Drew Gilpin Faust, “John Hope Franklin: Race and the Meaning of America,” The New York Review of Books,December 17, 2015.
Harvard University President Faust pays tribute to the life of the late historian John Hope Franklin on the 100th
anniversary of his birth. She explores the unflinching excellence of his scholarship, tensions between his activism and scholarly ideals, and his influence on a younger generation of advocates such as Bryan Stevenson and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Franklin served on the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter) during an era when its members included such other prominent Americans as CBS President Frank Stanton, opinion pollster George Gallup, journalist John Seigenthaler, novelist James Michener, conservative activist William F. Buckley, Jr., and media market researcher Arthur Nielson.
Alberto M. Fernandez, “Countering the Islamic State’s Message,” The Journal of International Security Affairs,Number 30, Winter, 2016.
The former State Department Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication argues the Islamic State’s rise is the product of the historical circumstances — “events on the ground and the changing political-reality in the region.” He argues the response to ISIS has been especially deficient in countering its ideology. He offers a two-fold approach: (1) Deep comprehension of the main elements of the “ISIS package” – its Salafist worldview, its “grievance collecting,” and its utopianism. (2) Building a counter-narrative grounded in increasing the number of “anti-ISIS messengers,” content appropriate to a utopian, grievance-laden version of jihadist
Salafism, amplifying disaffected voices, citizen empowerment, and personal outreach.
Eytan Gilboa, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Jason Miklian and Piers Robinson, “Moving Media and Conflict Studies Beyond the CNN Effect,” Review of International Studies, published online March 3, 2016.
Gilboa (Bar-Ilan University), Jumbert (The Peace Research Institute Oslo), Miklian (The Peace Research Institute Oslo), and Robinson (University of Manchester) argue transformative changes in media and conflict environments require new conceptual and theoretical approaches to media-conflict interactions. New research must account for (1) the impact of multiplication and fragmentation of media outlets on news gathering and (2) the roles of local media in conflict zones and national media that cover conflicts in their periphery. Drawing in part on Roger Mac Ginty’s concept of hybridity and Gilboa’s analysis of multilevel interactions, their article proposes five streams of “research on glocalised conflict: from the national level to the global; from the local to the global; from the glocal to the local; from the global to the global; and from the near local to the far local.”
Eytan Gilboa, “Public Diplomacy,” in G. Mazzoleni, ed., The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), pp. 1-9.
In this concise, informed, and tightly written overview, Gilboa (Bar-Ilan University) discusses traditional definitions of public diplomacy, its uses in the Cold War, and theoretical distinctions between public diplomacy and soft power. His essay provides useful summaries of differences between public diplomacy and “new public diplomacy,” digital public diplomacy’s uses of digital technologies, and nation branding. Gilboa has written extensively on the strengths and limitations of public diplomacy as a multidisciplinary field of study. He concludes with brief reflections on challenges facing scholars and practitioners.
David Greenberg, Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency, (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016).
Greenberg (Rutgers University) has written a readable and well-researched account of the ideas and personalities that shaped presidential level efforts to influence public opinion at home and abroad from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. Although much of his focus is on domestic politics, Greenberg has a lot to say about the evolution of US diplomacy’s public dimension. Specialists will find new insights on George Creel, Walter Lippmann, Woodrow Wilson, Harold Lasswell, Edward Bernays, Archibald MacLeish, George Gallup, Robert Sherwood, Elmer Davis, William Benton, C. D. Jackson, Ted Sorenson, Michael Deaver, and Karen Hughes. Greenberg’s themes include the impact of new technologies, debates on rational arguments and emotional appeals, contrasting views on leadership and public opinion, media strategies, organizational issues in White House and executive branch agency approaches to managing “psychological warfare” and “information,” and multiple conceptual issues (e.g., deeds vs. words, attribution of information, messaging, news management, framing terms, selective perceptions, and image making).
Alison Holmes with J. Simon Rofe, eds., Global Diplomacy: Theories, Types, and Models, (Westview Press, 2016).
Holmes (Humboldt State University) and Rofe (University of London) have written and compiled chapters that portray global diplomacy as a historically durable institution that is separate from and parallel to governance and “constantly evolving to reflect shifts in structure and power.” They argue the essence of diplomacy has not changed and mainstream analytical narratives have value. However, a new theoretical framework is needed that focuses on understanding the purposes of diplomacy through practice, the relevance of “diplomacy-as-dialogue” throughout history, and a perspective that goes beyond Western states to include diplomatic practices of non-Western states in all stages of development. Scholars and practitioners concerned with diplomacy’s public dimension will find Giles Scott-Smith’s (Leiden University) chapter on “Cultural Diplomacy” particularly useful. He bridges theory and practice with informed assessment of the difficulties in defining cultural diplomacy, “signposts” in its development, and how it differs from nation branding and propaganda.
