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The Daily: When Corporations and Art Museums Collide

The Daily: When Corporations and Art Museums Collide

January 21, 2014 6:51 am by: Category: The Daily Comments Off on The Daily: When Corporations and Art Museums Collide A+ / A-

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

Today at the USC Center for Public Diplomacy: The Road to Sochi: Sports, Diplomacy and the Media CPD-Journalism Forum! [CPD Events]

The USC Center for Public Diplomacy is also now accepting applications for their Summer Institute in Public Diplomacy.


The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel on China’s “soft power offensive.” You can watch the video here.

To discuss the implications of this concerted, global effort at influencing foreign perceptions of China, the Heritage Foundation is hosting a panel including Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Director of Asia-Pacific Programs, United States Institute, who will discuss China’s influence efforts in Asia; Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, who will discuss China’s broader influence strategy; and Helle C. Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute, who will talk about China’s Confucius institutes. [The Heritage Foundation via @J_Henick]


The United Arab Emirates aims to become an expert in a field that will be good for both its public diplomacy and international business efforts: green diplomacy.

In the past, the country was listed amongst those with a high carbon and ecological footprints. But as the government seeks to take strides in renewable energy (RE) innovation and resource conservation, the country is also giving due attention to enhancing its global image. Public diplomacy which involves engaging and influencing international public audiences, including even local populations, is a strategic tool that can create a conducive environment for the pursuit of strategic political and socio-economic objectives. The UAE is deploying it well to raise its profile as a thought leader in environmental diplomatic quarters and as an investment destination. The country seeks to establish itself as a champion of sustainable development, despite being an economy that is dependent on fossil fuel exports for a large share of its revenue. [Khaleej Times]




Very interesting business deal by South Korea’s Hyundai: they entered an 11-year deal with London’s Tate Modern. A glob of cultural diplomacy, a dash of economic diplomacy and healthy serving of nation branding.

This morning, the culture secretary Maria Miller announces that Tate Modern has entered an 11-year deal with the Hyundai motor company to sponsor its ongoing series of Turbine Hall commissions. The aircraft hangar-like space has been home to some of the most popular art installations of this century - from Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth, which opened up a fearsome fissure in the floor, to Ai Weiwei’s audacious scheme to fill the hall with millions of porcelain seeds (a work the gallery subsequently bought). [BBC]


Speaking of South Korea, President Park Geun-Hye is currently in Switzerland on an economic diplomacy campaign she calls “sales diplomacy.”

Park arrived in the Swiss capital of Bern on Saturday for a state visit and to attend this year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the ski resort of Davos later this week. Park is the first South Korean president to make a state visit to Switzerland since the two sides opened diplomatic relations in 1963. Overall, the five-day trip is aimed mainly at increasing South Korea’s economic and business interests under her “sales diplomacy” campaign. But on Sunday, Park used the day for cultural events, a meeting with Swiss people close to South Korea, and then a meeting with Korean residents. [Korea Times]



Professor Philip Seib notes that public diplomats’ use of branding as a tool of nation promotion may be more of a trap than a productive strategy.

Helping global publics associate a country with nice things may be useful, but emphasizing a brand for a country can be self-defeating. A nation is not a soft drink, and public diplomacy planners will find themselves getting little return on their efforts if they are satisfied with mere imagery. This relates to a larger concern about public diplomacy. The purpose of public diplomacy is to advance the strategic interests of the country that is employing it. Goals must be precise and well-defined. Convincing people that you are “great” must have a purpose behind it, something beyond creating an image and hoping that the rest of the world will respond to it in a useful way. [Huffington Post]


Kent Calder, director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, gave the keynote address of a public diplomacy symposium aimed at Japan.

I think there are several avenues of thought to pursue in connection with public diplomacy. The first is its importance as a tool for understanding. We can’t go out to present our own ideas without understanding where the other country is coming from. So understanding and monitoring is important. Secondly, public diplomacy is increasingly important as civil society rises and becomes more volatile, and as diplomatic orientations become more fluid. Thirdly, the methods through which we try to achieve these objectives are crucial, but one size doesn’t fit all, and the imperatives are increasingly varied. Fourthly, speed and sensitivity are increasingly vital. When I was in the embassy, we faced the question of the Ehime Maru—the tragic case of a Japanese fishing boat that was hit by a US submarine. The world was changing so fast, and we had to respond quickly and with sincerity. In that regard, there’s real value in being on the ground and being sensitive to very rapid developments. In this sense, a strong local presence in the host country can turn out to be quite important, as well as roles for host country citizens. [Nippon]


An op-ed by Malik Muhammad Ashraf argues that Pakistan is lacking in soft power in part because it is failing at mediated public diplomacy.

