Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay. "Democracies of the World, Unite," The American Interest, Winter (January/February), 2007, 5-19. Daalder (Brookings Institution) and Lindsay (University of Texas, Austin) call for a "Concert of Democracies" -- "a single institution dedicated to joint action" that would be "both effective and legitimate" in responding to new challenges in global politics. Their proposal assumes a "framework of binding mutual obligations" implemented through a full-time secretariat, budget, ministerial meetings and regular summits." It would not be "photo-op bedecked gab fest." The authors frame their Concert of Democracies as a means of multilateral action in global governance that would overcome limitations of the United Nations Security Council, UN functional agencies. and NATO. The article is available online. Comments by Gary Hart, Francois Heisbourg, Richard Perle, Cristoph Bertram, and Anthony Lake are available in the print edition and to subscribers online.
Michele Dunn. Time To Pursue Democracy in Egypt, Policy Outlook, Carnegie Endowment Middle East Program, January 2007. The editor of the Carnegie Endowment's Arab Reform Bulletin looks at leadership succession issues in Egypt and implications for democratic reform in four areas: presidential term limits, greater freedom for political parties and movements, independent election oversight, and limiting executive powers under a new counter-terrorism law. She argues there are many opportunities for the US to pursue "the long term goal of democratization without endangering stability or key relationships."
Foreign Policy in Focus. "Anti-Americanism and the Rise of Civic Diplomacy," December 13, 2006. FPIF ("a think tank without walls") looks at various meanings of anti-Americanism and US public diplomacy. Contains a lead essay by Nancy Snow (University of California, Fullerton) calling for approaches that "rely more on the ear than the mouth, more on 'second track' rather than official diplomacy, and more on civic engagement than the actions of government representatives;" replies by R.S. Zaharna (American University), "The U.S. Credibility Deficit," and John Robert Kelly (London School of Economics), "The Limits of Public Diplomacy," and a reply by Snow.
Jeffrey Friedman, ed. "Is Democratic Competence Possible?" Critical Review, Vol. 18, Nos. 1-3. This special 3-volume issue of the journal reprints Philip E. Converse's seminal 1964 essay, "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics." It includes articles by Friedman (available online as a pdf file), Scott Althaus, James S. Fishkin, Doris Graber, and Stephen Earl Bennett among others, and a reply by Converse. Converse's empirical research in the 1960s confirmed views on public opinion by Walter Lippmann (1922) on the inability of mass publics to have direct acquaintance with a world that is "too big, too complex, and too fleeting" and their consequent dependence on highly selective cognitive frameworks and belief systems. The articles reflect on Converse's idea of a Hobson's choice between rule by politically uninformed masses and rule by doctrinaire elites. Bennett's article is useful for its historical overview on the debate Lippmann initiated. This accessible collection of readings will be useful to teachers of public diplomacy and others interested in democratization, thoughtful assessments of Lippmann and Converse, and general issues relating to public opinion, political communication, and the ability of publics to make informed judgments.
Jorge Heine. On the Manner of Practising the New Diplomacy, The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Working Paper No. 11, October 2006. Heine's excellent and well-written paper asserts that the traditional "club model" of diplomacy, founded on principles of sovereignty and statecraft, is less relevant in an international system where many new non-state actors and a "network model" matter more. Changes in diplomatic practice have not kept pace with this rapidly changing global environment. Heine contends that "diplomats are no longer sheltered from the political realm" and they must respond to new demands generated by wider access to influential non-state actors. A diplomat and scholar, Heine is Chile's Ambassador to India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and Vice President of the International Political Science Association.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Toward Muslim Democracies, The Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture delivered at the National Endowment for Democracy, November 1, 2006. Ibrahim, acclaimed political activist, founder and chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, and professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, asserts the compatibility of Islam, liberal values, and democracy and examines implications for scholars, political activists, and democracy building practitioners. He differs from Fareed Zakaria and others in his conclusion that "a culture of liberalism does not seem on the evidence to be a necessary prerequisite to democracy." Ibrahim offers several reasons why the West should encourage moderate Islamic forces in Egypt, Palestine, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Mauritania, and elsewhere.
