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The Daily: For October 30, 2013

October 30, 2013 6:39 am by: Category: The Daily

photo credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters

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

Last week, the United Nations Foundation and the Digital Diplomacy Coalition hosted a conference that focused on public diplomacy in the social media era. Here are the 8 main takeaways from the event along with video of the conference.

Last Friday, the United Nations Foundation and the Digital Diplomacy Coalition hosted “Digital Diplomacy +Social Good,” a half-day conference focused on the transformative power of technology in the evolving conversations about Public Diplomacy in the 21st-century. Dynamic speakers from embassies in Washington, D.C. and international organizations like the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, and the British Council talked about the challenges and opportunities for the tradecrafts of diplomacy and communications in our digital world. [UN Foundation]


James Thomas Snyder, an Advisory Board Member of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, has a new book on contemporary U.S. public diplomacy.

In this study, the author draws on his personal experience serving in the Public Diplomacy Division of NATO to investigate public diplomacy challenges the U.S. is currently facing. By incorporating its technological, rhetorical, militaristic, and cultural elements into a single framework, Snyder offers a compelling account of public diplomacy in the 21st century. He makes several recommendations for U.S. public diplomacy, specifically in military public affairs and information operation, international arts, U.S. international broadcasting, language education, international public opinion, and more. [CPD Newsroom]



The U.S. isn’t the only global power attempting a pivot toward Asia: China’s new focus is gaining influence in Central Asia.

Though it has received comparatively little attention, one of the most profound geopolitical trends of the early 21st century is gathering steam: China’s pivot to Central Asia.  As American military forces withdraw from Afghanistan and gaze toward the Asia-Pacific, and while Washington’s European allies put NATO’s eastward expansion on the back burner, Central Asia has become China’s domain of investment and influence.  The Washington policy community finally woke up to this reality in September, when Chinese president Xi Jinping swept through Central Asia, signing tens of billions of dollars worth of deals and generally treating the former Soviet republics as if they were in China’s sphere of influence. [The Atlantic]



Stephen Bosworth and Robert Gallucci report on their recent track II talks with North Korea and push the Obama administration to reopen a dialogue with hermit state.

The United States government has not had direct contact with a senior North Korean official for more than a year. Our private and unofficial meetings were an important opportunity to review the state of the regime’s thinking on bilateral relations and its willingness to give up its nuclear weapons program. The North Koreans — who are longtime participants in government-to-government talks and well plugged-in to their country’s leadership — stated that if dialogue were to resume, their nuclear weapons program would be on the negotiating table. They provided preliminary thinking on a phased approach that would start with a freeze of their program and end with denuclearization. [New York Times]



Social media may be providing new outlets of communication for world leaders to connect, but according to neuroscience, face-to-face interaction will help diplomats and political leaders better understand each other’s intentions.

There is certainly a school of thought that travel like what we saw during Hillary Clinton’s record-breaking tenure is unnecessary. Veteran diplomat George Kennan felt that international trips by the secretary should be “held to a minimum and not indulged in when suitable alternatives are available.” Colin Powell cited this advice approvingly, though he still ended up visiting 89 countries as secretary. The secretary of state and the president rarely traveled abroad until the 20th century and rarely until after World War II. So why send our senior officials out of the country—apparently risking break-in in the process—when they can just pick up the phone? In an interesting recent paper for the journal International Organization, Fordham political scientist Marcus Holmes suggests the answer lies not in international relations theory or even psychology, but in neuroscientists’ recent research into “mirror neurons,” the parts of the brain that seem to activate when we imitate each other [Slate]


PBS NewsHour ran a conversation on the diplomatic costs of the NSA surveillance revelations with P.J. Crowley and Philip Mudd last Friday.


Asia Central Asia face-to-face interaction James Thomas Snyder Murrow Program neuroscience PBS NewsHour Philip Mudd pivot Robert Gallucci smart power Stephen Bosworth [email protected] track II diplomacy United Nations Foundation youth exchange
The Daily: For October 31, 2013

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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