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The Daily: Russia’s New Competitive Identity

The Daily: Russia’s New Competitive Identity

February 25, 2014 6:54 am by: Category: The Daily Leave a comment A+ / A-

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

An in-depth piece by Pavel V. Andreev, the executive director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, about identity and national narrative comes to the conclusion that Russia should promote progressive conservatism as its national identity.

This foundation should be used to build a progressive conservatism aimed at fostering citizens as the bearers of this identity, who will cherish and defend the traditions of Russian society and work for the benefit of the state. Internationally the goal is to have an equitable multipolar world system based on states’ right to define their own tradition, system of values and path of sociopolitical development. We are living during a crisis of the liberal and social democratic mainstream, which is marked by growing extremist trends, both secular and religious. Therefore, this kind of universal and non-aggressive idea, open to national adaptations and oriented toward balanced and sustained global development, has a fair chance of being accepted by both traditional societies and a significant portion of the population in Europe and the United States. The important thing is that Russia is beginning to evolve a positive agenda, being “for” rather than “against” something. I am not saying that this ideology will not clash with other ideologies. This is inevitable in such a highly competitive arena. But it should be based on the will to defend our traditional values, sovereignty and justice rather than the negation of all other ideas. A positive agenda is more likely to be attractive and influential than a strategy of repulsion. [Valdai]

(The above photo that accompanies the piece, strangely, seems to depict Russia in the 80’s, at least according to my superficial reading of the clothing.)


Philip Seib argues that press freedom should be at the heart of U.S. public diplomacy.

Among the principal assets of U.S. public diplomacy are American values. They are admired around the world, even by many people who dislike American policy. No other political system offers such extensive individual and systemic freedoms as those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Showcasing and standing up for those freedoms should be at the heart of U.S. public diplomacy. To narrow this a bit, consider freedom of the press. From time to time, it faces challenges within the United States, but it remains a fundamental element of American law and national character. As an instrument of soft power — which relies on attraction rather than coercion — it is an invaluable attribute. [Huffington Post]



Super-fascinating mediated public diplomacy move by China: make World War II a key part of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Germany next month, which will stir ripples of negative attention to Japan.

Xi will visit Germany in late March, as well as France, the Netherlands and Belgium, Beijing-based diplomats said. China’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Xi’s agenda as the trip has yet to be formally announced. “China wants a strong focus on World War Two when Xi visits Germany and Germany is not happy,” said one diplomatic source who has been briefed on China’s plans for the Xi trip. The German government declined to comment. But the diplomatic sources said Germany did not want to get dragged into the dispute between China and Japan, and dislikes China constantly bringing up Germany’s painful past. [Reuters]



Let’s hope this nonsense does not do to public diplomacy/sports diplomacy what Borat did to Kazakhstan.

Former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman’s recent trips to human rights black hole North Korea will become the basis for a motion picture, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 20th Century Fox has bought a pitch for a comedy called Diplomats, which already has Tim Story, who recently directed Ride Along, attached to produce. [The Wire]



Twiplomacy gathered a bundle of tweets from world leaders commenting on the Sochi Olympic Games.


A follow-up piece to the announcement of the Tanzanian government’s commitment to sports diplomacy digs into the field’s history and points out the steps that need to happen next.

What makes the idea brilliant is that for the first time in the country’s sports history, the government is committing itself in promoting sports through funding after claiming, for many years, that it had no money for sports development. By saying what he said last week, one hopes that the foreign minister fully understands the import of what he said. That without our sportsmen and women winning in sports competitions, locally and internationally, Tanzania will not be able to make any diplomatic sports impact at home and abroad. [The Citizen]



The Chinese Ministry of Culture recaps its soft power accomplishments in 2013 and lays out its plans for 2014.

Reform and development of China’s cultural sectors were the main topics on Monday’s press conference held by the Ministry of Culture. Minister Cai Wu and Vice Minister Li Xiao Jie discussed the progress they have made in 2013 and this year’s key factors that will promote China’s cultural development into higher levels. Cai also said the basic role of the cultural programs is to meet the cultural needs of the public. The free admission policy adopted in 2008 has given more people access to museums and other cultural activities. Preserving Chinese culture has always been a priority for the government, but they are hoping to make bigger changes in 2014. [CCTV]

So, this is not direct public diplomacy if the State Department is not involved behind the scenes (which may actually be a savvy move if so). Regardless though, initiatives like these are spouts of soft power.

Facebook is helping to roll out a pilot online education program in Rwanda, as part of its pitch to bring internet to the unconnected world … As part of the SocialEDU pilot program, EdX will work with Facebook to create an educational app to provide localized education. This Facebook integrated app is being released under the umbrella of Internet.org, the partnership between Facebook and mobile companies to bring internet to those without access. [CNN via CPD Blog]


Interesting reactions to the Peru gastrodiplomacy piece yesterday:







photo credit: Vladimir Fedorenko, RIA Novosti

Arctic Borat EdX narrative national narrative Pavel Andreev press freedom progressive conservatism Valdai World War II Xi Jinping
The Daily: Russia’s New Competitive Identity Reviewed by on . Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] An in-depth piece by Pavel V. Andre Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] An in-depth piece by Pavel V. Andre 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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