Issue #32

Bruce Gregory's Resources on Diplomacy's Public Dimension
October 31, 2006

W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, and Steven Livingston. "None Dare Call It Torture: Indexing the Limits of Press Independence in the Abu Ghraib Scandal," Journal of Communication, 56 (September, 2006), 467-485. The authors, media and communication scholars at the University of Washington, Portland State University, and George Washington University, use content analysis to examine the extent to which news organizations used available evidence to challenge the way Abu Ghraib was framed by U.S. government sources. They conclude that news organizations did not provide a counterframe to challenge the version that Abu Ghraib was "an isolated case of appalling abuse perpetuated by low-level soldiers." They suggest the case usefully tests theories of event-driven news, cascading activation, and indexing, and find the data most supportive of the indexing model.

Jarret M. Brachman. "High Tech Terror: Al Qaeda's Use of New Technology," The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, 30 (Summer, 2006), 149-164. Brachman, Director of Research at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, argues Al Qaeda is no longer best conceived as an "organization, a network, or even a network of networks." It has become an Internet-based "organic social movement" whose strategic use of web-based technology is a more enduring and lethal threat than its operational objectives. Brachman examines Al Qaeda's use of video games, discussion forums, and other techniques; the views of Syrian-born Internet strategist Abu Musab al-Suri; and the need for strategic level responses that go beyond monitoring Al Qaeda websites for operational information.

"Focus on Public Diplomacy." Foreign Service Journal, 83, October 2006, 19-52. The Journal devotes most of its October issue to five articles on the current state of public diplomacy.

-- Shawn Zeller (Congressional Quarterly writer),"Damage Control: Karen Hughes Does PD," 19-26.

-- Patricia H. Kushlis and Patricia L. Sharpe (retired USIA Foreign Service Officers and creators of the blog WhirledView ), "Public Diplomacy Matters More Than Ever," 27-32.

-- Robert J. Callahan, (State Department Foreign Service Officer, currently a Public Diplomacy Fellow at George Washington University), "Neither Madison Avenue Nor Hollywood," 33-38.

-- Richard T. Arndt, (retired USIA and State Department Foreign Service Officer and author of The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century ), "Rebuilding America's Cultural Diplomacy," 39-43.

-- Joe Johnson, (retired USIA and State Department Foreign Service Officer), "How Does Public Diplomacy Measure Up?" 44-52.

John Lewis Gaddis. "The Gardner," The New Republic, October 16, 2006, 26-32. Yale historian Gaddis provides a thoughtful assessment of Robert L. Beisner's massive new biography ( Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War, Oxford University Press, 2006, 768 pp.). Gaddis argues that George Kennan was most influential in conceptualizing Truman's grand strategy but, as Beisner argues, "it was Acheson who planted Kennan's thinking in Truman's mind, who won domestic support for it, and who persuaded allies of its logic and feasibility." The recent quest for Truman era models in shaping current strategies should include a fresh look at Acheson's formidable public diplomacy skills. Beisner's biography (and James Chace's Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World, 1999) are useful for public diplomacy practitioners and scholars interested in doing so.

"The Global Race For Knowledge: Is America Losing" The Wilson Quarterly, 30 (Autumn, 2006), 29-58. The Quarterly's editors invite five authors to examine the concept of a knowledge economy, strengths and weaknesses in America's universities, efforts to "close the gap" in China, Germany, and India, distinctions between quantity and quality in "knowledge industries," and whether "we are impoverished if our neighbor gains in knowledge." Includes articles by:

-- Christopher Clausen, "The New Ivory Tower," (the American knowledge industry), 31-36.

-- Sheila Melvin, "China's College Revolution," 37-44.

-- Mitchell G. Ash, "The Humboldt Illusion," (Germany's state-based universities), 45-48.

-- Philip G. Altbach, "Tiny at the Top," (India's colleges and universities), 49-51.

-- Michael Lind, "Why the Liberal Arts Still Matter," 52-58.

Jurgen Habermas. The Divided West, (Polity Press, 2006), edited and translated by Ciaron Cronin. In this collection of essays and interviews, one of Europe's leading intellectuals looks at political events since 9/11. Habermas challenges "hegemonic liberal" concepts driving America's "aggressive unilateralism" and refines his views on the need for networks of public discourse in transnational and supranational governance. Contains chapters on fundamentalism and terrorism; Habermas's contrasting views on the Kosovo and Iraq wars; the evolution of international law; and new thinking on global public opinion, democratic legitimacy, and discourse beyond the state level. (Courtesy of Donna Oglesby)

G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter. Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: U.S. National Security in the 21st Century, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, September 27, 2006. The final report of the Princeton Project on National Security offers a strategy tailored to a world that lacks single organizing principles such as anti-facism or anti-communism. Findings are driven by six criteria: (1) multidimensional deployment of different tools for different situations on a moment's notice; (2) integrated hard and soft power; (3) interest-based, rather than threat-based, frameworks of cooperation; (4) policies grounded in hope rather than fear; (5) strengthening the domestic capacity, integrity, and accountability of other governments; and (6) adaptation to a world "where information moves instantly, actors respond to it instantly, and specialized small units come together for only a limited time for a defined purpose."

