on the personnel programs used to develop national security professionals. Chairman Skelton's remarks, the text of the bill, and a section-by-section summary can be found at the Committee's website. (Courtesy of Jim Dickmeyer)
Trust Me I'm an Expert: Taking Culture from Inside Out, British Council, 2010. This anthology of brief essays explores issues relating to identity, expertise, knowledge needed for informed judgments, the role of the arts in understanding conflict, and how citizens and countries want to be represented and perceived. The collection is inspired by The Tricycle Theatre's The Great Game in Afghanistan. Includes essays by Nushin Arbabzadah (UCLA Center for the Study of Women), Reza Aslan (President & CEO, Asian Media, Inc.), Steve Clemons (New America Foundation), Christina Lamb (The Sunday Times), Sarah Lewis (Yale University School of Art), Christopher Merrill (International Writing Program, University of Iowa), and a foreword by General Sir David Richards (Chief of the General Staff, British Ministry of Defense).
Steven Weber and Bruce W. Jentleson, The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas, (Harvard University Press, 2010). Weber (University of California, Berkeley) and Jentleson (Duke University) begin by taking exception to the "war of ideas" metaphor and its underlying reasoning. They argue that ideas are critically important in politics and diplomacy, however, and their book examines an emerging "global competition of ideas" in which the 20th century's "big ideas" are insufficient in dealing with core questions of social justice and achieving world order. The authors contend that competing successfully is not a matter of tweaking public diplomacy. Future leadership they assert must be grounded in three core truths: (1) we live in a Copernican, not Ptolemaic, world in which the US is no longer at the center militarily, politically, economically and ideologically; (2) it is widely assumed there must be alternatives to US leadership -- alternatives which themselves are the subjects of robust debate; and (3) Americans must "unlearn the exceptionalism of settled formulas" and appeal to the needs of others if they are to engage successfully in this global marketplace of ideas. For a summary of Weber and Jentleson's argument, see theGlobalist,, September 21, 2010. (Courtesy of Donna Oglesby)
Gem from the Past
Edward Hallett Carr, The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1919-1939, An Introduction to the Study of International Relations, (Originally published by Macmillan and Company, 1939 with an updated edition in 1946). E. H. Carr's classic study is well known for its analysis of the breakdown of the European peace during the decades prior to World War II, its critique of Wilsonian idealism, its insights into the nature of political power, its central place in the realist school in international politics, and its contributions to the systematic study of international relations. Less remembered is Carr's analysis of "power over opinion" and the art of persuasion as being no less essential in politics than military and economic power. His book contains insights into the development of propaganda as an instrument of policy in the 20th century, the importance of ideas and rhetoric in power politics, international agreements relating to propaganda, issues of truth and morality, and limitations on the uses of propaganda. In his second edition (1946), Carr devoted a final chapter to a prescient assessment of whether the nation state will survive as "the unit of international society." Carr began his career in 1916 as a diplomat. In 1936, he resigned from the British Foreign Office to work as a journalist and then to pursue an academic career at the University of Wales, Aberstwyth.
The paperback edition of The Twenty Years Crisis, when first published in the United States by Harper & Row in 1964, contained a "Letter to the Reader" from former US Information Agency Director Edward R. Murrow. "Overseas," Murrow stated, "there is considerable belief that we are a nation of extreme conservatism and that we cannot accommodate to social change. Books about America in the hands of readers abroad can help change those ideas." Murrow invited readers to send a check to Harper & Row for $7.00 to support the overseas distribution of packets of books on American history, economics, sociology, literature, and politics. The books were distributed to schools, libraries, and other centers abroad as part of USIA's "worldwide USA BOOKS campaign."