Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30

“Poetry is news that stays news.”

--Ezra Pound; image from


Brokering Power, “Soft” and “Hard” - Mark Dillen, Public Diplomacy: "Along the gradient of power, there’s a possible mix of 'soft' and 'hard' varieties. The public diplomacy originating at the U.S. State Department is commonly associated with the 'soft' power of peaceful persuasion and cultural appeal; the foreign information efforts at the Pentagon are often in the service of some tangible 'hard' power goal.

The mixing often takes place in conflict zones, where a variety of forces and actors are in play. ... Undersecretary of State [for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] Judith McHale is putting great emphasis on coordination between State and the Department of Defense, and the 'potential rebalancing of the respective roles, responsibilities, and resources of State and Defense in the public diplomacy and strategic communications arenas.' One hopes that this effort will encompass the murky world of Pentagon contracting for foreign 'information' activities, where clearly more oversight is needed." Image from

The Future of Public Diplomacy [review of Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, The Future of Public Diplomacy: An Uncertain Fate, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/Brill Academic, 2009] - William A. Rugh, American Diplomacy: "This book is noteworthy for at least two main reasons. First, it is a rather comprehensive review of most of the literature directly or indirectly related to public diplomacy. ... [S]econd ... it gives considerable attention to the views of practitioners of public diplomacy who have had extensive experience doing it since they have been American Foreign Service Officers working at embassies and consulates abroad. ... I would recommend this book for university-level students who are interested in the subject and who want to gain an overview of the history and key issues in the current debate about public diplomacy. Of all the books published in the past decade, this one is perhaps the most comprehensive and balanced."

A career path less traveled - Susan Szafir, University of Texas at Austin News:

"The traditional role of a public diplomacy officer abroad is to connect the host country’s population with the American people, institutions and culture. Other Foreign Service career tracks include management, politics and economics. A public diplomacy post in Iraq is different than most, with the goal being reconstruction and stabilization of the country." Image from

Pakistan's Impressive Rebuilding Program In Afghanistan‎ - International Analyst Network: "Welcome to Pakistan's impressive -- and little known -- contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan in the past eight years. Add to this 500,000 Afghans who study in Pakistani schools, 28000 Afghan graduates from Pakistani colleges in 30 years, and three million Afghans who continue to live with us as our brothers and guests, add all of this and Pakistan easily beats India's one billion dollars in aid. ... It is interesting how very few American writers have acknowledged the Pakistani contribution. One reason for this is Pakistan's weak public diplomacy skills. Most Pakistanis don't know about this, let alone Afghans and the international media. Pakistanis wouldn't have discovered what different departments of the Pakistani government have been doing in Afghanistan if not for Pakistan's dynamic young Ambassador in Kabul Mr. Mohammad Sadiq. On March 23, 2010, Pakistan Day celebrations in Kabul, Ambassador Sadiq wrote an op-ed that was published in English- and Dari-language newspapers where he listed the Pakistani contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan."

"Jihadists of the World Unite", and Russia's Potential PD – Lena, Global Chaos: "[T]he public diplomacy challenge that Russia faces - especially regarding Western audiences – [is] precisely because Western (and particularly, American) politicians, civil society representatives, the media, and even the movies are constantly paining a brutal image of Russia, of the Russian people, and most importantly, of the Russian leaders.

For most part, those are incomplete, if not false. More importantly, however, is that the way Russia is always portrayed somehow makes it a 'special' case among the 'terrorism-stricken' countries." Image from

Spat Between China, US Over RMB Value Will Not Help Resolve Trade Disputes - Current Affairs, Socio-Economic Issues, Current Events, News - NewsDawn: "[O]n [the] diplomatic front, China also cannot afford to show its weakness. This is because within China, its economic transformation has been slow, its employment situation is grim and its societal tension is on the rise. Voices coming from China's civil society demanding for societal structural change are continued to be heard. The Chinese Government is now faced with a populist movement. At this period of time when the Chinese Government has to pay full attention to handle domestic challenge, China really cannot afford to show its weakness in public diplomacy."

Indonesian Cultural Center opens in Brussels‎ - Jakarta Post:

"The Indonesian ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg and the European Union, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, opened the first Indonesian Cultural Center in Europe on de la Woluwe boulevard, Brussels, Belgium, on the weekend. The center will promote Indonesian culture, including art, cuisine, films and languages, said P.L.E. Priatna, the minister counsellor for social and cultural affairs and public diplomacy at the Indonesian embassy in Brussels." Image: The coat of Arms of Indonesia

Korean Tacos And Kimchi Diplomacy – Paul Rockower, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "South Korea has recently launched a serious re-branding effort. The South Korean government has been worried that the country’s brand has been underperforming in years past, and not at the level befitting a country that is the solid middle power that South Korea believes itself to be. ... Seoul has held public diplomacy commissions and brought in the experts to discuss how to raise awareness of Korea in the international community. The government tried various slogans with the appropriate buzzwords that never exactly connected or meant anything (‘Sparkling'? 'Be Inspired'? Really?). One area that the Korean government has recently chosen as a target for outreach is the realm of gastrodiplomacy. Gastrodiplomacy, simply put, is the act of winning hearts and minds through stomachs."

Tripping past the tourists — a guide to Israel programs – Jewish Chronicle: "GaP: Government and Politics in Israel%u2028[:]

This 10-month program combines a semester of study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with trips around Israel, volunteering projects and a public diplomacy course on how to advocate for Israel on campus." Image from

'Night jobs may have exposed Indians to attacks in Australia' - IANS, Thaindian.com: "Attacks on Indian students in Australia could be a result of night jobs and rough neighbourhoods they live in, an external affairs ministry official said Monday. Navneet Suri, a joint secretary with the ministry’s public diplomacy, told reporters during a press conference here that most Indian students in Australia were from a lower middle class strata of society, and ended up doing night jobs in rough downtown areas to make ends meet, and inadvertently exposed themselves to street crime."

