Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PD News: Überman America: The Sinister Soft Power of Trump’s Foreign Policy

via mail from the the USC Center on Public Diplomacy

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February 27, 2017
Bad guys can possess soft power. I know—I wrote a book about it. But over most of the past century the U.S., as the soft power hyperpuissance, has largely set the standards of what constitutes effective national image projection. The United States has drawn its soft power, the “ability to shape the preferences of others,” as put by Joseph S. Nye, who devised the term. Read More...
Microsoft’s call for a Digital Geneva Convention, outlined in Smith’s blog post last week, has attracted the attention of the digital policy community. Only two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for an Internet company to invite governments to adopt a digital convention. Microsoft has crossed this Rubicon in global digital politics by proposing a Digital Geneva Convention which should ‘commit governments to avoiding cyber-attacks.' Read More...
The Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the highest level of bilateral cooperation between China and Singapore starts today, February 27. Singapore Deputy PM Teo Chee Hean arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a three day visit at the invitation of China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. Both leaders are co-chairs of the platform, which is for promoting dialogue between China and Singapore. Read More...
U.S. representative Raúl Grijalva said climate change is the greatest danger facing the world right now in his closing speech at the Science Diplomacy and Policy with Focus on the Americas conference in Tucson. Applause erupted from the conference attendees, speakers, panelists and organizers in the audience. [...] The conference aimed to provide a “state of the art” vision for the future in science diplomacy and policy. Read More...
Russia has been making the headlines of international media for a while now. But none of that had to do with a strong economy or a powerful army because Russia simply doesn't have either. Instead, it has learned to interfere through other means in the politics, media, elections and national security of other countries. [...] The new methods of Russian influence are well-known, but it seems that Western countries have turned out to be unprepared for them. Read More...
When Australia’s Foreign Minister announced a $15 million contribution to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Data for Health initiative in March 2015, the program became a key way for Australia to improve outcomes of its overseas health aid. [...] Data for Health is showing its worth, allowing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other partners to work with governments in developing countries on evidence-based health policies. Read More...
This stand is the fourth commercial venture that Zwawe has opened in São Paulo in as many years, but the first, he says, that will show “what authentic Syrian cuisine really is.” He’d opened his previous stand inside a bakery in the industrial district of Brás, just east of downtown. “I used to do the recipes that people here are more familiar with, like falafel, kebab, sfihas, and kibbehs,” he says. Read More...

The CIA is One of the Main Peddlers of Fake News: Newly-Declassified Docs.

globalresearch.ca [original article contains video, "CIA Admits Using News to Manipulate the USA (1975)"]

Newly-declassified documents show that a senior CIA agent and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence worked closely with the owners and journalists of many of the largest media outlets:
The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press: 
 Wikipedia adds details:

