Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 4

“'I work in the Communications and Public Diplomacy Team. More specifically with public and digital diplomacy.'

And that is when I get the baffled expressions.

'Hum…okay. But…what is that exactly?'”

--Luana Seabra, who "works with Communication and has quite an obsession for music-related things. She joined the [presumably British] Embassy [in Brasilia] in 2010 to work with Public Diplomacy, having previously worked in Itamaraty and UNODC. "


Public Diplomacy, Global Phenomenon - Japan - Public Diplomacy Council: "Minister for Public Affairs Masato Otaka of the Embassy of Japan (center) converses with John Brown (left) and Donald Bishop (right)

before presenting Japan's approach to public diplomacy, at the First Monday Sandwich Lunch Forum for November 4, co-sponsored with the University of Southern California's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. Part of our series, 'Public Diplomacy as a Global Phenomenon.'" Image from entry, with caption: photocredit: Joe Johnson




Trading Privacy for Security: Americans are still willing to forgive the NSA's intrusions, but are U.S. friends abroad? - Bruce Stokes, Foreign Policy: "[W]hen asked to balance security worries against privacy concerns, Americans continue to opt for security. In ... [a] Washington Post-ABC News poll, 57 percent felt that it was important for the federal government to investigate terrorist threats, even if it intrudes on personal privacy. Just 39 percent said that the government should not intrude on personal privacy, even if it limits the ability to investigate possible terrorist threats. ... [W]omen much more than men were willing to sacrifice privacy for security, and the old much more than the young. But what about America's image abroad? The U.S. government's respect for individual liberty has long been a strong suit of American public diplomacy. Even in many nations where opposition to U.S. foreign policy is widespread and where overall ratings for the United States are low, majorities or pluralities have believed that individual rights are respected in America. In 2013, before many of the revelations about the NSA activity had been published, the Pew Research Center asked people in 39 nations if they thought the United States government respected the personal freedoms of its people.

A median of 70 percent said it did, including majorities or pluralities in 37 of 39 nations. In contrast, a median of only 36 percent said this about China. In that survey, America's reputation as a stalwart defender of civil liberties was particularly strong in Italy (82 percent), Germany (81 percent), France (80 percent), and Spain (69 percent). This would have come as good news to policymakers in Washington. Positive views of Uncle Sam's record had risen 20 points in Spain, 15 points in France, and 11 points in Germany since the dark days of 2008. But today, these are all countries where the public outcry against the NSA spying has been loudest. So Americans are of two minds about recent allegations of NSA surveillance of phone and email communications. They worry about its impact on international relations and their own privacy. But that concern continues to be trumped by their ongoing anxiety about terrorism. How all this plays out overseas, especially in Europe, where until recently the United States was seen as a protector of civil liberties, is an open question. But tidings don't look good." Image from

America’s Image Takes A Beating - qpolitics.org: "The last few months have not been good for America’s international image, mainly because they have not been good for America. Our domestic political turmoils have undoubtedly made us look bad before the whole world and our vaunted democracy appears to have feet of clay. On top of this, recent missteps and leaked documents have made our allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia either angry or fearful or both. The effects of these setbacks are likely to have a long-term impact on our global interests. ... The United States spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year trying to burnish our image overseas (we call it ‘public diplomacy’) and yet an incident such as the revelations about the NSA programs will cancel out all those efforts.

We need a plan to overcome the bad publicity, and we need it soon. While some may feel we can go it alone in the world, the truth is that the United States needs friends to further its agenda internationally, and we won’t have friends if the general population in friendly countries sours on us. ... We also need to remember the disaster that is our foreign policy in the Middle East. For a while there we were staunch supporters of the 'Arab Spring,' but now that things have not really gone the way we naively expected, we have sort of lost interest. ... Compounding this problem, the President went out on a limb threatening military action against Syria, then realized he didn’t have support from the American people and asked Congress to vote on the issue. ... Finally, the Obama administration managed to let down its friends in Asia as well." Image from entry

Nation and World - bendbulletin.com: "Iran talks — With talks over Iran's nuclear program set to resume in Geneva this week, both sides engaged in public diplomacy Sunday: Iran's supreme leader moved to quiet hard-liners in his country by expressing support for his negotiating team, while the chief U.S. negotiator reiterated in an Israeli television interview that 'no deal is better than a bad deal.' On Thursday and Friday, Iran and the so-called P5-plus-1 group of world powers are scheduled to hold their second round of negotiations since Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June." See also.

