Issue #99

Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome.

Anne Applebaum, “The False Romance of Russia,”  December 12, 2019, The Atlantic.  Pulitzer prize winning journalist and historian Anne Applebaum argues that America’s conservatives, deeply critical of their own society and enthralled with Putin’s Russia, are blind to its realities.  Her historical arc begins with Americans who found much to like in Stalin’s 1930s Soviet Union and bends through left wing intellectuals in the mid-20th century (Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag) to contemporary American evangelicals and political voices (Patrick Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Franklin Graham) whose admiration for Russia reflects their alienation from what they contend their country has become.  “Why shouldn’t I root for Russia?” asks Tucker Carlson (whose father Richard Carlson was Voice of America director in the Reagan administration), as he laments “the dark age that we are living through.”  The reality of Russia, which is considerably at odds with their fantasies, is not their point, Applebaum observes.  Admiration of Russia serves their critique of an America that no longer appeals.

Alessandro Brogi, Giles Scott-Smith, and David J. Snyder, eds., The Legacy of J. William Fulbright: Policy, Power, and Ideology,  (University Press of Kentucky, 2019).  The essays Brogi (University of Arkansas), Scott-Smith (Leiden University), and Snyder (University of South Carolina) have compiled provide welcome new and critical assessments of a US Senator who did much to shape America’s foreign affairs during the Cold War and launched the global exchange program that bears his name.  Essays in Part I offer fresh scholarship and diverse views on Fulbright’s liberal internationalism, his inconsistencies and expediency as a southern politician “with an almost perfect anti-civil rights voting record,” and a voice that combined dissent against military interventionism and “arrogance of power” with advocacy of an international order that served America’s interests.  Essays in Part II put Fulbright exchanges in historical perspective.  They examine a program, historian Justin Hart argues, that “largely sought to make Americans better imperialists, not undermine the imperial project itself.”  As the editors summarize, Fulbright certainly viewed his exchange program as necessary to an international order based on interpersonal connection and mutual understanding, but it also was a program intended to “create a global elite attuned to American values and interests.”  The essays (affordably priced in the Kindle edition) provide a variety of opinions on Fulbright’s internationalism and assessments of the limitations of Fulbright exchanges as well as their merits.  Cultural diplomacy scholars and practitioners will find the following chapters in Part II of particular interest.

— Sam Lebovic, “The Meaning of Educational Exchange: The Nationalist Exceptionalism of Fulbright’s Liberal Internationalism.”

— Lonnie R. Johnson, “The Making of the Fulbright Program, 1946-1961: Architecture, Philosophy, and Narrative.”

— Molly Bettie, “Fulbright Women in the Global Intellectual Elite.”

— Alice Garner and Diane Kirkby, “Tactful Visitor, Scientific Observer, or 100 Percent Patriot?  Ambassadorship in the Australia-US Fulbright Program.”

— Hannah Higgin, “The Limits of Liberal Internationalism: The Fulbright Program in Africa.”

— Carla Konta, “Nice to Meet You, President Tito… : Senator Fulbright and the Yugoslav Lesson for Vietnam.”

— Guangqiu Xu, “The Fulbright Program in China.”

William J. Burns, “Trump’s Bureaucratic Arson,”  The Atlantic, November 17, 2019.  Burns (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), one of America’s most respected career diplomats, continues to speak out on the damage being done to American diplomacy and democracy.  Pegging his views to the public testimonies of US diplomats Bill Taylor, George Kent, and Masha Yovanovitch, Burns argues the real threat is not an imagined deep state seeking to undermine a president.  “Instead, it comes from a weak state of hollowed-out institutions and battered and belittled public servants, no longer able to uphold the ever more fragile guardrails of our democracy or compete on an ever more crowded, complicated, and competitive international landscape.”

Natalia Chaban, Alister Miskimmon, and Ben O’Loughlin, eds., “Perceptions and Narratives of EU Crisis Diplomacy,” European Security, Volume 28, 2019.  Articles in this special issue of European Security, compiled by Chaban (University of Canterbury), Miskimmon (Queen’s University Belfast), and O’Loughlin (Royal Holloway, University of London), consider external perceptions of the EU and the EU’s strategic narratives and public diplomacy directed at nearby societies in conflict.  The full texts of all articles are freely accessible online.

— Natalia Chaban, Alister Miskimmon, and Ben O’Loughlin, “Understanding EU Crisis Diplomacy in the European Neighborhood: Strategic Narratives and the Perceptions of the EU in Ukraine, Israel, and Palestine.”  In this introduction, the authors explain their interdisciplinary approach to strategic narrative theory and perceptions research.  They discuss how articles in the special issue contribute to understanding strategic narrative concepts and EU perception studies with particular attention to audience reception, frames and perception, and the role of visual and other modes of communication.  They also summarize each article’s overarching themes and how these case studies contribute to policy debates on the geo-politics of Europe’s relations with immediate neighbors.

— Patrick Muller, (Vienna University)  “Normative Power Europe and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The EU’s Peacebuilding Narrative Meets Local Narratives.”

— Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin, “Narratives of the EU in Israel/Palestine: Narrative ‘Stickiness’ and the Formation of Expectations.

— Iana Sabatovych (University of Canterbury), Pauline Heinrichs (Royal Holloway, University of London), Yevheniia Hobova (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), and Viktor Velivchenko (Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University), “The Narratives Behind the EU’s External Perceptions of How Civil Society and Elites in Ukraine, Israel, and Palestine ‘Learn’ EU norms.”

— Natalia Chaban, Michele Knodt (Technische University, Germany), Sarunas Liekis (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania), and Iverson NG (University of Tartu, Estonia), “Narrators’ Perspectives: Communicating the EU in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine in Times of Conflict.”

— Olena Morozova, (V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine)  “Ukraine’s Journey to Europe: Strategic Macronarrative and Conceptual Metaphors.”

— Anastasiya Pshenychnykh, (V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine), “Ukrainian Perspectives on the Self, the EU and Russia: An Intersemiotic Analysis of Ukrainian Newspapers.”

— Svitlana Zhabotynska and Valentina Velivchenko (Bohdan Khmelnitsky National University of Cherkasy, Ukraine), “New Media and Strategic Narratives: The Dutch Referendum on Ukraine – EU Association Agreement in Ukrainian and Russian Internet Blogs.”

— Michael Leigh (Johns Hopkins University, SAIS-Europe), “A View From the Policy Community: A New Strategic Narrative for Europe.”

Samantha Custer, Tanya Sethi, Jonathan A. Solis, Joyce Jiahui Lin, Siddhartha Ghose, Anubhav Gupta, Rodney Knight, and Austin Baehr, “Silk Road Diplomacy: Deconstructing Beijing’s Toolkit to Influence South and Central Asia,”  December 10, 2019. Williamsburg, VA. AidData at William & Mary.  The researchers in this report provide quantitative and qualitative data and analysis of China’s public diplomacy efforts in 13 countries in South and Central Asia.  Their assessment includes financial data, the dominance of infrastructure as a public diplomacy tool, China’s emphasis on Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and evaluation of the extent to which its investment is yielding a more positive image of China and its government.  Interviews conducted with 216 individuals in 145 organizations in six of the countries portray a range of motives for China’s public diplomacy and views on its effectiveness.  One finding: China is most comfortable promoting relationships with elites; relations with “ordinary citizens have been superficial at best.”  A recurring theme is that target countries “perceived cultural and linguistic distance from China.”  The 69-page report discusses conceptual issues in China’s public diplomacy goals and research methods.  It contains an abundance of graphics and an extensive list of references.  See also “China’s Public Diplomacy Spending in South and Central Asia Quantified and Evaluated.”

“Cyber Diplomacy,”  PD Magazine, Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Issue 22, Fall/Winter 2019.  In this edition of PD Magazine, USC students and an array of international scholars and practitioners discuss issues relevant to diplomacy and its practice in the cyber domain.  The articles divide into five sections.  (1) “Equipping diplomats for the cyber age” begins with a lead article by Shaun Riordan (European Institute for International Studies) on “Cyber Diplomacy: Why Diplomats Need to Get Into Cyberspace.”  (2) A section on “Cyber diplomacy’s rising stars” focuses on Qatar, Estonia, and Georgia.  (3) An article by Ilan Manor (Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group), “Are Digital Rights Human Rights?” leads a section on “Overcoming Disinformation.” (4) “Social media: A Powerful Cyber Ally” opens with USC Blog Contributor Franklin T. Burroughs’ essay on “The Diplomatic Tower of Babel.”  (5) “Preparing for the Cyber Future” features an article by Devin Villacis (USC Master of Public Diplomacy candidate), “Bottom Lines and Data Dossiers: How Big Tech Commodifies Your Privacy.”

Adam Gopnik, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism,  (Basic Books, 2019).  As diplomacy practitioners and scholars wrestle with ascendant attacks of populism, tribalism, and nationalism on the liberal world order (see Richard Haass, “Liberal World Order, R.I.P.” ), questions arise.  What is liberalism?  And what are the best arguments for and against it?  Acclaimed author and New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik offers thoughts on both.  Written as a meditation for his seventeen-year-old daughter, Gopnik draws on an array of writers, stories, events, and historical episodes to make sense of a liberal credo that “is a subject of persons and places, as much as of principles.”  His central liberal concepts go beyond liberty and democracy. They also include “humanity and reformtolerance and pluralismself-realization and autonomy.”  Gopnik treats strong counter arguments from right and left fairly, even as he risks giving the devil the best tunes.  This is an elegant book, full of wit and wisdom, to be engaged slowly, to pick up, put down, and ponder.

Kyle Hutzler, America’s Cities on the World’s Stage, CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Paper 5, December 2019.  Hutzler (Stanford Graduate School of Business) contributes to the growing literature on city diplomacy with this report based on interviews with city and state practitioners and experts in subnational diplomacy.  His approach is actor-centric, focusing on managerial issues and “questions of strategy, organization, and operations.”  He surveys city diplomacy’s historical context and issues of constitutionality.  His report then examines the relevance of city size and four categories of city diplomacy:  trade and investment, goodwill, knowledge sharing, and co-governance on issues such as climate policy and border management.  Hutzler’s well-researched 93-page report makes a number of recommendations, provides an analytical framework, lists references from the literature on city diplomacy, and seeks to put the practitioners interviewed “in conversation with each other.”

Mark Katz, The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World,  (Oxford University Press, 2019).  Katz (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) examines goals, methods, and critiques of the US State Department’s “Next Level” international exchange program – an initiative he directed from 2013-2018 that sends teams of US hip-hop artists to engage with underserved youth in other countries.  His narrative places hip-hop diplomacy in the context of earlier arts programs in US cultural diplomacy.  He provides both a rationale for this particular art form and careful inquiry into its “unresolvable ambiguities” and “potential to do harm.”  As a scholar and former practitioner, Katz’s book is especially valuable for its considered analysis of the limitations as well as the strengths of hip-hop diplomacy and broader dimensions of cultural diplomacy.  See also Adam Bradley, “In This U.S. Government Program, Diplomacy Has a Hip-Hop Beat,”  December 13, 2019, The Washington Post.

Benjamin Leffel, “Animus of the Underling: Theorizing City Diplomacy in a World Society,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 13, Issue 4, 502-522.  Leffel (University of California, Irvine) brings a sociologist’s perspective to this theoretical and evidence-based inquiry into city diplomacy.  His article provides a survey of concepts and extensive literature in three domains.  First, he provides a brief review of diplomacy studies literature on city diplomacy and related concepts.   Second, he turns to social movement and framing theory and how these concepts illuminate the environment of social action by non-state actors and distinctive categories of city-government diplomacy.  Third, he argues the relevance of world society theory and its explanations of a global context that can shape the identities and actions of city actors and their institutional structures.  Leffel’s empirical findings are drawn from recently available archives relating to three categories of US city diplomacy in the 1980s: the nuclear free zone movement, sister city and sanctuary city projects devoted to ameliorating Reagan administration policies in Central America, and city divestment measures in support of the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

Deborah A. McCarthy, “US Foreign Policy Tools in the Era of Disinformation,”  FIIA Briefing Paper, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, October 2019.  Deborah McCarthy is a retired US Foreign Service Officer and former US Ambassador to Lithuania.  She argues that insufficient responses to malign information operations of state and non-state actors are caused by a variety of institutional and operational deficiencies.  The Department of State and its Global Engagement Center (GEC) have limited personnel and resources.  Rivalries and lack of clear authorities within the Department create additional difficulties.  Dispersed responses by the Departments of Defense, Justice and Treasury, USAID, and the US Agency for Global Media lack a White House or National Security Council strategy and an interagency coordination body.  Mistrust and weak coordination between government actors and private social media companies are significant challenges.  Congress focuses on disinformation in the 2016 presidential election more than strengthening government capabilities to counter foreign disinformation in 2020.  Additional constraints are legal limitations on domestic data collection, unwillingness of social media companies to share information, and unwillingness to integrate tools in the US Cyber Command.  McCarthy calls for policies and actions to address each of these deficiencies and points to the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism as a model of collaboration that could be adapted to the threats of state-sponsored influence operations.  (Courtesy of Don Bishop)

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Do Morals Matter?: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump,  (Oxford University Press, 2020).  Harvard University’s IR scholar and power theorist examines an understudied topic: moral reasoning and the foreign policy choices of American presidents.  (His internet search of the top three American IR journals, produced only four articles on the subject.)  Influenced in part by the thinking of Michael Walzer, John Rawls, and Saint Augustine, Nye argues the importance of three-dimensions in the moral reasoning of leaders.  (1) Intentions – goals and motives, moral vision and prudence. (2) Means – attention to necessity, proportionality, and prudence in the use of force; use and respect for institutions at home and abroad; and consideration of the rights of others.  (3) Consequences – fiduciary responsibilities, consideration of the long-term interests of people at home and abroad; respect for truth, facts, and credibility.  With clear prose and illuminating examples, he applies his 3D ethical scorecard to each American president since 1945.  Diplomats and diplomacy scholars will find particularly relevant Nye’s treatment of American exceptionalism, the liberal international order, soft power, double standards, dirty hands in diplomatic and political choices, contextual intelligence, his interim ethical scorecard of Donald Trump, and speculation on future moral choices driven by global power shifts, technology, climate change, and transnational actors.

Open Doors 2019,  Institute of International Education (IIE) and the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington, DC, November 18, 2019.  This 70th anniversary edition of IIE’s annual report finds the number of international undergraduate students in US colleges and universities fell by 2 percent ending 12 years of growth.  Graduate student enrollment dropped for the second consecutive year.  China remains the largest source of international students, although the rate of growth is slowing, followed by India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.  See also Nick Anderson, “Study Finds Fewer Foreign Undergraduates in US Colleges – the First Drop in 13 Years,”  November 18, 2019, The Washington Post.

Evan Potter, “Russia’s Strategy for Perception Management Through Public Diplomacy and Influence Operations: The Canadian Case,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 14, Issue 4, November 15, 2019, 402-425.  The premise of this carefully reasoned article is that Russia’s RT, Sputnik International, and network of supportive social media platforms should be viewed through a more holistic understanding of a nation’s public diplomacy.  Potter’s (University of Ottawa) analysis is valuable for several reasons.  His conceptual examination of public diplomacy and its intersection with other elements of a state’s influence operations.  His assessment of Russia’s malleable approach to truth and information warfare practices that combine strategic communication, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, and covert action.  And his needed case study of Russia’s perception management operations in Canada.  The case focuses on Russia’s targeting of Canada’s Ukrainian born foreign minister Christia Freeland; her outspoken criticism of Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine; and Russia’s efforts to undermine her credibility by connecting her to Krakivski Visti, a Ukrainian newspaper with anti-Semitic content directed by Nazi authorities, published in Krakow, and edited by her grandfather.  Potter evaluates Russia’s strategy and offers tentative conclusions from his “attempt to reconcile normative assumptions in Western and Russian approaches to public diplomacy.”

Paul Richter, The Ambassadors: America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines,  (Simon & Schuster, 2019).  Diplomatic correspondent Richter (Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune) provides an admiring account of the careers of four accomplished career diplomats: Ryan Crocker, Anne Patterson, Robert Ford, and the late Christopher Stevens.  For Richter, these “expeditionary diplomats” were “the best people for the worst places.” They understood languages, customs, and local politics.  They improvised and planned ahead.  They valued face-to-face contact beyond fortress embassies.  They adapted to whole of government diplomacy.  They took physical and professional risks.  They struggled to match good diplomacy with bad policies.  They understood diplomacy’s public dimension, and one, Robert Ford, was adept at using social media in Arabic.  Richter writes vividly with a veteran journalist’s skill, if not always arm’s length analytical distance.  His book provides rich narratives of their careers based on interviews with Crocker, Patterson, and Ford, Stevens’ family, and numerous diplomats, military officers, and government officials.  It also provides a window into challenges facing modern diplomacy and the hostility of the Trump administration to the career Foreign Service.  See also Eliot A. Cohen, “The Courage and Dedication, and Sometimes Tragedy, of America’s Diplomats,”  January 2, 2020, The Washington Post.  

