The Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium on American Diplomacy: U.S. Standing in the World: Causes, Consequences, and Obama, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, March 6, 2009. A ninety-minute video of a panel discussion with leading American scholars on America's global standing, the meaning of standing, how it is measured, and its causes and consequences. The title of the symposium notwithstanding, the panel's examination focuses only in passing on the relevance of American diplomacy to U.S. standing in the world. Panelists include Martha Finnemore (George Washington University), Jack Snyder (Columbia University), and Peter Trubowitz (University of Texas at Austin), moderator Jeffrey Legro (University of Virginia), and discussants Melvyn Leffler (University of Virginia) and Moises Naim (Editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy). The panel discusses interim findings of the American Political Science Association's Task Force on U.S. Standing in World Affairs initiated by APSA President Peter J. Katzenstein (Cornell University). Publication of the Task Force's report is expected in Summer 2009. (Courtesy of Donna Oglesby)
Alexandr G. Asmolov and Gregory A. Asmolov, "From We-Media to I-Media: Identity Transformations in the Virtual World," Voprosy Psychologii, Number 3, 2009, 101-123. Alexandr Asmolov (Lomonosov Moscow State University) and Gregory Asmolov (George Washington University), a father and son who combine the insights of a psychologist and a journalist, draw on constructivism, theories of mass communication, motivational analysis, Lev S. Vygotsky's "internal speech" concept, and Teilhard de Chardin's idea of Noosphere to examine identity transformations in virtual worlds. The authors look at practices of Internet journalism, motives for creating blogs, the emergence of "diary journalism," and blogs as platforms for constructing a virtual personality and transforming that personality from self-representation into social interaction. They argue that journalistic practices are an appropriate and effective means of self-representation and that establishment of a stable I-representation on the Internet is a condition for changes in the dynamics of social networks. Copies of the article in English may be obtained from Gregory Asmolov at email@example.com.
Gary J. Bass. Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008). Bass (Princeton University) explores two hundred years of humanitarian interventionism finding today's debates deeply rooted in the 19th century: undermining sovereignty vs. supporting human rights, altruism vs. imperial motives, the dangers of taking sides in civil wars, the role of the media and public opinion in shaping democratic foreign policy, multilateral and unilateral uses of force, and the moral responsibilities of political leaders. His book develops three overarching themes: (1) the history of humanitarian intervention is worth understanding for the light it sheds on today's global politics and mediated diplomacy; (2) the links between freedom at home and freedom abroad and the role of the mass media well before the so-called CNN effect; and (3) the lessons taught by 19th century diplomats on managing humanitarian intervention. Case studies include Greece in the 1820s, Bulgaria in the 1870s, and the American campaign to stop the Armenian genocide in 1915.
James Boyle. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind, (Yale University Press, 2008). Boyle (Duke University) examines issues relating to intellectual property and the public domain in a book that is accessible to scholars and non-scholars. He discusses intellectual property in the context of digital creativity, communication networks, Internet file sharing, free speech, scientific innovation, and emerging concepts of information and expression in "the commons" beyond property. Boyle writes as a proponent of intellectual property but also with deep concern that current policies reflect a misunderstanding of the public domain's vital importance to innovation. He calls for a movement similar to the environmental movement to preserve the Internet's promise in the production of knowledge and culture.
Andrew F. Cooper and Timothy M. Shaw, eds., The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resistance, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Cooper (University of Waterloo and Center for International Governance Innovation) and Shaw (University of the West Indies) have compiled a collection of essays by experts on small state diplomacy. Analytical issues include the vulnerabilities and resilience of small states, asymmetric relations between small states and larger entities, how space limitations affect policies, and the ability of small states to leverage new communication technologies to advantage. Contains case studies on the diplomacy of Singapore, Iceland, Venezuela, Antigua, Caribbean Community states, and Africa's Cotton 4 states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali).
Defense Science Board Task Force Report on Understanding Human Dynamics, March 2009, 126 pages. This report's central finding is that the Department of Defense and military services must improve their understanding of human dynamics and develop institutions, tools, and programs to enhance this capability across the full spectrum of military operations. Recommendations are made in the following areas: coordination and leadership; interagency and civil interactions; communication, education, training, and career development; human dynamics advisors; science and technology investments; and data, tools, and products. The report calls on the Defense Department to increase its "cultural bench" and "fund and launch the Center for Global Engagement" recommended in the 2008 Defense Science Board report on Strategic Communication. (Courtesy of Mark Maybury)
Edward P. Djerejian, Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East, (Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2008). In this narrative of his diplomatic career, the director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy looks at the evolution of U.S. policies in the Middle East and challenges facing the U.S. in the region. Chapter 10, "Public Diplomacy - The Voice of America," summarizes and updates Changing Minds, Winning Peace, the 2003 Congressionally mandated advisory panel report he chaired on public diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Djerejian states his reasons why it "was an error to dismantle the USIA in 1999," discusses his strategy for strengthening the instruments of public diplomacy and the role of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and continues his support for bringing U.S. international broadcasting (other than the news function) "under the strategic direction of the public diplomacy policies and goals of the United States government as defined by the president, the secretary of state and the under secretary for public diplomacy."
