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The Daily: Physical Diplomacy

November 20, 2013 6:49 am by: Category: The Daily
photo credit: BBC

photo credit: BBC

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

Iran’s public diplomacy push in defense of its nuclear program now extends to YouTube. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif explains Iran’s position in a slick new video:


The latest installment of Burson-Marseller’s Twiplomacy research series looks at Twitter outreach by international organizations in 2013. CERN, UNICEF and the UN take home the prize for the most effective Twitter handles.

In this deep-dive on international organisations and their leaders, we have looked at 223 Twitter accounts from101 international organisations, including 51 personal accounts of their leaders and 75 accounts in other languages. Data for each account was gathered on 1 November 2013 looking at 60 data points, including the number of followers, the number of @replies and the average number of retweets for each account. [Twiplomacy]


The English Premier League is a massive soft power tool for Great Britain, but just how “English” is the league when more than half the owners and a considerable amount of the players are foreign?

The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Scudamore, has insisted it remains “quintessentially English” despite an influx of foreign players, managers and owners over the past two decades. Appearing before a Lord’s committee looking into “soft power” and Britain’s diplomatic influence abroad, Scudamore said foreign owners, now in control at a majority of the 20 clubs, were attracted to the top flight precisely because it had a clear identity. [The Guardian]



In the last decade, the perceptions of soft power in the global north and emerging power in the global south have stuck in the global consciousness. How has this effected today’s global power games?

However, running parallel shows can weaken the impetus for a coherent, multipolar multilateral global governance system and further delay change. In turn, if multilateral institutions keep pushing back their own reform and transformation, they run the risk of damaging their fragile credibility and legitimacy. While old powers hold on tight and emerging powers wiggle their way forward, poorer developing countries will have to adapt and juggle with new mixes of alliances, institutional spaces and issue linkages. Old and new powers may be playing on the block, but smaller powers are still on the other side of the fence, waiting to shape the game. [Global Policy]


Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has moved away from traditional media—including press conferences—for social media as a means of communicating his official messages.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is apparently favoring new media channels over traditional ones to deliver his official stance as the leader of the state. For example, Yudhoyono has opted to deliver his stance over the recent allegations of wiretapping conducted by Australian intelligence agencies through his social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook … Regardless of the efficacy of Yudhoyono’s method in conveying his diplomatic stance on a highly sensitive issue by using social media, political communication expert Yunarto Wijaya from Charta Politika questioned the effectiveness of the method. “The wiretapping issue is a problem that affects the whole state and every segment of the public. So, the President should have avoided any communication channel or style that could potentially cause bias,” Yunarto said on Tuesday. [Jakarta Post]



While traditional cultural diplomacy events—such as the recent Soulgrass concert that was performed for Russian diplomats at the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in Russia—are still stodgy, diplomat-only affairs, artists visiting a foreign country now tour far-flung cities to reach other publics as much as they do major hubs.

After a brief introduction in Russian from Ambassador McFaul, Soulgrass shook the walls with their unique combination of bluegrass and hard-hitting jazz-fusion, and despite the formal atmosphere, by the end of the concert even the most stoic of Russian feet were tapping. One  young woman even stood up in the aisle and began to sway to the rhythm of the pounding bass … This was not Soulgrass’ first time in Russia, but every year the embassy has been expanding their tour, taking the group further and further away from Moscow. [Moscow Times]



The political officer at the Japanese embassy in Sudan found a unique way to connect with the Sudanese people: he wrestles them.

They call him the barefoot diplomat: Yasuhiro Murotatsu, the political officer at the Japanese embassy in Sudan, also carries out an unusual form of physical diplomacy. He takes on the best Sudanese wrestlers in the ring. Mr Murotatsu hopes his fights can even bring the Sudanese closer together. “I will be very happy if all Sudanese, from different parts of Sudan, from different tribes of Sudan, come together to support Sudanese wrestlers against a foreigner, a Japanese diplomat,” he told the BBC. [BBC]



CERN Chicago developing countries emerging power international organizations Mexico City nuclear program online classes physical diplomacy Soulgrass Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono traditional media UNICEF YouTube
The Daily: Physical Diplomacy Reviewed by on . [caption id="attachment_907" align="alignnone" width="624"] photo credit: BBC[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public dipl [caption id="attachment_907" align="alignnone" width="624"] photo credit: BBC[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public dipl Rating: 0

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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