Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #47

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

September 9, 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
(202) 994-6350

Gordon Adams, "Strategic Planning Comes to the State Department," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 30, 2009. Adams (American University) looks positively at the implications of State’s decision to undertake a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) analogous to the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).  Announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Jacob Lew and Policy Planning Director Anne-Marie Slaughter at briefings on July 10, the QDDR is a strategic planning mechanism intended to link instruments of diplomacy and development with objectives, priorities, values, and resources.  A quadrennial diplomacy review was recommended by the Public Diplomacy Council in 2002 and the Council on Foreign Relations Public Diplomacy Task Force in 2003.

AIA 21st Century Task Force, Design for Diplomacy: New Embassies for the 21st Century, American Institute of Architects, July 2, 2009.  Chaired by Barbara A. Nadal, the AIA’s Task Force — a collaborative effort of architects, engineers, diplomats, public art experts, and officials in the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations — makes recommendations on the design and construction of new U.S. embassies.  As reports on embassy design have done in the past, the Task Force places top priority on the safety and security of embassy employees.  The report calls for integrating security and design excellence in "high-performance buildings" that enhance "aesthetics, energy, efficiency, sustainability, flexibility of functions and work spaces, accessibility, historic preservation, and user productivity."  The report does not examine closely tradeoffs between policies that privilege security over access and location, virtual diplomacy alternatives and other public diplomacy issues.  The Task Force does recognize "that sites that are considerable distances from downtown areas with limited access to public transportation pose challenges for those seeking visas, diplomatic exchange, and other activities."  For a critique of the AIA’s findings, see Philip Kennicott, "Breaking the Diplomatic Ties That Bind Design," The Washington Post, July 19, 2009, E3.  See also the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy’s 1985 report on these issues in "Gem from the Past" below.

Chris Anderson, Free:  The Future of the Radical Price, Hyperion, 2009. The editor of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail (2006) looks enthusiastically at the economics of digital information and the relentless downward pressure on price of all products "made of ideas."  Although Anderson is primarily concerned with technological, psychological, and commercial implications of free information, his analysis, which includes a chapter on new media models, raises relevant issues for diplomacy and political communication.  For a measured critique of Anderson’s logic, see Malcolm Gladwell’s review, "Priced to Sell:  Is Free the Future?" in The New Yorker, July 6, 2009.

Coalition for Citizen Diplomacy. The Coaltiion’s updated website contains information on its mission and broadbased membership, links to publications by CCD members, and information on its community summits and other projects.

"Credible Public Diplomacy: A Lesson for Our Times," The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Special Edition, Spring 2008, Vol. 32:3.  Now online in its entirety, this edition of the Forum contains articles and speeches given at Fletcher School’s 100th Anniversary, Edward R. Murrow Memorial Conference.  Includes:

Bruce Etling, John Kelly, Rob Faris, and John Palfrey, Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere:  Politics, Culture and Dissent, Berkman Center for Internet and Society,
June 16, 2009 (pdf file online). 
This case study, one of several in the Internet & Democracy Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center, looks at "the Arabic language blogosphere using link analysis, term frequency analysis, and human coding of individual blogs."  Using a base of 35,000 active blogs, the research team created a network map of the 6,000 most connected blogs and coded 4,000 blogs.  The study provides an assessment of the networked public sphere in the Arab Middle East and its relevance to politics, media, religion, culture, and international affairs.  Contains findings on country-based networks, political and gender-based clusters, the Arabic media ecosystem, personal life and local issues, regional and global issues, and Palestine/Gaza.  (Courtesy of Jeremy Curtin)

Ali Fisher, "Music for the Jilted Generation: Open Source Public Diplomacy," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 3 (2008), 1-24.  Fisher (Mappa Mundi Consultants) advocates an approach to public diplomacy based on central ideas in Eric Raymond’s models of the cathedral (hierarchy, messaging) and the bazaar (peer-to-peer, multiple groups and agendas) and the open source software movement associated with Linus Torvald.  Fisher argues the bazaar mindset and open source approach — with its emphasis on transparency, collaboration, low entry barriers, communities of concerned actors, and interconnectedness between civil societies — have distinct advantages for public diplomacy over a hierarchical producer/recipient approach based on power.  An open source approach "based on common interest and ability" is more likely to influence collective action in the international environment, which for Fisher is what public diplomacy is about.