Brian Hocking and Jozef Batora, "Diplomacy and the European Union," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 4, Number 2, 2009, 113-120. In their lead article, Hocking (Loughborough University) and Batora (Austrian Academy for Sciences) -- editors of this special issue of HJD -- discuss the changing nature of diplomacy in the context of the processes and structures of EU diplomacy. The articles address three interrelated sets of issues: (1) how diplomacy is responding to 21st century challenges, (2) transformational change in the traditional diplomatic structures of EU member states, and (3) the future of the EU as a diplomatic actor. Includes articles by:
Rebecca Adler-Nissen (University of Copenhagen), "Late Sovereign Diplomacy," 121-141.
Stephan Keukeleire, Robin Thiers and Arnout Justaert (Catholic University of Leuven), "Reappraising Diplomacy: Structural Diplomacy and the Case of the European Union," 143-165.
Alan Hardacre (European Institute of Public Administration, the Netherlands) and Michael Smith (Loughborough University), "The EU and the Diplomacy of Complex Interregionalism," 167-188.
Knud Erik Jorgensen (Aarhus University), "The European Union in Multilateral Diplomacy," 189-209.
Simon Duke (European Institute of Public Administration, the Netherlands), "Providing for European Level Diplomacy after Lisbon: The Case of the European External Action Service," 189-209.
David Spence (European Commission Delegation to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva), "Taking Stock: 50 Years of European Diplomacy," 235-259.
Evgeny Morozov, The Future of "Public Diplomacy 2.0," Foreign Policy, Net Effect Blog, Posted June 9, 2009. FP's Net Effect blogger looks at the debate on the future of internet-based public diplomacy initiatives. He questions the overemphasis on using new media "for growing the supply side without giving almost any consideration to its possible impact on the demand side." Morozov is skeptical of the value of the State Department's Digital Outreach Team and calls for greater imagination in public diplomacy's use of technology and putting web-based educational and cultural resources at the forefront of American strategy.
Craig Nelson, Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations, (Penguin Books, 2006). Historian Craig Nelson brings new research and a compelling narrative style to this biography of the activist and Enlightenment intellectual whose Common Sense and other writings shaped the politics and armed conflict of the American Revolution. Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams have their storied place in the history of American public diplomacy. Nelson gives Paine his due with this account of his influence on American diplomacy and the 18th century public sphere. (Courtesy of Mark Taplin)
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., "Get Smart: Combining Hard and Soft Power," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2009, 160-163. In his response to Leslie Gelb's "otherwise estimable new book," Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy, Harvard's Joseph Nye argues that Gelb "defines power too narrowly" and confuses the actions of states seeking desired outcomes with the resources used to achieve those outcomes. In defending his views against Gelb's critique of soft power, Nye rehearses his central arguments on the nature of hard power, soft power, and smart power. Gelb, he contends, "ignores a long literature on the other facets of power that are used to persuade others to do what is in fact in their own interests." The now fashionable term "smart power" -- referring to strategies that combine the tools of hard and soft power -- is a term Nye "developed in 2003 to counter the misperception that soft power alone can produce effective foreign policy."
PD magazine, Issue 2, Summer 2009. The second issue of PD, an online publication of the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars at the University of Southern California, examines the theme "Middle Powers: Who They Are What They Want." Includes perspectives on public diplomacy in Australia, Chile, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, and Sweden; views of practitioners Jeremy Curtin (U.S. Department of State), Richard Lugar (U.S. Senate), and James Snyder (NATO Information Officer); and articles by:
Etyan Gilboa (University of Southern California), "The Public Diplomacy of Middle Powers"
Andrew Cooper (University of Waterloo), "Middle Powers: Squeezed Out or Adaptive"
Evan Potter (University of Ottawa) "A New Architecture for Canadian Public Diplomacy"
Jorge Heine (Balsillie School of International Affairs) "Middle Powers and Conceptual Leadership"
Joseph J. Popiolkowski and Nicholas J. Cull, eds., Public Diplomacy, Cultural Interventions & the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Track Two to Peace? (USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, Figueroa Press, 2009). Popiolkowski and Cull (USC Center on Public Diplomacy) have collected presentations by scholars, practitioners, and witnesses to the peace process at a conference hosted by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy in 2007. The essays fall in one or more of three categories: public diplomacy, Track Two diplomacy, and conflict resolution. Contributors include: Neil Jarman (Institute for Conflict Research, Belfast), Paul Arthur (University of Ulster), Bob Peirce (British Consul General, Los Angeles), Greg McLaughlin (University of Ulster Coleraine), Niall O Dochartaigh (National University of Ireland), Timothy Lynch (University of London), Sharon Harroun (Children's Friendship Project for Northern Ireland), and Mike Fealty (Slugger O'Toole blog).