The western media, with its all-permeating power and unfettered global outreach, is also feverishly engaged in maligning Pakistan and soiling its image among the comity of nations. Under the prevailing circumstances, it is absolutely essential for the government, besides relying on state-to-state diplomacy, to also accord top priority to the efforts to create a better understanding of Pakistan’s position and its image internationally, countering the negative propaganda against it and projecting a soft image of the country premised on the positive things that have happened in the arena of the war on terror as well as the measures adopted to improve economic, social and political conditions in line with globally accepted principles. The emergence of an independent judiciary and a free media in Pakistan are indeed epoch making developments. So are the strides taken towards gender equality and emancipation of women. All these factors can be used to achieve the desired results provided the government takes concrete measures to strengthen its PR apparatus at the international level. [Daily Times]


An opinion piece in The Moscow Times calls on the European Union to seize the opportunity in Ukraine and put its soft power to the test.

The EU has powerful messages to differentiate its offering to Ukraine from Russia’s: Integration is a voluntary process. The EU has an excellent track record of supporting institutional reforms that allow countries to function better and raise living standards. The DCFTA will stimulate growth and make Ukraine more competitive in international markets. Ukraine’s citizens will benefit from better products and improved services. Ukrainians know that in contrast, Russia is experiencing accelerating stagnation that is largely the result of incapacity to conduct structural reforms required for economic modernization. Ultimately, of course, Ukrainians should choose how they want to be governed and how they want the country to develop. To make that choice, they need a debate based on reliable information. It is time for the EU to seize the opportunity in Ukraine and make its soft power count. [Moscow Times]



Europeana launched a virtual reality museum in an effort to spur the creation of a physical European museum that promotes cultural exchange and transnational exhibitions.

When reflecting on the potential of both Europeana and ‘EUseum’ through the lens of the Preparatory Action, we see initiatives that could trigger more ‘Europeanisation’ of the national museum institutions and their exhibitions. The ambition is to present a much more identifiable face of the EU towards the strategic partners and third countries in our external relations. The use of cultural dialogue arms the EU to enter the international arena without military power or economic superiority and to build up external relations on the basis of mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue and cultural attraction. [Europeana via John Brown Note’s and Essays]


e-International Relations has a brief insight into Qatar’s reasoning in hosting the World Cup in 2022.

In December 2010, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) astounded the world when it awarded the small Persian Gulf State of Qatar the prestigious opportunity of hosting the 2022 World Cup finals. Such an honour powerfully added to the state’s continuous desire to use global sporting forms to achieve wider socio-political objectives. The purpose of this piece is to briefly clarify what the Gulf State seeks to achieve through hosting the first Middle Eastern World Cup, and, more specifically, how the state is drawing on the significance of the tournament in fulfilling its long-term objectives. In doing so, we focus on two of the principle motives behind Qatar’s soft power strategy (cf. Nye 2004; 2008): distancing Qatar from the Middle East and putting Qatar on the international map. [e-International Relations]



A deeper read into China’s perspective on economic diplomacy.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the nation has paid a great deal of attention to economic diplomacy. In particular, since the launch of the reform and opening-up policy and its accession to the World Trade Organization, China has made great achievements in economic diplomacy, which has grown and improved in terms of patterns, objectives and contents. In the 21st century, globalization offers both opportunities and challenges, and international economic cooperation and competition have played an important role in foreign relations. Economic diplomacy has been increasingly important in terms of diplomacy. As we encounter new problems and face new challenges, we urgently require new breakthroughs in economic diplomacy. [China Institute of International Studies]


Ladies and gentlemen, 21st century diplomacy: “Speed dating and economic diplomacy at the ambassadors’ conference”

Wednesday morning at 8:00 all the Dutch ambassadors, consuls-general and permanent representatives were on a bus from The Hague to Utrecht, on their way to the offices of Rabobank for a day of economic diplomacy and networking with various companies. In the course of the day they were briefed about the Dutch economy, participated in a ‘speed dating’ session and watched Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen present the first Ambassadors’ Prize. [Netherlands Embassy in Beijing, China]




photo credit: BBC

Boston CIA Davos Elton John Europeana green diplomacy Heritage Foundation international business Kent Calder Malik Muhmmad Ashraf museum diplomacy Park Geun-Hye Phili Seib sales diplomacy speed dating Summer Institute in Public Diplomacy The Netherlands The Nut Job Ukraine United Arab Emirates USC Center for Public Diplomacy WEF14
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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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