Separate reports include those of a Working Group on Foreign Policy Infrastructure and Global Institutions, co-chaired by Joseph Nye and Anne Marie Slaughter, and a Working Group on Anti-Americanism, co-chaired by Tod Lindburg and Suzanne Nossel.
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Michael Isikoff and David Corn. Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, (Crown Publishers, 2006). Isikoff, Newsweek's investigative correspondent, and Corn, Washington editor of The Nation, chronicle events leading to war in Iraq. Their contribution to the lengthy shelf of books on the subject is useful for its detailed account of the role of the news media and activities of White House communicators Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett, Ari Fleisher, Scott McClellan, Jim Wilkinson, and Michael Gerson. Useful for those studying the Administration's use of communication strategies to build political consent for the war.

Joshua Kurlantzick. "China's Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia," Current History, September 2006, 270-276. Kurlantzick, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment, examines China's image transformation in Southeast Asia as a consequence in part of a rise in China's soft power and expanded public diplomacy. China's public diplomacy tools include expanded cultural exchanges, volunteer service projects analogous to the Peace Corps, museum exhibits, upgraded Xinhua news service content in languages other than English and Chinese, expanded and more professional international broadcasting from Chinese state television (CCTV), business and cultural networks, Chinese language study, cultural institutes (Confucius Centers), and a younger generation of trained, language qualified diplomats many of whom serve three or four rotational tours in one country.

Carnes Lord. Losing Hearts and Minds: Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence in the Age of Terror, (Praeger Security International, 2006). Lord (Naval War College, former director of international information and communications policy on President Reagan's National Security Council staff) looks comprehensively at historical, definitional, conceptual, political, operational, cultural, and organizational issues in public diplomacy as part of a wider domain that he calls strategic influence. Includes a critique of Joseph Nye's concept of soft power; arguments for rethinking the organization and direction of White House, State Department, Defense Department, and international broadcasting public diplomacy and influence activities; and Lord's case for understanding "the pathologies of our subject" and radical reforms comparable to those underway in homeland security and intelligence in a nation that "is at war, and may remain so for years to come." (Courtesy of John Brown)

Joshua Muravchik. "How to Save the Neocons," Foreign Policy, November/December, 2006, 64-68. Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, offers advice in a "memo" to his "fellow neoconservatives." Muravchik calls on neocons to admit past mistakes, "fix the public diplomacy mess," and begin to make the intellectual and advocacy case for bombing Iran. Muravchik's idea of effective public diplomacy includes "something akin to the Congress of Cultural Freedom of the Cold War," a global circle of intellectuals and public figures who will speak out on democracy in today's ideological wars, and foreign service officers trained to wage ideological warfare in the manner of the anti-Communist "Lovestonites" (labor leader Jay Lovestone) of the early Cold War.

Sherry Ricchiardi. "The Limits of the Parachute," American Journalism Review, 28 (October/November, 2006), 40-47. AJR's senior writer looks at the downsides of cuts in foreign bureaus by major news organizations and the rise of "flood the zone, event driven coverage." Her conclusion: "there's no substitute for coverage by correspondents based in a region and knowledgeable about its history and culture."

Cynthia P. Schneider. "Cultural Diplomacy: Hard to Define, But You'd Know It If You Saw It," The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 13 (Fall/Winter, 2006), 191-201. Schneider (Georgetown University, former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands) discusses past successes, current challenges, and potential strategies in cultural diplomacy. She offers her own definition of cultural diplomacy as a content provider for public diplomacy through "the use of creative expression and exchanges of ideas, information,. and people to increase mutual understanding." Cultural diplomacy, she argues, suffers from inattention in all the reports on public diplomacy and from US government lip service and lack of funds.

Shibley Telhami, Brian Katulis, Jon B. Alterman, and Milton Viorst. "Symposium: Middle Eastern Views of the United States: What Do the Trends Indicate?" Middle East Policy, 13, (Fall 2006), 1-28. In a transcript of a conference chaired by retired ambassador Chas Freeman in July 2006, Telhami (University of Maryland), Katulis (Center for American Progress), Alterman (Center for Strategic and International Studies), and Viorst (author of Storm from the East) discuss regional attitudes and political issues drawing on polling data, media analysis, trends in the use of web-based technologies, history, expert opinion, and anecdotal evidence. Includes their views on public diplomacy strategies, US Arabic language international broadcasting, and cross border flows of people and ideas.

U.S. General Accountability Office. [www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-762 U.S. International Broadcasting: Management of Middle East Broadcasting Services Could Be Improved,] Report to Rep. Christopher Shays, Chairman, Subcommittee on International Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, House of Representatives, GAO-06-762, August 4, 2006. GAO's 69-page report finds that, although U.S. Arabic-language radio and television broadcasting services have taken steps to address challenges from competitors, they fall short in a number of areas: (1) lack of a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan, (2) strengthened systems of internal financial and administrative controls, (3) insufficient editorial training and program reviews, and (4) weaknesses in survey and reporting methods used to measure "audience size and program credibility."

Eric Umansky. "Failures of Imagination: American Journalists and the Coverage of American Torture," Columbia Journalism Review, September/October, 2006, 16-31. Umansky, a fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, looks at the pluses, minuses, and ambiguities in the media's coverage of the abuse and torture of detainees since 9/11. Includes analysis of Congressional reluctance to engage the issue, communication strategies of political leaders, the ambivalence of many Americans, and a timeline of key events. Umansky argues the press on balance has been reluctant to believe that Americans would engage in torture and to expose torture in the context of terrorism.