Matthew Baum. Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age, (Princeton University Press, 2003, first paperback edition, 2006). Although much of UCLA professor Baum's book was written before 9/11, it continues to instruct on ways in which publics obtain political knowledge and learn about foreign crises and military conflicts through entertainment media. Baum systematically examines the impact of soft media on public attitudes toward politics and foreign policies. (Courtesy of Matt Poundstone)
Peter Bergen and Swati Pandy. " The Madrassa Scapegoat," The Washington Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 117-125. The New America Foundation's Bergen and Los Angeles Times researcher Pandy argue that "madrassas generally cannot produce the skilled terrorists capable of committing or organizing attacks" and should not be a national security concern. Thinking of madrassas as threats and cracking down on them does more harm than good. The authors suggest madrassas do pose a problem because they undermine educational development and spawn sectarian violence, especially in Pakistan. They call for nuanced understanding of religious schools and differences in curricula in different countries and regions.
Robert J. Callahan. "A View From the Embassy," American Journalism Review, April/May, 2006. Callahan, a career foreign service officer on assignment as a public diplomacy fellow at George Washington University, provides insights into challenges facing journalists and diplomats in Iraq during his year as press attache in Baghdad (June 2004 -May 2005).
Leon Fuerth. "Strategic Myopia: The Case for Forward Engagement," The National Interest, Spring 2006, pp. 57-62. Vice President Gore's national security advisor, now a research professor at George Washington University, argues that America's ability to "foresee and respond to increasingly complex and networked threats is handicapped by an archaic and compartmentalized interagency system that dates from the Cold War." Government processes in all elements of statecraft (including public diplomacy) reflect mindsets that divide rather than link and that too heavily discount forward planning in favor of the near-term. Fuerth calls for ambitious reforms that focus on flexible, task-oriented networks designed to be retrofitted to the current system of organizational "stove-pipes."
Francis Fukuyama. America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the NeoConservative Legacy, (Yale University Press, 2006). This new book by the author of The End of History and the Last Man -- which is drawing attention for its critique of the Iraq War and fissures among neoconservatives -- is useful to public diplomacy teachers and students for other reasons. Fukuyama calls for rethinking the design of "U.S. soft-power institutions," casts a critical eye on overheated global war on terrorism rhetoric, and urges a foreign policy that focuses "primarily on good governance, political accountability, democracy, and strong institutions."
Dana Gioia. "Cool Jazz and Cold War: Dana Gioia Interviews Dave Brubeck," The American Interest, Spring 2006, pp. 82-86. National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Gioia talks with jazz legend Brubeck about cultural diplomacy, the Jazz Ambassadors program, his experiences touring under U.S. State Department auspices, and the power of jazz as a medium of cultural exchange.
Stephen Hess. Through Their Eyes: Foreign Correspondents in the United States, (Brookings Institution Press, 2005). Hess, professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and senior fellow emeritus at Brookings, examines mindsets of foreign journalists, how they work and report, and their influence in shaping how the world views the United States. Based on interviews and survey results, Hess's book contains chapters on the State Department's foreign press centers and the impact of the Internet on how foreign correspondents gather and report news and information. (Courtesy of Marta Vartanova)
Irving Louis Horowitz. "The Struggle for Democracy," The National Interest, Spring 2006, pp. 114-120. Rutgers University's Hannah Arendt Professor Emeritus examines three democracy models: Robert Dahl's political institutions model, James Gibson's and Aaron Wildavsky's cultural habits model, and John Rawls' distributive justice model. Horowitz argues the Bush democratization strategy contains elements of all three models. It lacks a sense of history and a coherent definition of democracy, however, that "creates ambiguity rather than clarity" in the execution of its strategy.
"Jihad, McWorld, Modernity: Public Intellectuals Debate 'The Clash of Civilizations.'", Spring-Summer, 2006, pp. 85-260. Skidmore College's Quarterly of the Humanities and Social Sciences publishes an edited transcript of a 2004 symposium with participants Benjamin Barber (University of Maryland), Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago), Peter Singer (Princeton University), Breyten Breytenbach (New York University), Orlando Patterson (Harvard University), Guity Nashat (University of Illinois, Chicago), Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), James Miller (Editor in Chief of Daedalus), Vlaidimir Tismaneanu (University of Maryland), Carolyn Forche (Skidmore College), and Robert Boyers (author of The Dictator's Dictation). Also included: interviews with author Tzvetan Todorv and Fred Halliday (London School of Economics) and an essay by Regina Janes (Skidmore College), "Heads or Tails: the Clash of Civilizations."
