Issue #66

Bruce Gregory's Resources on Diplomacy's Public Dimension

August 20, 2013

Claudia Auer and Alice Srugies, Public Diplomacy in Germany, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, Paper 5, 2013, USC Center on Public Diplomacy. In this comprehensive study, Auer and Srugies (Ilmenau University of Technology) identify and address a long-standing research gap on Germany's conceptualization and practice of public diplomacy. Grounded in an extensive literature review and 32 in-depth interviews, the authors offer three perspectives: (1) a conceptual framing of public diplomacy through the approaches of communication studies and sociology, (2) the historical development of public diplomacy in Germany, and (3) an empirical and critical analysis of Germany's public diplomacy actors. They argue Germany's public diplomacy, often a by-product of organizational actions directed at other goals, has considerable potential.

Mark Bowden, "The Killing Machines: How to Think About Drones," The Atlantic, September 2013, 58-70. Bowden (Atlantic correspondent, author of Blackhawk Down) surveys strategic, political, legal, and public opinion implications of US drone strikes. Includes interviews with former US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes.

British Council, Influence and Attraction: Culture and the Race for Soft Power in the 21st Century, June 2013. The British Council's latest report examines data, research, concepts, actors, activities and implications for governments of trends in "the field of international cultural relations and cultural diplomacy." Includes a foreword by British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague. For an informed critique of the Council's report, see Robin Brown, "New British Council Report on Influence and Attraction. Not Very Attractive," June 19, 2013, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence Blog.

Charles W. Dunn, ed., American Exceptionalism: The Origins, History, and Future of the Nation's Greatest Strength,(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013). The authors in this volume, a mixture of scholarship and political advocacy, examine contested issues in the concept of American Exceptionalism. Collectively they defend the claim "that there is still an exceptional aspect of American thought, identity, and government worth advancing and protecting." Critics of American Exceptionalism will find much to debate in essays by Charles W. Dunn (Regent University), Hadley Arko (Amherst College), Michael Barone (American Enterprise Institute), James W. Ceasor (University of Virginia), Daniel L. Dreisbach (American University), Marvin J. Folkertsma (Grove City College), T. David Gordon (Grove City College), Steven F. Hayword (American Enterprise Institute), Hugh Heclo (George Mason University), William Kristol (The Weekly Standard), and George H. Nash (Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal).

Livia Pontes Fialho and Matthew Wallin, Reaching for an Audience: U.S. Public Diplomacy Toward Iran, Perspective, American Security Project, August 2013. Fialho (American University) and Wallin (American Security Project) provide a succinct critique and informed case study of US public diplomacy strategies toward Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations since the hostage crisis in 1979. The authors focus on online tools, the State Department's Virtual Embassy Tehran, academic exchanges, and science diplomacy. Missing is any reference to US Farsi broadcasting. They conclude that online tools "should not be the centerpiece of a public diplomacy plan but instead serve alongside real-world components in a comprehensive approach that prioritizes further dialogue and exchanges between Iranians and Americans."

The Heart of the Matter,Report of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2013. Led by Richard H. Brodhead (President, Duke University) and John W. Rowe (former CEO, Exelon Corporation), the Commission's scholars, artists, and civic leaders call for strengthening scholarship and education in the humanities and social sciences in the service of national goals: (1) intellectual and economic well-being, (2) a more vibrant civil society, and (3) successful cultural diplomacy in the 21st century. Recommendations include: increased language learning, expanded education in international affairs and transnational studies, support for study abroad and international exchanges (Fulbright Program, and the Department of Education's Title VI international and language programs). For a critique of the report's "bland commonplaces and recommendations that could bear fruit only in a Utopia," see Stanley Fish, "A Case for the Humanities Not Made," The New York Times, June 24, 2013.

Hearing on "Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG): An Agency Defunct," US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, June 26, 2013. The Committee held its hearing with three former BBG Governors to examine implications of findings early in 2013 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the BBG is "practically a defunct agency" and by the State Department's Inspector General that the "BBG's dysfunction stems from a flawed legislative structure and acute internal dissention." Website includes video and pdf texts of statements.

-- Opening statement by Committee Chairman Ed Royce..

-- Statement of former BBG Chairman James K. Glassman, "Beyond Tinkering: Reform of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Requires Full Integration into the U.S. Foreign Policy Apparatus."

-- Statement of former BBG member D. Jeffrey Hisrschberg

-- Statement of former BBG member S. Enders Wimbush.

