Issue #78

January 05, 2016
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.
Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Eric Bennett, Workshops of Empire: Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing During the Cold War, (University of Iowa Press, 2015).  Bennett (Providence College) looks at how contested Cold War ideologies and foundations funded by the CIA shaped the activities of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and creative writing programs in American universities.  Focusing on the careers of Workshop administrators Paul Engle (University of Iowa) and Wallace Stegner (Stanford University), Bennett argues that, although they wanted to spread American values, they also did not want to be seen as imposing a particular ideology fearing invidious comparisons with communism.  Accordingly, they encouraged aspiring writers to adopt aesthetic principles, a vision for literature, and techniques of writing and criticism that might “help to save the free world.”  “Novels, stories, plays, poems, and more generally the artistic and critical excellence of creative minds in a liberal democracy could, they believed, inoculate the citizenry against fearsome ideologies.”
Corneliu Bjola and Marcus Holmes, eds., Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, (Routlege, 2015).  Bjola (Oxford University) and Holmes (College of William & Mary) have compiled a timely and useful compendium of essays by scholars and practitioners on a cutting edge topic, which they broadly define as “the use of social media for diplomatic purposes.”  Their goal is “to theorize what digital diplomacy is, assess its relationship to traditional forms of diplomacy, examine the latent power dynamics inherent to digital diplomacy, and uncover the conditions under which digital diplomacy informs, regulates, or constrains foreign policy.”  The book has an excellent bibliography and the unusual virtue of being affordably priced for teachers, students, and practitioners.  Includes:
-- Corneliu Bjola, “Introduction: Making Sense of Digital Diplomacy”
-- Marcus Holmes, “Digital Diplomacy and International Change Management”
-- Sabrina Sotiriu (University of Ottawa), “Digital Diplomacy: Between Promises and Reality”
-- Alexis Wichowski (US Department of State), “‘Secrecy is for Losers’: Why Diplomats Should Embrace Openness to Protect National Security”
-- Corneliu Bjola and Lu Jiang (Oxford University), “Social Media and Public Diplomacy: A Comparative Analysis of Digital Diplomatic Strategies of the EU, US and Japan in China”
-- Ilan Manor (Tel Aviv University) and Elad Segev (Tel Aviv University), “America’s Selfie: How the US Portrays Itself on Its Social Media Accounts”
-- Amanda Clarke (Carleton University), “Business as Usual? An Evaluation of British and Canadian Diplomacy as Policy Change”
-- Stuart Murray (Bond University), “Evolution, Not Revolution: The Digital Divide in American and Australian Contexts”
-- Karen L. Corrie (Fordham University), “The International Criminal Court: Using Technology in Network Diplomacy”
-- Jon Pelling (Swedish Embassy in London), “When Doing Becomes the Message: The Case of the Swedish Digital Diplomacy”
-- J. P.  Singh (George Mason University), “The Power of Diplomacy: New Meanings, and the Methods for Understanding Digital Diplomacy”
-- Marcus Holmes, “Conclusion: The Future of Digital Diplomacy”
Broadcasting Board of Governors, “BBG Leaders Urge Senate Committee to Target Smart Reform of U.S. International Media,” November 19, 2015.  In hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on November 17, 2015, two panels presented views on issues in US international broadcasting, pending legislation, and options for reform.  In the first panel, the BBG’s views were presented in statements by BBG Chairman Jeff Schell, BBG CEO John Lansing, and BBG GovernorKenneth Weinstein.  In the second panel, the contrasting views of surrogate broadcasters were presented in statements by former Radio Liberty Director Enders Wimbush and former President/CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Kevin Klose.
David Bromwich, Moral Imagination, (Princeton University Press, 2014).  Diplomacy scholars and practitioners concerned with questions of cultural identity and varieties of relationships between groups will find much of value in this collection of twelve essays by Yale University’s David Bromwich.  “How Publicity Makes People Real” examines how media have become naturalized in the lives of many and conspire to persuade us we hardly exist outside the social world.  “The Self Deceptions of Empire” places Reinhold Niebuhr’s critique of US arrogance and belief in its uniqueness in the context of current arguments on American exceptionalism.  “Holy Terror and Civilized Terror” analyzes the motives of terrorists and an “emergency state of mind” used to justify excess in counterterrorism.  Teachers who have used Amartya Sen’s argument that people have multiple professional, regional, and political identities to make a case against rigid classifications by culture, religion, and ethnicity will find supporting views in Bromwich’s “Dissent on Cultural Identity.”