Ryan M. Scoville, “Unqualified Ambassadors,” Duke Law Journal, Vol. 69, 2019, 73-195; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 19-02.  Scoville (Marquette University) brings a wealth of new research to understanding the contested and exceptional US practice of appointing large numbers of political appointees to the position of ambassador.  Using data obtained from the State Department through Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation, Scoville analyzes the professional qualifications and campaign contributions of more than 1900 ambassadors appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump during his first two years in office.  Based on campaign contribution numbers adjusted for inflation and Congressionally approved qualification measures, his article reinforces the view that on average political appointees are much less qualified than career diplomats and that the gap has widened as campaign contributions have increased and become more pervasive.  The data suggest, he argues, that campaign contributions and political appointment practices have had a negative effect on the quality of US representation abroad, particularly in countries that receive a disproportionate number of non-career ambassadorial appointees.  Scoville concludes with recommendations for legal and regulatory reforms.  See also Ryan Scoville, “Troubling Trends in Ambassadorial Appointments: 1980 to the Present,”  February 20, 2019, Lawfare Blog.

Paul Sharp, Jan Mellisen, Constance Duncombe, and Marcus Holmes, “Editorial: HJD Fifteen Years on, Past and Present Board Members on Future Research.”  The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 14, Issue 4, 327-330.  In this brief and thought-provoking editorial, HJD’s editors and co-editors summarize wide-ranging views on “what is, will and ought to be happening in diplomacy and diplomatic studies.”  Available with free access online.

Matthew Wallin, “White Paper – A New American Message,”  American Security Project (ASP), December 2019.  In this White Paper, the ASP’s Fellow for Public Diplomacy Matthew Wallin advances three core arguments.  America’s values are central to its message and under attack at home and abroad.  The US is failing to uphold its values, and this failure is displayed globally in 24-hour news and social media.  A new American message must be defined largely by actions not words.  Wallin identifies a variety of needed changes in behavior: close the say-do gap, engage in active listening, recommit to truth, maintain leadership in science, send more exchange students abroad, strengthen diplomatic capacity, keep America’s commitments, support individual freedom, empower individuals abroad and promote collaboration, and set an example on refugees and migrants.

Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest

Matt Armstrong, “Government (Re)Organization to Confront Disinformation and Misinformation,”  December 4, 2019,

Stephen Brown, “Diplomacy, Disrupted,”  November 14, 2019, Politico.

Alexander Buhmann and Erich Sommerfeldt, “Understanding Practitioners’ Perceptions in PD Evaluation,”  December 19, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Alasdair Donaldson and Alistair MacDonald, “Finding a Role: The UK in a Changing World: A 2020 Vision,”  December, 2019. The British Council.

Ruth Eglash, “With No Formal Ties, Israel Is Using Digital Diplomacy to Reach Out to the Arab World,”  December 21, 2019, The Washington Post.

Anna Fifield, “In Xi Jingping’s China, a Top University Can No Longer Promise Freedom of Thought,”  December 18, 2019, The Washington Post.

Robbie Gramer, Colum Lynch, and Elias Groll, “Fear and Loathing at Pompeo’s State Department,”  November 1, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Carl Gershman, “The Rallying Cry We Need,”  November 4, 2019, The American Interest.

Fred Hiatt, “These Journalists Have Confounded China’s Massive Propaganda Machine,”  December 1, 2019, The Washington Post.

Lauren K. Johnson, “I Helped Write the Official Lies to Sell the Afghanistan War,”  December 13, 2019, The Washington Post.

Marina Kaneti, “China’s Climate Diplomacy 2.0,”  January 2, 2020, The Diplomat.

Angela Lewis, “China Contractor NSAS: Public Diplomacy Tools Breaking New Ground,”  December 16, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer, “Will Anyone Pay for Uncle Sam’s World Expo Pavilion?”  December 13, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Michael McFaul, “The Deeply Dedicated State,”  October 31, 2019, The New York Review of Books.

“Our People and Our Values Are the Core of U.S. International Leadership,”  October, 31, 2019, Statement by the Boards of the Public Diplomacy Council and Public Diplomacy Association of America.

Lisa Rein, “As Impeachment Hurtles Forward, A Plea For Legal Help For Government Witnesses,”  December 8, 2019, The Washington Post.

Jed Rubenfeld, “Are Facebook and Google State Actors,”  November 4, 2019, Lawfare Blog.

Philip Seib, “Dispatch from Ukraine: On the Frontline of the Info War,”  November 25, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Deborah L. Trent, “Healthy Responses Amid Turmoil: Medical Diplomacy and Citizen Protest,”  January 2, 2020, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Eriks Varpahovskis, “Six Ways States Resist Cultural Diplomacy Hegemony,”  December 12, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Gem From The Past 

Carnes Lord, Losing Hearts and Minds: Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence in the Age of Terror, (Praeger Security International, 2006).  The number of individuals with distinguished records of scholarship and government service is significant but not overwhelming.  (Joseph Nye, Michael Ignatieff, Arthur Schlessinger, Jr., and Archibald MacLeish among others come to mind.)  Carnes Lord (Naval War College), a gifted classics scholar and holder of PhDs from Cornell and Yale, has an impressive record of study and practice.  Notably during the Reagan Administration, he was the primary drafter of three National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs 45, 77, and 130), which established a public diplomacy structure in the NSC and authority for whole of government planning and coordination in the domains of public diplomacy, international broadcasting, democratization, and psychological operations.  These directives held that public diplomacy should be treated as a “strategic instrument of US national policy, not a tactical instrument of US diplomacy.”  Lord’s Losing Hearts and Minds looks comprehensively at historical, definitional, conceptual, political, operational, cultural, and organizational issues in public diplomacy as part of a broad domain of strategic influence.  It called for radical reforms in these domains on a scale comparable to those taking place at the time in homeland security and intelligence.  His conceptual and organizational arguments merit continued reflection even though actors, issues, and context have changed.  Among other publications, Lord is the author of The Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know (2004),  Aristotle’s Politics,  translated with an introduction, glossary, and notes by Carnes Lord, second edition (2013),  The Presidency and the Management of National Security (1988), and Political Warfare and Psychological Operations: Rethinking the U.S. Approach, co-edited with Frank Barnett (1988).  See also Giles Scott-Smith, “Aristotle, US Public Diplomacy, and the Cold War: The Work of Carnes Lord.” Foundations of Science, 13, July 2008, pp. 251-264.

Panel of speakers at the First Monday Forum

Issue #98

Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Silada Rojratanakiat, and Soravis Taekasem, “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Social Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Tweets from Pakistan,” USC Center on Public Diplomacy, CPD Perspectives, October 2019.  Ahmed (Deakin University, Australia), Rojratanakiat and Taekasem (University of Southern California) use critical discourse analysis to investigate how the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was framed in social media (primarily Twitter) during the first six months of 2015.  They conclude that most top Twitter handles originated in Pakistan’s government ministries.  They promoted not just the CPEC but also China’s positive intentions toward Pakistan.  These accounts also used Twitter to counter Indian critiques of CPEC.  Negative tweets originated in India and opposition parties in Pakistan.  Neutral tweets originated from news media in Pakistan and India.  Overall, nearly half of the tweets in their data set were positive on CPEC.

Franklin Foer, “Victor Orban’s War on Intellect,”  The Atlantic, June 2019, 66-72.  Atlantic staff writer Foer describes the successful campaign waged by Hungary’s populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban against Central European University (CEU).  Founded by financier George Soros and accredited in both Hungary and the US, CEU has at last succumbed to Orban’s relentless attacks on its legal status and academic freedom.  Soros and CEU’s rector Michael Ignatieff are moving CEU to Vienna.  Foer tells a complicated story.  The Orban government’s tactics against Soros and the university.  Soros and Ignatieff’s unsuccessful efforts to work out a solution.  State Department Assistant Secretary A. Wess Mitchell’s request that CEU be allowed to stay.  The Trump administration’s cuts in US assistance to free media in Hungary.  Trump’s political Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein’s handwringing over CEU’s fate coupled with his firm unwillingness to let CEU’s departure affect US relations with Orban.  The Embassy PAO’s distress at the Ambassador’s lack of sensitivity to CEU’s plight.  And concerns about the implications for CEU of Austria’s right wing turn.

Glenn S. Gerstell, “I Work for N.S.A. We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution,”  The New York Times, September 10, 2019.  The National Security Agency’s General Council warns of four technological threats with profound near term implications for government agencies.  First, “the unprecedented scale and pace of technological change will outstrip our ability to effectively adapt to it.”  Second, we face “ceaseless and pervasive cyberinsecurity and cyber conflict against nation-states, businesses and individuals.”  Third, an extraordinary flood of economic and political data about human and machine activity will transform the relationship between government and the private sector.  Fourth, the digital revolution has potential to do pernicious harm to the legitimacy and stability of governmental and societal structures.  Gerstell examines the combined effects of these trends, which he calls a “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  (Courtesy of Barry Fulton)

Natalia Grincheva and Robert Kelley, “Special Issue: Non-Western Non-State Diplomacy,”  The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 14, Issue 3, June 2019.  In this important compilation, Grincheva (The University of Melbourne), Kelley (American University), and their co-authors move forward imaginatively on two under-researched trajectories in diplomacy studies.  First, they provide conceptual and empirical support for understanding diplomacy as an autonomous activity engaged in by NGOs, civil society activists, firms, terrorist groups, and other non-sovereign actors in addition to states.  Second, in what they identify as a “post-globalist” approach to diplomacy, their evidence is drawn from non-Western countries.  Their work seeks to recalibrate a research agenda that has favored Western diplomatic practices.  The articles in this HJD special issue are a rich repository of conceptual definitions, analytical assessments, empirical evidence, bibliographic references, and provocative claims by scholars at the cutting edge of diplomacy scholarship.

— Natalia Grincheva and Robert Kelley, “Introduction: Non-state Diplomacy from Non-Western Perspectives,”  199-208.  See annotation above.  The full text is available online.

— Iver B. Neumann (Oslo University), “Combating Euro-Centrism in Diplomatic Studies,”  209-215.  “In a rapidly globalizing world, Euro-centrism . . . is both politically unjust and scientifically unsatisfactory, since it means knowledge production proceeds according to habit rather than need.”

— R.S. Zaharna (American University), “Western Assumptions in Non-Western Public Diplomacies: Individualism and Estrangement,”  216-223.  Zaharna looks at how “unexamined assumptions may still restrict how we think and talk about public diplomacy as a global phenomenon.”  She takes a critical look at two: “the first, ‘individualism,’ comes from the US context; the second, ‘estrangement,’ originates in Western traditional diplomacy.”

— Natalia Grincheva, “Beyond State Versus Non-state Dichotomy: The State Hermitage Museum as a Russian Diplomacy ‘Hybrid,’”  225-249.  Grencheva argues that museums such as the Hermitage Museum and global network of Hermitage Foundations are a case of “hybrid” or “track one and a half” diplomacy that combine efforts of state and non-state actors.  Hermitage Foundations strengthen “Russia’s role in international culture” and facilitate “constructive dialogue with foreign partners.”

— Anna Popkova (Western Michigan University), “Non-state Diplomacy Challenges to Authoritarian States: The Open Russia Movement,”  250-271.  Popkova “uses a case study of the Open Russia movement to explore the public diplomacy potential of transnational NSAs [non-state actors] that represent domestic political opposition in non-Western authoritarian states.”

— Nur Uysal (DePaul University), “The Rise of Diasporas as Adversarial Non-state Actors in Public Diplomacy: The Turkish Case,”  272-292.  Uysal looks at diaspora public diplomacy in a case study of how an adversarial diaspora “has transformed into a non-state actor challenging the Turkish state’s legitimacy.”  She uses a “four-quadrant model” to examine relational dynamics between state and diaspora publics and Robert Entman’s cascading model to analyze media frames.

— Li Li, Xufei Chen (China Foreign Affairs University), and Elizabeth C. Hanson (University of Connecticut),“Private Think Tanks and Public-Private Partnerships in Chinese Public Diplomacy,”  293-318. Taking a “relational approach to public diplomacy,” the authors examine how private think tanks act as instruments of China’s public diplomacy.  They analyze “three cases of a hybrid form of public diplomacy that combines state agencies and non-state actors in PPPs [public-private partnerships] involving multiple stakeholders, both domestic and transnational.”

Natalia Grincheva, Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy: Post Guggenheim Developments, (Routlege, 2019).  Grincheva (University of Melbourne) make two central claims in this book.  First, museums in the 21stcentury have evolved from publicly and privately funded repositories of cultural heritage to become actors in the economic sector of culture.  Second, this transforms how we think about cultural diplomacy.  Museums with global reach are now independent, non-government diplomatic actors engaged in diplomatic activities without support from national governments.  She opens with an examination of the way states have partnered with museums to promote national cultures and support geopolitical interests.  She then turns to the way the Guggenheim Foundation is changing this model with its strategies of museum franchising and global corporatization.  Her reasoning is grounded in analysis of arguments academics and practitioners make on the merits and limitations of the Guggenheim model, examination of cultural diplomacy as “a contested academic field,” and deeply researched case studies of Russia’s Hermitage Museum and China’s K11 Art Foundation.  Grincheva’s book is a more complete statement of ideas she advanced in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy’sspecial issue on non-state diplomacy annotated above.  Scholars recently have done convincing work in developing conceptual frameworks for a polylateral diplomacy domain in which non-state actors function as independent diplomatic actors.  Their standing as diplomacy practitioners turns not on sovereignty or association with governance actors, but on assessments of their contributions to diplomacy-based outcomes perceived as legitimate in the eyes of global publics.  Grincheva’s work is a useful contribution to case studies and practitioner-oriented research needed to support these theoretical arguments.

Diana Ingenhoff and Sarah Marschlich, “Corporate Diplomacy and Political CSR: Similarities, Differences and Theoretical Implications,”  Public Relations Review, 45 (2019), 348-371.  Ingenhoff and Marschlich (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) review the literature on corporate diplomacy (CD) and political corporate social responsibility (PCSR) from the cross-disciplinary perspectives of journals in public relations, public diplomacy, general management, and business ethics.  Their goals are first to examine definitions and theories in the CD and PCSR domains and then to identify differences and commonalities underlying the two concepts.  Building on this research, they seek to redefine CD and PCSR and develop a theoretical framework for CD that integrates PCSR, international public relations, and public diplomacy.  Strengths of their article rest on their extensive literature review and discussion of conceptual issues.  Their proposed theoretical framework for corporate diplomacy, which attempts to integrate PCSR, public relations, and public diplomacy, raises many interesting and difficult issues that the authors and readers likely will agree warrant considerable further discussion and research.  (Courtesy of Kathy Fitzpatrick)

Samantha Power, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir,  (Illustrated, 2019).  In his review,  New York Times columnist Tom Friedman states: “I can imagine a course for incoming diplomats at the State Department that would use Power’s book as a text, and the final exam question would be: ‘In 500 words or less, explain whether you identify with the younger Power or the older Power.’”  Friedman’s thought experiment nicely frames Power’s reflections on her early career as a journalist, human rights activist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide and her subsequent years as a foreign policy advisor, UN Ambassador, and idealism advocate on team Obama.  The younger Power is an unambiguous champion of “responsibility to protect,” an unstinting critic of America’s inaction in the face of the Armenian massacre, the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Bosnia.  The older Power is forced to deal with the in-house realities of White House decision-making on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Boko Haram.  As both journalist and diplomat, her voice is consistently on the side of intervention, but her self-critical assessment avoids easy answers and fully embraces complexity.  Along the way, her memoir covers her Irish family roots, years as a Harvard student and activist, enthusiasm for baseball, challenges of a professionally engaged mother, insights on diplomatic history, moral arguments in foreign affairs, and skills she deployed in the public and private dimensions of UN diplomacy.  See also Dexter Filkins, “Damned If You Don’t: Samantha Power and the Moral Logic of Humanitarian Intervention,”  The New Yorker, September 16, 2019.

“Public Diplomacy in the Trump Administration,”  Panel Discussion at The Heritage Foundation, C-Span2 video streamed live on September 30 2019, (approximately 1 hour).  The Heritage Foundation’s Public Diplomacy Fellow Helle Dale moderates a panel discussion with Michele Guida, Acting Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Nicole Chulick, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Global Public Affairs; Matthew Lussenhop, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; and Chris Dunnett, Deputy Coordinator, Global Engagement Center, Department of State.  Panelists discuss recent organizational changes in the Department, including the creation of a new Bureau of Global Public Affairs, and related matters in US public diplomacy.

