Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
Five years after the financial crisis of 2008, most of the world perceives China as the world’s leading economy despite the fact it should take at least another decade before it overtakes the U.S. China’s global reputation, however, is at nearly a 10-year low.
As international perceptions of China’s power have changed, there are growing signs of international concern and sometimes even outright hostility toward the country. For instance, a 2013 BBC survey found that China’s global reputation, tracked across 25 countries, has sunk to its lowest level since the annual study began in 2005. In 2013, there has been an average fall-off of 8 percentage points in positive views towards China, and an increase in negative views also by 8 percentage points. Of the countries in the survey, 13 now hold overall negative views of the country, against 12 in which the overall view is positive. [Huffington Post]
Romania’s president announced a new public diplomacy effort last week that will attempt to change the perception that it is mostly a source of other countries’ crime problems.
Migration of workers continues to be a contentious issue within Europe, and to some extent Romania’s new emphasis on public diplomacy is responding defensively to this, saying in effect, “We cannot let others define us; we must do so ourselves.” That is merely a stop-gap approach, lacking the breadth of outlook that public diplomacy, like other elements of foreign policy, requires. To be fully beneficial, public diplomacy must be strategic, not tactical, and must convince European publics that Romania is a solid citizen of the community of Europe. Romania’s public diplomats will need to work on this. [The CPD Blog]
#PublicDiplomacy in #Afghanistan beyond the 2014 transition. By @JorritKamminga via @clingendael83: http://t.co/SutCJRaMpT #digitaldiplomacy
— Anja Türkan (@AnjaTuerkan) September 24, 2013
Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, laid the groundwork for how American diplomats can use soft power to counter extremism and revitalize North Africa’s physical symbols of the religious traditions of tolerance during a recent trip to Mali.
While it would be hard for American diplomats, who naturally lack the religious aura that Morocco’s king enjoys, the tone and the message would be easy for U.S. officials to adopt. Using surrogates from Morocco and other parts of the North African religious leadership, the U.S. could repeat and amplify the king’s valuable message. But, first, American leaders would have to become comfortable in talking about religion and recognize that the war on terror has a religious dimension. It is past time that they grasp this essential reality. [Eurasia Review]
The Peace Corps wants to maintain its distance from the U.S. Department of State and the American military for bureaucratic reasons, but is the effort hurting American public diplomacy efforts?
At the same time, I worry that the perceived need to maintain “distance” between the Peace Corps and the U.S. Department of State may lead us to miss such opportunities to leverage our respective investments in public diplomacy for maximum impact. The simple reality is that foreign perceptions and opinions of the United States cannot be compartmentalized, but will instead be shaped by a combination of factors, including opinions of U.S. policy and military interventions, American pop culture and American tourists abroad, consumption of U.S. products and services, as well as direct interaction with Peace Corps volunteers and official U.S. public diplomacy programs. [Take Five Blog via PDiN]
Mexico’s Ambassador blasts #Hollywood for promoting racists stereotype. What are you thoughts? #publicdiplomacy #softpower #media
— Soraya Aydin (@soraya_aydin) September 23, 2013
Seoul hosts the first joint forum on public diplomacy between South Korea and China this week in part to “demolish the wall of misunderstanding.”
The forum with a tag line “the path toward winning heart and trust” was held in Seoul, with officials from the foreign ministries of the two nations and diplomacy scholars attending. The forum is part of efforts by the two neighbors to promote bilateral public diplomacy encompassing non-political sectors like culture, sports or education between them … In the forum, the two countries will adopt a joint proposal on closed bilateral public diplomacy ties on nine main sectors including youth exchange, media cooperation and language education. [Yonhap News]
To celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations, South Korea has named Bangladeshi actress Nusrat Imrose Tisha as its ‘goodwill ambassador’ for the country’s Dhaka mission.
Ambassador Lee Yun-young handed over her appointment letter on Monday and said she would work for ‘public diplomacy’ over the next two years … One of Bangladesh’s strong development partners, Korea opened its embassy in Dhaka in early 1975, more than a year after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973. Bangladesh, the fourth largest recipient of Economic Development Cooperation Fund loan from Korea, is a priority partner country for Seoul when it comes to the development cooperation. [BD News 24]
Check out Bruce Gregory’s 66th #PublicDiplomacy Resource List: http://t.co/06f6VdjojB
— Irina Karmanova (@iakarmanova) September 23, 2013
OneBeat, a cultural diplomacy effort sponsored by the U.S. State Department, features 25 international musicians touring the American east coast and hosting workshops to collaborate with local artists along the way.
The program begins with a two-week workshop at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., that encourages interaction and experimentation. Then the group hits the road: Charleston is the first stop. In each city, OneBeat musicians team up with local artists for collaborative learning and performances … Among the international fellows are a Russian beat boxer, a South Korean woman who plays traditional instruments, a Cambodian percussionist-vocalist, an American violinist and a Venezuelan maraca player. [The Post and Courier]
A click of the mouse button created a public relations fiasco for Prime Minister David Cameron, his second Twitter-related one since setting up the account.
The Prime Minister’s official Twitter account has marked a highly offensive tweet as a “favourite” on the social networking site. The tweet, from a user mocking former Tory chairman Lord Tebbit, was posted in response to the Prime Minister’s message of condolence for victims of the Nairobi terror attack. [ITV]
Thoughts on #SoftPower from British Ambassador to Brazil @AlexWEllis https://t.co/LtoQmpHES0
— Keith Nichol (@KeithNicholDCMS) September 23, 2013
Harry Kazianas pushes President Obama to quickly begin negotiations with Iran in the wake of President Rouhani’s Washington Post op-ed and the excitement it has built around Iran watchers.
Test Iran’s willingness to compromise. Insist on complete transparency. Demand that nuclear inspectors have unfettered access to any and all suspected sites. If negotiations are met with delay, stalling or unrealistic demands, then the world has its answer. But if Iran is serious, and has changed its calculus, then America has a responsibility to see this through. Although Ronald Reagan’s phrase has been overused in recent weeks, trust but verify seems to be the proper tactic when it comes to Iran’s recent overtures. [The Diplomat]
Come and attend! Panel Discussion: The Renaissance of Mexican Film and Soft Power #publicdiplomacy #softpower #mediaengagement
— APDS (@USC_APDS) September 23, 2013
Looking for #research & articles showing @Instagram‘s utility or #effectiveness for #publicdiplomacy & #publicopinion. Pointers appreciated!
— Anna (@artistspearl) September 23, 2013