Todd Greentree, "A Letter from Bagram," The American Interest, July/August, 2009, 17-19. In this brief report from Afghanistan, a U.S. State Department officer reports on his experiences as Brigade Political Advisor — a new position between a division level or higher POLAD and a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).  Greentree provides a candid field perspective on counterinsurgency strategy, interagency coordination where the civilian contribution "will be critical — that is if we can actually find them and ship them over here," and "The Expeditionary Foreign Service."  In his comments on Foreign Service Officers in the provinces, he discusses the surprising number who volunteer for repeat assignments, the importance of finding the right cultural idiom, and whether State Department officers should carry weapons.  Greentree is the author of Crossroads of Intervention:  Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Lessons from Central America (2008) and a veteran of four previous assignments in "irregular conflict" — El Salvador (1980-83), Papua New Guinea (1987-88), Nepal (1990-93), and Angola (1999-2002).  Full text for subscribers only.

Jeffrey B. Jones, Daniel T. Kuehl, Daniel Burgess, and Russell Rochte, "Strategic Communication and the Combatant Commander," Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 55, 4th Quarter 2009.  Jones (former Senior Director, National Security Council), Kuehl (Information Resources Management College, National Defense University), Burgess (former Intelligence Officer for U.S. Forces Korea), and Rochte (National Defense Intelligence College) examine conceptual, planning, organizational, and operational issues in the central role played by U.S. combatant commanders in strategic communication.  Drawing on years of experience as teachers and practitioners, they offer 21 recommendations for "improvement of this national security function." 

John Maxwell Hamilton, Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, (LSU Press, 2009).  In this authoritative 655-page study, the dean of Louisiana State University’s School of Mass Communication, provides a history of American foreign correspondence from Benjamin Franklin’s letters from London to the methods and challenges of today’s foreign news coverage.  Hamilton combines scholarship, deep research, biography, rich narratives, and informed judgments on what lies ahead.  Hamilton’s focus is on journalism, but his canvass includes relevant insights of scholars in political science and other disciplines.  Contains references to U.S. diplomacy and international broadcasting. (Courtesy of John Trattner)

Karin Deutsch Kariekar, Print and Broadcast Freedom: Disparities and Opportunities, A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance, National Endowment for Democracy, September 1, 2009.  Kariekar (Freedom House) uses longitudinal Freedom House data to assess contrasting trends in broadcast and print media freedom.  She finds broadcast media rank as less free overall than print media, although the latter face higher levels of legal harrasment and attacks on journalists and facilities.  Contains case studies on community development radio, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan.

Ali Molenaar, "Diplomacy Literature Lists," Library and Documentation Center, Clingendael Institute, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, July 16, 2009.  Clingendael’s Head Librarian has updated and circulated literature lists in the following subject areas:
Public Diplomacy, 18 pages.
Cultural Diplomacy, 9 pages.
City Diplomacy, 9 pages.

Branding, 5 pages,
European Level Diplomacy and EU Diplomatic Service, 9 pages.
United States Diplomacy, 16 pages.
Clingendael Libarary’s reading lists.

Michael G. Mullen, "Strategic Communication: Getting Back to Basics," Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 55, 4th Quarter, 2009.  Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, looks at strategic communication as a phrase ("Frankly, I don’t care for the term.") and as a concept ("To put it simply, we need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate.").  Among his "basics:"  credibility, building trust and relationships, right intent up front, knowing the context in which actions are received and understood, delivering on promises, and congruence between words and actions.  Admiral Mullen’s themes are consistent with the Defense Science Board’s views on strategic communication as an iterative process that privileges actions, relationships, and deep comprehension of others (Chapter 2, "What is Strategic Communication and Why Does it Matter?" Strategic Communication, 2008, 10-20.)
[See also this discussion on the above: – MCA]

Dennis M. Murphy, Talking the Talk:  Why Warfighters Don’t Understand Information Operations, Issue Paper 4-09, Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College, May 2009.  Murphy (U.S Army War College) discusses the meaning of information operations and strategic communication and the need to clarify definitions.  He calls on the U.S. military to engage in a "clean slate review of the current terminology and definitions," to consolidate and simplify what is confusing, and provide an "overarching joint doctrinal manual" that is understandable and practical.