Costas M. Constantinou and Sam Okoth Opondo, “Engaging the ‘Ungoverned’: The Merging of Diplomacy, Defence, and Development,” Conflict and Cooperation, published online November 11, 2015.  Constantinou (University of Cypres) and Opondo (Vassar College) stretch traditional boundaries in this paper.  They examine “global practices of bio politics” that embrace the whole of humanity beyond national borders.  They look at the merging of diplomacy, defense, and development as a means to achieve human flourishing in spaces that “cannot be fully governed or resist domestication.”  And, using the US military’s combatant command for Africa (AFRICOM) as a case study, they analyze the “pluralization of diplomatic theory and practice” through “the militarization of diplomacy and development, the diplomatization of the military, and new forms of diplomatic outreach.”  Do these trends, they ask, create new forms of diplomatic agency and/or new diplomatic subjects?  Their paper does not escape the analytical need for boundaries in study and practice.  Their provocative argument will be contested, but their paper contributes to useful thought and debate.
Daryl Copeland, Science and Diplomacy After Canada’s Lost Decade: Counting the Costs, Looking Beyond, Policy Paper, Canadian Global Affairs Institute, November 2015.  In this report, Copeland (former Canadian diplomat and author of Guerilla Diplomacy) reflects on the importance of science and diplomacy in seeking solutions to climate change and other global challenges.  He examines policy and governance deficiencies that have damaged Canada’s influence and international reputation and concludes with recommendations for Canada’s new government and diplomacy practitioners. 
David Ensor, Exporting the First Amendment: Strengthening U.S. Soft Power Through Journalism, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, December 2015.  Writing as a fall 2015 Shorenstein Fellow, former Voice of America (VOA) Director Ensor takes issue with US lawmakers and others seeking to “make VOA a full-throated advocate for American policy” and to report exclusively on US-related news.  A supporter of VOA’s traditional mission, he argues “for protecting and strengthening VOA as an independent journalistic voice, in order to increase American soft power.”  Ensor frames his argument in the context of Joseph Nye’s concepts of soft power, the successful role of the BBC World Service, Russia’s problematic efforts to “weaponize information” through RT, China Central Television’s (CCTV) $7 billion dollar network,” the strengths and limitations of digital technologies, and contrasting characteristics of media markets.  He concludes with a series of recommendations to expand and improve VOA.  Ensor’s views are those of an advocate who argues the best journalism should not be value neutral.  His values are to strengthen a US government broadcasting organization, advance American interests through “fair news reporting in key languages,” and promote democracy and freedom of speech.
Investing for Influence, Report of the LSE Diplomacy Commission, LSE Ideas, 2015.  LSE Ideas, a research center at the London School of Economics, convened seventeen Commissioners from top levels of government, civil service, intelligence services, journalism, civil society, and academe to look at the future of British diplomacy and foreign policy.  The Commission’s report for the most part seeks to promote debate about Britain’s role in a changing international context rather than advance specific recommendations.  Key judgments consist mostly of broad generalizations.  The Commission sees “a role for the UK as an agenda setter and coalition builder across a broad range of global challenges” if it is willing to “contribute to the commons, rather than thinking in terms of narrow British interests.”  To achieve this “the UK will need to invest in the tools of diplomacy that have been eroded” and strengthen diplomatic capacity in “two key areas: knowledge and people.”  For a brief analysis of this report andStrengthening Britain’s Voice in the World (annotated below) see Robin Brown, “Foreign Policy Elite Defends the Foreign Office,” November 24, 2015, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence Blog.
