Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
If the European Union is serious about protecting the Ukrainian protestors demonstrating for closer ties with their western neighbor, it must spread its negotiation influence outside of normal diplomatic channels to civil society groups and other political organizations.
If and when negotiations resume, they should be far more participatory. By involving civil society groups and a range of political organizations, the EU will reduce the risk of a future agreement once again being held hostage to the power calculations of one leader. Involving a broader array of actors will also help build the coalitions necessary for successful implementation of the agreement—normally the thornier challenge than its mere signing. While thousands now fill Kiev’s squares to militate for Ukraine’s European future, surveys have revealed a low level of awareness of what an association agreement actually entails. The EU must improve its public diplomacy and be more proactive in broadening the reform constituency. [Carnegie Europe]
While the European Union did finally help broker a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, the length of time it took to achieve is partly due to the region’s waning soft power in most of the world.
“European soft power is a wasting asset in a world in which other regions and powers are increasingly self-confident and less willing to base their policies on relations with the West. This is a fundamental obstacle to any strategy based on the ‘comprehensive’ export of European values and models in the EU’s neighbourhood or further afield. The EU should not give up its values. But it does need to rethink how they can best be promoted at a time when ideological, financial and political competition in both Europe’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods [are] liable to remain high, and even grow, in the years ahead.” [Today’s Zaman]
#Chrysanthemum #diplomacy: #Japanese emperor returns to #India http://t.co/9un6cV1i1V #publicdiplomacy #culturaldiplomacy
— APDS (@USC_APDS) December 4, 2013
A series of workshops held in China for foreign directors of Confucius Institute once again reveals that while the Chinese cultural diplomacy tools are not completely apolitical, they are more benign than most critics argue.
What all this illustrates, however, is the fact that CIs are not apolitical organizations as some CIs are claiming. Interestingly enough this claim is not so much made by Hanban or official Chinese voices, but more often by foreign host institutions, which apparently want to defend themselves against accusations of propaganda, indoctrination, and the likes. While this impetus is understandable, I would say denying the political dimension altogether seems somewhat ignorant or naïve. As any other government that runs cultural institutions abroad, the Chinese government sets up and partially funds CIs not just for fun and idealistic purposes, but for practical reasons as well. These include promoting Chinese language and culture, but CIs should also promote a positive image of China (whether this works or not, is another story) and they should contribute to creating a Harmonious World, which is one of China’s current foreign policy slogans. [CPD Blog]
Australia is climbing soft power indexes, but its high ranking is tenuous due to new government policies.
Australia has moved up in the world – to seventh place on the 2013/14 Soft Power Survey published in the December/January issue of Monocle magazine. The Soft Power Survey is conducted yearly by Monocle and the UK-based Institute for Government think tank. It ranks the top 30 countries who “best attract favour from other countries through diplomacy, culture, design, cuisine, sport and beyond”. Last year, Australia ranked ninth – and its move up the rankings can partially be attributed to the inclusion of sport as a new category. [The Conversation]
Surprising New Face in Arabic Music #MusicDiplomacy #PublicDiplomacy http://t.co/Cy6NEeAHx6 pic.twitter.com/nlF6E3ALt9
— AEK (@influxTR) December 4, 2013
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy posted video of a late November presentation that explained the history and culture of Bulgaria.
On the afternoon of Monday, November 25th, 2013, ICD interns Antoniya Markova and Christa Georgieva held a presentation about the history and culture of Bulgaria. The presentation was very informative and well received, giving both the fellow interns and staff members a wider knowledge of the origins and traditions of Bulgaria. Antoniya and Christa covered the extensive history of Bulgaria succinctly, from its early formation, to the communist coup of 1944, and its subsequent collapse in 1989, and all the way to the present day. The interns were fascinated to learn about the transformations Bulgaria has undergone over the last 1200 years, especially over the last 200 years and how these changes have contributed to Bulgaria’s culture and political make-up. [Institute for Cultural Diplomacy]
Market Expansion Risk and Global Mobility http://t.co/k7TUzHYt8N #softpower
— American Security (@amsecproject) December 3, 2013
Attention Chinese cultural diplomats! The etymology of ketchup, THE all-American condiment, has roots in Fujian province and Hokkien Chinese.
Depending on how it is translated, ketchup’s predecessor was known as ke-tchup, kôechiap or kê-tsiap in Hokkien Chinese. It referred to a pickled fish brine or sauce from the Fujian province of China and Southeast Asia. As Jurafsky notes, “Fermented food products have a long tradition in Asia.” Later, vegetables like beans would also be fermented and made into pastes, and Hokkien Chinese traders would bring these sauces to Malaysia and Indonesia, where they were known by the names kechap and ketjap respectively. [NPR via PDiN]
one strangest bits of #publicdiplomacy EVER: #Israeli Embassy issues vid of Obama & Netanyahu 2 ‘Golden Girls’ theme http://t.co/kGMtOiJXIC
— Paul Rockower (@levantine18) December 3, 2013
The latest issue of State Magazine highlights the recent social media outreach by the U.S. embassy in Russia, including Twitter tips by prolific tweeter @McFaul.
When he first arrived as U.S. ambassador to Russia in January 2012, Michael McFaul had never seen a tweet, had no experience blogging and seldom used Facebook. Less than two years later, McFaul has more than 55,000 Twitter followers. A Russian rating agency has ranked him as one of the country’s most quoted bloggers. Foreign Policy magazine lists him in its “Twitterati 100” as one of the top 10 politicians and diplomats to follow “to make sense of global events.” [State Magazine, p. 14]
Why #Malaysia really, really hates #Legoland | GlobalPost http://t.co/T7Apz3QlEz #publicdiplomacy #culturaldiplomacy
— Soraya Aydin (@soraya_aydin) December 4, 2013