Issue #21

Bruce Gregory's Resources on Diplomacy's Public Dimension
June 16, 2005
  • Danielle S. Allen. Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown v. Board of Education, University of Chicago Press, 2004. University of Chicago humanities professor Allen's examination of Brown and political values is useful to public diplomacy scholars and practitioners for her inquiry into the meaning of trust and distrust, friendship, mutuality, reciprocity, sacrifice, and solidarity. Allen offers a critique of Habermas' account of deliberative discourse and a strong interpretation of Aristotle's Art of Rhetoriin the context of listening, persuasion, and generating trust. (Courtesy of Eric Gregory)
  • Simon Anholt and Jeremy Hildreth. Brand America: The Mother of All Brands, Cyan Books, 2004. The authors define brand as image, reputation, or "the good name of something that's on offer to the public." They trace the concept of America as a brand from colonial times to the present, discuss the impact of today's anti-Americanism, and offer recommendations (many drawn from recent reports on public diplomacy) for rejuvenating an American "brand in trouble."
  • Anne Applebaum. "In Search of Pro Americanism," Foreign Policy, July/August, 2005, pp. 32-40. Washington Post columnist Applebaum finds "not everyone has chosen to get on the anti-American bandwagon." She suggests adding new stereotypes -- the "Indian stockbroker, the South Korean investment banker, and the Philippine manufacturer" and their equivalents in other countries -- to the Arab radical and the French farmer. "They may not be a majority . . . but neither are they insignificant." Applebaum concludes "their numbers can rise or fall, depending on US policies." "Their opinions will change according to how often the U.S. Secretary of State visits their cities, and according to how their media report on American affairs." Includes a sidebar piece by Steven Kull, "It's Lonely at the Top." Check Foreign Policy's website for future posting.
  • Ralph Begleiter. "Of Battlegrounds and Blogs: U.S. Media and the World," The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Winter/Spring, 2005, pp. 213-222. University of Delaware journalist-in-residence and former CNN world affairs correspondent Begleiter responds to questions on global news, his law suit seeking access to images of caskets of U.S. soldiers returned from Iraq, how U.S. media and American soft power influence foreign media and attitudes toward the U.S., and the impact of web-based news.
  • Craig Charney and Nicole Yakatan. A New Beginning: Strategies for a More Fruitful Dialogue with the Muslim World, Council on Foreign Relations, CSR No. 7, May 2005. Drawing on focus group research in Morocco, Egypt, and Indonesia, Charney and Yakatan conclude that "the right efforts to communicate" can produce significant shifts in negative Muslim attitudes toward America characterized by anger, ambiguity, and ambivalence. The authors urge more listening, "a humbler tone," emphasis on bilateral aid and partnership, toleration for disagreement on policy issues, and significant resources over time.
  • Cold War Broadcasting Impact, Report on a conference sponsored by the Hoover Institution and the Cold War International History Project, Stanford University, October 13-16, 2004. Includes rapporteur Gregory Mitrovich's summary of seven panel discussions and a subsequent analysis prepared by A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta, "Cold War International Broadcasting: Lessons Learned." Panelists included experts from Western and former Communist countries. Useful especially for insights drawn from recently available materials from East European, Baltic, and Russian archives and sections on "lessons learned." (Courtesy of Barry Fulton)
  • John F. Harris. The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House, Random House, 2005. Washington Post reporter John Harris' account of the Clinton years treads lightly on foreign policy and very lightly on public diplomacy. Media, image, and communication issues are discussed in paragraphs on the exit from Somalia and on Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, terrorism, Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, White House spokesman Mike McCurry, and the President's trips to Africa (a full chapter), East Asia, and South Asia.
  • Christopher Henzel. "The Origins of JahresendSEO's Ideology: Implications for US Strategy," Parameters, Spring 2005, pp. 69-80. Henzel, a foreign service officer and 2004 National War College graduate, argues the United States, Arab regimes, and traditional Sunni clerics share an interest in avoiding instability and revolution. American strategy should understand and exploit the divide between mainstream Sunnis and revolutionary Salafists.