Yulia Kiseleva, “Russia’s Soft Power Discourse: Identity, Status, and the Attraction of Power,”Politics, Volume 35, Issue 3-4, November 2015, 316-329.  Kiseleva (King’s College London) adopts a constructivist approach to soft power to address two key questions.  What are some difficulties and internal tensions in Joseph Nye’s soft power concepts that nevertheless have been embraced by elites in Russia and elsewhere?  How is Russia’s soft power discourse shaped by its historic “love-hate” relationship with the West, and how has it evolved from cooperative emulation to increasingly assertive opposition?  Kiseleva’s brief well-written article is useful for course topics on conceptual issues in soft power theory and Russian public diplomacy. (Courtesy of Yelena Osipova)
William McCants, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State, (St. Martin’s Press, 2015).  McCants (Brookings Institution, former State Department advisor on countering violent extremism) provides an informed account of the Islamic State’s rise.  In the growing literature on ISIS, his book has attracted wide praise for its clarity and nuanced analysis of ISIS’s strategy and the religious ideas of its leaders.  Drawing extensively on captured emails and leaked documents, McCants provides the non-specialist with an understanding of how the Islamic State thinks of itself and how it differs from Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.  He concludes with a discussion of difficulties in developing a counter-strategy.  McCants is confident ISIS’s government in Syria and Iraq eventually “will crumble.”  He is also confident, however, that political conditions in the Arab world will lead to “Islamic State copycats” with apocalyptic narratives.
Emily Metzgar, “Institutions of Higher Education as Public Diplomacy Tools: China-Based University Programs for the 21st Century,” Journal of Studies in International Education,published online September 9, 2015.  Metzgar (Indiana University, Bloomington) examines English language teaching programs at two leading Chinese universities, Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University and Yenching Academy at Peking University, as part of China’s efforts to project soft power.  Although Confucius Institutes have dominated the literature on international educational exchanges in China’s public diplomacy, Metzgar argues the emergence of these university programs within China provide opportunities for further research on their roles and evaluation of China’s soft power.  Her article contains a brief review of literature on international educational exchanges as public diplomacy.
David Milne, Worldmaking: The Art and Science of American Diplomacy, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015).  Milne (University of East Anglia) problematically conflates diplomacy and foreign policy.  Once passed this threshold issue, however, there is much on offer for diplomacy scholars in his rich portraits of nine individuals who bridged the worlds of ideas and practice in modern American foreign relations.  Milne avoids standard categories of realism / idealism and the geostrategic compartments of wars and Presidencies.  Rather his essays bring fresh insights to their ideas, the contexts in which they were formed, and their consequences.  Art and science, engagement and withdrawal are key binaries.  Especially useful are chapters on Woodrow Wilson’s idealism, Walter Lippmann’s powerful books and print journalism, and Barak Obama’s “pragmatic renewal.”
Tara Ornstein, Public Diplomacy in Global Health: An Annotated Bibliography, CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, December 2015.  In a brief introductory essay, Ornstein (University of Southern California) discusses the role of public diplomacy in global health, the work of key actors in the field, and a brief case study on successful public diplomacy initiatives in TB control.  Her bibliography contains annotations on nearly forty resources on diplomacy in global health and public diplomacy as a field of study and practice.
James Pamment, “Media Influence, Ontological Transformation, and Social Change Conceptual Overlaps Between Development Communication and Public Diplomacy,” Communication Theory,Volume 25, Issue 2, 2015, 188-207.  Pamment (University of Texas at Austin) explores ways of interpreting relationships between development communication and public diplomacy – “estranged siblings,” he argues, “twin products of U.S. political science and Cold War foreign policy” that are now converging.  His article discusses their early history, their “formal establishment” in the 1960s, key concepts in the two fields, similarities and differences, a cultural imperialism critique, and prospects for further research.  Pamment argues the two fields share the concept that “information propagated through media channels alters how foreign citizens know the world around them,” and this can lead to positive social transformation.  He concludes that both fields require further interpretation and “we need new theories and new empirical studies capable of interpreting their convergence.”
Geoffrey Allen Pigman, Trade Diplomacy Transformed: Why Trade Matters for Global Prosperity,(Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).  Pigman (University of Pretoria) has two broad objectives.  His book is first a sweeping historical meditation on broad transformations in the actors, institutions, and goals of international trade.  Here a central argument is that trade diplomacy is much more than a technical subset of diplomacy.  Trade for Pigman is more than a primary object of diplomacy.  Rather, “In an important sense, trade itself is a key form of diplomacy.”  Second, his study can be read as an investigation into the changing nature of diplomatic representation and communication.  Drawing on theories in diplomatic studies, it is a contribution to contested views on who is a diplomatic actor, the role and impact of public diplomacy, and the meaning of diplomacy in the relationships of “sovereign and estranged powers.”  