In Other Words: IC in Quotes - Laura McGinnis, ManIC: "[F]or the citizen diplomat, is that going abroad is a challenging experience, one that forces people to re-evaluate their assumptions. Maintaining a blind devotion to one’s homeland to the exclusion of all other places is not profitable, nor is loving all places equally and uncritically. The wise response is to find a balance between the two, drawing from one’s cultural foundation and keeping an open mind to alternatives. In terms of cultural diplomacy and international communication, I think a common mistake is for participants to focus too intently on the end goal and not on the process, which, under the right circumstances, can be an end unto itself. Citizen diplomats, take note: Recognize, but don’t idealize, your roots. Keep an open mind.

And bring a towel." Image from

First Recipients of USC Africa Fund Named‎ - Dietmar Quistorf, USC News: "Three USC undergraduates were chosen as the inaugural recipients of the new USC Africa Student Fund, which they will use to pursue independent research projects this year on the African continent. [Among the] recipients [is] Silva Sevlian, a senior pursuing a joint B.A./M.A. degree in print journalism and public diplomacy. ... Sevlian will be studying the Armenian Ethiopian community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, focusing on the role of Christianity as a tool for public diplomacy between Armenia and Ethiopia. During her 16-day trip, she will conduct interviews with members of the Armenian Ethiopian community while taking video and audio footage and photographs to document the shrinking population. Upon her return to the United States, she will create a Web site documenting the research."

Selected for - the Legislative Fellowship Program (LFP) – Edward Ling Blog:

"I have been selected for a legislative fellowship program (LFP) by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL). Here an excerpt from their invitation letter: ... Congratulations on your selection as a delegate for the American Council of Young Political Leaders’ (ACYPL)Legislative Fellows Program (LFP) that will take place from March 28 – May 5, 2010. You have been chosen based on your outstanding professional accomplishments as well as your potential as a future leader in Malaysia. ... Your program will be an important professional development opportunity; one designed to strengthen your leadership and public diplomacy skills and enhance your knowledge of the United States as well as international relations. Specifically, the LFP is intended to enhance your understanding of the US governance, politics and policy making and the role of civil society plays in the American political process. While your schedule will include many professional meetings, we understand the importance and value of cultural activities and free time." Image from

Vanilla PD – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "As I was driving around today I saw that on a stop sign, there was a sticker below the 'stop' that said: '...collaborate and listen.' I posted it on my facebook page, and got an interesting comment from my friend Leah stating 'A PD traffic sign.' The more I thought about it, the more I realized how right she was. Since collaboration and listening are fundamental facets of public diplomacy, then perhaps we should call Vanilla Ice an old skool public diplomat. Rather than an OG, he is an OPD. Word to your mother."


Obama's blitz-visit to Afghanistan is pure propaganda - The Voice of Russia:

As regards Obama's appeal to the Afghan authorities to step up the fight against drug trafficking, which is forming an economic basis for the extremists, this statement of the U.S. President can be qualified as a pure propaganda PR action. And NATO's recent rejection of the Moscow proposal to begin destroying the opium poppy crops in Afghanistan under the dubious pretext that the North Atlantic Alliance is not ready to deny the only source of revenue to the people living in the poorest country of the world offers proof of this. Image from

Milton Wolf Seminar: Al Jazeera English as networked journalism‎ - Laura McGann, Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard: One panelist, Shawn Powers, of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, went so far as to describe Al Jazeera English as an experiment in networked journalism. The channel’s shows, its website and spinoff experimental sites tap into its audience to develop story ideas, gather data and deepen engagement. That collaboration between audience and professionals makes it an interesting networked journalism example.

Israel insults the U.S. with go-it-alone tactics - Wayne Wickham, USA Today. Below image from

Lo, the Mideast Moves - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Obama’s has demonstrated that his focus on Israel-Palestine will not be diverted by Netanyahu’s push to place the Iranian nuclear program front and center. This is critical: Iran cannot be a Palestine-postponing pawn. Already, there are shifts in Israeli attitudes as a result of the new American clarity.

The internet is not freedom juice, and other notes on firewalls in China and elsewhere - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Google's lonely stand for human rights in China – Richard Cohen, Washington Post: Bald hypocrisy is why virtually no American firm has joined Google -- not Microsoft and not Yahoo -- or said they could not do business in a place where people were seized by the police and executed without so much as even a show trial. Business, as we all know from the "Godfather" movies, is business.

Will new national search engine challenge Google in Russia? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Critic says Russia Today "shows the country in a bad light" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Where a Century of Soviet Art Meets Ceramics‎ - Alisa Ballard, The Moscow Times: Bolshevik leaders after the revolution urged the nation’s artists to produce high-quality and powerful propaganda. Many of the greatest avant-garde artists of the day captured the spirit of the young state by brandishing revolutionary slogans in poetry, theater, paintings and film. Porcelain was no exception. Factories like Leningrad’s State Porcelain Factory, previously the Imperial Porcelain Factory, turned from producing dishware for aristocrats to producing it for the new Soviet regime.

The 1920s saw phrases such as “He who doesn’t work doesn’t eat” and “The kingdom of workers and peasants will have no end” etched around the edges of dinner plates by masters of ceramic art. Some of the porcelain propaganda on show does not need slogans to make its point. A small ceramic statue from 1921 titled “The Awakening East” is of a Muslim woman with bared breasts removing her religious head-covering while reading a Soviet newspaper. But not all of the works are propaganda. Most of the ceramic statues and dishware sets have no political agenda. Image from article

1 comment:

evision said...