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Home » The Daily » The Daily: For August 30, 2013

The Daily: For August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013 6:30 am by: Category: The Daily
photo credit: Foreign Policy

photo credit: Foreign Policy

Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.

Want public diplomacy to be more effective? Stop using money and power as the endgame, and start aiming for something more altruistic.

But I think the reason students and scholars are attracted to explore these practices is precisely because of the unavoidable feeling that there is a Third Metric at work. Isn’t public diplomacy about doing good, increasing peace, generating goodwill, and improving lives? Didn’t it win the Cold War, heal the civilizational rift post-9/11 and ensure China’s rise was peaceful? As Woodrow Wilson suggested nearly a century ago, wouldn’t the world be a better place if every nation explained itself and its policies through open public discourse, in an international system of peaceful dialogue rather than selfish belligerence? Public diplomacy stands for all of these things, but it seems to me we spend more time talking about what it could be rather than what it is. [The CPD Blog]

The Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, pens an editorial in Foreign Policy to bring attention to how the lack of reliable energy infrastructure in her country effects the population and her support of Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

Initially focusing on six key partner countries, including my own, Power Africa will mobilize the U.S. private sector to add 10,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity, while also increasing electricity access by at least 20 million new households and businesses. The White House has pledged $7 billion over the next five years in support of the initiative (most of which will be returned to U.S. taxpayers because of the structure of the plan’s public-private partnerships). In addition, the American private sector has committed an additional $9 billion in direct assistance. [Foreign Policy]

The Jinan Intermediate People’s Court, the Chinese courtroom where Bo Xilai – the fallen Chongqing Party boss – was put on trial live-blogged the five-day proceedings last week while banning everyone else from using recording devices. Is this unprecedented transparency in the judicial process China opening up or an attempt to fully control the narrative.

Following its debut broadcast, the court behaved like many of China’s 60,000-plus government-run microblogs. It posted self-congratulatory status updates (“the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court ceaselessly deepens its case research and strengthens its case guidance work”), explanations of the number and types of cases the court hears, and, the evening before the Bo trial, a nugget from Warring State-era philosopher Han Feizi, reminding readers that, at 2,000 years’ remove, even da chen, or imperial ministers, are subject to criminal punishment. Along the way, the court’s Weibo account racked up hundreds of thousands of followers eager to catch even the most oblique glimpse into the courtroom. [Foreign Policy]

The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, is traveling to China with a large business delegation in search of economic diplomacy opportunities.

He gave an intriguing answer where he categorically stated that Kenya is neither turning east nor west but is turning to economic diplomacy aimed at Kenya’s economic transformation through realisation of sustainable double digit growth. The company he kept in his trip to China clearly brands it a business trip. In the end, there is so much to show from the visit to China. To begin with, Kenya’s National Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Chamber of Commerce, Machinery and Electronics which is geared at promoting and boosting trade relations between the two countries. [Standard Media]

Tom Healy questions the definitions of power – hard, soft, smart – as well as the old concept of “winning hearts and minds” to emphasize that the questioning is the most powerful path towards authenticity and henceforth persuasion. (I think.)

No matter how decent our intentions or benign our strategies, one of the problems with persuasion is that it is not an effort of tender wonderment and questioning. Persuasion is not meant to explore truth, but to enforce it. Soft power is still meant to be power, our power. Yet, the point of truth is not that it is possessed, but that it is sought, that it is provisional, that we are free to choose it-and to contest those who claim to know what the it is or are certain they have it. [Huffington Post]

A new report by the American Security Project explores the types of public diplomacy efforts the U.S. is aiming towards Iran.

Despite the lack of formal relations, and the many areas of disagreement between the U.S. and Iran, there is a variety of public diplomacy programs underway designed to bypass the Iranian government and reach out to Iranian citizens. Some, like the Virtual Embassy Tehran, are run by the State Department to overcome the physical barriers and connect with Iranians. Others, like exchange programs and science diplomacy, are less centralized and allow for in-person relationship building with the Iranian people. [American Security Project via The Public Diplomacy Update]



Bo Xilai Ellen Johnson Sirleaf health care Power Africa Tom Healy transparency Uhuru Kenyatta Vertical Villages

About Michael Ardaiolo

Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language.
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