A Foreign Affairs Budget for the Future: Fixing the Crises in Diplomatic Readiness, Report of the American Academy of Diplomacy and The Stimson Center, October 2008. This 75-page report, a collaborative effort of 48 retired ambassadors and other foreign affairs experts, finds that the U.S. faces critical foreign challenges with inadequate staff and resources. The study reviews four activities: core diplomacy, public diplomacy (limited to exchanges, international information programs, and field operations carried out by the Department of State), economic assistance, and reconstruction/stabilization. For public diplomacy, the report recommends increasing U.S. direct-hire staff by 487, locally employed staff by 369, and overall funding increases for staff and programming totaling $610.4 million by Fiscal Year 2014. Programs recommended for expansion include academic and professional exchanges, international visitor programs, staff support for use of the Internet and other technologies, State's Digital Outreach Team, speaker programs, American Cultural and Information Resource Centers, and new Media Hubs in Mexico City, New Delhi, and Tokyo. In an Appendix, the report looks briefly at international broadcasting and public diplomacy activities of the Department of Defense.
Hady Amr and P. W. Singer, "To Win the 'War on Terror,' We Must First Win the 'War of Ideas': Here's How,"The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 618, July 2008, 212-222. The authors (fellows at the Brookings Institution) examine the roles that public diplomacy and policies play "in winning the war of ideas." They offer six principles: confronting civil liberties concerns at home, listening and maintaining dialogue, engaging varied regional players, coordinating U.S. agencies, embracing flexibility, and higher resource investment. Their remedies include Presidential leadership in civil liberties. creating an America's Voice Corps, establishing American Centers, privatizing al Hurra and Radio Sawa, "C-SPANs" for the Muslim world, inceased cultural exchanges, engaging Arab and Muslim Americans, a whole of government approach to public diplomacy, and empowering private citizens and local legislators to build their own international networks.
Tony Blankley, Helle C. Dale, and Oliver Horn, Reforming U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century, The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 2211, November 20, 2008. The Heritage team summarizes a public diplomacy reform narrative grounded in "the war on terrorism," a battle for hearts and minds, insufficient resources, lack of interagency coordination, and substantial changes in the Department of State. The report calls for "a new, viable strategic communications (sic) institutional framework" and recommends that the President and Congress establish a U.S. Agency for Strategic Communications that would include U.S. international broadcasting, establish a new strategic communications strategy, transfer all the State Department's public diplomacy functions to the Agency for Strategic Communications, and make use of the Pentagon's combatant commands.
Craig Calhoun, "Secularism, Citizenship, and the Public Sphere," The Hedgehog Review, 10:3, Fall 2008, 7-21. Calhoun (President of the Social Science Research Council, University Professor NYU) looks at how secularism has been understood in political theory and assesses the recent "controversial effort of Jurgen Habermas to theorize a place for religion in the public sphere" after leaving it almost completely out of his pathbreaking study, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Calhoun discusses the use of public/private distinctions to privilege secularism, ways in which religion has been constitutive of meaning and social practices historically, and whether attempts to disengage religion from public reason give undue advantage to "a secular middle class in Europe, a secular 'native' majority in Europe, and a relatively secular white elite in the U.S. in relation to more religious Blacks, Latinos, and immigrant populations." Calhoun argues that rethinking secularism does not mean abandoning norms of fairness or state neutrality among religions. But rethinking secularism does matter academically and in terms of practical fairness, he contends, at a time when "globalization, migration, economic stresses, and insecurity all make strengthening commitments to citizenship and participation in shared public discourse vital."
Mike Canning, The Overseas Post: The Forgotten Element of Our Public Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy Council, December 1, 2008. Canning (PD Council board member and retired USIA foreign service officer) discusses the traditional role of public diplomacy field officers in the context of a U.S. "national discussion on PD" that in his view "has been profoundly Washington-centric." Grounding his assessment in a summary of the work of field officers and the decline in overseas public diplomacy staffing levels, Canning offers eleven recommendations: increase PD activities in areas other than the Middle East and the Islamic world, raise levels of American and foreign national staff, build a 5% -10% margin for training and assignment transitions, manage assignment patterns that retain tenured PD officers in PD work, expand language and PD training for American officers, expand training opportunities for foreign national staff, cede more autonomy to PD field offices augmented with a "special PAO reserve fund," revive full-service American Centers, create new American "libraries," double the number of Library Specialists, and assign PD officers to binational centers.
Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom, 2008. In this online collection of essays, commissioned by Jim Murphy MP (FCO Minister for Europe), scholars and practitioners discuss "the relevance, importance -- and potential -- of public diplomacy in a world subject to the forces of globalization." Includes the following:
Jim Murphy (FCO), "Engagement"
Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California), "Public Diplomacy: Seven Lessons For Its Future From Its Past"
Simon Anholt (Editor, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy), "The Importance of National Reputation"
Alex Evans (New York University) and David Steven (Riverpath Associates), "Towards a Theory of Influence for Twenty-First Century Foreign Policy: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World"
Brian Hocking (Loughborough University), "Reconfiguring Public Diplomacy: From Competition to Collaboration"
Martin Davidson (CEO, British Council), "Cultural Relations: Building Networks to Face Twenty-First Century Challenges"
Marieke de Mooij (Independent Consultant), "Cross-Cultural Communication in a Globalizing World"
Conrad Bird (Deputy Director, Government Communication, Cabinet Office, UK), "Strategic Communication and Behavior Change: Lessons from Domestic Policy"
Evan H. Potter (University of Ottawa), "Web 2.0 and the New Public Diplomacy:Impact and Opportunities"
Daryl Copeland (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada), "No Dangling Conversation: Portrait of the Public Diplomat"
Lucian Hudson (FCO) and Alan Anstead (FCO), "How Government, Business and Non-Governmental Organizations Can Work Together to Address Global Challenges"
Louise Vintner (FCO) and David Knox (British Council), "Measuring the Impact of Public Diplomacy: Can It Be Done?"
A review of Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World by Paul Sharp (University of Minnesota, Duluth) and a response by Jolyon Welsh and Daniel Fearn of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office are online at website of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Brian Hocking, "Reconfiguring Public Diplomacy: From Competition to Collaboration," in Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom, 2008, 63-75. Hocking (Loughborough University) updates his thinking on complex diplomacy and the evolution of public diplomacy from targeted communication by hierarchical structures to publics viewed as consumers to diplomacy conducted through networks in which publics are partners in and "producers" of diplomatic processes. He examines competitive and collaborative public diplomacy models, public diplomacy as a "whole of government" activity, the need to reinforce the research capacity of national diplomatic systems, structural issues in foreign ministries and diplomatic missions, and "rules of engagement" in a multi-stakeholder environment. The role of the diplomat needs to be redefined as a "mediator, facilitator and important node in the complex networks constituting contemporary world politics," Hocking argues. "It is very different from the mindset, still not unfamiliar in foreign ministries, which sees the diplomat's role as that of gatekeeper, jealously guarding the interface between domestic and international policy arenas."
Bruce W. Jentleson and Steven Weber, "America's Hard Sell," Foreign Policy, November/December, 2008, 43-49. Jentleson (Duke University) and Weber (University of California, Berkeley) contend the big ideas that the U.S. worked to advance during the second half of the 20th century "are no longer the sound and sturdy guides they once were." With authority more contested and power more diffuse, the rules for going to war are less clear. Hegemony, benign or otherwise, is no longer an option. Capitalist markets need the state, and governments now control large parts of the energy and financial sectors. Political legitimacy in many societies is a function of performance more than process. Today, the American model for national success "does not resonate with the majority of people on this planet." The authors contend the U.S. must learn to compete in the global marketplace of ideas by understanding three basic rules: (1) "Ideology is now the most important, yet must uncertain and fastest changing, component of national power." (2) "Technology massively multiplies soft power -- particularly video technology, and particularly in the hands of non-state actors." (3) "Each player represents a single ideology, so 'domestic values' and 'international values' must be consistent." "The four central areas of competition during at least the next decade will be mutuality, a just society, a healthy planet, and societal heterogeneity."