Janine Keil. Voices of Hope, Voices of Frustration: Deciphering U.S. Admission and Visa Policies for International Students, (Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 2006). Written by a graduate student in Georgetown's Master's of Science in Foreign Service Program and reviewed by a panel of government and private sector experts, this slim volume seeks to "add texture" to the debate on the US visa system. Among the study's conclusions: (1) concerns about visa policies and general admission policies are often conflated leading to misunderstandings about the US visa system, (2) changes in the visa system after 9/11 were a contributing cause in declining international student enrollment in the US, (3) the visa system is improving, and (4) the visa system must be improved and its policies better articulated.
William P. Kiehl, ed. America's Dialogue with the World, (Public Diplomacy Council, 2006). The essays in this volume are based on a symposium on the future of public diplomacy held at George Washington University in October 2005. Includes essays by John Hughes, Michael Mandelbaum, Anthony C. E. Quainton, Ralph J. Begleiter, Alice Stone Ilchman, Sherry Lee Mueller, John Brown, Dan Sreebny, Joe B. Johnson, Adam Clayton Powell, III, and Jerrold Keilson, with an introduction and conclusions by the editor. Appendices include remarks given at the symposium by Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes; "A Call for Action on Public Diplomacy," an advocacy statement issued in the name of the Public Diplomacy Council; and a dissent to the latter statement written by five Council members.
Alexander L. Kireev. Electoral Geography Website. Launched in December 2006, this website includes electoral results, maps, articles, and links related to electoral geography, which the creator defines as a "constituent component of political geography, a science which studies development of all political processes inside geographical space." This bilingual (Russian and English) website contains large quantities of data on worldwide election results and related topics. It was created by Kireev who was born in Russia and now lives in the United States. The website was designed by Alexey Sidorenko.
Kristin Lord. The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy, or Peace, (State University of New York Press, 2006). Professor Lord (Associate Dean of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and board member of GW's Public Diplomacy Institute) examines the double edged nature of transparency -- its potential for conflict as well as harmony, hate as well as tolerance, destructive as well as constructive consequences of the distribution of information, knowledge, and power. Lord's analysis uses reasoned argument, empirical evidence, and case studies to both support and challenge optimistic assumptions about the implications of transparency. Her chapter on "Transparency and Intergroup Violence" -- the benefits and the dark side of cross-cultural communication -- is especially useful to teachers of cultural diplomacy and practitioners of people-to-people exchanges.
Jan Melissen, Public Diplomacy Between Theory and Practice, Clingendael Diplomatic Studies Programme Paper, December 2006. Melissen, professor of diplomacy at Antwerp University and CDSP director, considers trends in public diplomacy -- "beyond any doubt one of the hottest topics under discussion in the world's diplomatic services" -- in this paper given at a conference on European public diplomacy perspectives in Madrid (October 2006). Contains useful thinking on definitions and concepts of public diplomacy; approaches to public diplomacy that are not dominated by the American experience; and "salient features of the new public diplomacy" understood as a "no-one-size-fits-all concept." Melissen argues there are fundamental differences between public diplomacy and nation branding, the latter much emphasized in recent European thinking. He makes two suggestions about which it would be interesting to hear more: that public diplomacy is part of a growing "'societisation' of diplomacy" and that "public diplomacy shares some characteristics with consular affairs."
Moises Naim. "The YouTube Effect," Foreign Policy, January/February 2007, 103-104. FP's editor looks at the rapid dissemination of video clips on video-sharing websites and how "a technology for teenagers became a force for political and economic change."
National Endowment for Democracy, Center for International Media Assistance. Established as an Endowment project in 2006, the Center's goal is to strengthen free and independent media worldwide. Its plans include: creating an Advisory Commission of media assistance practitioners, international media experts, academics from journalism schools, and officials of foundations that support independent media, grants to support networks of practitioners and experts and a clearinghouse for information on free media topics, and research on journalism training and other topics. The Center is authorized by Congress and funded through a grant from the Department of State. For information, contact CIMA@ned.org.
Noya, Javier, ed. The Present and Future of Public Diplomacy: A European Perspective, The 2006 Madrid Conference on Public Diplomacy, Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies. European scholars and practitioners continue to produce some of the best current thinking on public diplomacy. Conference proceedings, all available online, include opening remarks by Spanish Minister of Culture Carmen Calveo and essays by:
-- Philip Fiske de Gouveia, (Foreign Policy Centre, UK), "The Future of Public Diplomacy"
-- Jan Melissen, (Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael), "Public Diplomacy Between Theory and Practice"
-- Javier Noya, (Real Instituto Elcano, Spain),"The United States and Europe: Convergence or Divergence in Public Diplomacy"
-- Ali Fisher, (Counterpoint, British Council, UK), "Public Diplomacy in the United Kingdom"
-- Rainer Schlageter, (German Ministry of Foreign Affairs), "German Public Diplomacy"
-- Emma Basker, (European Union), "EU Public Diplomacy"
George Packer. "Knowing the Enemy: Can Social Scientists Redefine the 'War on Terror,'" The New Yorker, December 18, 2006. Packer, a New Yorker staff writer and author of The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq, profiles Australian anthropologist David Kilcullen (now employed at the State Department) and American anthropologist Montgomery McFate (a Pentagon consultant) -- scholars who are convinced of the centrality of understanding cultures, human psychology, and social networks in public diplomacy and unconventional warfare. For Kilcullen and McFate, human behavior, identity, and associations are primary, theology and radical ideas are secondary. Packer also looks at a variety of structural issues including the adverse consequences of a post-Vietnam (Project Camelot) breakdown in military-academic cooperation, difficulties in building a stabilization and reconstruction (nation building) office in State, problems in State's execution of public diplomacy, and a fossilized national security bureaucracy rooted in Cold War hierarchies incapable of dealing with new threats and opportunities.
Jerrold M. Post. "Psychological Operations and Counterterrorism," Joint Forces Quarterly, No. 37. Post, professor and director of the political psychology program at George Washington University, defines psychological operations and examines its role in counter terrorism operations.
Amartya Sen. Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2006). Sen, winner of the Nobel prize in economics and now a university professor at Harvard, argues that conflict and violence are sustained by illusions of single ethnic, religious, or other identities. Iindividuals, he argues, have many affiliations that include class, gender, profession, language, literature, science, music, morals, and politics. Sen vigorously challenges Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations" and examines the possibilities for reason and human freedom in multiculturalism, global civil society, and responses to terrorism and sectorian violence.
Pamela Hyde Smith. "The Hard Road Back to Soft Power," Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Winter/Spring 2007, 1-9. Smith (former U.S. Ambassador to Moldova, now an adjunct professor and research associate at Georgetown University) looks critically at the current state of American public diplomacy. From the perspective of a recently retired diplomat with many public diplomacy assignments, she examines anti-Americanism and reasons for the weakening of American soft power. Smith offers a number of recommendations to strengthen U.S. public diplomacy ranging from changes in "signature" policies, increased funding, and institutional changes within the State Department, and reforms in strategic planning.
Nancy Snow.--The Arrogance of American Power: What U.S. Leaders are Doing Wrong and Why It's Our Duty to Dissent, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006). Part scholarship and part political and policy advocacy, Snow's book critically examines "U.S. government propaganda and public diplomacy campaigns" and calls for a country that privileges listening, dialogue, and dissent by its citizens rather than "public relations and image management" by its government in dealing with anti-Americanism. Contains an extensive bibliography and numerous cases and examples to support her argument. Snow is a professor of communication at University of California, Fullerton, and an adjunct professor in USC's Annenberg School of Communication.