James Rider, “Proving Public Diplomacy Programs Work,” Foreign Service Journal, December 2015.  Rider, a diplomat in the US Department of State, calls for more “evidence-based” public diplomacy.  Building on the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy’s 2014 report, Data Driven Diplomacy, Rider examines organizational deficiencies (PD’s institutions traditionally “do not value evaluation”) and analytical challenges (measuring impact and cost-effectiveness is “extremely difficult”).  His recommendations for a shift away “from our current ‘faith-based’ public diplomacy model include: “Increase evaluations,” “Reduce the number of PD programs,” “Focus mainly on mid-level elites,” and “Stop ‘fill-in-the-blank’ diplomacy.”
Clay Shirky, Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream, (Columbia Global Report, 2015).  In this slim book, Shirky (NYU Shanghai, author of Cognitive Surplus, 2010, and Here Comes Everybody, 2008) combines his current thinking on digital technologies and insights on China’s political and economic trajectory in this story of the rise of the booming software firm Xiaomi Tech (“little rice” in Mandarin).  According to Shirky, the impact of Xiaomi’s popular Mi smartphones have made it the third largest ecommerce firm in China (following Alibaba and  For China, he argues, Xiaomi is proof that the Chinese entrepreneurial class can now compete on “design, service, and customer satisfaction” on the world stage.  However, as a firm that is forced to make different versions of its software for domestic and foreign markets, Xiamoi faces “the forces of conservatism and corruption [that] always threaten to freeze progress.”  (Courtesy of Donna Oglesby)
Strengthening Britain’s Voice in The World, Report of the UK Foreign and Security Policy Working Group, November 2015.  This report by a group of leading foreign affairs experts meeting at Chatham House and Ditchley Park addresses risks if Britain disengages from external threats and challenges and withdraws from membership in the EU.  It profiles desirable characteristics of the country’s foreign policy.  Its priorities include redressing a continuing deficit in the UK’s diplomatic capabilities, greater effectiveness in development spending, and setting a Foreign and Commonwealth Office “target of being a world leader in digital diplomacy.”  The report was timed to coincide with Britain’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Vivian S. Walker, “Case 331 – State Narratives in Complex Media Environments: The Case of Ukraine,” Case Study Program, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD), Georgetown University, 2015.  Walker’s (National War College) case study, written for ISD’s recently updated case study program, examines “the origins of the strategic narrative Russia has developed about its new, post-Cold War identity and how that narrative has shaped its propaganda offensive in Ukraine.”  Her 17-page case looks at Russia’s “hybrid warfare” strategy and matrix of tools and methods; Ukraine’s identity and strategic counter-narrative; Ukraine’s matrix of tools and methods; conclusions and recommendations for action.  Review copies with teaching notes and discussion questions are available at no cost for faculty who sign in to the ISD program.  The cost per student is $3.50.  Walker’s earlier case study, “Benghazi: Managing the Message” was published in April 2015 by USC’s Center for Public Diplomacy.
Ilya Yablokov, “Conspiracy Theories as a Russian Public Diplomacy Tool: The Case of Russia Today (RT),” Politics, Volume 35, Issue 3-4, November 2015, 301-315. Yablokov (University of Leeds) looks at RT through an academic framework, drawing on Mark Fenster’s concept of conspiracy theories as a device for reallocating power through populist rhetoric that seeks to unite “the people” against imagined secretive and powerful “Others.”  The article looks briefly at international broadcasting as a tool of public diplomacy, the history of RT and its approach to reporting and interpreting news, political ideas advanced by pro-Putin intellectuals, and ways in which conspiracy theories influence RT’s efforts to legitimize Russian domestic and foreign policies and delegitimize those of the United States.  Anti-elitist conspiracy theories can attract popular attention, Yablokov concludes, but research is needed on their target audiences and power as instruments of public diplomacy.  (Courtesy of Yelena Osipova)
R. S. Zaharna and Nur Uysal, “Going for the Jugular in Public Diplomacy: How Adversarial Publics Using Social Media are Challenging State Legitimacy,” Public Relations Review, (2015).  Zaharna (American University) and Uysal (Marquette University) contribute to the relational approach in public diplomacy scholarship with this analysis of relational dynamics between states and publics.  Their article develops a 4-quadrant typology that begins with a state-based model and evolves to include a state-oriented relational model, a publics-oriented relational model, and fourth model that emphasizes negative/hostile relations in which publics empowered by social media and personalized communication channels take control initiatives.  Zaharna and Uysal analyze implications of their argument in a case study of the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey.  Although their title focuses on adversarial publics using social media, the article takes a broader perspective in discussing varieties of relationships in its typology of activities and goals of state-centric and public-centric actors.