Jorge Heine and Joseph F. Turcotte, "Tweeting as Statecraft: How, Against All Odds, Twitter is Changing the World's Second Oldest Profession," Crossroads: The Macedonian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. III, No. 2, April-October 2012, 59-72. Heine (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Turcotte (York University) discuss ways in which Twitter is changing the practice of diplomacy. Using a variety of examples from different countries, the authors explore Twitter's categories of use and its strengths, limitations, and potential as a tool in the transition from "club" to "network diplomacy."

Brian Hocking, "(Mis)Leading Propositions About 21st Century Diplomacy," Crossroads: The Macedonian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. III, No. 2, April-October 2012, 73-92. In this stimulating and closely reasoned article, Hocking (Loughborough University) argues much debate on contemporary diplomacy confuses historically contingent diplomatic methods with diplomacy's enduring characteristics as a process for managing international affairs. This "category mistake" frames his discussion of leading propositions in diplomatic studies that in some senses are "misleading." These propositions include:
(1) Preoccupation with newness in diplomatic methods that emphasizes discontinuities at the expense of continuities.
(2) Focus on zero-sum relationships between state and non-state actors rather than a nuanced range of normative / analytic frameworks.
(3) Expansion of hyphenated "adjectival" diplomacies (e.g., business, city, citizen, sub-national, NGO, civil society) that can make diplomacy synonymous with broader patterns of global interaction and risk "dangers of engagement without purpose."
(4) Problematic views that network forms of process and organization have replaced hierarchies.
(5) Assumptions of diplomacy in existential crisis that constrain needed inquiries into the comparative advantages of foreign ministries in national diplomatic systems and ways in which diplomats can redefine their roles.

Ellen Huijgh, ed., "The Domestic Dimension of Public Diplomacy," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2012. This special issue of the Journal is now available online in its entirety as a free sample. Contributors include Guest Editor Ellen Huijgh (The Netherlands), who wrote the Introduction, Mladen Andrlic (Croatia), Shay Attias (Israel), Caitlin Byrne (Australia), Steven Curtis (UK), Kathy R. Fitzpatrick (US), Caroline Jaine (UK), Teresa La Porte (Spain), Susanna Simichen Sopta and Iva Tarle (Croatia), and Yiwei Wang (China). It was previously annotated on Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #63, December 11, 2012.

Jorrit Kamminga, Public Diplomacy in Afghanistan Beyond the 2014 Transition: Lessons from the United States and the Netherlands, Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Discussion Papers in Diplomacy, No. 126, June 2013. Kamminga (University of Valencia, Visiting Research Fellow, Clingendael) argues that 2014 presents an opportunity to disconnect foreign public diplomacy from the "military-security paradigm" dominant in Afghanistan since 2001. He compares an American model linked to counterinsurgency and broad ideological debate between "Islam and the West" with a Dutch model, seen to be less ideological, that emphasizes dialogue, cultural sensitivity, and cultural activities and training. For Kamminga, the methods in the Dutch approach have primary value as ends in themselves, as signifiers of universal values, and in presenting a favorable image of the Netherlands. As such, they are indirectly supportive of foreign policy objectives.

Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, 2013). Lanier (computer scientist, musician, and author of You Are Not a Gadget) offers a critique of the illusion of "free" information in the effects of network technologies. Among the issues Lanier discusses are ways in which Moore's Law changes how people are valued, the power of corporate and government "Siren Servers" - defined as coordinated computers on a network "characterized by narcissism, hyperamplified risk aversion, and extreme information asymmetry - and "Should I quit Facebook?"

Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea, (The Penguin Press, 2012). This sweeping narrative begins with the 19th century's Concert of Europe and ends with 21st century forms of networked governance. Mazower (Columbia University) examines the interplay of ideas, government leaders, diplomats, and civil society activists in developing global institutions. Well written and deeply researched, his book mixes broad themes with telling insights that illuminate tensions between ideas and power politics, the contrasting roles of diplomats and non-state actors, tradeoffs in the willingness of national leaders to cooperate and compete, and lessons for an era in which Western dominance of international relations is giving way to multi-centered global networks. (Courtesy of Donna Oglesby)

Lacey Milam and Elizabeth Johnson Avery, "Apps4Africa: A New State Department Public Diplomacy Initiative," Public Relations Review, 38 (June 2012), 328-335. In this case study, Milam (MetroStar Systems Support) and Avery (University of Tennessee) discuss the goals, methods, and replicable potential of "Apps4Africa," a US State Department and World Bank funded program intended to promote "African solutions to African problems." The program offers competitive grants up to $15,000 for projects using mobile technology applications to address challenges in health, education, youth employment, governance, and other issues. (Courtesy of Kathy Fitzpatrick)

Sherry Lee Mueller, "The Art of Advocacy,"The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 37:2, Summer 2013, 171-177. Mueller (President Emeritus of the National Council for International Visitors) offers practical advice on using advocacy skills in "building relationships - often with elected officials - in order to shape public policy." She discusses eight lessons learned from NCIV's advocacy activities.