Susan Rice, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For,  (Simon & Schuster, 2019).  Rice’s memoir adds to the growing abundance of evidence that US diplomacy’s public dimension is government-wide.  Although there is much of interest about her family, ancestral roots, growing up in Washington DC, education at Stanford and Oxford, and political activism, more relevant for diplomacy enthusiasts are pages of insights from her years as NSC Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, UN Ambassador, and President Obama’s National Security Advisor.  Rice’s riveting story is about policies, personalities, rivalries, organizational cultures, diplomatic strategies, and time and again about shaping public argument and perceptions.  A tiny sample: what to do about the term genocide and hate radio on Radio Mille Collines in Rwanda, Benghazi attack talking points, education for girls initiatives in Africa, communication strategies for summits and presidential trips, media and crisis management, and countless speeches, Congressional statements, dealing with leaks, press interviews, cable and Sunday talk shows – and much more.

Simon Schunz, Giles Scott-Smith, and Luk Van Langenove, “Broadening Soft Power in EU-US Relations,”  European Foreign Affairs Review, Volume 24, Issue 2 (2019), 3-19.  In this article, Schunz (College of Europe), Scott-Smith (Leiden University), and Van Langenove (Vrije University, Brussels) frame research questions for articles in this special issue of the Review  that examines the role soft power “plays and should play as a ‘glue’ holding Transatlantica together.”  Transatlantica is their term for a coherent regional political order with shared values created by the US and Europe that is being challenged from within, particularly by President Trump’s “America First” policies, and from increasing opposition by other powers to the post World War II order.  The authors refine and broaden the concept of soft power focusing on how culture, science, and education have been linked as policy fields to the exercise of soft power.  They pose research questions relating to the way actors interact in soft power domains, analysis of existing forms of interaction, and possible future areas of soft power-based interaction.  They conclude with a discussion of academic, policy, and normative implications of their findings.

Simon Schunz and Riccardo Trobbiani, “Diversity Without Unitiy: The European Union’s Cultural Diplomacy Vis-à-vis the United States,”  European Foreign Affairs Review, Volume 24, Issue 2 (2019), 43-62.  Schunz (College of Europe) and Trobbiani (United Nations University) examine the complex domain of EU cultural diplomacy in the US and make the central claim that its “severe incoherencies” derive from a “legal framework protecting state sovereignty,” promotion of member states’ national interests, and a focus on what makes Europeans distinct rather than what they have in common.  They call for a unified strategic approach to “communicating Europe” with priority attention to selected themes and policies while otherwise preserving diversity.

Giles Scott-Smith, “Transatlantic Cultural Relations, Soft Power, and the Role of US Cultural Diplomacy in Europe,”  European Foreign Affairs Review, Volume 24, Issue 2 (2019), 21-41.  Scott-Smith (Leiden University) in this contribution to the Review’s special issue (annotated above) draws on his extensive knowledge of American studies, cultural diplomacy, and transatlantic relations in this assessment of US cultural diplomacy in Europe during the Cold War and following 9/11.  His article includes a discussion of conceptual issues in cultural diplomacy and soft power, institutional and operational characteristics of US Cold War cultural diplomacy, and ways in which US cultural diplomacy was “securitized” in the 21st century.  He concludes an analysis framed largely as a 70-year history of state-based US cultural diplomacy with a brief observation that “state-led coordination of soft power assets is changing radically.”  The rise of well-endowed philanthropies and other non-state actors pursuing “their own agendas of transatlantic linkage and integration demonstrates that state-led initiatives are declining in relative importance.”  Further research and development of this argument would be welcome.

Efe Sevin, Emily Metzgar, and Craig Hayden, “The Scholarship of Public Diplomacy: Analysis of a Growing Field,”  International Journal of Communication, 13(2019), 4814-4837.  Sevin (Towson University), Metzgar (Indiana University), and Hayden (Marine Corps University), three of the most active and knowledgeable scholars in diplomacy and communication studies today, provide an excellent evidence-based survey of public diplomacy as a field of academic inquiry.  Their article (1) addresses “the challenge of drawing institutional and conceptual boundaries for research;” (2) analyzes decades of English language peer-reviewed public diplomacy articles (N = 2,124); (3) highlights trends in scholarship, patterns of topics that co-occur, and ways topics vary among countries and regions; (4) identifies and ranks journals that publish articles on public diplomacy; (5) offers thoughts on conceptual boundaries in the field drawing on high frequency concepts and topics in the literature, and (6) makes recommendations for future work.

They acknowledge limitations in their data set, particularly the absence of rich insights available in think tank and government policy reports.  Nevertheless, they reach interesting conclusions well worth ongoing discussion.  Researchers should be more receptive to insights and literature beyond their own disciplines if public diplomacy is to deserve the label cross-disciplinary.  Articles on public diplomacy have not consistently appeared in “higher tier” journals, which points to a lack of visibility and potential for future studies.  The oft-lamented absence of a unifying theory of public diplomacy may be a strength rather than a constraint.  The authors have made a valuable contribution to an area of study long challenged by definitional differences, unclear institutional and conceptual boundaries, uncertain connections with other disciplines, and a disconnect between what scholars and academic professional associations are doing and the relatively few courses and degree programs in academic institutions.

Dina Smeltz, et al. “Rejecting Retreat: Americans Support US Engagement in Global Affairs,”  The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, September 6, 2019.  In this latest survey of American public opinion, Dina Smeltz and her colleagues at the Chicago Council find that “large numbers of Americans continue to favor the foundational elements of traditional, post-World War II US foreign policy.”  (1) “Today, seven in 10 Americans (69%) say it would be best for the future of the country to take an active part in world affairs.”  (2) Solid majorities “say that preserving US military alliances with other countries (74%), maintaining US military superiority (69%), and stationing US troops in allied countries (51%) contribute to US safety.”  (3) “More Americans than ever before in Chicago Council polling endorse the benefits of international trade for the US economy (87%) and for American companies (83%).”  (4) “But the American public divides sharply along partisan lines when it comes to three threats to the United States: on immigration, climate change, and China.”  Here “the gap between Democrats and Republicans is at record highs.”

Richard Stengel, The Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It,  (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2019).  Stengel, (NBC/MSNBC analyst and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Obama administration) has written what he calls “the story of the rise of a global information war that is a threat to democracy and to America.”  He divides his story, told through his experiences at the Department of State, into three parts.  (1) An outsider’s critique of the Department’s ways and culture.  Lots of accurate and penetrating “ouch” observations.  (2) Analysis confined largely to the “information wars” and “weaponized grievance” of Russia and ISIS; an assessment of how the “US tried – and failed – to combat the global rise of disinformation;” and an America “badly damaged” by Donald Trump.  (3) Views on what should be done.  He has little to say about how government should change, although his sympathies incline to maintaining an effective Global Engagement Center, and he only occasionally mentions international exchanges.  Stengel’s reform agenda focuses on society’s role in dealing with false information.  His mixture of remedies includes a new “digital bill of rights” and optimized “transparency, accountability, privacy, self-regulation, data protection, and information literacy.”  Stengel writes as a former Time magazine editor.  Paragraph after paragraph puts you in the room with the personalities of the moment and his version of events.  Messaging and information wars dominate.  It’s the story of a journalist who came to government as a self-described “information idealist” and left as an “information realist.”   See also Richard Stengel, “We’re In the Middle of a Global Information War. Here’s What We Need to Do to Win,” Time, September 26, 2019.

US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, “Minutes and Transcript From the Quarterly Public Meeting on Public Diplomacy and the Global Public Affairs Bureau Within the Department of State,” September 4, 2019.  The Commission’s meeting focused on the Department’s recent merger of its Bureau of Public Affairs and Office of International Information programs into a Bureau of Global Public Affairs.  Participants included Commission Chair Sim Farar, Commissioners Bill Hybl and Anne Wedner, Executive Director Vivian Walker, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Michelle Giuda, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Global Public Affairs Bureau Nicole Chulick.  Presentations and Commission and audience questions addressed the Department’s reasoning and vision for the reorganization and a variety of operational issues.

Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest

Matt Armstrong, “The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: an Updated Incumbency Chart and Some Background,”  August 26, 2019,

Martha Bayles, “Hollywood’s Great Leap Backward on Free Expression,”  September 15, 2019, The Atlantic.

Peter Beinart, “Obama’s Idealists [Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Ben Rhodes]: American Power in Theory and Practice,”  November/December 2019, Foreign Affairs.

The First Monday Forum: “After the Merger: Public Diplomacy At State” with Ambassadors Cynthia Efird, Kenton Keith, Jean Manes, and USAGM’s Shawn Powers. A discussion of the merger of USIA and public diplomacy into the U.S. State Department in 1999.  Produced by the Public Diplomacy Council, the Public Diplomacy Association of America, USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy and hosted in cooperation with George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs – October 7, 2019.

Corneliu Bjola, “Diplomacy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,”  October 31, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

William J. Burns, “The Demolition of U.S. Diplomacy: Not Since Joe McCarthy Has the State Department Suffered Such a Devastating Blow,”  October 14, 2019, Foreign Affairs.

Michael Carpenter and Spencer P. Boyer, “Americans and Russians Should be Friends – Even If Their Countries Aren’t,”  October 14, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Nicholas J. Cull, “Expo Diplomacy 2020: Why the U.S. Needs to Go Back to the Future,”  September 19, 2020, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Christopher Datta, “Foreign Service Resignations: Why I Stayed,”  September 2019, American Diplomacy.

Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, “A Love Letter to the State Department. Why I Stay. Yes Even Now,”  September 18, 2019, The New York Times.

Andreas Fulda, “Chinese Propaganda Has No Place on Campus: Universities Can’t Handle Confucius Institutes Responsibly. The State Should Step In,”  October 15, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Philip Gordon and Daniel Fried, “The Other Ukraine Scandal: Trump’s Threats To Our Ambassador Who Wouldn’t Bend,”   September 27, 2019, The Washington Post.

Robbie Gramer and Amy Mackinnon, “Pompeo’s State Department Reels as Impeachment Inquiry Sinks Morale,”  October 11, 2019,  Foreign Policy.

Robbie Gramer, “Career Diplomats Fear Trump Retaliation Over Ukraine,”  October 24, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Bruce Gregory, “Memories of Lou Olom (1917-2019),”  September 29, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council; September 28, 2019, Public Diplomacy Association of America. 

Anemona Hartocollis, “International Students Face Hurdles Under Trump Administration Policy,”  August 28, 2019, The New York Times.

David Ignatius, “Why America Is Losing the Information War to Russia,”  September 3, 2019, The Washington Post.

“Iraq Suspends US-funded Broadcaster Al Hurra Over Graft Investigation,”  September 2, 2019, Reuters

Quinta Jurecic, “The Lawfare Podcast: Introducing the Arbiters of Truth,”  October 31, 2019, Lawfare.

Joe B. Johnson, “After the Merger: Public Diplomacy 20 Years After USIA,”  October 11, 2019; Public Diplomacy Council Blog; Panel discussion with Ambassadors Cynthia Efird, Kenton Keith, and Jean Manes and USAGM’s Shawn Powers, “First Monday” Forum, October 7, 2019,  90 minute Youtube video.

Ilan Manor, “Power in the 21st Century: The Banality of Soft Power,”  October 21, 2019; “Power in the 21stCentury: A Reconceptualization of Soft Power,”  October 28, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Bethany Milton, “My Final Break With the Trump State Department,”  August 26, 2019, The New York Times.

Ryan Moore, “Propaganda Maps to Strike Fear, Inform, and Mobilize – A Special Collection in the Geography and Map Division,”  September 25, 2019, Library of Congress Blog.

Leila Nazarian, “Nonprofit Art Organizations as Credible Actors in Cultural Diplomacy,”  September 5, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Christina Nemr and Will Gangware, “The Complicated Truth of Countering Disinformation,”  September 20, 2019, War on the Rocks.

Scott Pelley, “Brain Trauma Suffered By U.S. Diplomats Abroad Could Be Work of Hostile Foreign Government,”  September 1, 2019, CBS 60 Minutes; Brit McCandless Farmer, “Is An Invisible Weapon Targeting U.S. Diplomats,”  September 1, 2019, 60 Minutes Overtime.

Sudarsan Raghavan, “Egypt Expands Its Crackdown to Target Foreigners, Journalists and Even Children,”  October 30, 2019, The Washington Post.

Erich J. Sommerfeldt and Alexander Buhmann, “The Status Quo of Evaluation in Public Diplomacy: Insights from the US State Department,”  April 2019, Journal of Communication Management.

Bridget Sprott, “The Next Phase of PD: Instagram Diplomacy,”  October 3, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Louisa Thomas, “The N.B.A. and China and the Myths of Sports Diplomacy,”  October 22, 2019, The New Yorker.

“USAGM Board of Governors Announces CEO For Interim Period,”  September 25, 2019, US Agency for Global Media.

Layne Vandenberg, “Sports Diplomacy: The Case of the Two Koreas,”  October 10, 2019, The Diplomat.

Menachem Wecker, “Why the Baroque Politeness of Diplomatic Notes is What the World Needs Now,”  August 19, 2019, The Washington Post Magazine.

Li Yuan, “China’s Soft Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests,”  August 20, 2019, The New York Times.

Gem From The Past 

Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, The Future of Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate, (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010).  It’s coming up on ten years since the publication of American University Professor Kathy Fitzpatrick’s book on US public diplomacy.  Much has changed since then, but her scholarship continues to illuminate.  She combines insights grounded in her study of public relations theory with extensive research in secondary sources on public diplomacy and a 15-page survey completed by 213 retired public diplomacy professionals and members of the USIA Alumni Association (recently renamed the Public Diplomacy Association of America).  Her methods and observations are an excellent example of how diplomacy studies benefit from greater attention to what practitioners think and do and how practitioners gain from more explicit theorizing about their work.  Examples appear throughout the book.  A chapter on commonalities and differences between nation branding and public diplomacy remains an excellent, teachable summary of concepts and practices.  Likewise her chapter on measuring success in public diplomacy evaluation.  And her assessment of improvements needed in skill sets and recruitment practices.  Most of the diplomats interviewed served during the Cold War and after – before the transformational changes in today’s political, media, and global issues context.  Scholars might well consider interviewing a successor generation of recent retirees to analyze changes and continuities.

Issue #97

Nick M. Brown, “The Peace Corps: Overview and Issues,” Congressional Reference Service, RS21168, updated June 26, 2019.  This report, written with CRS’s usual balance and analytical precision, examines origins, objectives, activities, and current issues confronting the Peace Corps – described as “an agency of both international development and public diplomacy” that sends more than 7,000 American volunteers abroad annually to promote “world peace and friendship” at the grassroots level in 61 countries.  Key issues include: (1) reductions in funding and volunteer participation, (2) failure to enact Peace Corps authorization legislation since 1999, (3) challenges in recruiting generalists and highly skilled professionals, (4) tradeoffs between development and public diplomacy goals, (5) the future of “Peace Corps Response” (a small program that recruits older volunteers), (6) streamlined recruitment and country assignment procedures, (7) systematic project development and evaluation, (8) volunteer safety and security, (9) systems for addressing sexual assaults on volunteers, (10) evacuation and program closure procedures, (11) volunteer health care during and after service abroad, (12) contested provisions on abortions in volunteer health benefit plans, (13) implementation of “third goal” activities that promote American’s understanding of other peoples, (14) post-service benefit legislation, (15) strengths and limitations of the five year rule for most Peace Corps staff, (16) partnerships with corporations and federal agencies, and (17) a proposed Peace Corps commemorative site in the District of Columbia.

“Cultural Diplomacy at the Front Stage of Canada’s Foreign Policy,” The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, Canada, 2019.  This 102-page report focuses on realizing “the full potential of cultural diplomacy” as a central pillar in Canada’s foreign policy.  It is based on extensive hearings the Senate Committee held with scholars, practitioners in cultural and arts communities, and officials in Canada and other countries.  Its key recommendations call for: (1) Canada’s government to develop and implement a cultural diplomacy strategy that articulates objectives, roles and responsibilities, and identifies necessary budget resources; (2) greater collaboration with Canada’s provinces, territories, and municipalities; (3) development of performance measures to assess short-term and long-term results; (4) enhanced skills, knowledge, and tools to increase the cultural diplomacy capacity of Canada’s foreign missions and increased training for employees; and (5) creation of a modernized Canadian Studies Program. The report includes detailed discussions of the practice and benefits of cultural diplomacy as a category of foreign affairs practice, graphics, statistics on expenditures, and extensive bibliographic references.