Ellen Huijgh and Jordan Warlick, The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers, Part 1: The Case of Turkey, CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, January 2016.
Huijgh (Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’) and Warlick (Center for Public Diplomacy) explore the history of Turkey’s domestic politics and socio-cultural developments as factors in the country’s public diplomacy and role as an emerging power. The authors argue Turkey is a strong example of ways in which “intermestic” narratives (where a bright line no longer exists between foreign and domestic) shape public diplomacy and empower civil society actors equipped with digital technologies. Their paper makes considerable use of the US Open Source Center’s “Master Narratives Report: Turkey” (2014).
James Pamment, ed., Intersections Between Public Diplomacy and International Development: Case Studies in Converging Fields, CPD Perspectives, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, February 2016.
Pamment (Lund University) usefully conceptualizes three levels of analysis for understanding “the sites and contexts” in which public diplomacy and development “appear to converge”: (1) aid itself as a form of public diplomacy, (2) communication of aid activities as public diplomacy, and (3) discourses within institutions and in practitioner and stakeholder communities about public diplomacy. The case studies in this accessible collection offer a variety of perspectives on the intersection of two fields that have often been viewed separately by scholars and practitioners. The volume – a result of collaboration between USC’s CPD and the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy – is a significant analytical contribution and an inviting foundation for further research.
— James Pamment, “Introduction”
— Hyunjin Seo (University of Kansas) and Stuart Thorson (Syracuse University), “Empathy in Public Diplomacy: Strategic Academic Engagement with North Korea”
— B. Senem Çevik, (University of California, Irvine), “Turkey’s Development Aid: An Ecosystem of Conservative Grassroots and Progressive Foreign Policy”
— Larisa Smirnova (Xiamen University), “Eurasian Students in China: A New Angle in Understanding China’s Public Diplomacy”
— Valerie Cooper (Hong Kong Baptist University), “Soft Power Development: The Values and Priorities of Foreign Media Interventions in South Sudan”
— Mohammad Ibahrine (University of Sharjah, UAE), “Nation Branding in the Gulf Countries”
— Kazumi Noguchi (Kobe Women’s University), “Impact of Government-Philanthropy Collaboration on Global Health Diplomacy: A Case Study of Public-Private Partnerships in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)”
— James Pamment, “The International Aid Transparency Initiative: Communication for Development or Public Diplomacy?”
Hallvard Notaker, Giles Scott-Smith, and David J. Snyder, eds., Reasserting America in the 1970s: U.S. Public Diplomacy and the Rebuilding of America’s Image Abroad, (Manchester University Press, 2016).
In their fine introduction to this excellent collection of 17 essays on US public diplomacy in the 1970s (framed as 1965-1980), Notaker (University of Oslo), Scott-Smith (University of Leiden), and Snyder (University of South Carolina) identify six broad themes: (1) the influence of civil rights and the Vietnam War on public diplomacy efforts, (2) the importance of public-private cooperation, (3) the unexpected results abroad of America’s increasingly raucous social diversity, (4) the new resonance for America’s “universalist ethos” in a changing global context, (5) the crucial importance of both ends of the “transmission and reception” axis to understanding public diplomacy practice, and (6) the close connection between hard and soft power. Half the chapters focus on problems and methods in public diplomacy projection. The others examine how US public diplomacy efforts were received.
— Thomas W. Zeller (University of Colorado Boulder), “Historical Setting: The Age of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt”
— Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California), “The Devil at the Crossroads: USIA and American Public Diplomacy”
— Brian C. Etheridge (Georgia Gwinnett College), “The Sister-City Network in the 1970s: American Municipal Internationalism and Public Diplomacy in a Decade of Change”
— Kenneth Osgood (Colorado School of Mines), “The Exposure of CIA Sponsorship of Radio Free Europe: The ‘Crusade for Freedom,’ American Exceptionalism, and the Foreign-Domestic Nexus of Public Diplomacy”
— Laura A. Belmonte (Oklahoma State University), “USIA Responds to the Women’s Movement, 1960-1975”
— Michael L. Krenn (Appalachian State University), “‘The Low Key Mulatto Coverage’: Race, Civil Rights, and American Public Diplomacy: 1965-1976”
— Claire Bower (University of South Carolina), “Paintbrush Politics: The Collapse of American Arts Diplomacy, 1968-1972”
— Teasel Muir-Harmony (American Institute of Physics), “Selling Space Capsules, Moon Rocks, and America: Spaceflight in U.S. Public Diplomacy, 1961-1979”
— Alessandro Brogi (University of Arkansas), “America’s Public Diplomacy in France and Italy During the Years of Eurocommunism”
— John C. Stoner (University of Pittsburgh), “Selling American Between Sharpeville and Soweto: The USIA in South Africa, 1960-1976”
— Benjamin P. Green (Bowling Green State University), “Selling the American West on the Frontier of the Cold War: The U.S. Army’s German-American Volkfest in West Berlin, 1965-1981”
— Paul M. McGarr (University of Nottingham), “Unquiet Americans: The Church Committee, the CIA, and the Intelligence Dimension of U.S. Public Diplomacy in the 1970s”
— M. Todd Bennett (East Carolina University), “Time to Heal the Wounds: America’s Bicentennial and U.S.-Sweden Normalization in 1976”
— Barbara Keys (University of Melbourne), “‘Something to Boast About’: Western Enthusiasm for Carter’s Human Rights Diplomacy”
— John M. Rosenberg (Brown University), “To Arms for the Western Alliance: The Committee on the Present Danger, Defense Spending and the Perception of American Power Abroad, 1973-1980”
— Robert J. McMahon (Ohio State University), “Afterword: Selling America in the Shadow of Vietnam”
Mark Seip, “Harnessing Communications and Public Diplomacy: Four Rules for Success in Strategy Development,” Atlantic Council, Issue Brief, January 2016.
