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The Daily: Public Diplomacy Priorities for 2014

January 10, 2014 10:19 am by: Category: The Daily
photo credit Burma Philatelic Blog via The Interpreter

photo credit Burma Philatelic Blog via The Interpreter

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

 

Matthew Wallin of the American Security Project listed his top 10 U.S. public diplomacy priorities for 2014. (Number 7 is our favorite.)

It’s a new year for public diplomacy, and one that’s likely to be filled with opportunities and challenges. With this in mind, I have assembled a top 10 list for public diplomacy priorities for 2014. While by no means serving as a complete list of all the important issues facing U.S. public diplomacy, it is a reflection of the numerous discussions I have held with officials, practitioners, and academics over the past year. [American Security Project]

 

A very interesting public diplomacy/soft power campaign by Myanmar: postage stamps.

When subjects like soft power and public diplomacy are discussed in forums like this, few people have postage stamps in mind, but there has long been a close connection between philately and foreign policy. In themselves, stamps express sovereignty, but they are also examples of political iconography and visual indicators of official attitudes and policies, aimed at both domestic and international audiences … Some attention is now being paid to postage stamps by academic researchers, but they remain a neglected source. They are easily dismissed as colourful curiosities, or ephemera unrelated to affairs of state. However, they can provide a window onto the domestic and international politics of countries. Stamps are emblematic devices that illustrate how the issuing states wish to be seen, not only by their own citizens but also by those beyond their borders. It is possible that in this era of emails, Skype and social media, the heyday of the postage stamp is over, but they are still important. This is particularly so in countries like Burma, where electronic communications are under-developed. In any case, given the dearth of reliable information about Burma’s domestic politics and foreign relations, no source should be seen as unworthy of serious consideration. [The Interpreter]

 

 

David Carment was interviewed by Radio Canada International concerning his recent op-ed on the state of Canadian foreign policy as well as how a headline with “Twitter diplomacy” in it can spark a lot of interest.

Canadian international affairs expert David Carment is concerned about the future of Canada’s foreign policy and its diplomatic service. In an editorial this week in Embassy Magazine provocatively titled “Why Twitter diplomacy won’t lead to better foreign policy” he voices concerns about the use of Twitter and the Internet for foreign policy goals, and calls for a two-way exchange that allows for a wide range of inputs into the foreign service. He also misses a time when he and his students could interact with desk officers at Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. [RCI]

 

The Economist has a round-up of Dennis Rodman’s basketball game in North Korea.

In Pyongyang those who were unable to attend the game could read about it on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun, a state-run newspaper, or watch it on television. Pak Ji Yoon, a North Korean national who would not give her real name, guesses that while little is known about Mr Rodman, his presence is “not bad” for the relations of the two countries involved. Ms Pak personally finds Mr Rodman’s facial piercings off-putting and “kind of crazy”, but she notes that Kim Jong Un seems unusually friendly towards him. She would not be the first to say it: Mr Rodman has become America’s least likely diplomat. [The Economist]

(Al Jazeera America has pictures of the event.)

 

In other North Korean sports diplomacy news, a Japanese professional wrestler-turned-lawmaker recently opened an office in Pyongyang for his non-profit that aims to establish sports-based exchanges. (Considering historical context, this is much more remarkable than Rodman’s visit.)

A Japanese professional wrestler-turned-lawmaker will visit North Korea next week, his secretary said yesterday, as attention was focused on the Pyongyang antics of eccentric ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman. Antonio Inoki is a frequent visitor to the reclusive communist state. During his last trip in November he met Jang Song-Thaek, the uncle of young leader Kim Jong-un, who was purged and executed last month. Inoki, an opposition member of the upper house, is head of a non-profit organisation aimed at establishing sports-based exchanges, which opened an office in Pyongyang last month. [South China Morning Post]

 

 

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Industry said that the government is making an economic diplomacy push in the new year.

Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Industry Engr Khurram Dastagir said that the government believed in trade and economic diplomacy and had evolved a multi-pronged strategy to enhance economic and trade relations with the whole world, especially the regional countries … He asserted that the government had been working hard to enhance economic and trade relations particularly with the regional countries, adding that the government wanted to go beyond India to Far-East countries. The state elaborated that the government was firm to enhance exports of Pakistan through its policy of economic diplomacy and tangible steps were being taken to remove difficulties and hurdles to enhance exports as much as possible. [The Nation (Pakistan)]

 

More panda diplomacy because… well, honestly… click bait mostly.

There has been another win for panda diplomacy as Taiwan unveiled a six-month-old giant panda named Yuan Zai to an adoring public, with 19,000 visitors expected at Taipei Zoo daily to see the new offspring. The youngster climbed around her cage before retiring for a nap with her mother, much to the delight of visitors, who passed in front of her cage at the rate of 40 a minute, local media reported. Yuan Zai’s parents Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose names when joined together mean “reunion” in Chinese, were given to Taiwan by China in December 2008. [Irish Times]

American Security Project Burma David Carment eDiplomacy gifplomacy law postage stamps Radio Canada International The Exchange virtual embassy
The Daily: Public Diplomacy Priorities for 2014 Reviewed by on . [caption id="attachment_1057" align="alignnone" width="640"] photo credit Burma Philatelic Blog via The Interpreter[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, [caption id="attachment_1057" align="alignnone" width="640"] photo credit Burma Philatelic Blog via The Interpreter[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, tips, 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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