Jeffrey Kopstein. "The Transatlantic Divide Over Democracy Promotion," The Washington Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 85-98. University of Toronto professor Kopstein assesses a European approach to democratization that emphasizes a top-down appreciation for institution building and the role of the state and an American approach that focuses on civil society, political parties, and elections. He discusses European wariness of the U.S. zeal and use of regime change and American concerns about the EU's preoccupation with strengthening existing democracies in post-Communist Europe. Kopstein concludes that a division of labor is discernible and achievable.
Marc Lynch. "Al-Qaeda's Media Strategies," The National Interest, Spring 2006, pp. 50-56. Lynch examines Al-Qaeda's relationship with Arab media, Bin Laden and Zawarhiri's media strategies, the migration of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other jihadists from satellite TV to the Internet, and Arab media coverage of Bin Laden's videos and the Iraqi insurgency. He finds that U.S. public diplomacy has improved under Karen Hughes, but the USG's Al-Hurra satellite television station, "a costly white elephant with few viewers is disappearing with hardly a trace in the Arab media environment." Overall, the U.S. needs a better understanding of "real arguments Arabs are having among themselves." Lynch, a professor of political science at Williams College, is the author of Voices of the New Arab Public (2006).
Brian Angus McKenzie. Remaking France: Americanization, Public Diplomacy, and the Marshall Plan, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006). McKenzie, a visiting professor of history at Dickinson College, has written a case study of U.S. public diplomacy in France after World War II. Drawing on State Department and U.S. Information Agency records at the National Archives, the Archives Nationales in Paris, oral histories at the George C. Marshall Foundation, and extensive secondary materials, he offers an account of debates on Americanization, the cultural impact of the Marshall Plan, and the impact and limitations of U.S. public diplomacy, a term he applies retrospectively. The study is useful also for its inquiry into concepts of Americanization, globalization, cultural transformation, and subsequent uses of the "myth of the Marshall Plan."
Jan Melissen. "Reflections on Public Diplomacy Today," Speech delivered at the Conference on "Public Diplomacy," Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, Turkey, February 6, 2006. Melissen, (Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael) draws on themes in his book The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations (2005). He examines the differing reasons countries engage in public diplomacy and approaches of small and middle powers that contrast with US public diplomacy. Melissen's account is useful too for its thoughtful insights on "the new public diplomacy" and ways it is becoming "an expression of broader patterns of change in diplomacy" -- a more "collaborative model of diplomacy . . . operating in increasingly diverse networks."
Ben D. Mor. "Public Diplomacy in Grand Strategy." Foreign Policy Analysis, A Journal of the International Studies Association, Vol. 2, Issue 2, April 2006, pp. 157-176. Mor (University of Haifa) examines the relationship between public diplomacy and strategic theory in the context of Israel's experience in the second Intifada. Mor links traditional concepts of grand strategy to new communications and normative environments. He argues the proximity of tactical level events and their capacity to rise quickly to the "surface" of grand strategy makes proactive public diplomacy a key to strategic success.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr. "Think Again: Soft Power," Foreign Policy, March 1, 2006, Reprinted in YaleGlobal Online. Harvard scholar and soft power theorist Nye responds to his critics, clarifies elements of his soft power concepts that have been misunderstood, and discusses the increasing value of soft power in the context of current high profile policy issues. Clear writing. Clear thinking. A short and useful supplement for teachers and students to his books: Soft Power (2005) and The Paradox of American Power (2004).
John M. Owen IV. "Democracy, Realistically," The National Interest, Spring 2006, pp. 35-42. University of Virginia Professor Owen examines the debate between realist critics of democratization and those "principled realists" (or "pragmatic idealists") who argue a connection between values and interests -- and see "efficiency gains" in the expansion of the zone of democracies. Owen pursues a middle course and provides a nuanced analysis of the gains and problems with democracy promotion.
U.S. Central Command, Statement of General John P. Abizaid before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the 2006 Posture of the United States Central Command, (Washington, DC, March 14, 2006). Contains brief sections on strategic communication, Centcom's role in "winning the war of ideas," integration of all instruments of national power, the need for more non-military personnel (State Department, USAID) in regional military commands, and contesting al Qaida and associated movements in the virtual world. General Abizaid calls for government answers to questions about how to deal with extremists activities on the Internet.
The White House. The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington, DC, March 16, 2006). Presented as a "wartime national security strategy," the Bush Administration expands and updates its 2002 strategy. The new 48-page document -- more policy statement than strategy -- contains lengthy sections on promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity; "the battle of ideas," leading a growing community of democracies, and what it calls "winning the war on terror." The statement identifies a range of national security threats and opportunities other than terrorism for which multi-national efforts are required. Public diplomacy per se is framed in a single paragraph on page 45 in a concluding section on transforming national security institutions. Transformation roadmaps are not included.