Seip (Atlantic Council Nonresident Military Fellow) argues the US “appears out of touch” in the “use of information and public diplomacy” and is losing ground to ISIS, Russia, and China. He calls for national policymakers to emphasize four “core communication elements” in developing strategies and policies: (1) understanding how today’s audiences use technologies and receive information, (2) find mutuality and common ground, (3) create space for conversations that are sustainable over the long term (a goal undercut by the risk aversion of lawmakers and Washington officials), and (4) engage in conversations, not monologue.
Steve Tatham, ed., Defence Strategic Communications, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 2015.
This new peer-reviewed journal is published by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Latvia, a collaborative project of seven European NATO partner nations. Its goal is “to bring academic rigor to the study of defence strategic communications,” assist NATO in its various missions, and “bring together military, academic, business, and governmental knowledge” in the field. The journal’s editor in chief Steve Tatham is author of the highly regardedBehavioural Conflict: Why Understanding People’s Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict.
Articles are the views of the authors and do not reflect NATO policies. (Courtesy of Stephanie Helm)
— Timothy Thomas (US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth), “Russia’s 21st Century Information War: Working to Undermine and Destabilize Populations”
— Christopher Paul (RAND) and Elizabeth L. Petrun Sayers (RAND), “Assessing and Moving Past the ‘Funnel’ Model of Counterterrorism Communication”
— Lee Richards (PsyWar.org), “The Rainbow in the Dark: Assessing a Century of British Military Operations”
— Jeff Giesea, “It’s Time to Embrace Memetic Warfare”
— Theron Verdon (State University of New York College at Oneonta), “The Return of Khilafah: The Constitutional Narratives of Daesh”
— Christine A. Ralph MacNulty (Applied Futures, Inc.), “Method for Minimizing the Negative Consequences of Nth Order Effects in Strategic Communication Actions and Inactions”
— Miranda Holsom (US Army), “The Narrative and Social Media”
— Caitlin Schindler (Institute of World Politics), “Proactively Preserving the Inward Quiet: Public Diplomacy and NATO”
Sanford J. Ungar, “The Study-Abroad Solution: How to Open the American Mind,” Foreign Affairs, March/April, 2016.
Ungar (President Emeritus, Goucher College) takes issue with “the almost universal failure of the broader U.S. public to know and understand others, except through the military lens.” His approach to this dangerous problem is to “massively increase the number of U.S. college and university students who go abroad for some part of their education and bring home essential knowledge and new perspectives.” His article discusses challenges to expanding learning abroad and provides evidence of its educational, economic, and public policy benefits.
Antoaneta M. Vanc and Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, “Scope and Status of Public Diplomacy Research by Public Relations Scholars, 1990–2014,” Public Relations Review, January 2016.
Vanc (Quinnipiac University) and Fitzpatrick (American University) assess a significant increase in public diplomacy research by public relations scholars during the past quarter century. Their article looks at leading public relations scholars working on public diplomacy, their research topics and methodological approaches, and their contributions to theory building and diplomatic practice. Findings include the promise of a relational approach to public diplomacy research, the need for empirical studies, and development of comparative studies to identify public diplomacy best practices.
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Gem From The Past
Robert Entman, “Theorizing Mediated Public Diplomacy: The U.S. Case,” The International Journal of Press/Politics, 13(2) April 2008, 87-102.
Entman (George Washington University, author of Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy,
2004) is widely recognized for his path breaking scholarship in media and communication studies. Eight years ago, he used his cascading network activation model of media framing to create a theoretical model of “mediated public diplomacy.” His model focused on the importance of political and cultural congruency as a factor in US efforts to promote favorable framing of its policies in foreign media. It is a model he hoped would be generalizable to the mediated public diplomacy of other countries. Digital technologies have changed the global media environment significantly in the intervening years. Nevertheless, his article remains a fruitful source of ideas for research and a significant contribution in efforts to create theoretical frameworks relevant to study and practice in the public dimension of diplomacy.