Public Diplomacy is Flourishing–Spread the Word [October 2, 2013] - tokyonancysnow.com: "There are more talented people engaged in public diplomacy than ever. There is recognition of public diplomacy in the academy with graduate programs and courses proliferating (USC, Syracuse, George Washington, American University to name a handful). There are titled careerists in public diplomacy that weren’t around in the 1990s. ... To bemoan a talent loss from the demise of the United States Information Agency’s dismantling under Bill Clinton is specious. In sheer numbers and recognition, public diplomacy is flourishing."

Abe's legacy as a foreign policy president revealed in 'Lincoln and the World' [video] - pbs.org: "Journalist and author Kevin Peraino argues that there are many parallels to the challenges that faced Abraham Lincoln in the mid-19th century and those facing President Barack Obama today. NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan talks to Peraino about his new book, 'Lincoln in the World,' and how Lincoln balanced pragmatism and idealism to his benefit as a leader. ... [PDPBR compiler noted: Based on my recollection of the interview, it included Peraino referring to "public diplomacy" as part of Lincoln's foreign policy (this statement cannot be found in the video however)].

Image from interview

Volunteering with the Peace Corps: Opportunities for the Arts Community to Engage in Public Diplomacy - Jeremie Gluckman, artsdiplomacy.com: "Peace Corps is valuable in American PD efforts and provides insights on the role that citizen artists and arts educators but also professionals in the creative industries and in arts management have to play in international development and diplomacy.

American civilian institutions, which include arts and culture organizations, have much to contribute in public diplomacy." Image from entry, with caption: Peace Corps volunteer with students from the International Center for Art and Music in Ouidah, Benin

Coleman’s Cultural Cringe Moment - Pablo, kiwipolitico.com: "For some time I have had the impression that Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman is out of his depth on issues of defense and security, so I was not surprised by his joyful celebration of the signing of a bi-lateral defense pact with the US. Master of the flak jacket photo op, it was all sunshine and roses for Dr. Coleman at the Pentagon press conference, where he emphasized that US and NZDF troops would be training and working together on peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance missions in between group hugs and port visits. He seemed blissfuly unaware that US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, standing beside him at the press conference, made no mention of the kumbaya aspects of the bilateral, instead referring to the combat integration benefits of closer military-to-military relations. What I was surprised at was how provincial and just plain goofy Coleman appeared to be. ... for a Pièce de résistance, he whipped out a junior sized All Blacks jersey

and foisted it on the unsuspecting Hagel. ... The last moment was gold. Hagel acted as if he was not sure what the piece of black cloth was all about. A pirate flag? A tea towel? Something for Halloween? ... The usual protocol for government to government exchanges of sporting symbols (most often on the occasion of bi- or multination sporting events) is to keep the colors and national crests but not the commercial logos. Such exchanges are done at the conclusion of formal meetings, with approved media doing the coverage on cue. Otherwise, the exchange is approved at press conference photo opportunities by prior consent. This avoids impromptu, ad lib or extemporaneous embarrassments or hijacks of the media op, to say nothing of security breaches. On this the ritual of public diplomacy is pretty clear: public posturing and grandstanding is expected, but surprises are not. In this instance Secretary Hagel was clearly surprised by the unilateral token of affection. He had nothing to give in return in front of the cameras. That means that the NZ embassy in Washington was incompetent, deliberately mean or ignored in the decision as to choice of gift as well as the way in which to present it, because it is brutally clear that Coleman and his staff were clueless as to the symbolism and significance of their preferred option for a unilateral, unscripted gift." Image from

