Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is recruiting a 6000-member social media team in an attempt to dampen upcoming antigovernment demonstrations in Turkey.
The AKP is gradually bringing young, tech-savvy party members to Ankara to train them in classrooms to act as volunteer “social-media representatives.” … The initiative comes after the party, which has governed Turkey since 2002, faced the biggest popular challenge to its rule in June when hundreds of thousands of Turks took to the streets and social media to protest against what they called Mr. Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic governing style. [Wall Street Journal]
A short history of failed #publicdiplomacy aimed at the American people http://t.co/szY7lEp0VU
— Ryan J. Suto (@RyanJSuto) September 17, 2013
A China Daily article uses a 2005 report by the US State Department on cultural diplomacy to argue that Barack Obama’s presidency is mostly a product of and boon to cultural development.
The two-term election of Barack Obama, the first African-American US president, has been widely hailed as a popular cultural rather than a political development in the United States. The mainstream mass media in the US have made full use of this development to push their public diplomacy goals, that is, to promote the idea that the US is a land where dreams are realized through personal efforts. [China Daily]
Could tennis, and its idiosyncratic characteristics, grow to rival soccer as the world-captivating sport?
Unlike most highly watched sports today, tennis is not a team sport (except for doubles, which is gaining popularity but not nearly at the level of singles). The individuality—and popularity—of this sport has led many players from smaller or less developed countries who rise to the top to become a sort of ambassador for the country. I would guess that anyone who is at all a tennis fan, could tell you that Roger Federer is Swiss, Novak Djokovic is Serbian, Rafael Nadal is Spanish, Caroline Wozniaki is Danish, and Li Na is Chinese. Many people probably associate these names with their countries more quickly than they would some of nations’ political leaders. [The Exchange]
Untangling #China‘s aid to #Africa - it’s complicated. http://t.co/AxHZQDbVQ7 #softpower — Kristine Pearson (@KPLifeline) September 18, 2013
An editorial in The Guardian asserts the gun culture in the US is diminishing its soft power abroad.
The foreign policy experts who gather in the thinktanks and congressional offices not far from the navy yard often define national security to encompass anything that touches on America’s standing in the world. That ranges from its ability to project military force across the globe to its attractiveness, its “soft power”. For decades, this latter quality has been seen as one of the US’s primary assets, central to its ability to lead and persuade other nations. But America’s gun disease diminishes its soft power. It makes the country seem less like a model and more like a basket case, afflicted by a pathology other nations strive to avoid. When similar gun massacres have struck elsewhere – including in Britain – lawmakers have acted swiftly to tighten controls, watching as the gun crime statistics then fell. In the decade after the rules were toughened in Australia in 1996, for example, firearm-related homicides fell by 59%, while suicides involving guns fell by 65%. [The Guardian]
Interested in international #arts engagement? #Culturaldiplomacy? Join us as a writing fellow: http://t.co/3j3KIQGTZa
— ArtsDiplomacyNetwork (@ArtsDiplomacy) September 18, 2013
Rebanta Bahadur K.C. of Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs argues for a much stronger push in diplomatic engagement by the country, especially in terms of economic diplomacy.
At present, the Nepali diplomatic apparatus abroad is chiefly directed at promoting national interest through sound economic diplomacy. However, it has not been able to produce any tangible result in national economy so far. The missions’ dilapidated infrastructure, shortage of skilled manpower, meager budget for economic diplomacy, lack of policy priority and clear-cut direction is compounded by the culture of appointing Nepali mission heads on political connections. Furthermore, it’s a daydream to expect the three-person Nepali missions abroad to attain the desired outcome in the context of growing number of Nepali Diaspora which have greatly added to administrative and consular burden. [Republica]
The US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, is currently hosting a three-part sports diplomacy initiative to reach out to underprivileged children of the area.
The event started with a warm-up session in which the participants were divided into several teams where they were taught new strategies and techniques. Former footballers Sadia Sheikh and Siddique Sheikh presided over the practice while women’s national football team vice-captain Hajra Khan coached the girls. “Girls here find it difficult to follow their passion for football due to security issues and lack of resources,” said Hajra. “This clinic is a blessing for them as it is a safe place. These girls are quite good; if they work hard and consistently, at least 10 of them can make it to the national team.” [The International Tribune]
NEW Handbook: Museums & Intercultural Dialogue via @NEMOoffice http://t.co/7vUPZzmhi9 #culturaldiplomacy #softpower
— Yasmin Khan (@Ya5min_BL) September 17, 2013
Chinese officials are increasingly reaching out to the news-reading public to preview their trips abroad by contributing articles to international media outlets.
In recent years more Chinese high-ranking officials have had their articles published before making foreign visits and attending important international meetings, according to NewsChina. Since most of their articles are related to economic and trade topics, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal have become two of their favorite newspapers for getting their views published. [Want China Times (Ed.’s note: a source of which to be skeptical)]
Today President Obama announced intent to nominate Richard Stengel as Under Secretary of State for #Publicdiplomacy and Public Affairs.
— PD_Dan (@PD_Dan) September 17, 2013
National Geographic asks Daniel Stone: Does sports diplomacy work?
Sports diplomacy is a powerful force for reaching individuals in every corner of the globe. Sports transcend borders, increase dialogue, and expose foreign participants to American culture. Outside of official channels, sports diplomacy connects people on a personal level through our common interests, values, and passions. We can start conversations and build lasting connections that inspire and inform our government-to-government relationships. [National Geographic]
#China‘s Wanda, owner of AMC theaters in US, gives $20M to Motion Picture Academy Museum via @THR #SoftPower http://t.co/SqARpsUEa9
— ChinaFile (@ChinaFile) September 17, 2013