After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services.
The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.
In 2008, the New York Times wrote:
During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of “soft power” in American history.
A CIA operative told Washington Post owner Philip Graham … in a conversation about the willingness of journalists to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories:
You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.
Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:
More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.
In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.
Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were [the heads of CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier‑Journal, and Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include [ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters], Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.
There is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements.
The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management.
Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.
Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Time magazine’s foreign correspondents attended CIA “briefing” dinners similar to those the CIA held for CBS.
When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.)
In November 1973, after [the CIA claimed to have ended the program], Colby told reporters and editors from the New York Times and the Washington Star that the Agency had “some three dozen” American newsmen “on the CIA payroll,” including five who worked for “general‑circulation news organizations.” Yet even while the Senate Intelligence Committee was holding its hearings in 1976, according to high‑level CIA sources, the CIA continued to maintain ties with seventy‑five to ninety journalists of every description—executives, reporters, stringers, photographers, columnists, bureau clerks and members of broadcast technical crews. More than half of these had been moved off CIA contracts and payrolls but they were still bound by other secret agreements with the Agency. According to an unpublished report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Otis Pike, at least fifteen news organizations were still providing cover for CIA operatives as of 1976.
Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side ….
There were a lot of representations that if this stuff got out some of the biggest names in journalism would get smeared ….
An expert on propaganda testified under oath during trial that the CIA now employs THOUSANDS of reporters and OWNS its own media organizations. Whether or not his estimate is accurate, it is clear that many prominent reporters still report to the CIA.
4-part BBC documentary called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques.
John Pilger is a highly-regarded journalist (the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson remarked, “A country that does not have a John Pilger in its journalism is a very feeble place indeed”). Pilger said in 2007:
We now know that the BBC and other British media were used by the British secret intelligence service MI-6. In what they called Operation Mass Appeal, MI-6 agents planted stories about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, such as weapons hidden in his palaces and in secret underground bunkers. All of these stories were fake.
One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. “I have to tell you,” said the spokesman, “that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don’t have to do any of that. What is the secret?”
Nick Davies wrote in the Independent in 2008:
For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.
The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. I’ve spent the last two years researching a book about falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.
The “Zarqawi letter” which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media.
This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new and essentially benign structure of “strategic communications” which was originally designed by doves in the Pentagon and Nato who wanted to use subtle and non-violent tactics to deal with Islamist terrorism but whose efforts are poorly regulated and badly supervised with the result that some of its practitioners are breaking loose and engaging in the black arts of propaganda.
The Pentagon has now designated “information operations” as its fifth “core competency” alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own “psyop” element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of “public diplomacy” which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK psyops, based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.
In the case of British intelligence, you can see this combination of reckless propaganda and failure of oversight at work in the case of Operation Mass Appeal. This was exposed by the former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter, who describes in his book, Iraq Confidential, how, in London in June 1998, he was introduced to two “black propaganda specialists” from MI6 who wanted him to give them material which they could spread through “editors and writers who work with us from time to time”.
The government is still paying off reporters to spread disinformation. And the corporate media are acting like virtual “escort services” for the moneyed elites, selling access – for a price – to powerful government officials, instead of actually investigating and reporting on what those officials are doing.
One of the ways that the U.S. government spreads propaganda is by making sure that it gets its version out first. For example, the head of the U.S. Information Agency’s television and film division – Alvin A. Snyder – wrote in his book Warriors of Disinformation: How Lies, Videotape, and the USIA Won the Cold War:
All governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.
Another casualty, always war’s first, was the truth. The story of [the accidental Russian shootdown of a Korean airliner] will be remembered pretty much the way we told it in 1983, not the way it really happened.
In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there’s even less to constrain propaganda than before.
One of the most common uses of propaganda is to sell unnecessary and counter-productive wars. Given that the American media is always pro-war, mainstream publishers, producers, editors, and reporters are willing participants.
It’s not just lying about Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction … the corporate media is still selling lies to promote war.
Former Newsweek and Associated Press reporter Robert Parry notes that Ronald Reagan and the CIA unleashed a propaganda campaign in the 1980’s to sell the American public on supporting the Contra rebels, utilizing private players such as Rupert Murdoch to spread disinformation. Parry notes that many of the same people that led Reagan’s domestic propaganda effort in the 1980’s are in power today:
While the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond’s NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.
Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Shadow Foreign Policy.”]
Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan’s article for The New Republic, entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan’s criticism of Obama’s hesitancy to use military force.
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is bigger than ever ….
Another key to American propaganda is the constant repetition of propaganda. As Business Insider reported in 2013:
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a highly-respected officer who released a critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan ….
From Lt. Col. Davis:
In context, Colonel Leap is implying we ought to change the law to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will.”
The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 appears to serve this purpose by allowing for the American public to be a target audience of U.S. government-funded information campaigns.
Davis also quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development — who defines Information Operations (IO) as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience.”
Brig. Gen. Baker goes on to equate descriptions of combat operations with the standard marketing strategy of repeating something until it is accepted:
For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.
And those “thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs” appear to serve Baker’s strategy, which states: “Repetition is a key tenet of IO execution, and the failure to constantly drive home a consistent message dilutes the impact on the target audiences.”

Government Massively Manipulates the Web, Social Media and Other Forms of Communication

Of course, the Web and social media have become a huge media platform, and the Pentagon and other government agencies are massively manipulating both.
The CIA and other government agencies also put enormous energy into pushing propaganda through movies, television and video games.

Cross-Border Propaganda

Propaganda isn’t limited to our own borders …
Sometimes, the government plants disinformation in American media in order to mislead foreigners. For example, an official government summary of America’s overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950′s states, “In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq” (page x).

Everyone Who Challenges the Status Quo Is Labeled As a Purveyor of “Fake News” … Or Worse

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the press from censorship by government.
Indeed, the entire reason that it’s unlawful for the government to stop stories from being printed is because that would punish those who criticize those in power.
Why? Because the Founding Father knew that governments (like the British monarchy) will always crack down on those who point out that the emperor has no clothes.
But the freedom of the press is under massive attack in America today …
A Harvard law school professor argues that the First Amendment is outdated and should be abandoned.
When financially-savvy bloggers challenged the Federal Reserve’s policy, a Fed official called all bloggers stupid and unqualified to comment.
And the government is treating the real investigative reporters like criminals … or even terrorists:
  • The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge
  • In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)

    Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

    Africa’s Rich Oil: U.S., China New Competing Race for Africa and the Core Causes for Conflict (Part Five)

