Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2

“Most Americans can’t tell the difference between a Jackson Pollock

and a monkey throwing paint on a canvas.”

DJ Funkhouser, Indiana Daily Student; see also John Brown, "Arts Diplomacy: The Neglected Aspect of Cultural Diplomacy"


Lugar on Fixing Public Diplomacy – Cecile, The POMED Wire, Project on Middle East “At Senator Richard Lugar advocates the importance of strengthening U.S. public diplomacy efforts abroad. He explains that while allies (and adversaries) have been actively working to win hearts and minds, the U.S. has cut back on these efforts due to 'policy decisions, security concerns, and budget contraints. The unintended result is that in the global contest for ideas, the United States is playing short-handed.'”

Space weapons: soft power versus soft politics - Taylor Dinerman, “The 2006 US Space Policy would not have been better received in Europe if it had been promulgated by a president more popular than George W. Bush, though the hysterical media reaction might have been less.

Europe’s dislike of US space power is not based on America’s lack of soft power, but on the reality of its hard power. This is not something that better public relations or better public diplomacy can ever change.” Image from

US should be more involved in Human Right Council – Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “[Presenter: Tom] FAYLE: … I mean is it time though for a new direction, I mean perhaps a greater emphasis on public diplomacy, stepping up the battle of ideas? [Caroll Bogert, Associate Director of the US-based group Human Rights Watch] BOGERT: Well, I think the US has a lot to do, the Chinese are not wrong in criticising America's human rights performance and Barack Obama has a long way to go to restore American credibility in this domain. And he's got to start at home with the war on terror and how that's been conducted, the abuses in counter-terrrorism, including Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. He's announced himself ready and willing to clean that up and we're very hopeful that there is going to be a change of direction in the United States, but America's human rights record is far from clean. Image from

A strategy for the counterrationalization of US international broadcasting: Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "It takes an intellectual leap, but one of only about six inches, to understand the communication process of international broadcasting. Audiences seek news that is more reliable than that from their state controlled domestic media. Because credibility is key, the governments that fund international broadcasting outlets must give them the independence to pursue their journalistic missions. Stategically steering content for the 'spread of enlightened values' will relieve US international broadcasting of the burden of having an audience."

Secretary of culture? - DJ Funkhouser, Indiana Daily Student “[O]ne of the proposed duties that this secretary of culture would be required to perform would be to showcase American art. But what art can be said to be prototypically American? For instance, what would be 'American music'? ... . [T]he argument put out by Bob Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, for having a secretary to bring together the arts and government is to unite parts of government that each partially deal with the arts to start talking with one another. Listening to his examples, whether they are cultural diplomacy in the State Department or trade issues involving intellectual property laws, there’s rarely, if ever, any need for these different parts of government to coordinate with one other about art.” Image from

Traditional Diplomacy: What are your impressions of the ‘old’ diplomacy? Has it become outmoded? Ernest Andreyevich Reid, The New Diplomacy: "Public diplomacy has evolved, incorporating a number of powerful elements such as propaganda and public relations.” Image from

House Armed Services Committee: Committee announces the following schedule for the week of February 9 - 13, 2009*CORRECTION** - “Please note that the Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on Thursday, February 12 at 1:00 PM will now be held in room 2212 Rayburn. The full committee will meet to receive testimony on Addressing U.S. Strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan: Balancing Interests and Resources. [Among the] Witnesses: … . Michael Doran Visiting Professor, Wagner School of Public Service, New York University and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Support for Public Diplomacy).”

Community: AHIF Internship Program in D.C.GreekNews: Embassies of Greece and Cyprus: "The intern for the Embassy of Greece can either be a Greek American or Greek national; however, he/she must be a graduate student. The summer internship lasts from the end of May till the end of July. The preferred majors/areas of interest are: international relations, political science, journalism, public diplomacy, strategic studies and political campaigning. The Embassy of Cyprus requires interns to be Cypriot nationals. The internships last from the end of May till the end of July."

Intern for the Public Diplomacy and Communication program at the embassy of Dhaka, Bangladesh - : “The Royal Danish Embassy of Dhaka, Bangladesh is looking for an intern for the Public Diplomacy and Communication program.”

Shaping Strategies - Edge Perspectives with John Hagel “In times of high uncertainty, adaptation is the winning strategy. So goes the conventional wisdom. But, what if that misses a big opportunity? In a new article just published in Harvard Business Review, I suggest in collaboration with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison that shaping strategies may hold far greater promise.

Executives have far more degrees of freedom to shape target markets and industries in times of high uncertainty and rapid change than in more stable times. … While our HBR article focuses on the application of shaping strategies in the business arena, this approach to strategy has the potential to to be applied in many other domains. For example, we have held workshops exploring its application in such diverse fields as public diplomacy and and education. Even movements for social change may find that shaping strategies can provide significant leverage.” Image from

Speakers call for transparency and more help for poorSingapore Democrats: “Mr Seelan Palay, a socio/political activist questioned the need to spend huge amounts in defence spending in this time of economic crisis. … He said 'public diplomacy' refers to government sponsored programmes intended to inform or influence public opinion in other countries by utilising instruments such as publications, motion pictures, and cultural exchanges.”


U.S. Army captain learning new skills in war-torn Afghanistan - Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: MAYDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Crowe trained to obliterate distant foes with high-explosive shellfire. But in this mud-washed,

mountain-framed provincial capital in eastern Afghanistan, he is learning to be a diplomat, urban planner, construction manager, humanitarian worker and politician. As the overseer of the first sustained American aid effort launched in the city eight years after the U.S. intervention that drove the Taliban from power, the 32-year-old artillery officer is having to master skills that he's not been taught by the military. Image from

Blogs versus traditional media - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

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