William Davies, Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason,  (W.W. Norton & Company, 2019).  Davies (University of London) rests his central argument on two important 17th-century binaries – mind and body, war and peace — that he contends have weakened during the past century.  He argues regarding the former that  “advances in neuroscience have elevated the brain over the mind as the main way we understand ourselves, showing the importance of emotion and physiology to all decision-making.”  Regarding the latter, new forms of violence (cyber warfare, non-state aggression) blur differences between war and law enforcement.  In intermediate gray zones, Davies asserts, “lie nervous states, individuals and governments living in a state of constant and heightened alertness, relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.”  Experts and reason matter less; popular sentiment and emotion matter more. His book connects historical patterns with assessments of current phenomena: crowd behavior, the power of contagion, politics as virus, weaponizing everyday objects (cars, planes, and Facebook), narratives that account for suffering, public argument as a form of warfare, propaganda, language as a tool for domination, and uses and abuses of big data.  More facts and reason won’t suffice, Davies writes in a brief concluding chapter.  Experts and political leaders must pay more attention to the role of feelings in politics; understand voices of fear, pain, and resentment; “rediscover the political capacity to make simple, realistic, and life-changing promises;” generate policies predicated on treating everyone equally; and connect their words with experiences of citizens.  The considerable strengths of this book are its insights into how we got here; more from Davies on implications of his call for greater attention to emotion going forward would be welcome.

Larry Diamond, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, (Penguin Press, 2019).  Diamond (Stanford University), a leading scholar in democracy studies, examines the halt in democracy’s expansion propelled by elected leaders acting as agents of democratic destruction (Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania) and a wave of illiberal populism (Hungary, Poland, Brazil, the Philippines, and the United States).  His causal factors include macro-trends creating anxiety over immigration and economic inequality, disastrous US interventions in the Middle East, President Trump’s embrace of dictators and disregard for democratic norms, and China and Russia’s use of “sharp power” to erode the integrity of civic and political institutions in democracies.  His prescriptions: (1) recognize there is no technical fix for democracy promotion, (2) undertake a long-term effort with innovative and transparent methods in a new global contest of values and ideas, (3) reject turning inward and closing doors to foreigners, and (4) return to a democracy at home worthy of emulation.

Diamond urges Americans to reboot and greatly expand US “public diplomacy for democracy.”  His proposals include (1) more Fulbright scholarships and other exchange programs, (2) expanded and accelerated US broadcasting, (3) achieving the promise of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center without “adopting the penchant for falsehood of the Kremlin and Trump,” (4) mass-produced democracy content flash drives, (5) translations of classic and modern works on democracy into multiple languages, and (6) new tools to open access to the internet in autocratic countries.  Diamond endorses calls to create a “USIA on steroids,” quickly observing, however, that reviving a government entity “is never an easy political lift.”  Like others in this terrain, he fails to discuss whether and how such an entity would be a good fit for 21st century whole of government diplomacy.  See also Larry Diamond, “Democracy Demotion: How the Freedom Agenda Fell Apart,”  Foreign Affairs, July/August 2019, pp. 17-25.

Kathy Fitzpatrick, Candace L. White, and Lindsey M. Bier, “C-suite Perspectives on Corporate Diplomacy as a Component of Public Diplomacy,”  Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, May 2019.  Fitzpatrick (American University), White (University of Tennessee), and Bier (University of Southern California) examine how corporate executives understand the concept and practice of so-called “corporate diplomacy” and the potential for public-private public diplomacy partnerships.  Based on their interviews, the authors reach two broad conclusions.  (1) Corporate communication officers have little interest in promoting national images, cultures, and values among foreign publics, and they perceive no obligation to support government public diplomacy objectives.  Rather they seek to advance economic self-interest through creation of corporate identities and brands, and development of beneficial operating environments. (2) Nevertheless, opportunities exist for public diplomats to collaborate with corporations on issues that serve public and corporate interests such as food safety, education, disaster relief, and health care.  Their article contains a literature review, analysis of relevant concepts and definitions in both corporate and diplomacy domains, assessments of implications of their findings, and suggestions for future research.

Greg Grandin, The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America,  (Metropolitan Books, 2019).  The myth of endless promise in an apparently limitless frontier, Yale University historian Grandin writes, has long served as an explanation of US power and wealth, a safety valve for its social problems, and a foundation for Americans’ belief in their exemption from “nature’s limits, society’s burdens, and history’s ambiguities.”  But now the frontier has closed.  Expansion is no longer a viable symbol and solution. Donald Trump’s border wall, whether or not it is built, is an illusion that both recognizes and refuses limits, “an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.” Time will tell whether Grandin’s thesis holds – and the extent to which a culture rooted in British colonial expansion and the primacy of individual, inherent rights survives demographic and social change.  But he has written a sweeping and compelling account of America’s expansion: its wars, materialism, militarism, racism, displacement of indigenous peoples, politics, and foreign policies.  Diplomacy scholars and practitioners who rightly lament America’s relative inattention to diplomacy and vastly disproportionate budgets for hard power instruments will find an abundance of explanations in Grandin’s insights and ideas.

Ellen Huijgh, Public Diplomacy at Home: Domestic Dimensions,  (Brill, Nijhoff, 2019).  Ellen Huijgh’s pioneering scholarship led the way to a new and deeper understanding of the domestic dimensions of public diplomacy as practiced by state, sub-state, and civil society actors. Her publications include numerous articles, editing and co-authoring a special edition of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy on “The Domestic Dimensions of Public Diplomacy,”  and co-editing the Oxford Bibliographies Online 2013 edition of Public Diplomacy.  She was affiliated with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ and a non-resident fellow at the University of California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.  Her innovative work, transnational and cross-cultural, provides a foundation for future scholarship and debate on her thought-provoking ideas.  Many thanks to Jan Melissen, Series Editor, Brill Diplomatic Studies, and Brill’s Irene Van Rossum for compiling this collection of her publications.  Ellen was a friend and valued colleague of many readers of this list.  Her untimely death in 2018 cut short a promising career, but she left us with important publications, valuable insights, and practice-oriented concepts that continue to gain traction.

Marian L. Lawson and Susan B. Epstein, “Democracy Promotion: An Objective of US Foreign Assistance,” Congressional Reference Service, CRS Report, R44858, updated January 4, 2019.  CRS analysts Lawson and Epstein offer a concise and clearly written overview of democracy promotion activities funded by Congress and carried out by the State Department, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and other entities. Their report provides a succinct history of US democracy assistance, the roles of federal agencies and NED, past and present funding breakdowns by agency and categories of assistance, and key arguments made by democracy promotion’s critics and advocates. They conclude with brief assessments of issues for Congress to consider: the low priority given to democracy promotion by the Trump administration and the President’s frequent high praise for authoritarian regimes, proposed deep cuts in funding, effectiveness and oversight concerns, advantages and disadvantages of direct (USAID) and indirect (NED) approaches, the benefits of projecting democratic values relative to support for security and economic interests, and the implications of alternative governance models such as China’s “authoritarian capitalism.”

New Approaches to International History Series, Bloomsbury Academic.  Edited by Thomas Zeiler (University of Colorado Boulder), this series focuses on new developments in international history “such as the cultural turn and transnationalism, as well as the classical high politics of state-centric policymaking and diplomatic relations.” The texts are written particularly for upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level students.  Recent titles include: Michael L. Krenn,  The History of United States Cultural Diplomacy, (2017); Daniel Gorman,  International Cooperation in the Early Twentieth Century, (2019); Osamah F. Khalil, ed.,  United States Relations With China and Iran: Toward the Asian Century, (2019); and Asa McKercher, Canada and the World,  (2019).  Titles forthcoming in 2020 include Cyrus Schayegh, ed., Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy, and Daniel Hucker, Public Opinion and 20th-Century Diplomacy.  (Courtesy of Louis Clerc).

Peter Pomerantsev, This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, (PublicAffairs, 2019).  Pomerantsev (London School of Economics) follows his acclaimed Nothing is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (2014) with this global survey of what he describes as a “world of influence operations run amok, where dark ads, psyops, hacks, bots, soft facts, ISIS, Putin, trolls, and Trump seek to shape our very reality.”  Woven into his narrative are memories of his dissident parents’ difficulties with the KGB in the Soviet Union, their emigration to West Germany and the United Kingdom, where his father worked with Radio Free Europe and the BBC World Service.  His book combines memoir; stories of encounters with disparate actors seeking to weaponize information in Odessa, Manila, Mexico City, New Jersey, and elsewhere; and insights gleaned from his search for “sparks of sense” to present to “representatives of the waning Liberal Democratic Order.”

“Review of Allegations of Politicized and Improper Personnel Practices in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs,” Office of Inspector General (OIG), US Department of State, August 2019.  State’s OIG reports on inappropriate practices in Department’s IO Bureau that “included disrespectful and hostile treatment of employees, accusations against and harassment of career employees premised on claims that they were ‘disloyal’ based on their perceived political views, and retaliation associated with conflicts of interest.”  The OIG also found numerous employees had raised concerns.  Department officials “counseled IO leadership,” but Assistant Secretary for IO, Kevin Moley, “did not take significant action to respond to such concerns.”  See also Colum Lynch and Robbie Graemer, “State Department Watchdog Censures Two Trump Appointees for Harassing Career Staffers,”  August 15, 2019, Foreign Policy; Alison Durkee, “Investigation Finds Political Purge Inside Trump’s State Department,”   August 16, 2019, Vanity Fair.

Sophia Rosenfeld, “Truth and Consequences,”  The Hedgehog Review, Summer 2019, 18-24.  Rosenfeld (University of Pennsylvania) makes every word count in this elegant essay on episodic struggles over what constitutes truth and who gets to say so.  Messy disagreements leading to minimal agreement on what reality looks like have been baked into democratic politics since the origins of modern democracy in the 18th century.  Today’s “truth” crisis is not new to the extent it rests on contests over what constitutes “serviceable truth” between cohorts with different relationships to knowledge and virtue – elites enabled by education, training, and varieties of privilege and “real” people informed by faith, instinct, and practical experience.  What is new is the growing inability of people in epistemic tribes, fueled by information hyper-abundance, to agree that truth, however elusive, matters as collective aspiration.  She pleas for determined effort, within a framework of pluralism, “to find some elemental convictions about the nature of reality that we can hold in common.”

Kori Schake, “Back to Basics: How to Make Right What Trump Gets Wrong,”  Foreign Affairs, May/June 2019, 36-43.  In this essay, Schake (International Institute for Strategic Studies), after general observations on grand strategy, offers thoughts on “diplomacy done right.”  Her recipe for change: (1) return to incorporating liberal values in foreign policy; (2) set up allies to succeed and give them credit when they do; (3) stop “fetishizing” the military and its mission creep in diplomacy based on a vast resource advantage; and (4) implement a major overhaul of the Department of State. Schake’s brief list of interesting ideas on recruitment, training, and overseas deployment at State call for elaboration and debate.

Paul Sharp, Diplomacy in the 21st Century: A Brief Introduction, (Routledge, 2019).  Sharp (University of Minnesota Duluth) has written a clear, teachable, and valuable book.  His intent is twofold: (1) to explain diplomacy, its origins, concepts, and practice, and (2) to advocate for the increasing importance of diplomats and their work today.  In part one, he provides basic ideas about diplomacy as a distinct form of human relations, entities and people that engage in diplomacy, why diplomats matter, and principles of diplomatic practice and success.  He develops a core distinction between diplomacy of managing relations and the diplomacy of solving problems.  In today’s uncertain world, he argues, we need greater attention to the diplomacy of relations.  In part two, after a short discourse on the risks of using “bad” as an evaluative term in assessing moral character, professional competence and consequences for others in diplomacy, he discusses the diplomacy of bad leaders, bad media, and bad followers.  In part three, he concludes with an assessment of diplomacy and bad diplomats.

Particularly useful is his treatment of how public diplomacy responds to increasingly differentiated publics and the disaggregated state – and the dissolution of boundaries between public diplomacy, diplomacy, international relations, and domestic relations.  Sharp draws on foundational ideas in his masterful pioneering study, Diplomatic Theory of International Relations (2009).  His new book puts his theoretical ideas in a form that is highly accessible to undergraduate and graduate students and to practitioners in diplomacy training courses: fresh prose, enumerated learning objectives, a glossary of terms, and numerous boxed illustrative cases, most drawn from today’s issues.  Sharp and other diplomacy scholars are providing excellent instructional material.  If only IR and communication departments could overcome their pervasive reluctance to offer courses on diplomacy as a field of study and practice.  If only.

“Strengthening the Department of State,” The American Academy of Diplomacy, May 2019.  This 73-page report, drafted by Robert M. Beecroft and John Naland, the Academy (self-described as an “association of former US senior ambassadors and high-level government officials”) looks at ways to “better identify, recruit, train, support, equip, and protect State’s people.”  In contrast to previous reports that focused primarily on the Foreign Service and what it describes as the “traditional work of diplomats – policy recommendations, reporting, and negotiations,” the Academy focuses here on the State Department’s “rigid, frustrating” Civil Service system.  One key recommendation is a pilot project to create “an excepted rank-in-person model for part of the Civil Service,” with “up or out” promotion criteria, which would be “supplemented by robust rotation and development policies, a more meaningful evaluation process, and mandatory leadership training.” (Although sensitive to the need for employee buy-in for this pilot project, the report makes no mention of USIA’s attempt in the 1970s to create a mandatory “up or out” system for its Civil Service employees, which the Agency eventually terminated after successful litigation by its employee union.)  The report also makes recommendations to strengthen three categories of Foreign Service Specialists: office management, information technology, and diplomatic security.  Importantly, the Academy renews its compelling recommendation made for career-long professional education for Foreign Service and Civil Service employees, comparable to what is required by the military, the law, and “every other endeavor with a claim to professionalism.”

“USAGM 2018 Annual Report,”  August 2019, US Agency for Global Media (USAGM).  This report from the rebranded USAGM (formerly the Broadcasting Board of Governors) provides information on the programs, audience levels, budgets, strategies, and media environments of the federal Agency’s five networks: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.  According to USAGM’s CEO John Lansing, USAGM “made the most significant progress yet in our transformation into a modern and nimble media enterprise.”  In a report long on proclaimed achievements and short on critical self-examination, Lansing gives particular emphasis to “our largest audience growth ever – a jump from 278 million in 2017 to a total of 345 million in 2018.” For a thoughtful critique of USAGM’s presentation of its audience numbers, see Kim Andrew Elliott, “The USAGM Audience Increase: Less Startling Than Meets the Eye,”  March 27, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest

Phillip C. Arceneaux, “Information Intervention: The Mending of a Fractured Paradigm,”  July 22, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Erin Banco, “Influence Peddling, Double-Dealing, and Trumpworld Swampmen: How U.S. Plans for the World’s Fair Fell Apart,”  August 20, 2019, Daily Beast.

Martha Bayles, “Reality Made Me Do It,”  Summer 2019, The Hedgehog Review.

Corneliu Bjola, “How Digital Propaganda May Affect EU Elections 2019: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,”  May 21, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

“Bureau of Global Public Affairs,”  2019, US Department of State; Joe Johnson, “Evolution of Public Diplomacy One Mutation at a Time,”  April 15, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council; “Carol Morello, “State Department to Take a Step Into the Digital Age in Effort to Counter Disinformation,”  April 12, 2019, The Washington Post.

“The Competition for Collaboration,”  May 2019; “The Shape of Global Higher Education: International Comparisons With Europe,”  May 2019, British Council.

“Congressional International Exchange and Study Caucus,”  Dear Colleague Letter, Reps. James A. Himes and Robert W. Bishop,” August 2019, Courtesy of Alliance for International Exchange.

“A Europe That Protects: EU Reports on Progress in Fighting Disinformation Ahead of European Council,”  June 14, 2019, Press Release, European Commission.

“Foreign Relations Reauthorization: Background and Issues,” June 27, 2019, In Focus, Congressional Research Service.  CRS, June 2109

Cory R. Gill and Edward J. Collins-Chase, “U.S. Overseas Diplomatic Presence: Background and Issues for Congress,”  June 6, 2019, IF 11242, Congressional Reference Service.

Susan Glasser, “Mike Pompeo, The Secretary of Trump,”  August 19, 2019, The New Yorker.

Robbie Gramer, “Diplomats Losing Out to Trump Picks for Top Spots,”  August 15, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Erica L. Green, “Visa Delays at Backlogged Immigration Service Strand International Students,”  June 16, 2019, The New York Times.

Naima Green-Riley, “Huawei’s ‘Teachable Moment’ on Public Diplomacy,”  May 21, 2019, Geopolitical Monitor.

Alan Heil, “A Struggle for Minds in Closed Societies: a Radio Free Asia Update,”  August 12, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council.

“H.R. 2159: Public Diplomacy Modernization Act of 2019,”  April 9, 2019,

“H.R. 3571: City and State Diplomacy Act,”  June 27, 2019,

Dan Hurley, “Was It An Invisible Attack on U.S. Diplomats or Something Stranger,”   May 15, 2019, The New York Times Magazine.