Kristin M. Lord, Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century, Brookings Institution, November 2008. Lord (Brookings) draws on the thinking of "more than 300 people" and numerous past reports on U.S. public diplomacy in this Brookings Institution study. Its key recommendation is creation of a new non-profit organization, "The USA World Trust," to support U.S. government public diplomacy. This organization would (1) conduct research, (2) engage corporations, NGOs, and universities to work on innovative initiatives, (3) provide grants and venture capital to endeavors that advance its objectives, (4) experiment with new technologies and media products, and (5) convene gatherings of government practitioners, scholars, and experts from private and non-profit sectors to address "public diplomacy and strategic communication challenges." The 57-page report also contains numerous propsals to strengthen government public diplomacy: symbolic actions to be taken by the Obama Administration, a U.S. interagency public diplomacy strategy, a Presidential directive, the role of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, a wide range of recommendations to make the State Department and other existing public diplomacy organizations work better, substantially increased public diplomacy funding (particularly for Fulbright exchanges and research), adjustment of the public diplomacy investment ratio between State and Defense, and a more effective balance between security and engagement at U.S. borders. The report considers and rejects creation of a new government agency to conduct public diplomacy. It does not address but calls for a separate review of international broadcasting and "a serious discussion about the proper role and scope of covert information operations."
Jason Miklian, "International Media's Role on U.S.-Small State Relations: The Case of Nepal," Foreign Policy Analysis, (2008) 4, 399-418. Miklian (International Peace Research Institute, Oslo) argues that U.S. policymakers framed a complex civil war with multiple actors in Nepal simplistically as a terrorist uprising. Global media coverage contributed to the problem by "underreporting, improperly framing stories, combining distinct events, piggybacking upon their domestic counterparts, encouraging simplifications, and misrepresenting reality on the ground." Subsequent media attention, Miklian concludes, led to a re-examination of the policy.
Nancy Snow and Philip M. Taylor, eds., Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, (Routledge, 2009). Snow (Syracuse University) and Taylor (Leeds University) add to the growing literature on the academic study of public diplomacy with this collection of 29 essays by scholars and former practitioners who write from academic perspectives and personal experience. Includes essays by:
-- Nancy Snow (Syracuse), "Rethinking Public Diplomacy"
-- Philip M. Taylor (Leeds), "Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications"
-- Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California), "Public Diplomacy Before Gullion: The Evolution of a Phrase"
-- Michael Vlahos (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), "Public Diplomacy as Loss of World Authority"
-- Ali S. Wyne (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), "Public Opinion and Power"
-- Giles Scott-Smith (Roosevelt Academy, the Netherlands), "Exchange Programs and Public Diplomacy"
-- John Brown (Georgetown University), "Arts Diplomacy: The Neglected Aspect of Cultural Diplomacy"
-- Matthew C. Armstrong (Mountain Runner blog), "Operationalizing Public Diplomacy"
-- John Robert Kelly (American University), "Between 'Take-offs' and 'Crash Landings': Situational Aspects of Public Diplomacy"
-- R.S. Zaharna (American University), "Mapping Out a Spectrum of Public Diplomacy Initiatives: Information and Relational Communication Frameworks"
-- Sherry Mueller (President, National Council of International Visitors), "The Nexus of U.S. Public Diplomacy and Citizen Diplomacy"
-- Anthony Pratkanis (University of California, Santa Cruz), "Public Diplomacy in International Conflicts: A Social Influence Analysis"
-- Robert H. Gass (University of Kansas) and John S. Seiter (Utah State University), "Credibility and Public Diplomacy"
-- Kelton Rhoads (University of Southern California), "The Cultural Variable in the Influence Equation"
-- Mark Kilbane (Washington, DC-based writer), "Military Psychological Operations as Public Diplomacy"
-- Keith Reinhard (President, Business for Diplomatic Action), "American Business and Its Role in Public Diplomacy"
-- Peter Kovach (Department of State), "The Public Diplomat: A First Person Account"
-- William P. Kiehl (President and CEO, PD Worldwide), "The Case for Localized Public Diplomacy"