Slovakia's Pendulum Swing - John Feffer, johnfeffer.com: “'In spite of all classifications and ratings — Slovakia is doing relatively well in international comparative surveys assessing the quality of life — the public mood at home contradicts the favorable findings,' former Slovak ambassador to the United States Martin Butora told me in an interview in Bratislava last February [Q:] You were the ambassador to the United States. When you got to Washington, what were your priorities and what were you able to achieve? ... [A:] I remember our first visit with Deputy Minister of Defense Richard Armitage. ... He’d been a military man . ... [A]nd he cited a military tactic, I cannot recall right now the name of it. ... With this and a lot of public diplomacy, we worked to change the image of Slovakia. We invited not only governmental people but also a lot of non-governmental actors—judges, journalists, artists, scientists, NGO leaders, mayors, students, you name it. We told them just one thing: 'Just tell the truth. Nothing else.

Just tell the truth. Tell them about the situation you inherited in the field in which you’re working. And tell them what you would like to have from the Americans and what you are prepared to offer them in the way of partnership.' I remember an Austrian diplomat saying, 'Listen, why are you organizing public meetings that are so critical. You are talking about women rights, about the Roma, about this and that. You have nice girls, you have good beer, you have the Tatra Mountains, you should show that. Why it is that every time I’m coming you are showing documentary movies about how horrible it is in your country!'” Image from

Confucius Institutes Again - pdnetworks.wordpress.com: The distinguished anthropologist Marshall Sahlins has a long piece on Confucius Institutes in the latest issue of The Nation which contains a few pieces of information that I don’t remember having seen before (or I’ve seen and hadn’t registered. Confucius Institutes are under the Chinese Language Council International, better known as the Hanban, the governing council of the Hanban is chaired by a deputy Premier and includes among its members the Foreign Ministry, the State Council Information Office, and the State Press and Publications Administration not just the Ministry of Education. As Sahlins puts it ‘Hanban is an instrument of the party state operating as an international pedagogical organization’. The model agreement for establishing an Institute is secret and contains a non-disclosure agreement. This tends to obscure just how much influence that the Chinese side has over staffing and curriculum. In particular Chinese staff are vetted for political reliability – Falun Gong members need not apply – and CI programmes won’t deal with Taiwan, Tibet, Tianmen or human rights.

In negotiating terms for Institutes the Hanban appears to be more flexible in the US than in Canada, and the more prestigious the University the more that it is able to set the terms of the contract. However Sahlin speculates that as top American universities are getting involved with the programme they are seeing them as icebreakers to improve their access to China so they’re not driving as hard a bargain as he would expect. Sahlin is particularly interested in the University of Chicago, which seems to have managed avoid delete the secrecy clause from the contract and have a say over staffing but is still acting as if the whole thing is secret and isn’t engaged in the selection of staff. He also makes the point that CIs only teach students to read simplified Characters – ie the script that is used in the PRC but not in other Chinese speaking populations (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia) There’s also an evolution in the CI strategy away from language and culture and towards greater involvement in teaching and research in other areas. One of the take aways from my current research is that engagement with a country’s educational system is one of the most powerful ways of building connections and China is doing this big time." For full Sahlins article, see. Image from

Visiting Professor Examines China-Japan Tension: Political Science Department Gives Talk on Senkaku Islands Dispute - Noelle Didierjean, thelinknewspaper.ca: "The dispute over sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands—and the gas deposits they give access to—came to Concordia on Oct. 31 in a talk sponsored by the Department of Political Science. ... 'Japanese tenure of the islands would give it access to economic resources on the Chinese continental shelf, which under the UN Law of the Sea, would otherwise belong exclusively to China,' explained Concordia political science professor Julian Schofield . ... 'The Japanese government is intent, in its public diplomacy, on mobilizing awareness of the security implications of the rise of China, and seeking allies,' said Schofield, who specializes in security and strategic studies in south and Southeast Asia."