Iver B. Neumann, At Home With the Diplomats: Inside a European Foreign Ministry, (Cornell University Press, 2012). Diplomats: "who are they," what do they "actually do," and "how do they think about what they are doing?" In this ethnography of diplomacy, Neumann (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) combines a scholar's historical and anthropological insights with practical experience in Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chapters cover the emergence of permanent diplomacy and foreign ministries, changes in gender and class, diplomatic practices, and knowledge production. A concluding chapter speculates briefly on how globalization may be changing diplomacy.

New Frontiers: U.S. Students Pursuing Degrees Abroad, Institute of International Education, May 2013. In this two-year analysis (2010-2012), IIE finds an increase of 5% in the number of US students pursuing full degrees abroad, most of them in the humanities, social sciences, and physical and life sciences. Nearly 68% study in Anglophone countries. The largest increase in US students (31.1%) was in China.

Roland Paris, "The Digital Diplomacy Revolution: Why is Canada Lagging Behind?" Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute, Policy Paper, June 2013. Paris (University of Ottawa and CDFAI Senior Fellow) argues Canada "is lagging far behind the US and Britain in digital diplomacy." With Canada's online Global Dialogue on Iran (2013) a notable exception, his paper finds a large gap between Canada's digital diplomacy potential and failure by its Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade "to adapt to the social media revolution." Unless Canada embraces new methods of diplomacy, it "risks being further marginalized in international affairs."

"Pentagon Spokesman: Public Affairs Must Change With Times," News Release, U.S. Department of Defense, July 25, 2013. In a speech at the Defense Media Activity's headquarters, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little calls for new priorities and approaches to public affairs given changes "brought about by war and the media's evolution" in a more tightly connected world. News release contains extended excerpts. Full speech available in videobut not in text. (Courtesy of Mickey East)

Pew Research Center, "America's Global Image Remains More Positive Than China's: But Many See China Becoming World's Leading Power," Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, July 18, 2013. Pew's 39-country survey finds global publics believe China will supplant the US as the world's dominant superpower. But "a median of 63% express a favorable opinion on the U.S. compared with 50% for China." Half or more in 31 of the 39 countries surveyed disapprove of US drone attacks against extremist groups. President Obama's ratings are lower than when he first took office, with an especially sharp drop in China (from 62% in 2009 to 31% in 2013).

Pew Research Center, "Climate Change and Financial Instability Seen as Top Global Threats," Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, June 24, 2013. Climate change and international financial instability lead Pew's survey of global threats followed by Islamic extremism, Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs. Americans lead the world in lack of concern about climate change with only 40% saying it is a major threat.

Nico Prucha and Ali Fisher, "Tweeting for the Caliphate: Twitter as the New Frontier for Jihadist Propaganda," CTC Sentinal, Combating Terrorism Center, US Military Academy, West Point, June 25, 2013. Prucha (University of Hamburg) and Fisher (author of Collaborative Public Diplomacy,2013) examine jihadist social media strategies and the use of Twitter by the Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra to disseminate links to battlefield videos on YouTube. The authors argue that dense jihadist files show ideological coherence under "the umbrella of al-Qaeda," and that understanding them can be empowering for governments and helpful to analysts seeking to assess the radicalization process.

Linda Risso, "Radio Wars: Broadcasting in the Cold War," Cold War History, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2013, 142-152. Risso (University of Reading and guest editor of this special issue of Cold War History) provides an overview of the literature and debates on the roles of Western and Eastern radio broadcasters during the Cold War. Her article frames key historical questions: Radio's place in larger issues relating to the character of the "cultural Cold War." Debates on a Western cultural model, the role of US broadcasting, and reciprocal influences between East and West. Problems in defining success and measuring impact. Whether the BBC and VOA were a "leading partner" that shaped the activities of other broadcasters. Other articles in this special issue on Cold War broadcasting focus on British broadcasting to France, US broadcasting to Italy, broadcasters' uses of letters and literature of exiles, radio and the Hungarian uprising of 1956, and BBC broadcasting to East Germany. (Courtesy of John Robert Kelley)

