Andrew J. Bacevich, "Prophets and Poseurs: Niebuhr and Our Times," World Affairs, Winter 2008, Vol. 170, No. 3, pp. 24-37. Bacevich (Boston College) examines the current relevance of 20th century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr's thinking about "myths and delusions" in the way Americans see themselves and project themselves to the world. Drawing on Niebuhr's The Irony of American History (1952, soon to be reprinted), Bacevich explores Niebuhr's views on four themes: (1) the persistence of American exceptionalism, hypocrisy, and pride in America's self-perception; (2) history as an opaque drama in which the story line and denouement are hidden; (3) the persistence of overconfidence and the false allure of simple solutions; and (4) the imperative of appreciating the limits of power. (Available by subscription)
Nathan Brown and Amr Hamzawy. "Arab Spring Fever," The National Interest, September/October, 2007, pp. 33-40. Brown (George Washington University) and Hamzawy (Carnegie Endowment) write that Washington's "manic debate" on political change in the Middle East misses gradual change "driven to a great extent by an indigenous freedom agenda." The authors find stunning impatience in Washington's approach and call for greater realism, a mix of policies, sustainable efforts, and recognition that political realism may be occurring "but not on any U.S. administration's timetable."
Tom Miller. "America's Role in the World: A Business Perspective on Public Diplomacy," Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), October 2007, pp. 1-18. Written by Tom Miller (BDA Vice President), this report examines definitions of public diplomacy, discusses problems for the U.S. economy driven by the decline in America's global public image, and recommends ways the U.S. business community can help in structuring and promoting an effective public diplomacy strategy. BDA's recommendations: (1) creation of an independent Corporation for Public Diplomacy (CPD) and a cross-agency National Communications Council (NCC) reporting to the President; (2) development of a "public diplomacy and communications strategy" employing the skills, techniques and processes of global businesses; (3) an increase in public diplomacy resources from $1.5B to $3B; and (4) establishment of a "reserve" Foreign Service Officer and "Goodwill Ambassador" corps.
Andrew F. Cooper. Celebrity Diplomacy, Paradigm Publishers, 2008. Cooper (University of Waterloo and Centre of International Governance Innovation) looks at the role of celebrities in diplomacy from Ben Franklin to Shirley Temple Black and Octavio Paz to today's Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Bill Gates. He examines analytical, normative, and practical issues in the associations of state and non-state actors with celebrities who attract attention and mobilize activists on global issues. His book addresses questions of boundaries, legitimacy, limits, and consequences -- and the arguments of critics -- in a "mix of public diplomacy and advocacy through both official and unofficial mechanisms."
Richard L. Armitage and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Co-Chairs. CSIS Commission on Smart Power, A Smarter, More Secure America. Center for Strategic and International Studies, (2007), 1-79. Armitage (former deputy secretary of state), Nye (Harvard), and a bipartisan commission of American scholars and practitioners call for the next U.S. president to implement a smart power strategy that complements military and economic might with greater investments in soft power. Recommendations focus on six areas: reinvigorated alliances, partnerships, and institutions; elevated global development; strengthened public diplomacy; economic integration; technology and innovation; and creative approaches to how the government is organized, coordinated, and budgeted. Public diplomacy recommendations include increased exchanges with a focus on youth, U.S.-China and U.S. India Educational Funds, expanded Middle East language competencies, and creation of an independent, nonprofit "center for international knowledge and communication."
Steven R. Corman and Kevin J. Dooley. Strategic Communication on a Rugged Landscape: Principles for Finding the Right Message, Report #0801, Consortium for Strategic Communication (CSC), Arizona State University, January 7, 2008. The authors build on an earlier CSC paper (A 21st Century Model for Communication in the Global War of Ideas, April 2007), which argued that U.S. strategic communication is based on an outdated "message influence model." In this new CSC study, they assert that U.S. communication efforts are limited by a fruitless quest to centralize and tightly control its messages. Using the metaphor of a rugged landscape with many peaks, Corman and Dooley call for a new approach with "multiple integral solutions," greater tolerance for experimentation and random variation in communication, and recognition that "failure is normal part of the path to success." (Courtesy of Stephanie Helm)
Brent Cunningham. "The Rhetoric Beat," Columbia Journalism Review, November/December, 36-39. CJR's managing editor examines the crucial political role of the press in its choices of words, metaphors, and linguistic frames. Cunningham looks briefly and selectively at framing literature and media framing choices in the decision to go to war in Iraq. He proposes that news organizations employ "rhetoric reporters" to research the history and use of words applied to policies and actions "to help keep political discourse as clear and intellectually honest as possible.
Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, Report on Strategic Communication in the 21st Century, Chair, Vincent Vitto, January, 2008, 1-149. In its third year-long study since 2001, the Defense Science Board's (DSB) Task Force has substantially refined and updated its views with particular attention to deep comprehension of attitudes and cultures, relationships between government and civil society, adaptive networks within government, new media, and technology transformation. The Task Force, comprised of members from government (diplomacy and military) and the academic and non-profit research communities, urges a national commitment to strategic communication "supported by resources and a strength of purpose that matches the nation's commitment to defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security." Key recommendations: amplification of the DSB's call in 2004 for an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan Center for Global Engagement to leverage knowledge and skills in civil society (beginning with a "deep understanding of cultures and cultural dynamics, core values of other societies, and media and technologiy trends"); a permanent strategic communication structure within the White House; strengthened capacity in the Departments of State and Defense; and a thorough review of the mission, structure, and functions of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Daniel W. Drezner, "Foreign Policy Goes Glam," The National Interest, No. 92, November/December 2007, pp. 22-28. Drezner (Fletcher School, Tufts University) examines the increasing influence of celebrities in advancing policy agendas in global issues. Although the role of celebrities in world politics is not new (Shirley Temple, Jane Fonda), Drezner argues the influence of today's celebrities can be attributed to differences in the way citizens consume information, new incentives in the entertainment industry, the impact of soft news, and power shifts to individuals and non-state actors driven by the Internet and an information ecosystem in which attention, not information, is the scarce resource. Drezner examines the pros and cons of celebrity activism, noting that problem awareness differs from problem solutions. (Full online text for subscribers.)
Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul, "Should Democracy be Promoted or Demoted?" The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2007-08, 23-43. Fukuyama (Johns Hopkins, SAIS) and McFaul (Stanford) review moves toward greater autocracy in many countries, increasing skepticism toward the democracy agenda in U.S. foreign policy, and deficiencies in the Bush administration's efforts to promote democracy. The authors systematically engage the central arguments against democracy promotion and call for a more sustainable strategy in achieving it. Key elements: restoring the U.S. example, improved public diplomacy, diplomatic engagement with autocracies, ambitious reorganization of U.S. programs (including a new cabinet level Department of International Development), a firewall between U.S. assistance to states and to NGOs, and enhanced international institutions.
Barry Fulton, "Geo-Social Mapping of the International Communications Environment or Why Abdul Isn't Listening," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 2 (2007), 307-315. Fulton (George Washington University) calls for a "radical redefinition of public diplomacy" grounded in stimulating "the imagination of those who make a difference in their own cultures." Giving others the means and motivation to address global requirements can enhance the security of the sponsoring nation. Fulton's three-point agenda for reforming the conduct of public diplomacy: (1) "reach beyond short-term parochial interests by providing knowledge to the curious, the innovative, and the restless;" (2) hold public diplomats accountable "for enabling connectivity and serving as cultural interpreters;" and (3) "recruit and train artists, scholars, and scientists as public diplomats to engage actively in indigenous social networks." (Available by subscription)
Robert M. Gates. "Landon Lecture," Remarks of the Secretary of Defense, Manhattan, Kansas, November 26, 2007. Secretary Gates makes "the case for strengthening our capacity to use 'soft' power and for better integrating it with 'hard' power." His recommendations include: increased national capacity in economic development, institution building, rule of law, good governance, and strategic communication; greater use of expertise in America's universities; and "a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security -- diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action, and economic reconstruction and development." The Secretary stated that the "way to institutionalize these capabilities is probably not to recreate or repopulate institutions of the past such as AID or USIA." The U.S. needs new thinking on how to integrate government capabilities with the private sector, universities, non-governmental organizations, and allies and friends.
Marwan M. Kraidy. Arab Media and US Policy: A Public Diplomacy Reset, The Stanley Foundation, January 2008. Kraidy (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) discusses historical and current developments in the Arab media environment to make recommendations on the structure and conduct of U.S. public diplomacy. His public diplomacy reset includes: avoiding the polarizing rhetoric of the "global war on terror;" addressing the socioeconomic impact of globalization on Arab societies; greater reliance on "pull" media; creating a special public diplomacy advisor to the president; triple funding for Fulbright programs focused on communication, journalism, and media studies; and shutting down the U.S. government's Al Hurra television network. (Courtesy of Ellen Frost)
Art Kleiner, "The Thought Leader Interview: Anne-Marie Slaughter," Strategy+Business, Booz Allen Hamilton, Issue 48, Autumn 2007, pp. 1-7. Slaughter (Dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School) explains how her thinking about transgovernmental networks and the role of the state has evolved. Included in the interview are Slaughter's views on the strengths and limitations of networks, the impact on embassy operations of emerging power relationships at the sub-state level, virtual architectures within government, psychological shifts in the roles of diplomats, and models of accountability and openness. (Courtesy of Tom Bayoumi)
Joshua Kurlantzick and Devin Stewart,"Hu's on First?" The National Interest, No. 92, November/December 2007, pp. 63-67. The authors (both at the Carnegie Endowment) discuss the strengths and successes of China's diplomacy and soft power, but they argue "Beijing's may be reaching its limits" due to a lack of transparency in its domestic political system and lack of business ethics. They conclude that China's shortcomings will delay its projection of power in Asia, but not indefinitely, and that the U.S. is missing opportunities in the region due to its preoccupation with Iraq and the Middle East.