The role of public sentiment and social media in the evolving China–Africa relationship - eldis.org: "The demands of public diplomacy have shifted with the development of social media technologies. Increasingly, governments are required to gauge and respond to public sentiment over and above the one-way communication of broadcast media. The paper seeks to make sense of the evolving nature of public diplomacy and what the involvement of public sentiment means for the future of China–Africa relations. The paper discusses: public diplomacy in a digitised information age and how the increase in access to information and communication is diffusing foreign-policy decision making in China [;] how the point of engagement between China and Africa, as well as the degree of possible influence, is also determined by Africa’s own processes and developments (i.e.: of communication technology) [.] The author summarises that: China’s experience demonstrates that its influence over the foreign-policy process is complex and varied. Although decision making remains opaque, internal changes are producing an active negotiation process, including a change in leadership and the rising role of online public sentiment. Coupled with these developments are future trends that could affect the nature of public opinion. These include technological developments, the rising youth demographic and nationalism [.] [O]n the other hand, it is Africa that is leapfrogging communication technology. Despite this trend, South Africa has demonstrated the limits of social media influence in decision making. In this inherently divided society, social media is not taken up as a policy negotiation tool but rather as a means for information and social interaction although public opinion is difficult to measure online, sentiment (and a lack thereof) is able to provide an indication of the future direction of China–Africa relations. Both countries’ larger public remains disinterested in the relationship unless it affects their immediate environment (which emphasises economic concerns). The future China–Africa relationship depends on public diplomacy on both sides. and social interaction[.]"

Into The Fray: If I were prime minister... - Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post: "The current governmental attitude of utter disregard for diplomatic endeavor is reflected in the pitiful amounts allocated for diplomacy, in general, and for public diplomacy, in particular. If the resources allotted for the achievement of a given objective is a gauge of the importance assigned that objective, and of the resolve to successfully attain it, then we are forced to conclude that the Israeli leadership has hitherto assigned virtually no importance to diplomatic objectives – and demonstrated commensurately little resolve in attaining them. ... [A]mong my very first decisions would be to direct my finance minister to dramatically increase the budget allocation for diplomatic warfare – for promoting Israel’s case abroad, repudiating the accusations of its adversaries and repulsing assaults on its legitimacy. And by 'dramatically,' I mean up to $1 billion. ... A billion dollars!? I can almost hear the gasps of disbelief and the dismissive snorts of derision. They would be sorely inappropriate and unfounded – detached from any factual foundation. For a billion-dollar public diplomacy budget might sound wildly exorbitant – until you compare it with the sums laid out for other purposes – like the air force or Israel’s anti-missiles system."

3rd Israel Congress 2013 in Berlin, Germany –- Open letter to foundations in support of the congress - stopthejnf.org: "The purpose of the congress is to promote Israeli 'Hasbara', (public diplomacy). ... Israel is, however, justly criticized for discriminatory policies, for the ongoing occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory, for an inhuman siege on the Gaza Strip, the mass deportation of indigenous Bedouins from their

homes in the south of Israel ... , for over 50 laws ... which discriminate non-Jewish citizens of Israel. In response to this criticism, the Israeli government adopted a strategy of public relations, instead of reforming its own policies. This congress is one of the elements of this strategy!" Image from

It’s high time we all acquired a few more emotional skills - Ayesha Almazroui,
thenational: "One of my fellow students recently raised an important question during a class on public diplomacy: why do so many Emiratis have difficulty communicating with others? Many members of society seem to lack social skills or what is called 'social intelligence', she added. Most of my classmates agreed with her. I think the issue is rooted in our culture. Emirati society is still fairly conservative. It encourages individuals to be quiet and polite and not to interact much with strangers, so the matter often stays buried until one enters the real world. In job interviews, many Emiratis suffer from anxiety, nervousness, even panic – all traits that were debated and discussed at last month’s Najah career fair at Adnec. ... The UAE’s education system is still in the development stage, with many areas that can be improved. Adding social-emotional education to the system should be part of the future. Undoubtedly, it would have a positive impact on many of our social problems."

Internet freedom in Armenia and Azerbaijan: comparative review - Fuad Aliyev, caucasusedition.net: "In both countries virtual social and political activism is much stronger than in the real life. Internet space enjoys more opportunity spaces for such activism. More Internet activism has a huge and still unutilized potential for public diplomacy and expansion of various online peace-building initiatives that won’t be possible offline otherwise."

