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A Blog on Understanding, Informing, Empowering, and Influencing Global Publics, published by Matt Armstrong

Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level

In the realm of public diplomacy reports, there are too few that should be on your required reading list. “Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level” (820kb PDF) is an exception. Written by Carolijn van Noort, a former intern at the Department of Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture of the Consulate General of the Netherlands, this 53-page report is a terrific analysis of the challenges of public diplomacy in today’s Now Media environment.

Intended to explore the new public diplomacy of the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, and its various Consulates, the “public diplomacy 2.0″ activities of the United States are also included .

Carolijn rightly states that “Social media asks for an hybridization of open and closed communication practices.” In this statement, she eloquently captures the dilemmas facing both public diplomacy and online engagement. She continues,

To engage with foreign audiences through social media services, diplomacy has to innovate itself. The social media services ask for openness and transparency, which contradicts traditional closed communication practices in diplomacy.

Carolijn also (rightly) notes that for the US, the modern constraint of the Smith-Mundt Act means “opportunities in the digital space are lost or postponed in the mean time [sic].”

The resulting document is both smart literature review and smart analysis. Do read the report: Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level (820kb PDF)

It is available at MountainRunner with the permission of Floris van Hövell, Head of Department Public Diplomacy, Press and Culture, Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, Washington D.C.

Jazz Diplomacy: a Cold War Relic?

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By Candace Burnham

Pop quiz: name three jazz artists under the age of 50. Maybe you named popular favorites Wynton and Branford Marsalis, but can you name any of their albums? Does anyone else spring to mind? No? You’re not alone – if anemic record sales are any indication, a majority of Americans would draw a blank at that question. As a trumpet player who graduated from a jazz school, I’m acutely aware of the fact that jazz is simply not as ubiquitous today as it was sixty years ago. Yet, it’s still the crown jewel in US public diplomacy efforts. We export it as representative of American culture, but it’s barely relevant in our own country.

Cultural diplomacy, according to the late public arts funding advocate Dr. Milton Cummings Jr, is, the exchange of ideas, information, values, systems, traditions, beliefs, and other aspects of culture, with the intention of fostering mutual understanding. Governments utilize it in hopes of earning the support of foreign publics. Jazz, the status quo version embraced in government programs like Rhythm Road, doesn’t represent today’s America, but with the respect and press it garnered in the 1950s and 60s, the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is hesitant to give it up.

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Event: Will Wikileaks Transform American Diplomacy?

This at 4pm, Thursday, 20 January 2011, the Burkle Center at UCLA will host the second of their three-part series on Wikileaks.

The panelists will consider the implications of WikiLeaks’ latest release for American diplomacy. Have the media played a responsible or even defensible role by releasing these diplomatic cables? What will be the effect on the future relationship of the media and American diplomats in particular and the media and the American government in general? Are the media supposed to protect the establishment or act as a watchdog in the public interest?

The panelists are Geoffrey Cowen and Ambassador Derek Shearer. The moderator is Kal Raustiala.

More information, including RSVP is at the Burkle Center website.

I’ll be there.

The third part of the series is entitled “What are the Legal Implications of Wikileaks?” This will take placed Wednesday, 26 January 2011, at 12:15pm at the UCLA Law School. The moderate is again Kal Raustiala and the panelists are Norman Abrams, David Kaye, Jon Michaels, and Eugene Volokh (blog). RSVP for Part III here.

Event: The Role and Relevance of Multilateral Diplomacy in U.S. Foreign Policy

The American Foreign Service Association (“The Voice of the Foreign Service”) is convening a new series of events linked to the cover story on its monthly flagship publication, the Foreign Service Journal. The first event highlighting the December 2010 FSJ article on multilateral diplomacy will take place at 3p on 11 January at AFSA. A panel to discuss the topic “The Role and Relevance of Multilateral Diplomacy in US Foreign Policy” will include:

  • Dr. Esther Brimmer,  Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
  • Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Member of House Foreign Affairs and outgoing chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.
  • Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
  • Retired Foreign Service Officer and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Molly Williamson will moderate.

RSVPs are required, and should be sent to events@afsa.org by January 10.

AFSA is located at 2101 E St NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #53 (Courtesy of Bruce Gregory)

Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University.

October 22, 2010
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest.  Suggestions for future updates are welcome. 
Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University

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Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #46

Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University:

July 7, 2009
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest.  Suggestions for future updates are welcome. 
Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Media and Public Affairs
George Washington University

Continue reading “Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #46” »