Tomislav Z. Ruby and Douglas Gibler, "US Professional Military Education and Democratization Abroad," European Journal of International Relations, XX(X) 2010, 1-26. Ruby (US Air Force) and Gibler (University of Alabama) argue that, notwithstanding prominent examples of negative outcomes in US foreign military education, the preponderance of evidence supports their claim that US professional military education (PME) "provides an important stabilizing force, especially in emerging democracies." Using quantitative measures and three case studies (Argentina, Greece, and Taiwan), they conclude the cumulative effect of US PME programs is "a depoliticization of foreign militaries during economic and political disruptions . . . and, in many cases, a changed military culture." (Courtesy of Anne McGee)

Tara Sonenshine, "Bottom Line Diplomacy: Why Public Diplomacy Matters," Remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC, June 18, 2013. In a farewell speech as US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine framed "bottom line diplomacy" as "long-term" for Americans, "the fusion of economic statecraft and public diplomacy," and "strengthening the hyphen between the flow of money and the productive index of people." Her remarks focus on State Department public diplomacy "as a way of building prosperity and protecting our national interests" through cultural exchanges, trade, workers' rights, tourism, and other economic priorities.

Tara Sonenshine, " A Farewell Note from Under Secretary Sonenshine," June 28, 2013. The Under Secretary offers parting online thoughts on the goals and "compelling" case for public diplomacy that "both 'sets the table' for policy and amplifies the policy through the connective tissue of real people."

Walter Stahr, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man, (Simon & Schuster, 2012). In this biography of Lincoln's secretary of state William Seward, Stahr (international lawyer, author of John Jay: Founding Father) strengthens considerably our understanding of US public diplomacy in the 19th century. His account links Seward to US public diplomacy's enduring characteristics - American exceptionalism, episodic resolve correlated to armed conflict, partnership with civil society actors, values agendas (e.g., the Emancipation Proclamation) and idealism (e.g., libraries as a means to the "intellectual, moral, and social improvement of the whole human family"). Stahr also shows how Seward's methods foreshadowed tools in modern public diplomacy: Leveraging connections with journalists and political activists to frame public agendas and send messages at home and abroad. Enhancing message credibility through civil society and military voices. Use of electronic technologies (the telegraph) for international communication. Skills as an engaging raconteur in frequent social gatherings with foreign diplomats and journalists. Leading foreign diplomats on a "grand tour" of the US (a precursor to international visitor programs). Publication of US diplomatic correspondence to influence public opinion. And the first official "circular letters" to all US diplomats to support their public outreach and "correct the often erroneous or partial accounts that they would receive through newspapers or private letters."

Gary Thomas, "Mission Impossible: Is Government Broadcasting Irrelevant," Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2013, 19-21. Retired Voice of America correspondent Thomas argues the core problem in US broadcasting is "institutional schizophrenia" - "a news organization trying to be a government agency and a government agency trying to be a news outlet." He calls for getting rid of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and changes that reinforce broadcasting's journalistic credibility. Alternatively, if the broadcasting's mission is to be "'messaging' and policy advocacy," it should be placed in the State Department and called public diplomacy.

Alex Tiersky and Susan B. Epstein, Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues, Congressional Research Service (CRS), 7-5700, R42843, May 7, 2013. CRS analysts Tiersky and Epstein analyze legal obligations, policy issues, funding levels, and Congressional and Executive Branch roles in providing security for US diplomatic facilities and personnel. They focus on difficulties in balancing security concerns with diplomatic outreach responsibilities. About half of the 27-page report focuses on responses to the attack on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General, Inspection of the Bureau of International Information Programs, ISP-I-13-28, May 2013. In a report on State's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), State Department inspectors mix sharp criticism of IIP's leadership (lack of strategic vision, limited outreach within and beyond the Department, and ineffective Bureau management) with positive findings on IIP's effective use of digital diplomacy technologies and the dedication of its creative staff. The inspectors singled out for praise IIP's support for "American Spaces" as a "cornerstone of the Department's 21st century PD effort," the increased reach of its publications, and expanded use of video. High on their list of concerns: an office of Audience Research and Evaluation that is "producing little work" and a need for greater focus on "PD goals" in its digital diplomacy "rather than raw numbers of social media fans." The 52-page report contains 80 formal and 6 informal recommendations.

U.S. Department of State, Office of Diplomatic Security, Significant Attacks Against U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel, 1998-2012, June 2013. This 52-page report catalogs the numerous significant attacks on US diplomatic facilities and personnel that have occurred during the past fourteen years.