Lynda Jessup, “Cultural Diplomacy: Bridging the Study-Practice Gap,”  June 4, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Olga Krasnyak, “Strategizing Science Diplomacy,”  May 16, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Richard Lebaron and Sarah Aljishi, “The Decline of MENA Students Coming to the United States: Why That’s a Problem,”  June 13, 2019, Atlantic Council.

Ilan Manor, “How America Uses Instagram to Indict Iran,”  July 5, 2019, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.

Jacob McCarty, “Cities Are The Future: We Need To Coordinate Their International Diplomacy,”  July 29, 2019, The Hill.

Tom McTague and Prashant Rao, “Leaks Are Changing How Diplomats Talk,”  July 18, 2019, The Atlantic.

Carol Morello, “Some U.S. Embassies Still Hoisting Rainbow Flags Despite Advisory From Washington,”  June 8, 2019, The Washington Post.

Matias J. Ocner and Nora Gamez Torres, “Doctors Found Changes in the Brains of Diplomats Allegedly Attacked in Havana,”  July 23, 2019, The Miami Herald.

Chuck Park, “I Can No Longer Justify Being a Part of Trump’s ‘Complacent State.’ So I’m Resigning,”  August 8, 2019, The Washington Post.

James Pamment, “Sports Stars & Soft Power: New Takes on Sports Diplomacy,”  April 13, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; “Special Issue: Sports Diplomacy,” September 2019, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Champa Patel, “Embrace Soft Power (But Recognize Its Limits),”  June 12, 2019, Chatham House.

“Rethinking America’s Approach to the World,”  August 18, 2019, Editorial, The New York Times.

Kori N. Schake and Brent McGurk, “Compete With China? Support a GI Bill for Diplomacy,”  May 13, 2019, The Washington Post.

Rod Schoonover, “The White House Blocked My Report on Climate Change and National Security,”  July 30, 2019, The New York Times.

Lara Seligman, “US Military Slashes Foreign-Language Training: The Cut To Immersion Programs Comes As the Pentagon Redirects Resources To Trump’s Border Wall and Reduces America’s Troop Presence Overseas,”  May 13, 2019, Foreign Policy.

Neely Tucker, “Inquiring Minds: Ryan Semmes (Re journals of US diplomat Benjamin Moran, 1853-1874),”  June 17, 2019, Library of Congress Blog; “Benjamin Moran Journals, 1851-1875,”  Library of Congress Manuscript/Mixed Formats (Collection).

Elizabeth Warren, “Revitalizing Diplomacy: A 21st Century Foreign Service,”  June 28, 2019; Rishka Dugyala, “How Elizabeth Warren Would Bolster US Diplomacy,”  June 28, 2019, Politico.

Huizhong Wu, “Move Over Trump: China’s Tweeting Diplomats Open Fresh Front in Propaganda Fight,”  July 16, 2019, Reuters.

Gem From The Past  

Thomas Carothers, Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve, (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1999).  Carothers, the Carnegie Endowment’s Vice-President for Studies, has long been a leading authority on democracy promotion, human rights, and governance.  As the above reading list shows, democratization today faces strong “ill winds” in a liberal world order now under assault from creeping authoritarianism and viral strains of populism grounded in nativism and grievance politics.  Two decades ago, Aiding Democracy Abroad was a landmark addition to Carothers’ many books and articles that combine penetrating arms-length analysis with deep knowledge of the work of US practitioners (notably USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, and its grantees) and democracy practitioners abroad.  Its insights, developed at the crest of democracy’s so-called “third wave,” still illuminate.  Carothers steers a path between democratization’s skeptics and uncritical enthusiasts.  He examines historical patterns and the strategies, tools, and methods used by government and civil society practitioners.  Case studies support his evidence-based assessments of conceptual shortcomings and lessons learned from hands-on experience.  Democratization’s context has changed substantially, but Carothers’s persuasive call for democratizers to pay heed to power and interests – from perspectives “based on idealistic aspirations tempered by realistic considerations” – remains highly relevant.

Issue #96

Alison Baily, “Teaching for Peace: Education in Conflict and Recovery,” British Council, 2019.  This 25-page report by the British Council’s Alison Baily examines challenges facing international education providers, governments supporting international development, national governments in fragile and conflict-affected states, and international NGOs.  The report is based on research the Council commissioned from the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queens University Belfast.  Her findings and recommendations address ways in which education can help with long-term recovery from effects of lost years of education, displaced workers, psychological trauma, and divisions within communities.  The full report can be downloaded from the link.
Bianca Baumler, “EU Public Diplomacy: Adapting to an Ever-Changing World,”  CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Paper 2, April 2019.  Baumler (EU consultant and former EU communications officer in Syria and Ukraine) examines reputational, structural, and procedural challenges in the European Union’s public diplomacy.  Her paper focuses on the EU’s Global Strategy; tools and methods of the European External Action Service; case studies of the EU’s public diplomacy in Ukraine, Indonesia, and Hong Kong; social media analytics and qualitative evaluation alternatives; and the value of outsourcing some public diplomacy work to public relations and communications professionals.  She concludes with discussion of eight recommendations for diplomacy practitioners.  
William J. Burns, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, (Random House, 2019).  Retired Ambassador Burns (Carnegie Endowment) provides an account of US diplomacy abroad and diplomatic politics in Washington during his tenure as one of the most distinguished and consequential career diplomats of his generation.  The strengths of this book are considerable: Burns’ firsthand insights into the diplomacy and off-stage politics of the first Gulf War, the Iraq war decision and its consequences, Putin’s rise to power, the Arab Spring and its aftermath, Obama’s Libya and Syria policies, secret negotiations with Iranian diplomats in Oman on Iran’s nuclear program, and his views on a strategy after President Trump’s “nasty brew of belligerent unilateralism, mercantilism, and unreconstructed nationalism.”  Burns also provides compelling arguments for resisting overreliance on military tools and reinvention of US diplomacy.  He calls for updated skills and sharper focus on 21st century issues (technology, economics, energy, and climate) and for serious institutional changes in the State Department’s rigid personnel systems, lumbering deliberative processes, risk aversion, and fortress embassies.  But readers will look in vain for more than trace mentions of diplomacy’s public dimension, the impact of social media, and tools and methods required to engage publics as well as governments.  Burns’ diplomacy truly is “back channel,” which stands in contrast to the memoirs and practices of other top diplomats of his generation (Christopher Hill, Richard Holbrooke, Nicholas Burns, Robert Ford, Michael McFaul, Wendy Sherman, Christopher Stevens, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry).  
“The Collaboratory Launches 22.33 – A Podcast of Life Changing Stories,”  Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), US Department of State.  22.33 is a weekly podcast of first person stories of foreign and American participants in ECA-sponsored international exchanges.  ECA’s intent is to feature narratives that “illustrate the full range of growth, adventure, and discomfort which goes into an international exchange.”  The podcast’s name, 22.33, is taken from legislation signed by President John F. Kennedy that established ECA.  New episodes are released on Fridays and are available on major podcast platforms.  Photos, podcast transcripts, a web player for each episode, and an archive of previous episodes, and additional information can be found on ECA’s podcast homepage.
William E. Connolly, Aspirational Fascism: The Struggle for Multifaceted Democracy Under Trumpism, (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).  This slim “preliminary” study, Connolly tells us, was written as a three-part “genealogy of aspirational fascism” after his spring 2017 Johns Hopkins University graduate seminar on “What Was/Is Fascism.”  Chapter 1 compares the rhetorical styles of the early Hitler and Donald Trump.  Apples and oranges, yes, but he sees value in “highlighting differences across partial affinities.”  Connolly looks at “big lie scenarios” and commonalities in their appreciation of the “power of public speeches to infect and move a large populace primed to listen by historical shocks, resentments, grievances, and embodied dispositions.” Chapter 2 compares body languages and demeanor, forms of affective communication, and modes of contagion within and below linguistic practice – gesture, posture, facial expression, hand movements, jaw settings, habits of eye contact, and styles of walking. In Chapter 3, Connolly argues the most effective antidote is a multifaceted pluralism characterized by open democratic elections and a strong ethos of egalitarianism related to income, job security, education prospects, retirement opportunity, and cultural dignity.
Nicholas J. Cull, Public Diplomacy: Foundations for Global Engagement in the Digital Age, (Polity, 2019).  There is substance of considerable value in this book.  Nick Cull (University of Southern California), public diplomacy’s premier historian, draws on years of teaching and research to provide what he calls “a single foundational text for diplomat students and student diplomats.” In imaginative prose he frames concepts, explains practitioners’ tools and methods, and offers much to ponder and debate.  Cull has broadened his foundational template (listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, exchange diplomacy, and international broadcasting) to include nation branding and partnership, key elements that he argues have emerged from “the new public diplomacy.”  He provides abundant empirical evidence for these ideas from a broad range of countries and three fully developed historical case studies: Britain in World War II, the US in the Cold War, and the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa. Digital approaches and social media appear throughout as important issues and tools to be integrated in an understanding of diplomacy, not treated in isolation.  He concludes with a discussion of today’s hot issue, “weaponized information.”  Cull’s historical arc is long, but his most absorbing formulations turn on the central questions and conversations of today’s scholars and practitioners. We learn a great deal from his analysis, but we are left also with much still to discuss about public diplomacy, new public diplomacy, global engagement, and what is now an integral public dimension of diplomacy.  See also CPD’s “Meet the Author.”
Gijs de Vries, “Cultural Freedom in European Foreign Policy,” Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart, Germany, 2019.  In this 110-page report, de Vries (London School of Economics and Political Science) calls for a European cultural response to the challenges confronting Europe’s cultural identity and the liberal international order.  His analysis of the potential and limitations of an emerging EU cultural diplomacy strategy centers on three questions.  (1) How to distinguish conceptually and operationally “between cultural relations and public diplomacy on the one hand and propaganda on the other?”  (2) How to avoid neo-colonialism?  (3) How to encourage EU governments, “prone to national showcasing,” to work together?  He argues for a multi-pronged European cultural approach: combined hard and soft power responses to authoritarian attacks on democracy; greater support for international humanitarian regimes, academic freedom, and independent journalism; legislation to address disinformation and risks to freedom of expression in policies that oblige social media companies to act as gatekeepers; integration of culture in sustainable development policies; and stronger EU policies and funding for citizenship, education and culture.  Cultural diplomacy’s traditional model, “with its dominant emphasis on displaying national ‘cultural’ achievements, is no longer fit for purpose,” de Vries argues.  It must be replaced by a strategy that makes cultural freedom a priority and integrates national and European initiatives.
Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society. Welcome Diplomatica – a new interdisciplinary academic journal that announces its intent to examine “the broad range of work across the social sciences and the humanities that takes diplomacy as its focus of investigation.”  Editors-in-Chief are Giles Scott-Smith (Leiden University) and Kenneth Weisbrode (Bilkent University).  The Book Review Editor is Haakon Ikonomou (University of Copenhagen).  Diplomatica’s editorial board includes a diverse array of leading scholars in diplomatic history and diplomatic studies.  The journal, published by Brill, welcomes submissions, and information on its editorial policies and broad range of interests can be found on its website. Individuals can sign up online for free access to Diplomaticathrough December 31, 2020.
Douglas Kane,  Our Politics: Reflections on a Political Life, (Southern Illinois University Press, 2019).  At a glance this book is not an obvious fit for a diplomacy reading list. Kane is a former journalist, staff assistant to the governor of Illinois, Illinois state representative, member of Wisconsin’s Buffalo County Board of Supervisors, and spouse of a three-term Wisconsin state senator.  But lessons learned bridging what he calls “that three foot gap” in the politics of America’s upper mid-West are surprisingly relevant to what diplomats have long called the “last three feet” of public diplomacy.  This is a clear, story-based account of what it means to act politically and locally.  Kane offers pragmatic advice on authenticity, audience concerns, traditional and social media, the importance of stories and actions, building coalitions, coping with pressure, handling complex issues with scarce time and knowledge, finding ways to hold to the ideal and the real.  Along the way he channels gems from Saul Alinsky, Edmund Burke, Vaclav Havel, Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Tony Judt, Frantz Fanon, Walter Lippmann, John Stuart Mill, and Niccolo Machiavelli. Contexts differ, but the norms, skills, and tools of gifted politicians are much the same as those of street savvy diplomats taking personal and professional risks beyond the confines of fortress embassies.
Jan Melissen and Jian Wang, eds., “Special Issue: Debating Public Diplomacy: Now and Next,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy,Volume 14 (2019), Issue 1-2 (April 2019).Melissen (Leiden University, HJD Co-editor) and Wang (USC Center for Public Diplomacy) have compiled debate-focused essays by leading and rising scholars on trends driving public diplomacy study and practice.  The editors called for the essays to be shorter, forward-looking, and more argumentative than research papers, yet they are significant contributions to scholarship.  Teachers and students will find them useful in university classes and foreign ministry training courses.  See also “Hague Journal Special Issue Published,” CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., (Harvard University), “Soft Power and Public Diplomacy Revisited”
Andrew F. Cooper, (University of Waterloo, Canada), “Adapting Public Diplomacy to the Populist Challenge”
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff, (George Washington University), “Diasporas and Public Diplomacy: Distinctions and Future Prospects”
Corneliu Bjola, Jennifer Cassidy, and Ilan Manor (University of Oxford), “Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age”
Constance Duncombe, (Monash University, Australia), “Digital Diplomacy: Emotion and Identity in the Public Realm”
Geoffrey Wiseman (Australian National University), “Public Diplomacy and Hostile Nations”
Philip Seib, (University of Southern California), “US Public Diplomacy and the Terrorism Challenge”
Kejin Zhao, (Tsinghua University, China) “The China Model of Public Diplomacy and Its Future”
Caitlin Byrne, (Griffith University, Australia), “Political Leaders and Public Diplomacy in the Contested Indo-Pacific”
George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, (Knopf, 2019).  As Walter Isaacson puts it, what Atlantic staff writer and acclaimed journalist George Packer achieves is not only a superb 608-page biography of a larger than life diplomat but also a “sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy.” Richard Holbrooke began his career as a dissenting Foreign Service Officer in Vietnam.  He went on to help normalize US relations with China, serve as ambassador to a reunited Germany and the UN, famously negotiate the Dayton peace agreement ending the war in Bosnia, struggle unsuccessfully to end the war in Afghanistan, and fail in his life-long ambition to become Secretary of State.  Packer tells countless new and telling stories about this talented and most public of diplomats – brilliant, egotistical, idealistic, media-savvy, pragmatic, flawed, duplicitous, bullying, seducing, ambitious, complex, intellectually honest, tireless, articulate, admired, and detested.  Plucked from pages at random.  “Holbrooke’s diplomacy was theater for mortal stakes.” When assailed by reporters, he “would pause to give them a spontaneous perfectly crafted paragraph of non-news, careful to keep expectations low.”  His policy of no leaks had an exception – those journalists “whose prominence and sympathy with his views gained them access to the inside story.” Packer’s account is unlikely to be required reading in foreign ministry tradecraft courses, but no aspiring or serving diplomat should miss it.  See also, George Packer, “The Longest Wars: Richard Holbrooke and the Decline of American Power,” Foreign Affairs,May/June 2019, 46-68.
“Resist: Counter-Disinformation Toolkit,” Government Communication Service, United Kingdom, April 2019.  Written by diplomacy and communications scholar James Pamment and his team at Lund University, this 69-page toolkit, published by the UK government, seeks to help public sector communication professionals prevent the spread of disinformation.  The toolkit defines disinformation and the threats it poses to UK society, UK national interests, and democratic values. Presented with clear language and graphics, the report provides a guide to recognizing disinformation, situational analysis, strategic communication, early warning and digital monitoring, impact analysis, and tracking outcomes.  The authors welcome comments, questions, and suggestions for revision.  See also Jonathan Owen, “Exclusive: Government to Train Public Sector Comms Troops for Battle in Escalating Disinformation War,”  PR Week,April 10, 2019.
Walter R. Roberts Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, George Washington University.  Walter R. Roberts (1916-2014) was a gifted diplomat, international broadcaster, teacher, and scholar known especially for his contributions to the practice and understanding of US public diplomacy in the 20th century. These papers primarily document his “second career” following his retirement from diplomatic service in 1973. They include his correspondence with US government officials, diplomats, lawmakers, educators, journalists, and civil society activists; his records of the Panel on International Information, Education and Cultural Relations (“Stanton Panel”); his exceptional collection of presidential commission reports and congressional hearings on public diplomacy; his published and unpublished writings; correspondence, research files, writings, and photographs documenting his professional associations with George Washington University and Georgetown University; and records documenting activities of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the Public Diplomacy Foundation, and the Public Diplomacy Council during the years he held leadership positions in these organizations. The collection also contains German language scripts of his broadcasts in the Austrian Unit of the Voice of America, 1946-1950.  My finding aid to the papers is linked to the site.
“Targeted Inspection of the Governance of the United States Agency for Global Media,”  Office of Inspection, US Department of State, ISP-IB-19-22.  State’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) examined the US Agency for Global Media’s (USAWG) governance structure and mandate instituted in 2015 and the Agency’s strategic direction and communication, program implementation, and resource management.  The OIG made five recommendations to improve executive direction and supervision, information and decision management, programming, internal controls, and workforce issues.  USAGM concurred in the recommendations; OIG considered them resolved.
Judith Tinnes, compiler, “Bibliography: Terrorism and the Media (including the Internet), (part 4),”  Perspectives on Terrorism,Volume 13, Issue 2.  In this comprehensive bibliography, Tinnes (Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information) has compiled journal articles, book chapters, books, edited collections, theses, grey literature, and other literature on terrorism and the media. Key words are bibliography, resources, literature, media, Internet, social media, terrorism, electronic jihad, cyberterrorism, narratives, and counter-narratives. Tinnes prioritizes recent publications and where possible uses freely available versions of content in subscription-based publications. Websites were last visited on March 3, 2019.  Links to earlier bibliographies in Parts 1-3 are included. 
Geoffrey Wiseman, “Public Diplomacy and Hostile Nations,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy,14 (2019), 134-153.  In this important article, Wiseman (Australian National University) continues to show how integrating theory and practice can illuminate our understanding of diplomacy’s public dimension.  In the context of practice, he examines democracies’ past and present uses of public diplomacy in relations with hostile states, constructed analytically as a binary choice between isolate or engage.  He considers five challenges democracies need to address: “(1) evaluating public diplomacy’s wider theoretical, or strategic, relevance; (2) mitigating the isolate-or-engage dilemma; (3) avoiding the stigma of propaganda; (4) managing rising democratic expectations; and (5) settling on a role for governments in public diplomacy.”  He then proposes several hypotheses.  For practitioners, he argues diplomatic engagement is generally better than isolation, good public diplomacy cannot compensate for bad policy, democracies’ brands must resemble reality, and engagement should seek a long-term dialogue of some kind.  For scholars, he uses this empirical construct to explore “public diplomacy’s theory challenge.”  He contends that, although public diplomacy is not a theory, diplomacy more broadly is a theory, drawing on Paul Sharp, because it helps us describe, explain, and predict much that happens in world politics, and because it provides prescriptive norms for conflict management. Wiseman offers conceptually grounded propositions about public diplomacy and soft power, recent discourse on “sharp power,” a “propaganda challenge,” and a “democracies ascendant” rising-expectations challenge. Particularly instructive is the expansion of his ideas on “polylateral diplomacy” and his analytical framework of public diplomacy’s “ideal types.”  He argues that diplomacy’s future has an “omnilateral dimension,” which he defines, that builds on “polylateralism.  Wiseman’s closely reasoned views deal with hard questions in theory and practice.  They deserve attention and debate.
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Kadir Jun Ayhan, “Let’s Delineate the Boundaries of Public Diplomacy,”  March 11, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Alison Baily, “Cultural Evolution, Democracy, and Freedom,”  March 2019, British Council.
Martha Bayles, “Sharp Power and Stock Villains,” March 15, 2019, The American Interest.
William J. Burns, “The Lost Art of American Diplomacy: Can the State Department Be Saved,”  March 27, 2019, Foreign Affairs.
Nicholas J. Cull, “Nick Cull Answers More Questions on Propaganda,”  April 22, 2019, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Shawn Dorman, “The Diplomacy Imperative: A Q&A With William J. Burns,”  May 2019, The Foreign Service Journal.
Kim Andrew Elliott, “The USAGM Audience Increase: Less Startling Than Meets the Eye,”  March 27, 2019; Shawn Powers, “USAGM’s Global Reach: More Than Meets the Eye,”  April 3, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Carol Morello, “On the Road to Swagger with Mike Pompeo: A Year Defending Trump’s Worldview,”  April 25, 2019, The Washington Post.
Amie Ferris-Rotman, “In Kabul, Russia Has a New Cultural Center on the Site of Its Soviet Predecessor,”  April 15, 2019, The Washington Post.
Nina Hachigian, “Cities Will Determine the Future of Diplomacy,”  April 16, 2019, Foreign Policy.
Mariami Khatiashvili, “Jazz Ambassadors: An Instrument of Public Diplomacy,”  May 2, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Joseph S. Nye, “American Soft Power in the Age of Trump,”  May 6, 2019, Project Syndicate.
Christopher Sabatini, “The Senate is Hollowing Out the United States’ Diplomatic Corps,”  March 22, 2019, Foreign Policy.
Pawel Surowiec and Chris Miles, “Public Diplomacy Imploded: Populist Cultural Strategies for the Digital Age,”  Part one, March 21, 2019; 
Teaching Position at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.  Australian National University seeks early-career diplomacy scholar with strong research interests in negotiation theory and practice for a full time tenure-track position. 
Gems From The Past 
Jeffrey K. Tulis, The Rhetorical Presidency, (Princeton University Press, first edition, 1987; published with a new foreword by Russell Muirhead and new afterword by the author, 2017, 2018).  The central argument of Jeffrey K. Tulis’ (University of Texas, Austin) classic study is that US presidents before Woodrow Wilson felt constrained by constitutional forms on how they acted and communicated.  Codes of propriety and conceptions of statesmanship mattered.  Policy speeches were rare.  Written communication between branches of government was the norm.  Wilson’s “rhetorical presidency” marked a fundamentally transformative turn to presidents who used rhetoric as a special case of executive power.  They used mass communication technologies (loudspeakers, radio, television) and managed attention to image and self-presentation, not to overturn the Constitution, but to break free from constitutional formalities in order to shape and respond to popular mandates.  Rhetorical presidents after Wilson sought to make the constitutional order work – on behalf of public interests – through forms of governance and diplomacy that appealed directly to the people.  Until Donald Trump.  In his afterword, Tulis closes with reflections on a demagogic president armed with Twitter who “illustrates the worst aspects of the rhetorical presidency undisciplined by countervailing constitutional practices and norms.” Twitter stands separate from earlier technologies of rhetorical presidents.  Constitutionally informed presidents might use Twitter sparingly Tulis argues.  But in Trump’s case, “Twitter becomes an extension of his personality, posing a serious problem for foreign affairs, international stability, financial markets, economic stability, and domestic tranquility.”