    Josephus Moses Gray, gnnliberia.com
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    While it is difficult to draw out a definite conclusion, empirically China is posing greater threat to the U.S. influence in Africa, except for other regions such as the Latin America, Asia and Middle East where U.S. commends greater respect.
    China and the United States use tools of soft power in different ways and with varying effects. Since the mid-1990s, the PRC has adopted an increasingly active and pragmatic diplomatic approach in Africa that emphasizes complementary economic interests. China’s influence and image have been bolstered through its increasingly open and sophisticated diplomatic corps as well as through prominent PRC-funded infrastructure, public works, and economic investment projects in many African countries; Beijing have diplomatic mission in 49 African countries.
    The U.S. international public image is gradually declining on the continent perhaps due to its foreign policies that remain unpopular abroad. The U.S. government has persistently criticized U.S. state diplomacy as being neglectful of smaller countries or of countries and regional issues that are not related to the global war on terrorism.
    The United States continues to exert global foreign aid leadership and maintain a major, and much appreciated, aid presence in Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. U.S. foreign assistance to Southeast Asia has increased markedly since 2001, although most new funding has been directed at counter-terrorism.
    The regions with the largest U.S. public diplomacy efforts in terms of funding are Europe/Eurasia and the Western Hemisphere (Latin America and the Carribean). Likewise, the U.S. International Military Education and Training (IMET) program seeks to promote democratic values, mutual understanding, and professional and personal relationships in addition to military capacity.
    Many aspects of U.S. social, economic, cultural, academic, technological, and other forms of influence, much of which emanate from the private sector or outside the scope of government, remain unmatched in the world. Many American ideals have long-term, universal appeal, while the United States continues to be a magnet for immigrants and foreign students. Despite a perceived lack of attention among elites, the United States has maintained favorable public image ratings in many African and Latin American countries as well as in the Philippines, a U.S. ally.
    The United States and China share the same vital national interests of security and prosperity, although each has a particular additional interest and each defines its interests somewhat differently. Each seeks freedom from fear and want and to preserve its territorial integrity. For the United States, its particular interest lies in value preservation and projection of those values.  
    China has thus made in-roads into the oil sectors in Nigeria (Africa’s largest oil producer) and Angola (Africa’s second largest producer), which accounts for “13 per cent of China’s crude oil imports”. Other African countries with Chinese oil interests include Gabon, Mauritania, Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, Liberia, Ghana, Southern Sudan and Chad.
    US oil interests are locked into major oil producers such as Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Gabon, and the “new oil boom states” Chad, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe. Since most of the oil being discovered is off-shore, it also has the added advantage of being beyond the reach of protesting oil communities on land that are capable of disrupting the oil flow, as had been the case in the restive Nigerian oil-rich Niger Delta since the 1990’s (Obi 2006a: 93-94).
    It is fair to argue that the African continent has not traditionally been at the centre of United States of America (USA) foreign policy. Historical links between the U.S. and African countries date back centuries, but significant change in both relations has been the growing concern about the hunt for resources and terrorist activities on the continent, particularly in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions. The United States recent re-engaging with the continent indicates that Africa does occupy a central place in US global foreign policy strategy. The US is the world’s largest development aid donor and has programs dedicated to Africa with billions of dollars being spent in various sectors on the continent. ...

    U.S. Consulate Tijuana launches COMICS Competition #ARTEvsVIOLENCIA


    The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, in partnership with Fundación EnTijuanarte and Halaken Telar Juvenil, announced #ArteVSViolencia, a contest to develop a superhero or comic strip to combat trafficking in persons.
    Preeti Shah, Public Affairs Officer, highlighted the need to reach young audiences via comics, and the goal of using arts as a vehicle for messages of empowerment and anti-trafficking.
    For more info of the contest visit: http://ow.ly/zfmO309iYbv

    Confused by Trump, Gulf States Push for Iran-Saudi Rapprochement

    Kimberly Rogers-Brown, beastwatchnews.com

    “Shahab Hosseini is more dangerous than the Revolutionary Guards,” wrote the Saudi newspaper Mecca last August. “Iran has captured the entire world with its professional film industry,” warned the daily, unwittingly complimenting Iranian cinema.
    Hosseini is the protagonist in the film “The Salesman,” for which Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night (following “A Separation” in 2012).
    A representative of Farhadi, Iranian-American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, read a short declaration in his name, in which he outlined his reasons for not attending the ceremony: the executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump forbidding entry into the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran – and their implications and significance.
    Thousands of words have been written on the executive order, including the interesting question as to why Saudi Arabia of all places – the country from which 15 of the 19 terrorists in the 9/11 attacks originated – was not included.
    But that’s no consolation for the kingdom, which continues to be troubled by Iran’s cinematic success. The extensive coverage of the battle between the two regional powers doesn’t skip the channels of public diplomacy, in which cinema plays an important part.
    In the face of Farhadi’s success, Saudi Arabia is presenting a film of its own. Not a feature film, since there is almost no movie industry in Saudi Arabia. Instead, it is a documentary produced by Margin Scope – the film company owned by Saudi-U.S. businessman and lobbyist Salman al-Ansari.