Public Diplomacy Front Line Working Group, WHITE PAPER, "Public Diplomacy: A View from the Front Line," June 8, 2009.  In this online statement, ten mid-level U.S. Foreign Service Officers "with no institutional memory of the U.S. Information Agency," provide recommendations to their senior leadership on ways to empower, integrate, and equip "a new generation of public diplomacy officers."  Their white paper values field cooperation with embassy political and economic officers, networks with partners in other governments and civil society, embedding public diplomacy officers in the State Department’s regional bureaus and policy process, technological and media savvy, restoration of USIA’s Junior Officer training program, mid-level expanded training, and graduate-level education opportunities in public diplomacy and related fields at civilian universities.

Philip Seib, ed., Toward a New Public Diplomacy: Redirecting U.S. Foreign Policy, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).  Seib (Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California) has compiled 12 essays on U.S. public diplomacy written for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars.  The essays are divided into three categories:  appraisals of current U.S. public diplomacy and a brief history, views on American practice and motives from voices in Russia, China, and Egypt; and suggestions for making public diplomacy "more imaginative and more effective."  This is the first publication in the new Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy co-edited by Seib and Kathy Fitzpatrick (Quinnipiac University).  Includes:     

  • William A. Rugh (U.S. Foreign Service Officer, ret.), "The Case for Soft Power"
  • Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California), "How We Got Here"
  • Shawn Powers (University of Southern California) and Ahmed El Gody (Orebro University), "The Lessons of Al Hurra Television"
  • Victoria V. Orlova (Channel One Russia), "The View from Russia"
  • Guolin Shen (Fudan University), "The View from China"
  • Hussein Amin (American University in Cairo), "The View from Egypt"
  • Ameila Arsenault (University of Pennsylvania), "Public Diplomacy 2.0"
  • Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, "Privatized Public Diplomacy"
  • Neal M. Rosendorf (Long Island University), "A Cultural Diplomacy Strategy"
  • Jennifer A. Marshall (The Heritage Foundation) and Thomas F. Farr (Georgetown University), "Public Diplomacy in an Age of Faith"
  • Abiodun Williams (United States Institute of Peace), "The U.S. Military and Public Diplomacy"
  • Philip Seib, "Conclusion:  The Task for Policy Makers"

Robert R. Reilly, Ideas Matter: Restoring the Content of Public Diplomacy, The Heritage Foundation, Special Report 64, July 27, 2009.  Reilly argues the "content of ideas" and the principles on which they are based are crucial to effective public diplomacy.  He challenges much in recent U.S. practice and contends "the ideas that now animate U.S. public diplomacy lead necessarily to its failure."  Reilly appears to have no doubt as to just which "American principles" and "objective moral order" should form the basis for U.S. public diplomacy.  He advances with conviction those political, economic, and theological principles and values that should form the basis for "victory" in a "new war of ideas."  Includes a foreword by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and a preface by Lt. Gen. John R. Vines (Ret.)  A
former director of the Voice of America, Reilly has also held positions in the Department of Defense and U.S. Information Agency.

Mark Taplin, Global Publicks. Taplin’s blog, branded with iconic portraits of Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine, offers "views on public diplomacy, foreign affairs, and travel writing — where ideas, history, culture, and statecraft meet."  Mark Taplin is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer detailed to George Washington University as its Public Diplomacy Fellow.