Ethan Zuckerman, Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013). Zuckerman (MIT Center for Civic Media and co-founder ofGlobal Voices) challenges optimistic Internet narratives that emphasize cosmopolitan potential but fail to recognize limitations in practice. Geography still matters. Atoms are relatively immobile. Flows of cheap bits are constrained by limited interest, inattention, "caring problems," linguistic differences and ambiguity, preferences for groups to "flock together," and views of the world that are "local, incomplete, and inevitably biased." Zuckerman offers informed practical advice on making connections through xenophiles, bridge figures, "third culture kids," "human libraries," urban serendipity, and new approaches to machine translation and other technologies. His measured insights compare usefully with the exuberance of such technology optimists as Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, former State Department advisor Alec Ross, and Australia's Fergus Hanson.

Recent Blogs of Interest

Robert Albro, "The Arts of International Affairs: Time for a New Conversation About Culture," June 6, 2013, The CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Max Boot and Michael Doran, "Political Warfare: Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 33," June 2013, Council on Foreign Relations.

Rosa Brooks,"The Case for American Propaganda," July 17, 2013, FP National Security Blog.

Robin Brown, "Inspecting the International Information Programs at State: Kicking Delivered," June 24, 2013; "A Lesson from the BBC World Service for VOA," July 5, 2013;"Diplomats vs. Project Management," July 11, 2013; "Whatever Happened to UK Public Diplomacy Strategy?" July 12, 2013; "Every Day Soft Power," July 16, 2013; "Fridtjof Nansen and the Birth of Celebrity Diplomacy," August 7, 2013; "Do We Need American Political Warfare in the Middle East?" August 9, 2013, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence Blog.

Robert Callahan, "Perspective: Keep Our Embassies Open," August 9, 2013, Chicago Tribune Commentary.

Brian Carlson, "Is U.S. Public Diplomacy Too Soft?" August 6, 2013, Public Diplomacy Council.

Helle Dale, "U.S. International Broadcasting 'Defunct' - Congress Finally Steps In," July 1, 2013; "How Many Friends Does the State Department Really Have," July 3, 2013, The Foundry Blog.

Kim Andrew Elliott, "The Battle for the Soul of U.S. International Broadcasting," July 3, 2013.

Guy J. Golan, "The Case for Mediated Public Diplomacy," July 19, 2013, Diplomatic Courier Blog.

Craig Hayden, "The Eye of OIG is Upon IIP," June 21, 2013, Intermap Blog.

John Hudson, "OMG! State Department Dropped $630,000 on Facebook 'Likes,'" Foreign Policy, July 2, 2013: "Unfriend: State Dept's Social Media Shop is DC's 'Red-Headed Stepchild,'" The Cable Blog.

David Jackson, "Social Media: Plenty of Talking, Not Much Listening," July 25, 2013, Public Diplomacy Council.

Emily Metzgar, "Fixing the Strategic Dysfunction," June 26, 2013; "PD Academic Research: Journalism & Mass Communication Scholars Consider Opportunities," August 13, 2013, The CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Paul Rockower, "Keepers of the PD Flame: An Appreciation of Embassy Local Staff," August 6, 2013, The CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Ellie Sandmeyer, "Fox's Baseless Attack on State Department Online Outreach," July 3, 2013, Media Matters.

Matthew Wallin, "America's Public Diplomacy at a Crossroads," July 3, 2013, American Security Project, Flashpoint Blog.

R.S. Zaharna, "Culture Posts: Domestic Stakeholders in Public Diplomacy: Lessons from Brazil," July 1, 2013; "Sharpening the Relational Lens in PD, Lessons from Egypt 2013,"August 19, 2013, The CPD Blog, USC Center for Public Diplomacy.

Gem From the Past

Ronald S. Burt,
"Structural Holes and Good Ideas," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 110, No. 2 (September 2004), 349-399. Nearly ten years ago, University of Chicago sociologist Ronald Burt published an article that continues to attract interest as diplomacy scholars and practitioners look increasingly at methods of "convening and connecting," diplomats as "boundary spanners," network and relational models, the role of foreign ministries in "national diplomatic systems," and transforming legacy public diplomacy institutions. Because opinions and behavior are more homogeneous within groups, Burt argued, people (brokers, entrepreneurs, bridge builders) connected across the structural holes between groups are more likely to have good ideas, early access to new and alternative opinions, and an ability to gain competitive advantage or leverage mutual advantages. Whether or not emerging good ideas are acted upon, however, depends heavily on inertia, chance, timing, career ambitions, working relationships, and organizational and cultural contexts.

Current compilations of Diplomacy's Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites are posted at Arizona State University's COMOPS Journal, George Washington University'sInstitute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy, and the Public Diplomacy Council. For previous compilations, visit Matt Armstrong's MountainRunner.uswebsite.