Issue #95

Katherine A. Brown, Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan, (Oxford University Press, 2019).  In this excellent and engaging book, grounded in years of interviews with journalists and political actors in Afghanistan and the US, Katherine Brown (Global Ties U.S., Georgetown University) achieves several objectives.  First, she examines narratives and framing of modern Afghanistan in the journalism of US and Afghan news media.  Her empirical findings are shaped by two strands in communications studies – (1) literature on indexing, agenda setting, framing, conflict reporting, and related concepts; and (2) studies on national bias and ethnocentrism.  Second, she devotes considerable attention to habits and emotional conflicts of Afghan journalists and the sociology of how journalism has developed in Afghanistan since its news media became independent in 2001.  Her analysis of journalism in each nation is set in the context of how their news media function in relation to national priorities and international politics, the strategies of US national security actors, and circumstances shaped by violence, politics, and social change in Afghanistan.  In the concluding chapter, Brown turns to what she calls “the diplomatic dimension in news.”  She argues that journalists, who usually maintain distance from political agendas at home, do not disengage from their national identities abroad.  Nationalism, emotional attachments, and domestic reporting priorities lead journalists to “play the role of representatives, or de facto diplomats, for their nations.” “Journalists are actors in international diplomacy, mediating communications between governments and publics, and between governments and governments.”  It is a complex argument worthy of reflection, debate, and another book.
William J. Burns, “How to Save the Power of Diplomacy,” March 8, 2019, The New York Times.  Ambassador (ret.) Burns (Carnegie Endowment, former Deputy Secretary of State) makes a compelling case for fundamental transformation in US diplomacy.  He advocates three imperatives: recapture the fundamentals of diplomatic tradecraft, build modern capabilities and strip down bureaucracy, and construct a new compact between government and citizens about America’s role in the world and the utility of diplomacy.  The roots of “America’s diplomatic decay” run deep, and “a cure will involve more than just seeing the back of Donald Trump.”
Kwang-jin Choi, The Republic of Korea’s Public Diplomacy Strategy: History and Current Status, CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, January 2019.  Choi (Head, Center for People Diplomacy, ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs) provides a practitioner’s account of South Korea’s public diplomacy. His historical survey begins with episodic public diplomacy activities in the 19th century followed by an increasingly broad range of press and cultural activities in the decades after World War II and the Korean War.  South Korea adopted the term public diplomacy in 2010.  It reorganized activities in a Public Diplomacy and Cultural Affairs Bureau within its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and passed a Public Diplomacy Act. (Appendices contain the text of the Act and its Enforcement Decree.)  Choi’s paper discusses South Korea’s definition of public diplomacy, organizational and planning issues, and public diplomacy strategy.
Andrew F. Cooper and Jérémie Cornut, “The Changing Practices of Frontline Diplomacy: New Directions for Inquiry,” Review of International Studies(2018).  In this cutting edge article, Cooper (University of Waterloo, Canada) and Cornut (Simon Fraser University, Canada) focus on what diplomatic practitioners do “in the field.”  Their aim is to steer IR and diplomacy studies away from dominant attention to what goes on in headquarters and national capitals toward a perspective that, building on the ideas of Paul Sharp and Geoffrey Wiseman, advances a “conviction that the activities of ‘professional strangers’ and ‘mediators’ posted abroad are constitutive of international politics.”  Cooper and Cornut begin with a discussion of practice-based theory’s contributions (empirical depth, importance of agency, utility of complex, problem driven inquiry).  They argue for expanding the practice turn in IR theory to embrace what analysis of frontline diplomacy can tell us about current changes in both international politics and diplomatic practice.  Taking research in these directions calls for exploration of important questions raised by Wiseman’s illuminating concept of polylateralism and its inclusion of non-state actors in diplomatic interactions.  The article develops their claims through references to studies by others that include the 2011 intervention in Libya, multilateral diplomacy at G-8 summits and the 1970s Helsinki Conference, and relief efforts in Somalia and Haiti.  They conclude with two case studies of innovations in frontline practices: actions of Sherpas in G-20 summits following the 2008 financial crisis and US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul’s use of Twitter.  Citations throughout the article of relevant literature in current diplomacy studies strengthen its value.
Andrew F. Cooper, “U.S. Public Diplomacy and Sports Stars: Mobilizing African-American Athletes as Goodwill Ambassadors from the Cold War to an Uncertain Future,” Place Branding and Public Diplomacy,December 2018.  Cooper (University of Waterloo, Canada and the author of Celebrity Diplomacy) asserts the United States has a deep pool of “star athletes and African-American athletes more specifically” who can be deployed in its public diplomacy on the basis of choices from a spectrum of risk-averse and risk-oriented strategies.  His article examines US Cold War and post Cold War “goodwill ambassador” programs and compares their “conformist style” with the potential for gains and risks in strategy choices going forward.  Among the risks Cooper identifies are athletes’ reluctance to participate without commercial endorsement, their aversion to being co-opted, and downsides of participation in an era of Trump administration populism and racial polarization.  While these risks will likely preclude participation by many athletes in such initiatives in the current environment, he points to their potential rewards if and when conditions in the future are more amenable.
Democracy Promotion in a Challenging World, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, US House of Representatives, Serial No. 115-142, June 14, 2018.  The Committee’s 117-page transcript contains statements by Chairman Edward Royce; Ranking member Eliot Engel; Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy; Daniel Twining, President International Republican Institute, and Kenneth Wollack, President, International Democratic Institute; and additional materials submitted for the record.  The hearing addressed challenges facing the democratization activities of the Endowment and the political party institutes, global prospects for democratic resilience and authoritarian vulnerability, issues in recruiting next generation democratizers, the Endowment’s report on Sharp Power, and related matters.
Diana Ingenhoff, Candace White, Alexander Buhmann, and Spiro Kiousis, eds., Bridging Disciplinary Perspectives of Country Image, Reputation, Brand, and Identity, (Routledge, 2019).  Ingenhoff (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), White (University of Tennessee), Buhmann (BI Norwegian Business School), and Kiousis (University of Florida) divide the 16 essays in this handbook on perceptions of countries and their effects into four categories: business studies, social psychology, sociology and political science, and communication studies.  Their interdisciplinary and multi-national approach connects conceptual constructs of country identity, branding, reputation, and image with applied knowledge for practitioners in such fields as public diplomacy, international marketing, and corporate advocacy.  Issues include the strengths and limitations of country brand indexes, country reputation and global sport, “global rage” in the Brexit and Trump era, mediated public diplomacy theory building, recent research on relational and nation branding approaches in public diplomacy, and social media platforms for the study and practice of brand communities.  Essays of particular interest to diplomacy and communications scholars and practitioners include:
Henrik Merkelson (Lund University, Sweden) and Rasmus Kjærgaard Rasmussen (Roskilde University, Denmark), “Evaluation of Nation Brand Indexes.”
Tobias Werron (Bielefeld University, Germany), “The Global Construction of National Reputation.”
Frank Louis Rusciano (Rider University, New Jersey), “World Opinion, Country Identity, and Country Images.”
Tianduo Zhang (University of Florida) and Guy J. Golan (University of South Florida), “Mediated Public Diplomacy as a Function of Government Strategic Issue Management.”
Di Wu (American University) and Jian Wang (University of Southern California), “Country Image in Public Diplomacy: From Messages to Relationships.”
Wayne Wanta (University of Florida), “Media Influences on the Public’s Perceptions of Countries: Agenda-Setting and International News.”
Efe Sevin (Reinhardt University, Georgia, USA), “Talking at Audiences: Networking and Networks in Country Images.”
Diana Ingenhoff, Tianduo Zhang, Alexander Buhmann, Candace White, and Spiro Kiousis, “Analyzing Value Drivers and Effects of 4D-Country Images on Stakeholders’ Behavior Across Three Different Cultures.”
Jill Lepore, “A New Americanism: Why America Needs a National Story,” Foreign Affairs,March/April, 2019, 10-19.  Lepore (Harvard University, The New Yorker, and author of These Truths: A History of the United States) makes the compelling and provocative argument that when American historians “stop trying to write a common history for a people, nationalism doesn’t die.”  Instead they open the door to charlatans and tyrants who offer myths, prejudices, and hatreds that allow dangerous versions of American nationalism to take hold.  Her brief article is first a powerful critique of an American historical profession that in the past half century has produced excellent scholarship on social groups and global history, but has stopped trying to write a common history for a people.  She supports her claim with threads drawn from These Truths, her own recent attempt at writing national history.  Her tapestry – inspired by the sweeping narrative of 20th century historian Carl Degler and the composite nationalism of Frederick Douglass – places race, slavery, segregation, liberty, rights, revolution, freedom, and equality at the center of a common account.  Writing national history creates problems, Lepore concedes. “But not writing national history creates more problems, and these problems are worse.”  It paves the way for “nationalists” who say they can “make America great again.”
Ilan Manor, The Digitalization of Public Diplomacy,  (Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy, 2019).  Oxford University’s Ilan Manor, a leader in next generation diplomacy scholarship, sets a very high standard in this book.  He builds on a foundational comparison of 20th century public diplomacy and “new public diplomacy,” which he characterizes as the ascendancy of a global media ecology, the rise of “a digital society,” two-way information flows between individuals and groups, and new methods in diplomatic practice that emphasize dialogue and relationship models.  His thesis: digitalization of public diplomacy “should be conceptualized as a long term process in which digital technologies influence the norms, values, working routines and structures of diplomatic institutions, as well as the self-narratives or metaphors diplomats employ to conceptualize their craft.”  Manor develops this claim through: (1) construction of his conceptual framework for understanding the influence of digital technologies; (2) analysis of the norms, values, and logic of digital society as a precursor to understanding digitalization of public diplomacy; and (3) detailed examination of the experiences of foreign affairs ministries worldwide: Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, India, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Palestine, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Sweden, Turkey, the EU, the Netherlands, the UK, Uganda, the US, and New Zealand.  Teachers will find the book essential reading for students; it is written with flair and contains extensive references and e-book links to online material.  Practitioners will benefit from its analysis and empirical evidence.  Scholars will discover much to agree with and ponder. They will also find grounds for spirited discourse, including its treatment of public diplomacy as an independent category of analysis and its hard binary between traditional and “new” public diplomacy.  This is a serious and important book, a landmark in diplomacy studies.
Ilan Manor and Rhys Crilley, “Visually Framing the Gaza War of 2014: The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter,”  Media, War & Conflict,Vol. 11(4), 2018, 369-391.  Manor (University of Oxford) and Crilley (The Open University, UK) build on the work of Robert Entman and others to extend framing theory to social media and diplomacy in war.  They argue there are three gaps in framing theory in the context of modern armed conflict: inadequate understanding of how foreign ministries use social media to frame conflict, a gap in understanding the relationship between narratives and frames, and insufficient understanding of how visual media fit into foreign ministry framing and narrating conflict on social media.  Their conceptual arguments are developed in a case study of 795 tweets published by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its digital diplomacy during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
Christopher Paul, Colin P. Clarke, Bonnie L. Triezenberg, David Manheim, Bradley Wilson, Improving C2 and Situational Awareness for Operations in and Through the Information Environment, RAND Corporation, 2018.  In this 110-page report, Paul and his RAND colleagues focus on ways “to improve integration of information operations and information considerations more broadly in military operations in and through” the information environment.  As with many RAND reports on Defense Department (DoD) issues, there are significant implications for actors in diplomacy and civil society.  The report examines two basic questions.  How should DoD conceptualized “command and control” (C2) and situational awareness of the information environment?  And how should DoD organize at the geographic combatant command level to maintain C2 and situational awareness?  Issues discussed include information operations, the meaning of influence, blending information and physical power, organizational alternatives, knowledge management, recommendations for practitioners’ training and operations, lessons from adversaries, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous warfare.