David G. Post, In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace, (Oxford University Press, 2009). In this innovative, imaginative, and very well written book, Post (Temple University) uses Thomas Jefferson's ideas about governing and the American frontier as a lens for examining Internet governance. Drawing extensively on Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia and his differences with Alexander Hamilton, Post examines central technological, legal, and social issues in cyberspace. For Post, the Jeffersonian model holds promise for thinking about law, free speech, intellectual property, online dissemination of information, and exploration of what we don't know about the Internet's vast frontier. (Courtesy of Paula Causey)
Evan H. Potter, Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power Through Public Diplomacy, (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009). Potter (University of Ottawa) provides an overview of the "origins, development, and implementation" of Canada's public diplomacy. He argues that "protecting and nurturing a distinct national identity are essential to Canada's sovereignty and prosperity," offers policy recommendations on Canada's public diplomacy, and examines Canada's use of the instruments of public diplomacy -- cultural programs, international education, international broadcasting, trade, and investment promotion.
Shaun Riordan, "Reforming Foreign Services for the Twenty-First Century," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 2, Number 2, 2007, 161-173. Riordan, a retired British diplomat, calls for radical reform of foreign services to meet the challenges of new technologies, new actors, new issues, and the breakdown of distinctions between foreign and domestic policy. An effective foreign service remains essential to a country's security and economic and social welfare, he argues, but today's global environment requires radical overhaul of diplomatic structures, culture, recruitment, and training. Riordan's reforms include: engaging foreign civil societies with non-governmental agents rather than diplomats, overseas analysis and strategy departments above departmental ministries, semi-autonomous cultural relations organizations, thorough integration of foreign services in global information and communication networks, expectation that "life-long diplomatic careers may be a thing of the past," employment of more experts on a contract basis in ministries and embassies to fill specialized knowledge gaps, and effective public diplomacy at home "as an essential precursor to successful public diplomacy abroad."
Clay Shirky, How Cell Phones, Twitter, Facebook Can Make History, TEDTalks Video Recorded at the U.S. Department of State, June 16 2009. In this 17-minute video, the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) discusses the development of social media and ways it is changing news and politics. A useful classroom supplement to Shirky's book. (Cour tesy of Ian Cunningham)
U.S. Government Accountability Office. U.S. Public Diplomacy: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, GAO-09-679SP, May 2009. GAO draws on its ten studies of U.S. public diplomacy since 2003 to frame issues for Congress's oversight agenda and the requirement that the President issue a new national communication strategy by December 2009. GAO provides its assessment of the extent to which the June 2007 National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication addresses GAO's 27 desirable characteristics of such a strategy. GAO's six key issues include strategic and operational planning, performance measurement, coordination of U.S. communication, State's public diplomacy workforce, outreach efforts in high threat posts, and interagency efforts to use social networks and technologies referred to by some as Public Diplomacy 2.0.
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Report on Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, (H.R. 2410), June 4, 2009. The Committee's Report summarizes legislation, passed by the House on June 11, 2009, to authorize State Department and Peace Corps appropriations. Title 2, Subtitle B includes the following public diplomacy provisions: (1) gives "the Secretary of State the lead role in coordinating the inter-agency process in public diplomacy (PD)/strategic communications" and establishes a coordination mechanism, (2) establishes a PD reserve corps, (3) enhances PD outreach outside embassies, (4) authorizes grants for international documentary films to promote better understanding of the U.S. abroad "and to improve Americans' understanding of other countries' perspectives," (5) reauthorizes the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and requires that at least four members "have substantial experience in public diplomacy or comparable activities in the private sector," and (6) authorizes earmarked funding for a variety of exchange and scholarship programs. Title III, Subtitle A provides for a quadrennial review of diplomacy and development and the establishment of a "Lessons Learned Center." Title V authorizes funding for U.S. international broadcasting and establishes permanent authority for Radio Free Asia. Title VII provides for the establishment, management, and funding of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation.
Gem from the Past
Ithiel de Sola Pool. Technologies Without Boundaries: On Telecommunications in a Global Age, (Harvard University Press, 1990). At his death in 1984, a decade before web browsers and well before YouTube became ordinary, MIT political science Professor Ithiel de Sola Pool had nearly completed a manuscript synthesizing his views on the social and political implications of communication technologies. Eli Noam (Columbia University) edited the manuscript for publication in 1990. In the book, Pool considers and forecasts complex changes in spacial patterns of human connections, the consequences of low cost individual and group communication, convergence of print and electronic media, implications for politics and national sovereignty, and government policies on the restriction, dissemination, and free flow of information.