    Firouz Naderi and Anousheh Ansari posing with the Oscar they accepted on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi, who won the Best Foreign Language Film for "The Salesman."
    Firouz Naderi, left, and Anousheh Ansari with the Oscar they accepted on behalf of Asghar Farhadi, who won the Best Foreign Language Film for “The Salesman,” February 26, 2017. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

    As might be expected, the film – called “Menace in Disguise” – labels Iran a terrorist state that aspires to undermine stability in the region.
    Interviewees include senior American officials, including Dr. Michael Ledeen – a close friend of Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s national security adviser for 15 minutes.
    The neoconservative Ledeen devotes most of his academic and political work to the Iranian threat. In the 1980s he was involved in Irangate, which was designed to bring about an internal revolution in Iran, but ended with the sale of Iranian weapons to the rebels in Nicaragua, in a circuitous deal that included Israel.

    Frum: There may be security risks in the White House right now

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    David Frum says the special prosecutor talk should stop and that a special commission should look into the Trump team's ties to Russia instead. Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel also joins Lawrence to weigh in.

    February Blog Roundup: The Top 5


    Take a look at CPD's top blogs from February:
    5) I Was a Stranger & You Welcomed Me: The Church & Immigration - By Madison Jones. A look at the response of some Christian churches to President Trump's travel ban.
    4) Mexico at a Crossroads - By Sergio de la Calle. With the world watching the new U.S. - Mexico relationship, Mexico has an opportunity. 
    3 ) What's in VOA's Charter - And What Isn't - By David S. Jackson. The Voice of America was never intended to do investigative reporting, nor should it.
    2) NATO in an Era of Fake News and Disinformation - By Barbora Maronkova. How the "post-truth" trend of misinformation is affecting NATO, and how the organization can fight back.
    1) The Fate of VOA in the Balance - By Alex Belida. What does the Trump administration's anti-media environment mean for the Voice of America?
    Photos (from top to bottom): Photo by Gretchen Mahan | CC by 2.0, Photo by Presidencia de la Republica Mexicana | CC 2.0, Photo by Gabito222 | CC 0, Photo by MIH83 I CC 0, Photo by Thomas Cizauskas I CC 2.0

    Guest Speaker Event: Mexico's Struggle With Its Country Image


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    Emerging, Exotic, But Yet Dependent: Mexico's Struggle With Its Country Image
    Professor Cesar Villanueva Rivas, guest speaker
    Professor Rebecka Ulfgard, guest speaker
    Professor Nick Cull, moderator
    USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
    3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA
    Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017
    Time: 12pm-1pm
    Room: ASC 207
    Refreshments will be provided
    Hosted by the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars at USC and the USC Master of Public Diplomacy Program
    Questions? Contact us at apds@usc.edu
    Guest Speaker Bios:
    César Villanueva Rivas is Associate Professor, International Relations and Public/Cultural Diplomacy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, since 2007. Member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers, National Council of Science and Technology (SNI-CONACYT in Spanish). He has coordinated the study A Contemporary Agenda for Mexican Cultural Diplomacy, a breakthrough analysis of trends and actions of soft power in Mexico over the last decade, with contributions by leading experts in the field. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Linnaeus University (2007, previously Växjö University), in Sweden, doctoral thesis: Representing cultural diplomacy. Soft power, cosmopolitan constructivism and nation branding in Mexico and Sweden (Växjö University Press, 2007). A frequent lecturer on cultural/public diplomacy and contemporary arts at different universities and cultural centers in the Americas, Asia and Europe, in 2015 he was the keynote speaker at the Wilton Park conference on Soft Power, held in Mexico, with participation by leading worldwide experts in the field. He has just concluded a research project funded by the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) on the image of Mexico abroad (2006-2015).
    Rebecka Villanueva Ulfgard is Associate Professor in International Cooperation and Development Studies, Instituto Mora, Mexico City, since August 2008. She is teaching courses and supervising Masters theses on International Relations theories, International Cooperation and Development (focus on Mexico, Latin America, and Latin America/Mexico-European Union relations) at the Master’s Program on International Development Cooperation. Member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers, National Council of Science and Technology (SNI-CONACYT in Spanish). She obtained her PhD degree in Political Science from Linnaeus University (2005, previously Växjö University) with the doctoral thesis Norm Consolidation in the European Union: The EU14-Austria Crisis in 2000 (Växjö University Press, 2005). In Mexico she is taking an active part in new initiatives to include civil society and academia in the foreign policy process, for example around the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda/Sustainable Development Goals. Her latest edited book is Mexico and the post-2015 Development Agenda: Contributions and Challenges. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. She is the lead coordinator (together with César Villanueva Rivas) of the Palgrave Macmillan series on “Governance, Development, and Social Inclusion in Latin America”.