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Steven Aftergood, “DoD Gets Go-Ahead to Counter Islamic Messaging,” November 30, 2015, Federation of American Scientists, Secrecy News Blog.
Matt Armstrong, “No, We Do Not Need to Revive the U.S. Information Agency,” November 12, 2015, War on the Rocks; “Endnote edition,”
Martha Bayles and Jeffrey Gedman, “America’s Voice Must Be Heard,” November 16, 2015, Politico Magazine.
Robin Brown, “90 Years of Russian Public Diplomacy,” December 2, 2015; “Foreign Policy Elite Defends the Foreign Office,” November 24, 2015; “Documents on British Scholarships and Visits,” Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence Blog.
Connie Chan, “When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China,” August 6, 2015, Andreeson Horowitz.
Jennifer Clinton and Jelena Putre, “Focus on the International Visitor Program: Looking to the Future,”December 2015, The Foreign Service Journal.
Tara Conlan, “BBG World Service to Receive £289m from Government,” November 23, 2015, The Guardian.
Marissa Cruz, “How the US Military Engages in Public Diplomacy,” November 11, 2015, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
David Ensor, “How Washington Can Win the Information War,” December 14, 2015, FP Blog.
Steven Erlanger, “American Ambassador Builds Diplomatic Bridges with British Teenagers,” The New York Times, November 10, 2015.
Ali Fisher, “No Respite on Social Media After ISIS Attacks in Paris,” December 9, 2015. USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog.
Thomas Hegghammer, “The Soft Power of Militant Jihad,” December 18, 2015, The New York Times.
Lisa Liebman, “Meet the Ambassador Who’s a Reality TV Star in Denmark,” November 16, 2015, Vanity Fair.
Jan Melissen and Emillie de Keulenaar, “Foreign Ministries to Get Serious About ‘Digital Making,’”November 30, 2015, Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
Greg Miller, “Panel Casts Doubt on U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS,” December 2, 2015, The Washington Post.
David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, “Iranian Hackers Attack State Dept. via Social Media Accounts,”November 24, 2015, The New York Times.
Matt Schudel, “Olympic Gold-medalist Served in U.S. Foreign Service,” November 22, 2015, The Washington Post.
Tara Sonenshine, “The Speech Obama Should Have Given,” December 8, 2015, The Hill blog.
Matthew Wallin, “What Constitutes Credibility in U.S. Public Diplomacy?” November 9, 2015, American Security Project.
Lynn Weil, “CRs and Shutdown Threats: The Harm They Cause,” November 12, 2015, The Hill.
Alexis Wichowski, “Social Diplomacy, Or How Diplomats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tweet,”Foreign Affairs, April 5, 2013, posted online by the author on November 22, 2015.
Robert Zimmerman, et. al., “Focus on the International Visitor Leadership Program: Soft Power, High Impact,” December 2015, The Foreign Service Journal.
Gem From The Past (and present)
The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (HJD).  It was ten years ago that co-editors Jan Melissen (Netherlands Institute of International Affairs, ‘Clingendael,’ University of Antwerp) and Paul Sharp (University of Minnesota, Duluth) launched HJD, a quarterly academic journal devoted to the “theory, practice and techniques of diplomacy.”  HJD treats diplomatic studies as an “inter-disciplinary and inclusive field” with a wide variety of methodologies.  During its first decade, HJD has published dozens of cutting edge articles on traditional state-based and multilateral diplomacy as well as diplomacy’s evolving forms and methods.  Its pages give acceptance to a wide range of articles on public diplomacy, track two diplomacy, diplomatic practice by non-state entities, and digital diplomacy.  Each issue contains one or more articles on diplomatic practice.  Its editorial policies, backed by a distinguished international advisory board, ensure a broad global perspective.  As it enters its second decade, HJD promises to remain a leading research journal for the study of diplomacy.
An archive of Diplomacy's Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites (2002-present) is maintained at George Washington University's Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.  Current issues are also posted by the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy, Arizona State University's COMOPS Journal, the Public Diplomacy Council, and