Pursuing Human Rights through Public Diplomacy

image The latest issue of PD is available. PD is a bi-annual magazine that focuses on one particular subject area in each issue. The theme this time around is “Pursuing Human Rights Through Public Diplomacy“, a complex area not often explored by public diplomacy researchers. As the editors note, “Nonstate actors [in the area of human rights] do not necessarily consider themselves public diplomacy practitioners, and thus are not always aware of the public diplomacy power they wield.”

A small selection of the articles in the current issue are:

Back in April, I contributed a short item for this issue titled Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy that gives a brief review of the “1055 Reports” from the White House (NSC) and the Defense Department, and the State Department’s public diplomacy framework. While written several months ago (I’ll admit I’m used to “Internet” time), the key take-away remains valid:

With few exceptions, Congressional interest in empowering civilian public diplomacy comes, not from the House Foreign Affairs or Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but from members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. For example, both Congressmen Thornberry and Smith are on the Armed Services Committee and neither are on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Carnahan is on the International Organizations subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee. A notable exception is Senator Richard Lugar (D-IN), who is an active proponent of public diplomacy but not on an Armed Services Committee. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE), increasingly active in public diplomacy, sits on both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Jim Webb (D-VA) are the only other members, House or Senate, to sit on both committees.

The institutions and practices of America’s engagement are changing. Perhaps this change would come faster if the State Department and its relevant Congressional Committees pushed as hard as the military.

Checkout the latest issue of PD here and visit the magazine’s website (at least twice a year): http://publicdiplomacymagazine.com/.

PD is a publication of the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars (APDS) at the University of Southern California, with support from the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, USC College’s School of International Relations, the Annenberg School for Communication and USC Annenberg Press.