Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
Robert A. Schadler gives six reasons how American public diplomacy has waned since the USIA was absorbed into the State Department 14 years ago today.
On that date in 1999, President Bill Clinton formally abolished the U.S. Information Agency, spinning off its broadcasting element into an independent agency and merging most of the rest into the Department of State. The effort was the product of a curious bipartisan alliance between conservative Sen. Jesse Helms and liberal Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and its effects were far reaching – shooting U.S. public diplomacy in the back with some six bullets. [U.S. News]
For quality rebuttals from two significant thinkers in the field, scroll down to the comment section:
Nancy Snow argues that public diplomacy is more dynamic than ever.
There are more talented people engaged in public diplomacy than ever. There is recognition of public diplomacy in the academy with graduate programs and courses proliferating (USC, Syracuse, George Washington, American University to name a handful). There are titled careerists in public diplomacy that weren’t around in the 1990s. (Schadler identifies himself as a senior fellow in public diplomacy.) To bemoan a talent loss from the demise of the United States Information Agency’s dismantling under Bill Clinton is specious. In sheer numbers and recognition, public diplomacy is flourishing. Whatever you think of their politics, Bill and Hillary Clinton represent the more formal faces of public diplomacy, but there are as many unsung public diplomats in the 21st century as there are non-traditional journalists blogging and tweeting their information and influence.
Nicholas Cull feels that the answer is somewhere in the middle.
Both Robert and Nancy are correct here. The wider field of PD is healthy and PD practitioners are doing wonders in the field, but something continues to lack at the top of the US structure. Though far from perfect — as my two volumes on the history of the old agency make clear — it is amazing how much USIA could get done. I just wish there were a way to sell PD to the US legislature other than as a tool of crisis. Foreign policy now lives on the terrain of public opinion, US foreign policy can’t expect to just drop by on its neighbours when it needs something.
David Harner explores how Vladimir Putin’s op-ed made it into the New York Times and what it says about the global PR industry today.
Readers were outraged, politicians postured, and commentators and media critics analyzed Putin’s piece and annotated and fact checked it to death. All told, it was a collective exercise in rhetorical analysis that likely warmed the hearts of freshman composition professors everywhere. That said, I’m sorry that nobody bothered to address the role that the New York-based PR firm, Ketchum, played in starting the whole conversation by placing Putin’s op-ed — and what that says about the current state of PR’s impact on journalism, generally, outside of just op-eds. [PBS]
Interested to discuss #PublicDiplomacy with EU practitioners in DC? check out this event and lets talk! http://t.co/W0nK5S8oCo
— Ilsevanoverveld (@Ilsevanoverveld) October 1, 2013
Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in India, argues that culture is not a soft power tool for the state to boost with funding but a the hallmark of a healthy society that should be honored.
Narendra Modi today wrapped up his visit to Delhi by attending a Bharatanatyam dance recital by Mythili Prakash and said art and culture should not be “state-dependant” but should be honoured by it. “Dance and music have been inherent in our culture and tradition for centuries and one of the specialities is that they are not state-dependant. Indeed that is the hallmark of a healthy society, that art and culture should not be dependant on patronage from the state but be honoured by it,” Modi said. [Economic Times]
Croatia aims to promote its economy abroad to aid its recovery using a new economic diplomacy model.
Klisovic said that one of the nation’s chief interests is economic recovery and so the primary objective of economic diplomacy is to attract foreign investments, promote exports and protect the interests of Croatian companies abroad. The ministry is responsible for international relations and in that regard it has come up with a concept of economic diplomacy, he said but warned that this concept was not “a magic wand that will solve all the problems of Croatia’s economy. This is just our contribution toward achieving the national objective of reviving Croatia’s economy.” [Dalje]
#PublicDiplomacy essential, but this?: Radio Marti “essential to national security,” continues during shutdown http://t.co/FL8WerAToX
— Evan Michael Carlson (@TheEvanCarlson) October 1, 2013
After Russia charged a Finnish environmentalist with piracy for protesting on a Russian oil rig, Helsinki University’s Markku Kivinen calls for soft power diplomatic tactics rather than state-backed denouncements.
Markku Kivinen, head of Helsinki University’s specialist Russian and east European Aleksanteri Institute, has cautioned Finnish politicians to use diplomatic channels and to avoid public comments that might irk Russia in the case of Finnish Greenpeace activist Sini Saarela, who was formally charged with piracy in Murmansk on Wednesday … According to Kivinen untimely public statements by the political leadership could be damaging, as Russia may see such comments as disruptive and interfering. He called on Finland to use diplomatic channels where possible to assist Saarela. [Yle]
#Putin “expresses a desire for #publicdiplomacy but constantly stimulates anti-foreigner sentiments among his people” http://t.co/VzAMNWeqp6
— Jeff Ballinger (@press4change) October 1, 2013
After a show-stealing speech at last year’s UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu misread Iran’s diplomatic moves this year and was sidelined by the events.
The prime minister did not read the map correctly as he prepared for his trip, and did not fully understand the effectiveness of the Iranian move, which necessitated a new direction for Israel’s public diplomacy. While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani worked to soften Western media with interviews and articles that included conciliatory messages and expressed willingness to enter negotiations, Netanyahu remained stuck in the old tactics. Even after Rouhani’s assembly speech on Sept. 24, Netanyahu did not grasp the change, and his office released a sharp communique, according to which Rouhani’s words were a big facade of lies and hypocrisy. [Al-Monitor]
Great Australia-Indonesia #culturaldiplomacy @nlagovau @NLAjakarta! #Libraries #Books Did you know @ubudwritersfest #UWRF13 is on next week?
— DFAT (@dfat) October 2, 2013
The U.S. responded in kind to the expulsion of its diplomats—who were meeting with a civil groups—by Venezuela.
Three Venezuelan diplomats were ordered out of the United States on Tuesday in response to their government’s decision to boot three U.S. officials from Venezuela, including the highest-ranking U.S. envoy in the country … Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of U.S. charge d’affaires Kelly Keiderling and two other diplomats Monday, accusing them of conspiring with “the extreme right” to sabotage the South American country’s economy and power grid. [New York Times via PDiN]
Wellesley Peking University Partnership Tested http://t.co/YQzoUONc3v China #US #education #softpower
— Dan Garrett (@DanGarrett97) October 2, 2013