-- Ken S. Heller (Booz, Allen, Hamilton) and Liza M Persson (behavioral scientist, Sweden), "The Distinction Between Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy"
-- Nancy Snow (Syracuse), "Valuing Exchange of Persons in Public Diplomacy"
-- Ali Fisher (Director, Mappa Mundi Consultants), "Four Seasons in One Day: The Crowded House of Public Diplomacy"
-- Oliver Zollner (Stuttgart Media University),"German Public Diplomacy: The Dialogue of Cultures"
-- Tadashi Ogawa (Managing Director, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership), "Origin and Development of Japan's Public Diplomacy"
-- Gary D. Rawnsley (University of Leeds), "China Talks Back: Public Diplomacy and Soft Power for the Chinese Century"
-- Gyorgy Szondi (Leeds Metropolitan University), "Central and Eastern European Public Diplomacy: A Transitional Perspective on National Reputation Management"
-- Naren Chitty (Macquarie University, Australia), "Australian Public Diplomacy"
-- Joseph Duffey (former USIA Director), "How Globalization Became U.S. Public Diplomacy at the End of the Cold War"
-- Richard Nelson (Florida State University) and Foad Izada (Louisiana State University), "Ethics and Social Issues in Public Diplomacy"
-- David Ronfeldt (RAND) and John Arquilla (U.S. Naval Postgraduate School), "Noopolitik: A New Paradigm for Public Diplomacy"
Humphrey Taylor, "The Not-So-Black Art of Public Diplomacy," World Policy Journal, Winter 2007/2008. Taylor (Chairman, Harris Poll) grounds his discussion of public diplomacy in the "overwhelming" decline in world opinion due to U.S. "foreign policy, the Iraq war, and the so-called war on terror." His article offers a definition of public diplomacy followed by brief assessments of "the limits of spin," public diplomacy and traditional diplomacy, the relationship between actions and words, multi-faceted images, American exceptionalism, "the say-do problem," and the role of the media.
USC Center for Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, An Evaluation of Alhurra Television Service, A Report Conducted for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, July 31, 2008. In this report -- based on content analysis and group discussions -- a research team led by Principal Investigator Philip Seib (USC Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy) and Co-Principal Investigator Nicholas Cull (Professor of Public Diplomacy) concludes that the U.S. government's Arabic language television network "is not performing at the level that it needs to reach to be successful." Among the reports conclusions: "A lack of news and topical programming tailored to the interests of the Arab audience." "The quality of Alhurra's journalism is substandard on several levels." "Alhurra's news was likely to promote Western perspectives at the expense of Arab perspectives." "The use of unsubstantiated information was often associated with a bias in favor of Western perspectives and U.S. policy." "Alhurra was much more critical of Arab governments and political opposition groups than it was of U.S. policy in the region." "Alhurra seems out of touch with its audience" and lacks a connection to the "Arab Street." "In short, Alhurra has failed to become competitive."
Dafna Linzer, "Report Calls Alhurra a Failure," ProPublica, December 11, 2008.
Gem from the Past
Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age, A Report of the CSIS Advisory Panel on Diplomacy in the Information Age, (Project Director, Barry Fulton; Project Cochairs Richard Burt and Olin Robison), Center for Strategic and International Studies, December, 1998. Current reports by study groups on public diplomacy and strategic communication (e.g., Defense Science Board, Brookings, Council on Foreign Relations) stand on the shoulders of past efforts. In 1997, a 63-member panel of diplomats, scholars, journalists, business executives, and NGO representatives concluded that the State Department had "failed to follow the lead of the Defense Department and other federal agencies in responding to the information revolution. The group recommended sweeping changes "in every aspect of the nation's diplomatic establishment. Among the recommendations: "Move public diplomacy from the sidelines to the core of diplomacy." "Replace the State Department's 'culture of caste' with a new breed of diplomat combining expertise in political, economic, and information affairs and specializing in particular regions or countries." "Overhaul the entire system of recruitment, testing, training and assignment of Foreign Service Personnel." "Recruit business executives and specialists in other fields, such as environment and energy, for limited duty in a professional Reserve Service to keep the career service from going stale." "Upgrade information technology to corporate standards" and "develop an information strategy to advance national interests."