Julie Ray, “Image of U.S. Leadership Now Poorer Than China’s,” Gallup, February 28, 2019.  Gallup’s Julie Ray summarizes highlights in Gallup’s recent survey of how people in more than 130 countries rated U.S. leadership in President Donald Trump’s second year in office.  (1) The “image of U.S. leadership is in poor shape, but its approval ratings [at 31% in 2018] are no longer in free fall.”  Gallup argues this implies doubts in Trump’s first year “about U.S. commitments abroad have taken root – and the unpredictability of the U.S. president is now somewhat expected.”  (2) Germany’s leadership ranking is first at 39%.  (3) China and Russia gained ground; China leads the U.S. at 34%, and Russia’s approval is at 30%.  Gallup contends this shift in “global soft power” may make it more difficult for the U.S. to counter their influence unless the Trump administration “can erase some of the doubts that U.S. partners have about its commitment.”   The full report, Rating World Leaders: The U.S. vs. Germany, China, and Russia2019 is available for download.
Shaun Riordan, Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online, (Polity, 2019).  Riordan (European Institute of International Studies and a former British diplomat) examines the need for cyber governance and rules, less in the context of much discussed threats, but through the lens of diplomacy.  He offers a fundamental distinction between digital diplomacy (use of digital tools to pursue diplomatic objectives) and cyber diplomacy (use of diplomatic tools and mindsets to manage problems of governance in cyberspace).  Key issues include negotiating regulations, mitigating conflict, conducting business in cyberspace, better understanding algorithms and intentions. Riordan’s goal is to make diplomacy and diplomats, who are “remarkably good at identifying intentions” through repeated face-to-face contact, essential to addressing important cyber policy and governance issues.  It’s time, he argues, “for diplomats to stop messing with social media and get back to the serious stuff.”
Daya Kishan Thussu, International Communication: Continuity and Change, (Bloomsbury Academic, 3rd edition, 2018).  Thussu (Tsinghua University, Beijing) updates his textbook on international media and communication with new information and analysis of technological, political, and economic changes during the decade since the second edition.  Trends include digitization and deregulation, global penetration of mobile internet, growth of global digital companies, the rise of China and India, empowered non-state actors, continued US dominance in entertainment media, and increasing news and other communication content from sources outside the West.  Thussu combines historical context, theoretical approaches, and teachable case studies in a wide-ranging treatment of the global communication infrastructure and global media.  Teaching aids include a chronology of international communication, a glossary of terms, a list of useful websites, and discussion questions for each chapter.
U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General (OIG), “Management Assistance Report: Use of Personal Social Media Accounts to Conduct Official Business,” February 2019.  The OIG’s report responds to allegations that some US ambassadors were violating Foreign Affairs Manual guidelines by posting original content regarding matters “of Departmental concern” on their personal social media accounts. Following a review of all such personal accounts it could locate, the inspectors found that most posts were reposted content from official accounts, “which does not violate guidelines.”  OIG found, however, that the Department’s guidelines lacked specificity and its definitions did not clearly distinguish between “official capacity” and “personal capacity.”  OIG also found that 20 ambassadors had posted content inconsistent with the guidelines regardless of how the Department’s policies were stated.  The report contains examples, an explanation of the social media regulations, and recommendations for change.  Overall, it places a useful spotlight on contested issues in digitized diplomacy.
US Government Accountability Office, “Department of State: Integrated Action Plan Could Enhance Efforts to Reduce Persistent Overseas Foreign Service Vacancies,” GAO-19-220, March 2019.  GAO reports that State Department data show persistent Foreign Service vacancies in overseas generalist and specialist positions based on benchmarks in 2008 (14%), 2011 (14%), and 2018 (13%).  The report summarizes views of overseas staff that vacancies increase workloads, contribute to stress and lower morale, limit reporting on political and economic issues, and increase vulnerability to cybersecurity attacks and other threats. GAO faults the State Department for its lack of an integrated plan for reducing these vacancies.  See also Robbie Gramer, “State Department Vacancies Increase Embassy Security Risks, Report Warns,”  March 7, 2019, Foreign Policy.
Stephen M. Walt, The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018).  Walt (Harvard University) gives us a provocative and penetrating critique of America’s foreign policy elites and institutions, leading voices, and their global strategy of a “liberal hegemony” guided by indispensable and benevolent US leadership during the past quarter century.  His argument.  (1) The liberal order (democracy, rule of law, religious and social tolerance, respect for human rights, economic openness, alliances, and global economic institutions) failed because it overestimated America’s ability to reshape other societies and underestimated the ability of weaker actors to counter US aims.  (2) America’s foreign policy elite is an inbred, conformist caste insulated from the consequences of the policies it promotes and at odds with the preferences of most Americans.  (3) Durable commitment to ‘liberal hegemony’ is sustained by inflating threats, exaggerating benefits of global leadership, concealing costs, and projecting eventual success.  (4) America’s political system does little to reward successes and penalize failures of foreign policy elites.  Walt is a reputable scholar and skilled debater.  His deeply researched account frames his claims with extensive supporting evidence, numerous exceptions, and nuanced interpretations that reflect the complexity of the subject matter.  So what about President Trump’s assault on elites and the liberal order?  Here Walt casts nuance aside. Trump’s incompetence, ignorance, chaotic management, toxic rhetoric, and foolish decisions provide “a textbook case for how not to fix U.S. foreign policy.”  Walt concludes by dealing with counter-arguments and his alternative grand strategy: offshore balancing and putting diplomacy center stage.  Military power, still important, should be a last resort rather than the first.  Emphasis on diplomacy will require major reforms to include ending heavy reliance on political appointees and extended vacancies, and a turn to well-funded professional development and education.  For a rejoinder and contrasting view, see Jake Sullivan, “More, Less, Or Different?” Foreign Affairs, January/February, 2019.
Michael Walzer, A Foreign Policy for the Left, (Yale University Press, 2018).  As the American left achieves greater visibility with prominent older (Bernie Sanders) and younger (Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez) voices shaping political discourse, a new book by one of the left’s leading public intellectuals takes aim at what’s missing.  Michael Walzer (Princeton, Institute for Advanced Study, emeritus) argues the left’s default position, an almost exclusive focus on creating a more just domestic society, is “a highly principled failure.” “For many of us, the only good foreign policy is a good domestic policy.”  In this compendium of updated and rewritten essays from Dissent, Walzer compiles his arguments against a reflexive avoidance of foreign engagement and for a politically effective and morally legitimate approach to global affairs.  Difficult questions addressed include:  Who should benefit from a redistributive internationalism? When should the left support and oppose the use of force?  How should a mostly secular left address religious revival?  How many interests, contrary to its own, should the US accommodate for the sake of global stability?  And why can’t the left accept an ambivalent relationship with American power, acknowledging it has good and bad effects?  Self described as “a very old leftist,” Walzer continues to stimulate needed debate.
Jay Wang and Sohaela Amiri, “Building a Robust Capacity Framework for U.S. City Diplomacy, USC Center on Public Diplomacy,” February 2019.  In this brief online paper, Wang and Amiri (University of Southern California) argue the ascending phenomenon of cities as subnational and “glocal” actors in diplomacy is not only evidence of new varieties of diplomatic practice, it also means “city diplomacy has now become essential for local communities to thrive in a globalized society.”  Their paper profiles ideas developed at a workshop hosted in 2018 by USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy with participants from 13 US cities including Los Angeles and New York City. They organize their takeaways in three categories: key functions (trade, consular issues, climate issues, countering terrorism, hosting special events); challenges (fragmented organizations, lack of coherent identity, limited resources); and building future city diplomacy practices (policy driven diplomacy, strengthened citizen support, better communication, networked concepts and practices, and better use of data).
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Corneliu Bjola, “The ‘Dark Side’ of Digital Diplomacy,”  January 22, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Halid Bulut, “Cultural Diplomacy Through Turkish Cinema,” January 28, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, “The Future of Diplomacy,”Moderated by Ambassador (ret.) Bill Burns, February 7, 2019, Video (approximately 80 minutes), Georgetown University.
Daniel R. DePetris, “Has the State Department Been Stripped of Its Swagger?”  January 27, 2019, The National Interest.
Amy Ebitz, “The Use of Military Diplomacy in Great Power Competition,”  February 12, 2019,  Brookings.
Robbie Gramer and Elias Groll, “With New Appointment, State Department Ramps Up War Against Foreign Propaganda,”  February 7, 2019, Foreign
Elias Groll and Robbie Gramer,  “New Bill Seeks to Energize American Cyberdiplomacy,”  January 24, 2019, Foreign
Alan Heil, “A New Era for US-Funded Global Media: Innovations Accelerate,”  March 8, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council.
Joe Johnson, “The Dark Matter of Public Diplomacy,”  March 5, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council.
Ilan Manor, “In Digital Diplomacy, Hope Travels Further Than Hate,”  February 25, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Derek Moscato, “Mediating the Polar Silk Road: The Public Diplomacy of China’s Arctice Policy White Paper,”  January 14, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Joseph S. Nye, “Rules of the Cyber Road for America and Russia,”  March 5, 2019; “Is the Populist Tide Retreating?”  February 4, 2019, Project Syndicate.
Shaun Riordan, “Treating Facebook as a Geopolitical Actor,”  February 18, 2019, BideDao.
Marie Royce, “Exchange Programs Pay Off For Americans,”  Foreign Service Journal,January/February 2019, 56-58.
Mattathias Schwartz, “Mike Pompeo’s Mission: Clean Up Trump’s Messes,” February 26, 2019, The New York Times Magazine.
Philip Seib, “The Realities of Terrorism’s Resilience,” February 22, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Reid Standish and Robbie Gramer, “U.S. Cancels Journalist’s Award Over Her Criticism of Trump,”  March 7, 2019, Foreign
Pamela Starr and Jeffrey Phillips, “Public Diplomacy – The Forgotten But Essential Element in U.S.-Mexico Relations,”  February 19, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Harry Stevens, “U.S. Ambassadors Have Become Less Qualified Under Trump,”  February 20, 2019, Axios.
Darius Wainwright, “Soft Power: Ever Present in U.S.-Iran Relations,”  March 4, 2019, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Vivian S. Walker, “Say It With Statues: Brick and Mortar Revisionism in Orban’s Hungary,”  February 8, 2019, War on the Rocks.
Lynne Weil, “Storming Capitol Hill to Support PD,”  March 4, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council.
David A. Wemer, “How to Fight Disinformation While Preserving Free Speech,”  March 4, 2019, Atlantic Council.
Gems From The Past 
Hannah Arendt, “Lying in Politics: Reflections on the Pentagon Papers,”  in Crises of the Republic, (A Harvest Book, 1969), 3-47 and “Truth and Politics,” originally published in The New Yorker, February 25, 1967.  Massive quantitative change yields qualitative difference as Donald Trump’s lies demonstrate.  In this regard he is sui generis.  There is no linear progression in the use of deception to achieve political ends from Plato’s cave allegory to the Pentagon papers released by Daniel Ellsberg to America’s current president.  Nevertheless, Hannah Arendt’s reflections on truth and politics a half-century ago are relevant in thinking about today’s era of “alternative facts.” Ellsberg’s idea of “internal self-deception,” she wrote, was not a process that began with deception and ended with self-deception.  Rather, “The deceivers started with self-deception.”  They “lived in a defactualized world that made self-deception easy.”  Arendt also understood that “Freedom of opinion is a farce unless factual information is guaranteed and the facts themselves are not in dispute.”   “The result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth,” she maintained, “is not that the lies will now be accepted as truth and the truth defamed as lies, but the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world – and the category of truth vs. falsehood is among the mental means to this end – is being destroyed.”

