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Home » The Daily » The Daily: Soft Power Reserves

The Daily: Soft Power Reserves

November 22, 2013 7:09 am by: Category: The Daily
photo credit: The Economist

photo credit: The Economist

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

Despite the past 15 years of confusing values for interests and military-led over-extension, the U.S. still has plenty of soft power resources to rely on if it finally pulls back from its unipolar super power stance.

Long before anyone had heard of an “ethical foreign policy”, before the revolution even, America saw itself as a New Jerusalem that would be a model for a better world. Over the course of a century or two, the monarchies and dictatorships gradually caught up. Influence abroad increasingly stemmed not just from hard power but also from legitimacy. Thanks to symbols ranging from Hollywood to NASA, America can draw on a rich store of soft power. Its statesmen generally do set out to make the world a better place. But, as with those butler-diplomats, the message can get scrambled. [The Economist]


The auto-follow function or following as many users as possible may seem like a good idea if you are a politician trying to engage an audience on Twitter, but perhaps it’s better to be a bit more discerning.

Prime Minister David Cameron has committed yet another Twitter gaffe after following a high-class escort agency on the social network. Using his official account, @Number10gov, the Prime Minister keeps up to date with the goings-on at Carltons of London, which bills itself as a “high class escort agency”. Its gallery shows a number of beauties shot in black and white, with prices printed beneath …  It was likely that whoever runs Cameron’s Twitter account was probably looking to follow the Carlton Club, which bills itself as the “oldest and most important of all Conservative clubs”. [The Register]



South Korea led a forum on with diplomats from Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Australia on how middling powers can best practice public diplomacy.

Diplomats and experts participating in a Seoul forum Thursday discussed how to enhance public diplomacy of middle-power countries in line with their growing roles in world politics … “Middle powers today aim to strengthen their capacities by building networks so as to become pivotal, constructive and responsible facilitators on global issues,” Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul said in his welcoming remarks. “Today’s middle-power diplomacy in essence shares the context with public diplomacy in the sense that they both pursue soft power.”  The program is aimed at drawing up policy suggestions, forging cooperative projects and networking public diplomacy institutions to better tackle global issues such as development, climate change and cyber security, the foundation said. [Korea Herald]


China is expanding its economic diplomacy with emerging or recovering countries to Eastern Europe.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming trip to Romania is expected to strengthen trade and economic links with sixteen central and eastern European countries and create a multi-win scenario, analysts say. During his visit to Romania, where he will also attend a China-Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) leaders’ meeting, Li is expected to sign a string of inter-governmental agreements and contracts in a bid to help competitive Chinese enterprises expand overseas, especially those in sectors such as infrastructure, manufacture, hydro-power and nuclear energy. Analysts said Li’s “economic diplomacy” will not only help domestic enterprises curb their excess industrial capacity, but also benefit both sides, as China and CEE countries could complement each other with cooperation. [Xinhua]


The World Economic Forum’s top 10 global trends in 2014 have obvious implications for public diplomacy practitioners.

A new report from the World Economic Forum ranks the 10 most important global trends, based on a poll of 1,592 leaders from academia, business, government, and non-profits. Here are some data points that compare and contrast the public’s views around the world with the trends identified by the experts. [Pew Research]


Emily Metzgar, an assistant professor at Indiana University whose research focuses on public diplomacy, political communication and social media, started a new public diplomacy podcast.

One way to address this question is to promote conversations that cross over the boundaries we have inadvertently constructed. What happens when an academic with an interest in public diplomacy interviews a practitioner? Or a policy expert? Or a senior statesman? Or other academics? That’s what I want to know, and that’s the motivation for a podcast series I’ve launched titled Passport PD. The goal is to straddle academia, non-government efforts, and the policy world in the interest of promoting a broader understanding of public diplomacy in all its manifestations. [The CPD Blog]



The Elliott School at George Washington University posted a nicely produced video of Ambassador Thomas Pickering’s lecture “Beyond Benghazi: U.S. Public Diplomacy in Troubled Times.”

Beyond Benghazi: U.S. Public Diplomacy in Troubled Times from GW’s Elliott School on Vimeo.

The Daily: Soft Power Reserves Reviewed by on . [caption id="attachment_924" align="alignnone" width="595"] photo credit: The Economist[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how p [caption id="attachment_924" align="alignnone" width="595"] photo credit: The Economist[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how p 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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