Globalization and changing global architecture (i.e. the emergence of new players, new ‘soft’ roles for traditional ‘hard’ powers, and the ever-increasing popularity of a ‘soft’ power (Elgström, 2010: online)) are giving international relations and diplomacy worldwide a more intense focus on public diplomacy (PD). Successful PD, defined as ‘an international actor’s attempt to advance the ends of policy by engaging with foreign publics’ (Cowan and Cull, 2008, p. 6), masters five elements in its practice: listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, exchange and international broadcasting (Cull, 2008, pp. 31–32). One particular element of this taxonomy - listening - is given a priority over the other four. Identified as an ‘actors’ attempt to manage the international environment by collecting and collating data about public and their opinions overseas and using that data to redirect its policy or its wider public diplomacy approach accordingly’ (Ibid., p. 32), it is an integral part of the other four PD practices. Yet, despite its importance, systematic listening to international publics is typically overlooked by the makers of foreign policy.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."