Issue #94

Sarah Alaoui, “Tired Narratives, Weary Publics: Public Diplomacy’s Role in the Struggle for Influence in the Middle East,” October 2, 2018, Center for American Progress.  Alaoui (Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, SAIS) examines the public diplomacy of Iran, selected Arab states, and the United States in the Middle East with emphasis on the years since the 2003 Iraq War.  Her study discusses the narratives, tactics, and activities of each actor. She also recommends ways the US can enhance its public diplomacy “to better counter and effectively compete with Iran in this space.”  Alaoui advances three key arguments.  (1) “Iran uses public diplomacy in the Middle East as a key component of its efforts to shape regional dynamics.”  (2) “Leading Arab governments have not engaged in sustained public diplomacy efforts in key arenas of competition with Iran.” (3) “U.S. public diplomacy in the region is hindered by perceptions about U.S. policy and recent administration efforts that have cut resources for the State Department and other agencies engaged in soft power.”
Babak Bahador and Daniel Kerchner, Monitoring Hate Speech in the US Media, Media and Peacebuilding Project, George Washington University, January 2019.  GWU’s research team seeks “to create awareness and accountability regarding hate speech by identifying the sources, targets, and intensity of hate speech in leading US media political talk/news shows” (radio, cable news, and YouTube). The authors define and examine hate speech targeted at groups, recognizing both lack of agreement on the term’s meaning and its widespread use in law and society.  The study uses an automated extraction method to identify potential instances of hate speech, which then are validated by human coders using a 6-level hate speech intensity scale.
Mieczysław P. Boduszyński, Public Diplomacy and the American Fortress Embassy: Balancing Mission and Security, CPD Perspectives, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, December 2018.  Boduszyński (Pomona College) draws on personal diplomatic experience, interviews with current and retired diplomats, and a survey of relevant policy and practitioner literature in this assessment of one of diplomacy’s hard problems: how should diplomats and foreign ministries responsibly manage risk and simultaneously engage in effective public diplomacy?  His central argument is that “a culture of extreme risk aversion at ‘fortress embassies’ has hampered the ability of the State Department to effectively carry out public diplomacy programs” with consequent harm to US foreign policy objectives.  Boduszyński’s thoughtful paper effectively frames important issues, examines historical challenges reaching back to the US embassy bombing in Beirut in 1983, provides views of numerous practitioners, and offers policy recommendations for changing the imbalance between mission and security in “high threat” diplomatic posts.
Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron, “Deepfakes and the New Disinformation  War,” Foreign Affairs,January/February 2019, 147-155.  Chesney (University of Texas at Austin) and Citron (University of Maryland) discuss the rise of “highly realistic and difficult-to-detect digital manipulations of audio or video” in digital technology.  They argue that as deepfakes develop and spread, “the current disinformation wars may soon look like the propaganda equivalent of the era of swords and shields.”  Legal and technological solutions – forensic technology, authenticating content before it spreads, “authenticated alibi services,” criminalizing certain acts – may help.  But deepfakes will become better and cheaper, and democracies will have to learn resilience and how to live with lies.
Larry Diamond and Orville Schell, co-chairs, “Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance,” Report of the Working Group on Chinese Influence Activities in the United States, Hoover Institution Press, November 29, 2018.  Diamond (Stanford University) and Schell (Asia Society) analyze China’s influence activities in a cross-section of US governance and civil society sectors: Congress, state and local governments, Chinese-American communities, universities, think tanks, media, corporations, and the technology sector.  The authors discuss their historical context and distinctions between “legitimate influence” and “improper interference” that challenges core American values, norms, and laws.  They argue Russia’s influence activities are more invasive than China’s, but the latter nevertheless call for “constructive vigilance,” a variety of policy responses, and a balance between passivity and overreaction.  The report includes a dissenting opinion by Susan Shirk (University of California, San Diego) and appendices on China’s influence operations bureaucracy, influence activities in eight countries, and the range and reach of Chinese-language media in the United States.  Diamond’s summary of this 196-page reportis also available online.  See also Ellen Nakashima, “China Specialists Who Long Supported Engagement Are Now Warning of Beijing’s Efforts to Influence American Society,”November 28, 2018, The Washington Post.
Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook, “Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation from Cold War to Kanye,” Opinion Video Series, The New York Times, November 2018.  New York Timescorrespondent Ellick and film actor Westbrook have produced a three part online film series on Russia’s decades long use of disinformation and fake news against the West.  Episode 1 looks at the Soviet Union’s pre-Internet campaign to portray AIDS as a US biological weapon in 1984.  Episode 2 examines how “the seven rules of Soviet disinformation” are used in fake news stories today.  Episode 3 explores ways in which governments worldwide are responding to disinformation.  The episodes are approximately 15 minutes each and can be viewed on The New York Timeswebsite.  (Courtesy of Len Baldyga)
Adam Entous and Jon Lee Anderson, “Havana Syndrome,” The New Yorker, November 19, 2018, 34-47.  In this “Letter from Cuba,” New Yorkerstaff writers Entous and Anderson provide an excellent account of what is known and not known about the mysterious ailment that has afflicted US diplomats and CIA agents in Cuba.  Their essay is set in the context of negotiations leading to the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Cuba, the Trump administration’s Cuba policy, and recent governance changes in Cuba.  Entous and Anderson draw on the public record and a host of interviews, on the record and on background, with US policymakers and career diplomats including Benjamin Rhodes, Marco Rubio, H.R. McMaster, Craig Deare, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Mari Carmen Aponte, Roberta Jacobson, Audrey Lee, and Vicki Huddleston.  The authors, both seasoned journalists, provide a current and informed case study in diplomatic risk.
Ali Fisher, Netwar in Cyberia: Decoding the Media Mujahidin, CPD Perspectives, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, October 2018.  Former CPD Research Fellow Ali Fisher draws on his knowledge of public diplomacy, netwar strategies, and digital technologies in this analysis of the increasingly effective use of digital platforms and online audiovisual content by jihadist groups.  He argues public diplomacy “cannot keep pace with the speed, agility, and resilience of the Media Mujahidin and their communication techniques.”  His 113-page paper explores ways to understand and assess information dissemination systems used in jihadist strategies.  Based on his data analysis, Fisher calls for a more networked approach in public diplomacy’s interaction with foreign publics and strategies that effectively navigate the languages, ideas, digital platforms, knowledge barriers, and credibility gaps in approaches to jihadist movements.
Foreign Relations of the United States: 1917-1972, Volume VII, Public Diplomacy, 1964-1968, Charles V. Hawley, ed., Office of the Historian, US Department of State, 2018.  State Department historians continue their retrospective coverage of US public diplomacy with this publication of documents from the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.  Papers from the US Information Agency, State Department, the White House, and Congress focus on public diplomacy in the context of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, nuclear test ban treaty negotiations, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, US intervention in the Dominican Republic, the Civil Rights Movement, and transition to the Johnson administration following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  The documents, a list of persons, and an appendix with online videos with transcripts are accessible online in an easily navigated website.
“Global Trends in Democracy: Background, U.S. Policy, and Issues for Congress,” [author’s name redacted], Congressional Reference Service, CRS Report R45344, October 17, 2018.  This comprehensive report contains a great deal of useful information for scholars, policy analysts, and diplomacy practitioners.  Early sections provide a “brief conceptual background on democracy and on democracy promotion’s historical role in U.S. policy,” analysis of “trends in the global level of democracy using data from two major democracy indexes,” and discussion of “key factors that may be broadly affecting democracy around the world.” It then summarizes debates on US democracy promotion’s relevance to national interests, tradeoffs with other policy objectives, and questions of capacity and effectiveness.  The report concludes with discussion of six issues for Congress to consider.
1. “How does the Trump Administration view democracy promotion?”
2. “How much emphasis should the United States place on democracy promotion?”
3. “What tools exist for targeted U.S. foreign policy responses to particular challenges?”
4. “How much funding should be provided for democracy promotion programs?”
5. “How can democracy programs be meaningfully evaluated and/or usefully targeted?”
6. “Should the United States work to form new international initiatives to defend democracy?”
The report is written in CRS’s usual even-handed way. Breakout boxes focus on particular issues: metrics provided by Freedom House, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Pew Research Center; authoritarian “soft” and “sharp” power; populism and nationalism; and limitations and caveats in measuring support for democracy.  Footnotes provide an extensive literature review.
Craig Hayden, “Digital Diplomacy,” in Gordon Martel, ed., The Encyclopedia of Diplomacy,(John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2018).  Hayden (Marine Corps University) brings insights and his well-regarded scholarship to this Encyclopediaentry on the meaning of digital diplomacy.  His essay explores how the term has been used at the intersection of technology and diplomatic practice.  He reflects on how it enters discussions of diplomacy, public diplomacy, and foreign policy.  Importantly, he builds on existing scholarship to suggest ways in which digital diplomacy may signify changes in our understanding of “diplomatic practice, agency, and its enduring role as an integral institution of the international system.”  Not least, Hayden offers thoughts on how digital diplomacy might illuminate interdisciplinary scholarship and re-energize academic attention to diplomacy’s practice and necessity. Numerous references direct the reader to cutting edge thinking on a term now in widespread use and possible future directions in 21stcentury diplomacy.
John Kerry, Every Day is Extra, (Simon & Schuster, 2018).  The former Naval officer, anti-Vietnam war activist, US Senator, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State sums it all up in this memoir filled with historical insights and practical advice. Diplomacy scholars and practitioners will find much on offer.  Kerry, as Senator, engaging in high stakes diplomacy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  His appreciation of diplomacy’s public and political dimensions.  His understanding of “smart power.”  His belief in diplomacy “as a means to an end,” not an American gift.  His respect for the hard work of career diplomats taking risks, supported by illuminating examples, coupled with views on an often risk averse State Department bureaucracy.  Kerry’s diplomatic skills reflect his experiences in politics and knowledge of a world “more crowded, more interdependent, less hierarchical, more influenced by nonstate actors, and filled with connections between economic issues and social, political, and security concerns.”  Chapters with tick-tocks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran nuclear agreement, Syrian civil war, and climate change are essential diplomatic history.  An enjoyable read for general audiences and a must read in foreign ministry training and professional education courses.
Open Doors 2018, Institute of International Education (IIE) and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), US Department of State, released November 13, 2018.  The latest IIE report on flows of international students in the United States and US students studying abroad presents a mixed picture.  International students in the US have reached a new high of 1.09 million, due primarily to the lingering effect of high enrollment before 2016 and increased participation in a special practical training program for up to 12 months (36 months in STEM fields) following completion of their academic programs.  US students abroad grew by 2.3 percent to 332,727.  New international student enrollments in the US fell by 6.6 percent in 2017/18 “continuing a slowing or downward trend first observed in the 2015/16 academic year.”  See also, Catherine Rampell, “One of America’s Greatest Exports is in Trouble,”December 13, 2018, The Washington Postand Angel Cabrera, “Make America Welcoming to International Students Again,”November 13, 2018, The Washington Post.
Andreas Pacher, “The Ritual Creation of Political Symbols: International Exchanges in Public Diplomacy,” British Journal of Politics & International Relations,July 2018.  In this article, Pacher (independent researcher, Austria) connects practitioner concepts of international exchanges, particularly opinion leader and relational models, with scholarship based on a theory of interaction ritual chains.  Rituals in this sense are mechanisms of mutually focused emotion and cognitive attention with political relevance and effects.  Exchanges, he argues, can be understood as “exercises of political socialization” in which situations under a public diplomat’s control are linked to other situations during the exchange.  Power is utilized but its obvious exercise is minimized.  Pacher’s purpose is to move beyond numerous studies that emphasize situational processes and goals of international exchanges (mutual understanding, soft power, relationship management) to provide a theory of how goals can be achieved.  His article contains an excellent literature review on exchange programs, a brief illustrative case that links his claims to a 2017 Polish government public diplomacy exchange program, and a conclusion that points to strengths and limitations of his argument and directions for further research.
Wendy R. Sherman, Not For the Faint of Heart, (Public Affairs, 2018).  Sherman (Albright Stonebridge Group) tells her story of a life devoted to diplomacy (when Democrats are in power), political activism, social work, and the worlds of think tanks, Harvard’s Belfer Center, the Aspen Strategy Group, and MSNBC contributor.  Much of the book is a close and candid look at diplomatic methods in chapters built on concepts: courage, common ground, power, letting go, building your team, persistence, and success.  Sherman provides an abundance of detail on tactics, personalities (career and non-career), and challenges facing women in politics and diplomacy.  Her narrative provides a deep dive into her roles in senior State Department positions (Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Counselor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Under Secretary for Political Affairs) and her negotiations with Russia, North Korea, and Iran.  Not surprisingly, she gives detailed emphasis to the P5 +1 negotiations leading to the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Dominant characteristics of 21stcentury diplomacy – media relations, political risk, and whole of government diplomacy – are themes throughout.
Volker Stanzel, ed., New Realities in Foreign Affairs: Diplomacy in the 21stCentury, SWP Berlin, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Research Paper 11, November 2018.  In this excellent compilation, leading thinkers in diplomacy studies and practice examine changes in the character of modern diplomacy. Their papers focus on four changes likely to have long-term impact and governments’ responses to them: (1) changes in the personality of individual diplomats and their recruitment and training, (2) fundamental changes deriving from technologies, with emphasis on digitization, (3) increases in “diplomatically active” actors, and (4) dealing with new and emotionalized publics seeking to participate in governance.  The papers, available online, are the product of a working group on Diplomacy in the 21stCenturysupported by the German Federal Foreign Office and ZEIT-Stiftung.
Volker Stanzel (SWP Berlin, German Council of Foreign Relations), “Introduction: Following the Wrong Track or Walking on Stepping Stones – Which Way for Diplomacy?”
Sascha Lohmann (SWP Berlin), “Diplomats and the Use of Economic Sanctions.”
Andrew Cooper (University of Waterloo), “Populism and the Domestic Challenge to Diplomacy.”
Christer Jönsson (Lund University), “Diplomatic Representation: States and Beyond.”
Corneliu Bjola (University of Oxford), “Trends and Counter-Trends in Digital Diplomacy.”
Emillie V. de Keulenaar (University of Amsterdam) and Jan Melissen (Leiden University, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’), “Critical Digital Diplomacy and How Theory Can Inform Practice.”
Karsten Voight (German Council on Foreign Policy), “Perpetual Change: Remarks on Diplomacy Today in the European Union.”
Kim B. Olsen (University of Antwerp), “The Domestic Challenges of European Geoeconomic Diplomacy”
Hanns W. Maull (SWP Berlin, Bologna Center of Johns Hopkins University), “Autism in Foreign Policy.”
Rhonda Zaharna (American University), “Digital Diplomacy as Diplomatic Sites: Emotion, Identity & Do-it-Yourself Politics.”
US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, “2018 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy & International Broadcasting,” November 20, 2018.  The 2018 report (214 pages) of this bipartisan presidential Commission divides into three parts. First, the summary contains an overview of public diplomacy spending and the Commission’s 27 recommendations to the White House, Congress, State Department and US Agency for International Broadcasting (pp. 30-42).  Key recommendations: (1) White House priority for management and public diplomacy expertise in recruiting a new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; (2) Congressional support for exploring a merger of State’s Bureaus of Public Affairs and International Programs; (3) adequate funding appropriated directly to the State Department for its Global Engagement Center rather than through the Defense Department; (4) new legislative authority for State’s public diplomacy mission; (5) clear guidance for the Voice of America’s editorial process; (6) greater coordination of US broadcasting’s services and grantees to achieve less duplication and greater efficiencies; (7) an external audit of research and evaluation procedures in State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and a strategic review of the Bureau’s structure and more than 75 programs; and (8) identification of digital metrics with relevance to State’s programs and outreach.  Second, the bulk of the report (pp. 43-214) consists of descriptions, graphics, and budget information provided by the State Department and US broadcasters on their programs and activities in the US and abroad. Third, in a welcome addition, the Commission has reprinted recent speeches on public diplomacy (pp. 8-29) by senior practitioners: Ryan E. Walsh, Elisabeth Fitzsimmons, Jonathan Henick, Shawn Powers, Will Stephens, and Ambassador (ret.) Bruce Wharton.
Joby Warrick and Anton Troianovski, “Agents of Doubt: How a Powerful Russian Propaganda Machine Chips Away at Western Notions of Truth,” The Washington Post,December 10, 2018.In this lengthy article, Postcorrespondents Warrick and Troianovski document – with detailed reporting, video, web links, and a timeline graphic – how Russia has used false narratives and conspiracy theories to sew confusion following the attempted assassination of Russian spy defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter in London.
Audra J. Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018).  In this book on science in US psychological operations strategies and cultural diplomacy during the Cold War, Wolfe (writer, historian, author of Competing with the Soviets: Technology and the State in Cold War America, 2013) advances several propositions.  First, the growing literature on overt and covert Cold War cultural diplomacy operations, dominated by attention to education and cultural products in the arts and literature, is largely silent on the role of science.  Her book seeks to remedy this.  Second, the shared view of the US foreign policy establishment and American scientists that science transcends politics, a belief central to US ideological offensives against Soviet authoritarianism, belied a historical record in which the loudest voices for scientific freedom and internationalism were at least as interested in advancing US policies and “a system of privilege from which they stood to benefit.”  Third, historians who have written extensively about USIA, the State Department, and the CIA’s Congress of Cultural Freedom have neglected the Asia Foundation and its relationship to the CIA.  Her research on the Asia Foundation breaks new ground.  Readers will find much on offer in (1) her discussion of the CIA’s cultural operations funding, the National Science Foundation, Pugwash Conferences, USIA’s planning papers and science textbook programs, and State Department science attaches; (2) an epilogue devoted to President Obama’s science envoys in Muslim majority countries and science diplomacy in the Iran nuclear negotiations; and (3) her excellent notes and bibliography.
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Matt Armstrong, “S.3654 and Accountability for the US Agency for Global Media,” December 6, 2018,
Martha Bayles, “Journalism Dies in Darkness,” December 11, 2018, Hudson Institute.
Amanda Bennett, “Trump’s ‘Worldwide Network’ Is a Great Idea.  But It Already Exists,” November 27, 2018, The Washington Post.
Donald M. Bishop, “Years of Lightening, Day of Drums,”  January 1, 2019, Public Diplomacy Council.
Michael Chertoff and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “The Unhackable Election: What It Takes to Defend Democracy,” January/February 2019, Foreign Affairs.
Susan Crabtree, “Corker, Menendez Push Effort to ‘Neuter’ Trump’s Broadcasting Chief,” November 30, 2018, The Washington Free Beacon.
Nicholas J. Cull, “Professor Cull Answers 10 Questions on Propaganda,” December 10, 2018, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Renée DiResta, “What We Now Know About Russia’s Disinformation,” December 17, 2018, The New York Times.
Ali Fisher, “Mapping Russian & Iranian Cyber Networks,” December 3, 2018, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Lisa Gibson, “Can the U.S. Embassy in Libya Bridge the Divide with Facebook,” January 3, 2019, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
The Hague Journal of Diplomacy/ RG Impact Ratings  (Article Reads, Citations), ResearchGate.
Olga Krasnyak, “National Styles in Science Diplomacy: the US,”December 20, 2018, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Louisa Lim and Julia Bergin,“Inside China’s Audacious Global Propaganda Campaign,” December 7, 2018, The Guardian.
Xin Liu, “What Sharp Power? It’s Nothing But ‘Unsmart’ Power,” USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Ilan Manor, “Can Digital Skills Serve as PD Resources: The Case of Brexit,” November 5, 2018, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Doyle McManus, “Almost Half the Top Jobs in Trump’s State Department Still Empty,” November 4, 2018, The Atlantic.
Brian Naylor, “Voice of America Vows Independence, As Trump Calls for ‘Worldwide Network’” December 4, 2918, Morning Edition, NPR.
Dick Virden, “A Media Journey: From Edward R. Murrow to Fake News,” November 2018, American Diplomacy.
Elizabeth Williamson, “Troubled By Lapses, Government’s Voice to the World Braces for New Trump Management,” December 12, 2018, The New York Times.
Gems From The Past 
The growing literature on “fake news” and 21stcentury “truth decay” recalls reports on Soviet active measures prepared by USIA and the CIA during and immediately after the Cold War.  The following are available online.  “Soviet Active Measures in the Era of Glasnost,”A Report to Congress by the United States Information Agency, March 1988. This 91-page report details examples, media sources, and chronologies of disinformation on AIDs, “ethnic weapons,” the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide, forgeries, and trafficking in body parts. The report includes an account of US measures to counter Soviet active measures and an Appendix: “Soviet Disinformation During Periods of Relaxed East-West Tension,” a report prepared by Stephen Schwartz for USIA’s Office of Research, January 1988.  Other sources include a statement by former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence Robert M. Gates, “Soviet Active Measures,”Hearings Before the Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs, September 12, 1985 and “Soviet Active Measures in the ‘Post-Cold War’ Era 1988-1991,”A Report Prepared at the Request of the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations by the United States Information Agency, 1992.

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