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The Daily: Is Public Diplomacy the Last Option in Ukraine?

The Daily: Is Public Diplomacy the Last Option in Ukraine?

March 10, 2014 11:50 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.

The ongoing situation in Ukraine does not come close to warranting military action, but Russian President Putin is also not overly susceptible to diplomacy. Call in the public diplomacy.

The best public diplomacy is where your actions match and reinforce your words.  Indeed, actions always speak louder than words, at least when addressing the public consciousness.   So, how about some public diplomacy like this: The President could announce that, because Putin’s actions in Ukraine have changed our assessment of Russia’s adherence to existing treaties and international norms of national behavior, we are going to start work again in earnest on the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. [PD Council]


Was the reluctance by the United States to label the events of March 1st in Kunming, China, a terrorist attack a serious public diplomacy blunder?

On this case of Kunming terror attack, The U.S. government seems to have made a blunder. Something should be learned from it. US has been strong and smart in public diplomacy, but this time it failed to reach the Chinese public. For instance, they should learn how to convey their messages more accurately to the Chinese audience, especially when it comes across the language translation. It is said to be true that US administration has also used “senseless violence” to describe terror attacks in some other cases. However, due to the constant and unreasonable criticism and suspicion of the Chinese government policy in ethnic regions, deliberately avoiding using the words terrorism in describing the case can only make Chinese question the US real intention. The Kunming attack was clearly a terrorist attack against innocent civilians and one should just call a spade a spade. [China-US Focus]



Interesting look at the new phenomenon of “information mercenaries” and the part they can play in public diplomacy, a concept nonexistent in the private security world.

Information mercenaries can play a role here. They are more likely to be aware of, or at least are capable of understanding, public diplomacy due to their typically more educated backgrounds (either post military or in lieu of). Private security companies would do well to recognize the need for public diplomacy and recruit individuals who can handle it. As alluded to earlier, host governments are often more amenable to consultancies and allow PSCs, with a “softer” image, a smoother ride than those with reputations hardened by armor and weapons. This, in turn, makes these private security consultancies more attractive to potential clients. We are in an era where nothing can be covered up for very long and reputation is everything. Information mercenaries are necessary for an information age. [CPD Blog]



According to Asian Tribune, an organized effort by Sri Lanka to enlist Sri Lankan-Americans in informing their U.S. representatives about that needs of the country has led to the Senate Resolution 364, which allows Sri Lanka to better control its image in the international sphere.

At a time Sri Lanka is battling the rise of ‘Global Diplomatic Insurgency’, well replenished by the former acolytes of Prabhaharan’s terror-separatist group LTTE who are now covertly and overtly advocating a bifurcation of Sri Lanka within the Tamil Diaspora, Sri Lanka has displayed a rare public diplomacy victory in engaging in a fruitful dialogue with a group of U.S. Senators to move a resolution to bring the U.S. and Sri Lanka to the same page on ‘national issues’ concerning this South Asian nation … Sri Lanka’s Washington diplomatic post moved forward in securing this language in the resolution, a rare triumph to this South Asian nation which has been battling the ‘Giants’ in the international community to safeguard her image in the globe. [Asian Tribune]



Fascinating paper looks at the relationship between propaganda, cultural diplomacy, fine art, and nostalgia, all framed by post-Communist Bulgaria.

During the Communist period Socialist Realism was part of the superstructure, as understood by the Communist ideology; as such it was subordinated to politics and articulated its objectives functioning as propaganda, thus seeking to create an idealized image of the Communist life both within the country and as a foreign policy. More than 20 years after the fall of Communism, in the fragmented post-modern and post-Communist art world of the country, developed in pluralistic national and transnational dialogues, surprisingly or not 38% of the population prefers the Communist state (“Barometer of the New Europe” study, 2005). Nostalgia towards the Communist past and Socialist Realism emerges as a substantial sign of an unfulfilled debate over the past and questions the status of fine art in the post-Communist situation. This paper argues that nostalgia towards Socialist Realism is one of the impediments, which hinder fine art to function as cultural diplomacy because it maintains a sense of an illusory wholeness, which connects the art world of the country to the closeness and the grand recit of Communism. [Euro Academia]


For those in the Washington, D.C. area, PDAA and Syracuse University’s Maxwell in Washington Public Diplomacy Program (of which, we are a part) are hosting a briefing this week on new trends in international broadcasting.

PDAA, together with Syracuse University’s Maxwell in Washington Public Diplomacy Program is organizing a briefing on new trends in U.S.-sponsored broadcasting, Wednesday, March 12, 11:30 am to 1:00 p.m. Senior officials of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) will discuss recent initiatives by the VOA and other U.S. broadcasting entities, including the increasing use of social media to reach audiences around the globe. The event is held at the IBB/VOA headquarters building, 301 C St S.W., near the Federal Center SW Metro stop on the Orange or Blue line. [PDAA]





photo credit: Foreign Policy Blogs

3/01 American spaces Edward Bernays fine art FLOTUS information mercenary Kunming libraries MapGive GitHub Maxwell Michelle Obama nostalgia PDAA propaganda public security Scotland terrorism Ukraine
The Daily: Is Public Diplomacy the Last Option in Ukraine? Reviewed by on . Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] The ongoing situation in Ukraine do Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] The ongoing situation in Ukraine do 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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