Finance Minister Updates On Meetings In UK - bernews.com: Last week Minister of Finance Bob Richards concluded meetings with various representatives of the UK Government to discuss matters related to Bermuda – UK engagement and international tax risk. ... Minister Richards ... : ... “Bermuda

companies provide substantial insurance coverage to the UK market and are expected to pay 62% of the claims of the largest peacetime fire and explosion – the Buncefield oil terminal fires of 2005. The meetings directly support our commitment to strengthen public diplomacy and support bi-lateral and multi-lateral engagement.” Uncaptioned image from entry

It all started with a Facebook post… - Samara South, blogs.fco.gov.uk: "Last week we gave 7 laptop computers to a basic school in St Elizabeth. In furthering our public diplomacy objectives, our aim this time around was to engage with rural Jamaica but even more so to further impact the education sector beyond our Chevening scholarships. We decided to solicit the help of our Facebook users via a competition that would locate an early childhood institution in rural Jamaica in dire need of computers. About two months after we ended up at the Tryall Early Childhood Institition in St. Elizabeth. ... For me it was going home to my roots. For others, it was re affirming the traditional relationships between the UK and Jamaica. It also allowed us to meet and interact with British Nationals who returned to Jamaica after spending many years working in the UK. Tryall is one of the many communities in Jamaica with deep roots in Brixton, Peckham and Birmingham.

Living the Brand: The Olympics and The Workplace - Darren Baelish, felixwetzel.com: "I have mentioned in in several blog posts before, that public diplomacy – the person to person, citizen to citizen interaction – is the strongest form of diplomacy. The individual is the single most important brand ambassador. But it needs to be reinforced with every single act, watching Jessica Ennis, is not enough, it needs to be backed up by the next personal interaction.

That is another reason why volunteers are such an invaluable part of the Olympic experience and the nation brand creation. The effectiveness of this public diplomacy depends on the level of pride, ownership and voluntary participation of the individual citizen towards his or her own nation brand, which is exactly what the Olympic Games are achieving in the UK." Image from entry

National Strategic Intelligence Agency: A new reality for Sri Lanka - "Now the much-awaited election of the Northern Provincial Council has successfully been concluded and the provincial government installed. The Rajapaksa administration has ensured that the flame of democracy is lit again in these areas, where for three decades people lived under an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. The LTTE has been decimated and its effectiveness has now been confined to the living remnants hiding in foreign countries. The diplomatic offensive launched by the separatist lobby needs to be counted effectively. New diplomacy requires experts well-versed in the art of diplomacy (official diplomacy) and new public diplomacy (greater interactions with wider public overseas) requires experts who should be able to project the image of Sri Lanka abroad and to counter the adverse impact generated by the anti Sri Lanka lobby. The military campaign is now over and a new war on public diplomacy needs to be waged overseas. Besides, there has arisen a new role for intelligence organisations to focus on foreign intelligence and to assess the movements of the pro-separatist lobby both by means of covert and overt and this would entail the permanent presence of intelligence operatives in these countries. This article is meant to highlight the need for urgent reforms within the national intelligence apparatus of Sri Lanka in order to meet this new threat and what lessons it could learn from experiences from other countries."

The Election Manifesto of Jan Cheek - Jan Cheek, falklandnews.com: "The next Assembly will face a most challenging and exciting time in the Islands' history. If chosen to represent you I would hope to bring experience, common sense and an unrivalled corporate memory to the new Assembly. I outline just a few of the many important subjects to be considered. Political challenges will be many, first countering the economic and diplomatic aggression of Argentina requires a sustained campaign of public diplomacy. Significant progress has been made using the evolving plan begun several years ago by the outgoing Assembly but more work will be needed and full time members will have more time to devote to it."

