Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
China opened the country’s first public diplomacy research institute at Renmin University in Beijing.
Renmin University of China founded its research institute on public diplomacy in Beijing on Wednesday. The institute, which will be headed by Zhao Qizheng, former director of State Council Information Office, will consist of research teams from the School of Journalism and Communication, School of International Studies and the peking opera research center of the university. The institute will carry out research on public diplomacy by the government and all kinds of social organizations and institutions. [China Daily]
Excellent analysis by @RamiKhouri encouraging more #Palestinian #publicdiplomacy to improve odds of an agreement. http://t.co/PYSXjtgR8A
— Philip J. Crowley (@PJCrowley) February 26, 2014
I feel like its fluff pieces like these that hurt the stature of public diplomacy.
When your economy is a bit shaky and your military in a bit of a budget squeeze, there’s always what Joe Nye called “soft power” … So our ambassador in Singapore, former Miami trial lawyer and Obama mega-bundler Kirk Wagar, is working on his own variant. “Soft power diplomacy, baby!” he posted on his Facebook page last week, along with a photo of himself in white pants and shirt, microphone in hand, on stage doing Karaoke in a Singapore club. Apparently he’s quite good at this. [In the Loop]
On the other side of the spectrum, thoughtful people like hip hop ambassador Toni Blackman are helping the cause.
One of America’s greatest strengths is its culture. Which is why the State Department runs a cultural diplomacy program that engages in efforts around the world to build bridges through culture. Our nation’s first hip hop ambassador is Toni Blackman, a veteran hip hop performer and educator. I spoke with Blackman about hip hop’s role in creating positive social change. [Forbes]
[email protected]_Diplomat @GuyGolan Look up this amazing #Twitter infographics on #Ukraine #digitalmaidan since Feb. 1 http://t.co/TvUrt8I491 — Zhenia V. (@NeugierigS) February 26, 2014
Professor Martha Bayles was interviewed by the Public Diplomacy Council on her new book about American popular culture and public diplomacy.
The funding discrepancy is sobering, but there’s nothing new about America’s public diplomats being outspent – by Hollywood, by unfriendly foreign governments, and (in recent years) by the Pentagon. This hasn’t prevented the best of them from making a difference when and where they can. I’m not the only one to see our ubiquitous popular culture as the elephant in the Public Diplomacy living room. Many of the public diplomats I interviewed, both at home and abroad, echoed this comment by one USIA veteran: “Popular culture is part of the landscape that the Foreign Service and State Department have to deal with, but nobody’s thinking about it.” [Public Diplomacy Council]
WhatsApp with #PublicDiplomacy? http://t.co/RYuOxjpoHm
— Max Terzini (@maxterzini) February 27, 2014
Interesting cultural diplomacy initiative by Japan: the International Manga Award for recognizing foreign manga artists.
The 7th International Manga Award conferred the Gold and Silver Award to four manga creations at the Iikura House of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on February 14, 2014. Out of 256 entries from 53 countries, 15 works were recognized as winners in which three were given Silver Awards and one was given the Gold Award … The International Manga Award was founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 2007 as part of the active use of pop culture in public diplomacy. It is through this cultural exchange that will deepen the understanding of Japanese culture and manga among artists of different nations. [Embassy of Japan in the Philippines]
The Mouse that Roared, Part Deux. Europe’s top tourist destination is American: http://t.co/AhCa9nEp52 @PublicDiplomacy #publicdiplomacy
— James Thomas Snyder (@jamesthomsnyder) February 26, 2014
Share your story of sustainable food w/ @statedept for the US pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 http://t.co/8PHbphRl44 #gastrodiplomacy
— Gastrodiplomacy (@gastrodiplomacy) February 27, 2014
PICS: What a Foreign Secretary @twitter Q&A looks like in action #digitaldiplomacy http://t.co/dmN9XzUwAq
— Alison Daniels (@AlisonLDaniels) February 27, 2014
photo credit: Wikipedia