  • Lawrence J. Korb and Robert O. Boorstin. Integrated Power: A National Security Strategy for the 21st Century, Center for American Progress, June 2005. Korb, Boorstin and the Center's national security team call for a strategy that links and goes beyond "hard" and "soft" power concepts, leverages alliances and unifying forces of globalization, integrates public diplomacy into all components of national security, and integrates defense, homeland security, diplomatic, energy, and development assistance policies. The Center's four public diplomacy recommendations (p. 19) include: support for new schools and textbooks as alternatives to extremist madrassas, reexamination of US visa policies, increased funding for exchanges with Muslim majority countries, and partnerships with private media to develop programs about American life and culture.
  • Steven Kull. The American Public on the Islamic World, Comments By Steven Kull at the Conference on US-Islamic World Relations, Co-Sponsored by the Qatar Foreign Ministry and the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution Doha, Qatar, April 11, 2005. Kull discusses contrasting American views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Iraq war, US military presence in the Middle East, tensions between Muslim and Western cultures, and related issues.
  • James McGann and Mary Johnstone. "Power Shift and the NGO Credibility Crisis," The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Winter/Spring, 2005, pp. 159-172. The authors contend that terrorist use of NGOs as fronts and some highly publicized cases of abuse call for a critical look at the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of NGOs beginning with "systematic international dialogue" within the NGO community. Their generalized call for agreed upon standards and best practices raise more questions than answers. Contains a useful three-page bibliography.
  • David Rothkopf. Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. Public Affairs, 2005. Rothkopf's readable account of the origins and role of the NSC is based on 130 high level interviews and is useful to those interested in personalities; interagency process; and the political, intelligence, and military instruments of power. Despite the author's assumptions about the importance of Presidential communication and flagging "decent respect for the opinions of mankind," the book contains only fleeting references to public diplomacy, psychological warfare, and Truman's Psychological Strategy Board, There is no discussion of the NSC's public diplomacy decision directives and coordinating committees in the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
  • Stacy Schiff. A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, Henry Holt and Company, 2005. Pulitzer prize winner Schiff's witty and penetrating account is one of the most useful of many recent Franklin biographies for those interested in public diplomacy. Schiff focuses on Franklin in Paris -- diplomat, public diplomat, cultural diplomat, media strategist, negotiator, and master of political intrigue. A compelling portrait of America's first and greatest PAO.
  • S. Abdalla Schleifer. The Impact of Arab Satellite Television on the Prospects for Democracy in the Arab World, E-notes, Foreign Policy Research Institute, May 12, 2005. Schleifer, director of the Adham Center at the American University of Cairo and publisher of the e-journal Transnational Broadcasting Studies, discusses the positive impact of Arab satellite television on the prospects for democracy in the Arab world. The author cites satellite links and uncensorable transmission technology, lively political program formats, extension of televised political dialogue in cafes and phone conversations in the Arab public sphere, and the side effect of protracted education in the democratic process due to coverage by Al Jazeera's and Al Arabiya's London bureaus of political life and parliamentary debates on the Iraq war in the United Kingdom.
  • J. Alexander Thier. Fallout from the War on Terror -- Part II: A Pattern of Human Rights Violations and Prisoner Abuse Risks Hurting US Credibility in the Muslim World, YaleGlobal Online, June 16, 2005. Thier, a fellow at Stanford's Center on Democracy Development and Rule of Law and a former legal advisor in Afghanistan, examines distrust stemming from perceptions of double standards between America's rhetoric of democracy and human rights and a recent pattern of tolerance for human rights violations and prisoner abuse.
  • Southeast European Times (aka Balkan Times) Web Site. US European Command, Department of Defense. Self-described as "a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in nine languages: Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian Latin, Serbian Cyrillic and Turkish," the Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US military command responsible for operations in Southeast Europe. The website offers "accurate, balanced and forward-looking coverage of developments in Southeast Europe." US government sponsorship is identified on the drop down "Disclaimer" and "About Us" pages, not on the homepage.
  • Mona Yacoubian. Promoting Middle East Democracy II: Arab Initiatives, U.S. Institute of Peace, Special Report 136, May 2005. USIP special advisor Yacoubian finds that although the Arab world has been remarkably closed to democratic transformation, recent efforts by the Arab League, governments, and NGOs are producing "an unprecedented dialogue on reform." The report examines the elements of reform as proposed by indigenous voices and offers recommendations for U.S. policymakers. Flagging U.S. credibility in the region requires quiet, consistent, and indirect engagement through cooperation with European allies and establishing a quasi-public Middle East foundation.