‘Gastro-diplomacy’ ‘Culinary diplomacy’ - Sutin Saisanguan, news.asia.tu.ac.th: ‘Gastrodiplomacy’, Paul Rockower is a food lover with a masters in public diplomacy, and he’s researched some of the ways entire countries have used food to extend themselves around the world. Rockower calls the field ‘gastrodiplomacy’. 'The first country to really conduct gastrodiplomacy was Thailand,”' he says. 'They had a program called the Global Thai program which they introduced in 2003, which was meant to expand the number of Thai restaurants around the globe.

They gave soft loan money to help promote the restaurants, and they made access to Thai ingredients more available for Thai chefs. Basically they decided the best way that they could communicate their culture was by using their food and their restaurants as forward cultural outposts.'” Image from entry

Welcome - Giannina Warren: Musings about PhD life and festivals, events and PR - "This blog is going to underpin my new career — as an academic, a consultant, an entrepreneur, an author, a free woman. ... This blog will be a place for my musings on communications, PR, promotional culture, social media, festivals, events, city-branding, public diplomacy, cultural relations, tourism and music."

Tufts' Diplomat In Residence on Careers in the Foreign Service - tuftscareerservicesambassadors.blogspot.com:

Job Vacancy For Administrative Management Assistant At American Embassy - ghanacurrentjobs.com: "The U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana is seeking an individual for the position of an Administrative Management Assistant in the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the Embassy. ... The incumbent serves as the senior locally employed staff ( LES) advisor to the Public Affairs Management Team, consisting of the Public Affairs Officer (PAO), Cultural Affairs Officer (CAO), Information Officer (I0), Regional Information Resource Officer, and Regional Educational Advisor (REAC) on post administrative and financial management. S/he is responsible for coordinating or completing administrative documents to operate one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest cultural, educational and youth exchange programs. ... Under the supervision of the PAO, the incumbent provides the operating data on financial and administrative feasibility of Public Diplomacy (PD) activities (including the IIP/IRO, ECA, PEPFAR PD, and ECA/Educational Advising activities), to support PD activities under the Mission Strategic Performance Plan."


In Germany Support Grows for Snowden Asylum - Philip Oltermann, Guardian: An increasing number of public figures are calling for Edward Snowden to be offered asylum in Germany, with more than

50 asking Berlin to step up it support of the US whistleblower in the new edition of Der Spiegel magazine. Image from

Congress Can Help on Iran - Editorial, New York Times: Just when Iran appears reasonable, more sanctions could well halt negotiations. The United States would be blamed and the unified international front the Obama administration has worked long and hard to assemble could unravel.

Talk to Iran, It Works - Ryan C. Crocker, New York Times: Diplomatic progress between the United States and Iran is possible. It is certainly not guaranteed, but a solid diplomatic solution is always better than the alternatives.

America’s Top Diplomat Is Lost in Space - Peter Van Buren, tomdispatch.com: As for Kerry’s nine-month performance review, here goes: he often seems unsure and distracted, projecting a sense that he might prefer to be anywhere else than wherever he is. In addition, he’s displayed a policy-crippling lack of information, remarkably little poise, and strikingly bad word choice, while regularly voicing surprising new positions on old issues.

The logical conclusion might be to call for his instant resignation before more damage is done. Image from

China to stamp out Dalai Lama's 'propaganda' in Tibet - Ben Blanchard, Reuters: "China aims to stamp out the voice of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in his restive and remote homeland by ensuring that his "propaganda" is not received by anyone on the Internet, television or other means, a top official said.

Marvel Propaganda Says 'BE VIGILANT' of Inhuman Threat - Lucas Siegel, newsarama.com: "Be Vigilant." That's all Marvel's new teaser for the new status quo sweeping the Marvel Universe, Inhumanity, says, but it carries quite a few implications.

The image itself and the word "Vigilant" carry a heavy connotation of something bad coming. You're not typically vigilant for large gifts of money or roses, you're vigilant for threats. Of course, if there was any doubt whether or not Marvel Comics is positioning Inhumans as the new "mutants" of the Marvel Universe, this image should erase that. Whether it is, as has been speculated, to give them their own "mutants" for the Marvel Cinematic Universe while Fox retains the rights to the originals.

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