A. Trevor Thrall, "Star Power:  Celebrity Advocacy and the Evolution of the Public Sphere," International Journal of Press/Politics, October 2008, 13: 362-385. Thrall (University of Michigan – Dearborn) and seven graduate students assess the celebrity advocacy tactics of 53 environmental organizations.  They conclude that, although celebrities increasingly are part of advocacy strategies, their influence on news making and public opinion has been significantly over-estimated.

U.S. Army War College, DIME: Information as Power. This website provides an electronic library of current and historical articles and documents on information as an element of power and on broad dimensions of today’s information environment.  The site’s blog focuses on strategic communication, information operations, cyberspace operations, robotics, knowledge management, and public diplomacy and related topics.  A guest blog by Army War College Professor Dennis Murphy, "Obfuscation: Information Related Terminology" posted August 29, 2009, calls for greater clarity in definitions, concepts, and terms.  (Courtesy of Kasie Hunt)

Watanabe Yasushi and David L. McConnell, eds., Soft Power Superpowers:  Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2008. In this collection of essays, Yasushi (Keio University) and McConnell (The College of Wooster) offer a penetrating analysis of Joseph Nye’s concept of soft power and case studies on the uses of cultural and educational engagement in public diplomacy strategies of Japan and the United States.  Includes a Foreword by Nye (Harvard University), an Introduction by Yasushi and McConnell and the following essays:
— Watanabe Yasushi, "Anti-Americanism in Japan"
— David L. McConnell, "Japan’s Image Problem and the Soft Power Solution: The JET Program as Cultural Diplomacy"
— Philip G. Altbach (Boston College) and Patti McGill Peterson (Institute for Higher Education Policy), "Higher Education as  Projection of America’s Soft Power"
— Yonezawa Akiyoshi (Tohoku University), "Facing Crisis: Soft Power and Japanese Education in a Global Context"
— Ellen Mashiko (Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership) and Horie Miki (Nagoya University), "Nuturing Soft Power: The Impact of Japanese-University Exchanges"
— Anne Allison (Duke University), "The Attractions of the J-Wave for American Youth"
— Nakano Yoshiko (University of Hong Kong), "Shared Memories: Japanese Pop Culture in China"
— Sugiura Tsutomu (Marubeni Research Institute), "Japan’s Creative Industries: Culture as a Source of Soft Power in the Industrial Sector"
— Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu (Michigan State University), "Baseball in U.S.-Japan Relations: A Vehicle of Soft Power in Historical Perspective"
— Matthew Fraser (INSEAD Business School), "American Pop Culture as Soft Power:  Movies and Broadcasting"
— Kondo Seiichi (Ambassador to UNESCO), "Wielding Soft Power: The Key Stages of Transmission and Reception"
— William G. Crowell (U.S. Foreign Service, ret.), "Official Soft Power in Practice:  U.S. Public Diplomacy in Japan"
— Agawa Naoyuki (Keio University), "Japan Does Soft Power: Strategy and Effectiveness of Its Public Diplomacy in the United States"
— Lawrence Repeta (Omiya Law School), "Mr. Madison in the Twenty-First Century: Global Diffusion of the People’s Right to Know"
— Imata Katsuji (CSO Network Japan) and Kuroda Kaori (CSO Network Japan) "Soft Power of NGOs: Growing Influence Beyond National Boundaries" 
Gem from the Past

U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD), Terrorism and Security:  The Challenge for Public Diplomacy, December 1985.  In the early 1980s, car bombings in Beirut and Kuwait and an increase in kidnappings, hijackings, and murders of U.S. citizens abroad led the Secretary of State to establish the Advisory Panel on Overseas Security chaired by Admiral Bobby R. Inman. USN (Ret.).  The "Inman report" on enhanced security for U.S. embassies and overseas personnel led the ACPD to issue a separate report on the public diplomacy and legislative implications of Inman’s recommendations.  The ACPD advanced ten recommendations grounded in the judgment that diplomatic security policies should take fully into account the U.S. government’s public diplomacy mission, the need for relatively free access to U.S. libraries and cultural centers, and the need for visible evidence of America as a free and open society.       

For previous compilations of Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites, visit a wiki kindly maintained by the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.’s_Reading_List

See also: