Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #51 (Courtesy of Bruce Gregory)

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

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

BBC World Service Poll, "Global Views of United States Improve While Other Countries Decline," April 18, 2010.  Polling in collaboration with GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), the BBC finds that during the past year negative ratings of the US dropped nine points, positive ratings are up four points, and "views of the United States’ influence in the world are now more positive than negative on average."  In contrast, positive average ratings of the UK, Japan, Canada, and the European Union declined.  The US favorability rating (46%) remains in the middle of the 27 countries surveyed ahead of China (41%).  Top rated countries include:  Germany (59%), Japan (53%), United Kingdom (52%), Canada (51%), and France (49%).  Countries with high negatives include Israel (19%), North Korea (17%), Pakistan (16%), and Iran (15%).   

Maurits Berger, Religion and Islam in Contemporary International Relations, Clingendael Diplomacy Papers, No. 27, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael,’ April 2010.  Berger (Leiden University) argues that, although Islam has great significance in authoritative discourse within Muslim states, it has limited relevance to their foreign policies.  This means most international relations issues involving Muslim states relate to practical interests and power politics.  Western states should avoid their tendency to Islamize the foreign policies of Muslim states.  Rather, they should deconstruct "Islamic" messages and focus on content in their engagement policies.  This does not mean avoiding the religious discourse of Islam, "but the West definitely should not be drawn into it."   He urges diplomatic and other practitioners to "talk to them, but don’t talk their talk."             

Nancy Keeney Forster, Encounters: A Lifetime Spent Crossing Frontiers, (WInd Shadows Press, 2009). In this memoir, the widow of U.S. Foreign Service Officer Clifton Forster writes of their lives together and experiences in the Philippines, Japan, Burma, Korea, Israel, and Washington.  Her narrative tells of Cliff’s childhood in the Philippines, his internment during World War II, his long public diplomacy career with the U.S. Information Agency, and her own role in international education.  This shared story combines her insights and memories with extensive research in Cliff’s writings and papers.  Her book is a recent winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing.  (Courtesy of David Hitchcock)   

Alan K. Henrikson, "The Northern Mind in American Diplomacy," The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 34:1, Winter 2010.  Twenty years ago, Henrikson (The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) wrote an article on former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, born and raised in Georgia, and the concept of "the Southern mind" in American history and diplomacy.  He now uses the recent publication of historian John Lukacs’ George Kennan: A Study of Character to examine the idea of a "Northern mind" in American diplomacy.  Henrikson’s article is a reflection on ways in which the tensions between "northern" and "southern" in a country physically remote "from the countries of origin of its diverse population and the many places overseas where diplomats, soldiers, and other citizens are engaged today, has such a complex history of correlating ‘home’ and ‘abroad.’" It is useful for its discussion of Kennan’s career and "northern culture" mindset, geostrategic vision, and skepticism of intervention for humanitarian purposes.

Ingrid d’Hooghe, The Limits of China’s Soft Power in Europe:  Beijing’s Public Diplomacy Puzzle, Clingendael Diplomacy Papers, No. 25, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael,’ January 2010.   d’Hooghe (Research Fellow, Clingendael) examines European perceptions of China and China’s public diplomacy and image management in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  A central issue is the extent to which Europe’s attraction to China is shaped by its culture and political values or its economic power and growing international stature.  She discusses limitations based on credibility issues, China’s misunderstanding of European values, and preconceived expectations of China in Europe.  Her paper draws on polling data, speeches of Chinese leaders, and a wide range of secondary sources.  She finds that a Europe / China honeymoon early in the decade has given way to increasing doubts about China’s intentions, human rights record, and a growing trade deficit.  d’Hooghe concludes that China’s soft power in Europe does not fit Joseph Nye’s model of successful soft power projection based on congruence of prevailing norms, legitimacy derived from domestic and international performance, and dominance in media channels.  China’s influence derives, not from European attraction to its ideas and values, but from Europe’s understanding of its own interests and perceptions of a rising power that inspires "fear as much as hope."

John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, Moving Forward:  A Renewed Role for American Arts and Artists in the Global Age, A Report to the President and Congress of the United States of America, December 2009.  This report, prepared by a group of experts convened by the Brademas Center looks at "the public policy implications for American arts and culture of a renewed focus on U.S. public diplomacy."   The report calls for expansion of international arts and cultural exchanges and recommends they be integrated into planning strategies as a key element of public diplomacy.  Specific recommendations include a conference on major cultural diplomacy in collaboration with the Department of State, deeper exchange experiences sustained over time, expanded research on the merits and value of cultural diplomacy, use of advanced social networking technologies, promotion of public/private partnerships, and integration of cultural diplomacy into the policymaking process of the White House and Department of State.      

John Robert Kelly, "The New Diplomacy: Evolution of a Revolution," Diplomacy & Statecraft, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2010, 1-21 (forthcoming).  Kelly (American University) examines the increasing challenge of non-state actors to state primacy in diplomacy and finds that a revolution has occurred:  "the age of diplomacy as an institution is giving way to an age of diplomacy as behavior."  Foreign ministries and diplomatic services are pluralizing, but they are ceding ground reactively in a process where the drivers of change are empowered new actors.  Kelly discusses five principal characteristics of the "new diplomacy:"  (1) diplomatic institutions are fragmenting with power divided among multiple state
and non-state actors; (2) diplomacy is becoming more public; (3) new diplomats have advantages in agility, in mobilizing behavior, and as policy entrepreneurs; (4) "official diplomacy" has advantages in accountability and legitimacy; and (5) "new diplomats" compete with government and compensate for government inaction.  Both sides, he concludes, "will need the other to achieve successful statecraft in the years to come."        

Steven Kull, "Americans and the World in Difficult Times," Paper presented May 14, 2010 at the Center for International Security Second Annual Symposium, Princeton University, posted on, June 2, 2010.  Kull (Director of and Program on International Policy Attitudes, PIPA) assesses American attitudes toward global engagement and interpretations of a major study by the Pew Research Center (December 2009) that Americans are increasingly isolationist.  He finds signs that Americans are "feeling overextended" but questions "a simple move toward isolationism."  A preference for reducing "America’s dominant role" is balanced by "clear support for the US to stay engaged" in a "less hegemonic and more cooperative form."  Kull finds no desire to reduce current levels of defense spending.  However, increased attention to the budget deficit and more information about the budget’s distribution, he argues, will bring pressures to cut defense and foreign aid.           

Kristin M. Lord and Marc Lynch, America’s Extended Hand:  Assessing the Obama Administration’s Global Engagement Strategy, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), June 2010. Lord (CNAS Vice President) and Lynch (George Washington University) assess the Obama administration’s engagement strategy and its implementation, create and define "a master concept of ‘strategic public engagement,’" and make numerous recommendations.  They "conclude that, in many ways, the Obama administration has achieved its initial objective of ‘re-starting’ America’s relationship with the world."  They also contend, however, that "high expectations have given way to skepticism as the administration has struggled to deliver on its early promises."  Their 54-page report analyzes various engagement initiatives, identifies an array of problems, and proposes steps the administration should consider.

Evgeny Morozov, "Think Again: The Internet," Foreign Policy, May/June, 2010, 40-44.  Morozov (’s Net Effect blogger and Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy), looks at the Internet’s transformative impact during two decades.  Early hopes that the Internet would bring a new era of freedom and a more just world were wrong, he concludes, and many assumptions are mistaken.  (1) "The Internet has been a force for good." No.  (2) "Twitter will undermine dictators." Wrong.  (3) "Google defends Internet freedom." Only when convenient.  (4) "The Internet boosts political participation." Define it.  (5) "The Internet is killing foreign news."  Only if we let it.  (6) " The Internet brings us closer together."  No.

Michael Mullen, "Landon Lecture Series Remarks," Kansas State University, March 3, 2010.  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen frames an approach to warfare grounded in three principles.  (1) Military power should not be the last resort of the state.  Defense and diplomacy are not discrete choices.  They are complementary instruments that require a whole-of-government approach "throughout the messy process of international relations."  (2) "Force should, to the maximum extent possible, be applied in a precise and principled way" because "the battlefield isn’t necessarily a field anymore. It’s in the minds of the people."  (3) Policy and strategy should constantly struggle with each other and change as operations evolve, because today’s wars are iterative, not decisive.

Dennis M. Murphy, "In Search of the Art and Science of Strategic Communication," Parameters, Winter 2009-10, 105-116.   Murphy (U.S. Army War College) examines conceptual and operational issues in making a case for the importance of strategic communication in armed conflict.  He discusses challenges facing military commanders, needed changes in organizational cultures, problems in measuring effectiveness, and the importance of language education and staff expertise.  Much of his essay focuses on practical concerns in developing cultural understanding by military staffs and strengthened external cultural support capacity.

National Security Strategy, The White House, Washington, DC, May 2010. President Obama’s 52-page national security strategy gives priority to rebuilding strength at home and influence abroad through recognition of the limits of American power and a concept of national security broader than Bush era strategies that emphasized pre-emption (2002) and counter-terrorism (2006).  The economy, reducing the deficit, education, nuclear weapons, defeating Al Qaeda, climate change, cyber threats, energy, science, and other issues frame interests and threats in a multi-stakeholder strategy. The strategy calls for comprehensive engagement grounded in the use and integration of different elements of power.  It seeks engagement among governments and among peoples through educational exchanges and sustained efforts to engage civil society.  The tools in its "whole of government" approach are listed as defense, diplomacy, economic, development, homeland security, intelligence, "strategic communications," the American people and the private sector.  The strategy does not use the term public diplomacy.

Early comments include views of the

Frank Ninkovich, Global Dawn: The Cultural Foundation of American Internationalism, 1865-1890, (Harvard University Press, 2009).  Ninkovich (St. Johns University and author of The Diplomacy of Ideas, 1981) argues that America’s rise as a global power is rooted in cultural predispositions and a body of internationalist thought developed in the late 19th century.  He seeks to address two broad questions.  First, during an era of political isolationism, what were the ideas of the world that flourished and provide a basis for understanding America’s internationalism in the 20th century?  His book is an empirical study of a group of cosmopolitans whose ideas and writings, "and not America’s diplomats, were the chief repositories of knowledge about the world."  Secondly, Ninkovich writes to make a case that culture matters "as part of any framework that seeks to understand U.S. foreign relations."  His argument is not that culture offers comprehensive or conclusive explanations, but that it is essential to understanding the history of American internationalism.

Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs, "The Chairman’s 2010 Social Media Strategy," March 22, 2010.  CJCS Chairman Michael Mullen’s Public Affairs office documents the Chairman’s use of social media beginning with creation of his Twitter account in April 2009.  The online publication describes characteristics of his Facebook, YouTube, ITunes, Flickr, and Chairman’s Corner Blog sites.  Four goals for the coming year framed as to "engage," "align," "drive," and expand."   The strategy briefly discusses a required mindset change in the Joint Staff, altering some legacy products for online publication and distribution, and issues in achieving social media goals and treating social media as main stream media.    

Paul R. Pillar vs. John Nagl, "Debating Afghanistan," The National Interest, No. 106, March / April 2010, 33-41.  Pillar (Georgetown University) and Nagl (Center for a New American Security) debate the merits of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.  Nagl defends the US and NATO strategy and argues that Afghanistan is a "critical battlefield" in the "war against Al Qaeda."  Pillar argues a just intervention in 2001 has turned into an indefensible quagmire because circumstances have changed.   

National Framework for Strategic Communication, President Barack Obama’s Report to Congress, March 16, 2010.  This 14-page report, described in the President’s transmittal letter as the "Administration’s comprehensive interagency strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication," was submitted in response to a requirement in Section 1055 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.  The report seeks to clarify the meaning of strategic communication; present a strategy for "deliberate communication and engagement;" identify strategic communication priorities; and explain the roles and responsibilities of the National Security Council, embassies, the military’s geographic combatant commands, and executive branch departments, and agencies.  The report states also that the National Security Council staff "currently sees no need to establish a new, independent, not-for-profit organization" as recommended by the Defense Science Board’s Strategic Communication Task Force.  The NSC staff reasons that the Administration’s "existing enterprise either already meets or is working to meet the recommended purposes of the organization prescribed by the Task Force."

Julie Cencula Olberding and Douglas J. Olberding, "’Ripple Effects’ in Youth Peacebuilding and Exchange Programs: Measuring Impacts Beyond Direct Participants," International Studies Perspectives, 11, (2010), 75-91.  Julie Olberding (Northern Kentucky University) and Douglas Olberding (Xavier University) use "360-degree feedback" (data from multiple sources) methodology to evaluate exchange programs from the perspective of "chaperones, host families, and students and teachers in the host school."  The authors use data and outcome assessments from non-government sources and the U.S. Department of State.  They review relevant literature and discuss the strengths and limitations of their methodology.  Their study finds positive impacts on exchange students, "and, in many cases, even greater ripple effects on indirect participants."

U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD), "U.S. Summit and Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy" website. The USCCD in partnership with the U.S. Department of State will convene a conference on global citizen diplomacy in Washington on November 16-19, 2010.   The website provides information on the goals of the conference, round table discussions, calls for proposal submissions, and subscription to conference emails.  

U.S. Department of Defense, Report on Strategic Communication, December 2009. This 11-page report was submitted by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the House Armed Services Committee on February 11, 2010 in response to a requirement in Section 1055 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.  The report discusses (1) the Defense Department’s understanding of strategic communication and views on the Department’s "role in strategic communication and public diplomacy," (2) processes and organizations that support strategic communication, and (3) considerations for improvement and change.  It argues that "Emergent thinking is coalescing around the notion that strategic communication should be viewed as a process, rather than a set of capabilities, organizations, or discrete activities."  It emphasizes the importance of "active listening and sustained engagement with relevant stakeholders" and a strategic communication process that is broader than messaging and media relations.  The report discusses various military capabilities that enable effective strategic communication and responsibilities of organizations that are "key drivers and leaders" in the strategic communication process.
  The report also assesses the option of establishing a strategic communication board within the Department.  It concludes the new Global Engagement Strategy Coordination Committee, co-chaired by the Office of the Under Secretary for Policy and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, performs this function by providing "consolidated advice" on the Department’s priorities in "strategic communications and public diplomacy."

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hearing on the Future of American Public Diplomacy, March 10, 2010.  In a hearing chaired by Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE), the Committee heard views on U.S. public diplomacy from the current Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale and former Under Secretaries Evelyn Lieberman, Karen Hughes, and James Glassman.  The Committee’s website contains links to a video of the hearing and prepared statements.
Statement of Under Secretary Judith McHale
Statement of former Under Secretary Evelyn Lieberman
Statement of former Under Secretary Karen Hughes
Statement of former Under Secretary James Glassman
— Download video recording of the hearing

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Public Diplomacy: Strengthening U.S. Engagement with the World, March 8, 2010.  In a set of powerpoint slides, U.S. Under Secretary of State Judith McHale and her staff provide a "strategic framework . . . intended to be a roadmap for public diplomacy," a foundation for public diplomacy’s FY 2012 budget request, principles to guide current public diplomacy operations, and "the first phase of a process for developing a detailed strategic plan for public diplomacy."  Includes a public diplomacy mission statement, views on global challenges, five "strategic imperatives," implementation details for achieving objectives, and overviews on structure and resources. 
Comments on Under Secretary McHale’s framework include posts on:

Gem from the Past

Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999).   It’s been more than a decade since Friedman’s classic book on globalization replaced the Cold War narrative for public diplomacy analysts and just about everybody else.  His central argument:  the international system is characterized by a tension between globalization, understood as integration of capital, technology, and information (the Lexus), and "ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition and community" (the olive tree).  Friedman’s subsequent books are branches and sequels to this groundbreaking theme. Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism (2002).  The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (2005).  Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America (2008).

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.  Recent lists are also maintained by George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.
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See also previous compilations posted on