Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
Donald M. Bishop, the president of the Public Diplomacy Council, names three “clusters of issues” affecting U.S. public diplomacy in his remarks at the 2013 Kathryn W. Davis Public Diplomacy Fellows luncheon: organizational, the public’s division over America’s purpose in the world, and the lack of thought by practitioners on the purpose of public diplomacy.
In my view, Public Diplomacy has also become the farm team for development, where it is up to Public Diplomacy to organize programs to reform journalism, run scholarship programs, and provide opportunities to the dispossessed. Let’s be candid: Public Diplomacy doesn’t have the resources to make a lasting dent in any of these areas. And this puts Public Diplomacy into the broad field of social change, not the focused world of communication. To my mind, it’s a professional distraction, a diffusion of effort. [Public Diplomacy Council]
The Al-Shabaab militants that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi used public diplomacy tactics for terrorism.
With this attack, Al-Shabaab has arguably taken the steps to reframe the conflict in Somalia. The rise of social media has given terrorist organizations a seat at the agenda-setting table; they now have the ability to directly feed messages to the national and international media and publics. They can control what the world hears through platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Skype. This new access has significant relevance to the potential success of this terrorist campaign in Kenya … The overall evaluation of success for these Al-Shabaab terrorists lies not in the number of victims but the attitudinal changes brought among the publics affected by this attacks; changes that are meant to garner supporters, recruit followers, and sensitize sympathizers. [The Exchange]
Southeast Asia: A region that places #diplomacy at the forefront | Jakarta Post http://t.co/7NeRyFrNQX #publicdiplomacy #unga #unitednations
— Soraya Aydin (@soraya_aydin) October 1, 2013
After a summer of protests, Turkish leaders unveiled reforms that make conciliatory overtures to the public.
Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unveiled the first big package of liberalising reforms in years on Monday, making overtures to the large Kurdish minority and proposing that headscarved women be allowed to sit in parliament and work as civil servants for the first time in the history of the Turkish republic. The proposals, which have been repeatedly delayed due to their potentially incendiary impact, followed a summer of the largest and most persistent anti-government protests in Erdogan’s 11 years in power. [The Guardian via PDiN]
Speaking to the advertising industry, the Indian prime minister candidate from the BJP party, Narendra Modi, named soft power as the country’s biggest asset.
“World did not run with military power or economic power only. Our biggest strength is soft power…We have to have faith in our culture, in our heritage and our values, he said. “For Brand India, we need India in our hearts and minds.” Citing examples, he said the country can be branded through the film industry, khadi, Nobel Prize winners, vegetarianism, ayurveda, yoga, classical music and above all the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. [India Today]
[Today in PD] Misreporting the Turkish Protests http://t.co/rj6EHTRuYk #publicdiplomacy #governmentpdeurope — USC Public Diplomacy (@PublicDiplomacy) September 30, 2013
Four elite Palestinian chefs are touring the U.S. as part of a culinary diplomacy initiative by the State Department.
Beginning the week of September 15, 2013, Meridian welcomed four elite chefs from the Palestinian Territories on a three-week professional tour of the United States as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. This project, “American Cuisine and Cultural Heritage Preservation,” launched in Washington, DC with a series of dynamic culinary and cross-cultural exchange opportunities. [Meridian International Center]
Cultural clusters and cultural industries in #China IACS http://t.co/Mlfw0ObpHi #softpower #autonomy — Transnatl Literacies (@translits) September 30, 2013
Norway’s CMI has a brief outline on China’s recent soft power-led foreign policy campaign toward Africa.
In President Xi Jinping’s first public speech on African soil after taking office in Tanzania 25 March 2013, his reference to a popular Chinese soap opera drew large applause and laughter: “The foundation and lifeline of China-Africa relations lie with the people.” His reference instantly evoked mutual understanding and affinity. His reference was not coincidental. The strengthened cultural and emotional ties between China and Africa in recent years are the result of Chinese soft power. This brief outlines the carefully crafted Chinese soft power foreign policy implemented to win the hearts and minds of Africans. [CMI]
Walter White, Cultural Ambassador [email protected] Why millions of Chinese watch ‘Breaking Bad’ http://t.co/wbFn43sd2O #PublicDiplomacy
— Evan Michael Carlson (@TheEvanCarlson) September 30, 2013
While governments can succeed at cultural diplomacy initiatives, agenda-less efforts at the individual level are the most effective.
When asked his motivation for taking such risks to bring Russian art out of the Soviet Union, Norton said, “I just am interested in getting it out and then people will have something to form their judgment on.” This statement forms the basis for a viable argument regarding the merits of cultural diplomacy. While at times, official efforts at cultural diplomacy may have specific agendas, there is nothing so important and powerful as the basic exchange of cultural information. [Electrum Magazine]
New paper aobut #blacksea #Russia #softpower #USA http://t.co/txBv71frFF
— Kristina (@MsQristina) October 1, 2013
Now that the leaders of the U.S. and Iran are scheduling high-level meetings in a thaw of relations, it is time for the general public to reach out as well.
Even at this delicate stage in the U.S.-Iranian thaw, the American public too should reach out to Iran. By taking the initiative to forge our own new relationship with Iran, we can send the message that we also want peace and aren’t just “along for the ride.” We may not yet be able to apply for a visa to Iran and jet off to Tehran, but we can begin to create a new reality by demonstrating good will, respect and sincerity while also letting our leaders know that we want and expect positive results. [Huffington Post]
WATCH: Jiaxin Wang, International Writing Program Resident Performs Poetry at Pittsburgh Concert http://t.co/4hMrwDp9jK #CulturalDiplomacy
— Exchange Programs (@ECAatState) September 30, 2013