Carnes Lord and Helle Dale, "Public Diplomacy and the Cold War: Lessons Learned," The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 2070, September 18, 2007, 1-8. Lord (U.S. Naval War College) and Dale (The Heritage Foundation) examine successful public diplomacy campaigns and methods during the Cold War in an analysis of persistent problems in American public diplomacy. Their recommendations focus on Presidential leadership; a unified vision and body of principles and doctrines, and a coherent national strategy.
Jan Melissen and Paul Sharp, eds., "Rethinking the New Public Diplomacy," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Vol. 2, No. 3. Melissen (Netherlands Institute of International Relations, "Clingendael") and Sharp (University of Minnesota) continue their innovative research journal with a special issue on public diplomacy. Includes articles by:
Kathy Fitzpatrick (Quinnipiac University), "Advancing the New Public Diplomacy: A Public Relations Perspective"
R. S. Zaharna (American University), "The Soft Power Differential: Network Communication and Mass Communication in Public Diplomacy"
Craig Hayden (USC Center on Public Diplomacy), "The Role of Argument Formation"
Pierre C. Pahlavi (McGill University), "Evaluating Public Diplomacy Programme"
Giles Scott-Smith, (University of Lancaster), "The Ties That BInd: Dutch-American Relations, U.S. Public Diplomacy and the Promotion of American Studies Since the Second World War"
Barry Fulton (George Washington University), "Practitioners' Perspectives: Geo-Social Mapping of the International Communications Environment or Why Abdul Isn't Listening"
(Available by subscription)
Andras Szanto, ed. "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics," Public Affairs, 2007. Twenty prominent scholars and journalists use the 60th anniversary of George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language," to assess the role of the media and political communication today -- and "to chart the complex topography of propaganda withn the new landscape of American politics." Includes an indtroduction by Orville Schelle and essays by Geoffrey Cowan, Mark Danner, Farnaz Fassihi, Francis Fitzgerald, Konstanty Gebert, Susan Harding, Martin Kaplan, George Lakoff, Nicholas Lemann, Michael Massing, Victor Navasky, Aryeh Neier, Alice O'Connor, Francine Prose, David Rieff, George Soros, Drew Westen, and Patricia J. Williams. The essays by David Rieff, Nicholas Lemann, and Geoffrey Cowan can also be found in The Columbia Journalism Review (November/December 2007).
Sherry Ricchiardi. "Covering the World," American Journalism Review, December 2007/January 2008, 32-39. AJR's Ricchardi continues her long-time interest in global news coverage with an in-depth look at the overseas operations of the Associated Press. Her article profiles personalities and looks at AP's evolving approaches to priorities, training, news analysis, and the safety of reporters.
Walter R. Roberts, "What is Public Diplomacy? Past Practices, Present Conduct, Possible Future," Mediterranean Quarterly, Fall 2007, Vol. 18, No. 4. Roberts (public diplomat, teacher, and co-founder of GW's Public Diplomacy Institute) continues his inquiry into the history and meaning of public diplomacy as practiced by the United States during the 20th century. His article develops judgments on the relevance of this history to the future of diplomacy and the policy process. Available by subscription.
Marc Sageman. Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). The author of Understanding Terror Networks (2004) analyzes the evolution of terror networks into more fluid and scattered global leaderless networks connected by the Internet -- "a multitude of informal local groups trying to emulate their predecessors by conceiving and executing operations from the bottom up." Sagemen challenges many of the central tenets of a militarized and excessively ideological U.S. strategy against terrorist networks. His strategic proposals assume that global Islamist terrorism is a self-limiting threat and draw on lessons from George Kennan's containment logic. Central to his recommendations are demilitarization of the conflict, steps that "take the glory out of terrorism," policy actions that reduce moral outrage, less emphasis on ideology and religion, and elimination of social and economic discrimination against Muslims, particularly in Western Europe.
"Smart Power: John J. Hamre Talks with Joseph Nye and Richard Armitage," The American Interest, Vol. III, No. 2, November/December 2007, pp. 34-41. Nye (Harvard) and Armitage (former Deputy Secretary of State) respond to questions from Hamre (President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies) on the report of the Center's Commission on Smart Power. Contains their definitions of smart power and public diplomacy, their views on threats and opportunities in national security strategy, and a summary of key judgments in the report co-chaired by Nye and Armitage. Available by subscription.
J. Michael Waller, The Public Diplomacy Reader, (Washington, DC: The Institute of World Politics Press, 2007). Professor Waller (Institute of World Politics) has compiled a collection of approximately 150 short readings -- "slices of public diplomacy" from thinkers, practitioners, presidents, advisory panels, and legislation -- with a primary focus on the American public diplomacy tradition (from the Continental Congress to the present). Categories include definitions and uses of public diplomacy, the power of ideas and values, truth and trust, cultural diplomacy, humanitarian public diplomacy, religion and public diplomacy, broadcasting, words and language, psychological planning and strategy, public diplomacy and propaganda, counterpropaganda, public diplomacy after 9/11, technology, citizens as public diplomats, and legal texts.