Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #52 (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

Andoni Alonso and Pedro J. Oiarzabal, eds., Diasporas in the New Media Age: Identity, Politics, and Community, (University of Nevada Press, 2010).  In their introduction, Alonso (University of Extremadura, Caceres) and Oiarzabal (University of Deusto, Bilbao) discuss the literature and evolving meanings of diasporas as dispersed minority populations (migrants, exiles, refugees).  They define "digital diasporas" as "online networks that diasporic people use to re-create identities, share opportunities, spread their culture, influence homeland and host-land policy, or create debate about common-interest issues by means of electronic devices."  Eighteen essays by scholars in Singapore, Canada, Spain, Israel, the UK, and the US examine the impact of social media on populations in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America and their uses in preserving cultures, accessing information, creating new communities, and sustaining political and social movements.

Gregory Asmolov, "Russia: From ‘Sovereign Democracy’ to ‘Sovereign Internet’?" Global Voices Online, June 13, 2010.  Asmolov (George Washington University, Asper Institute for New Media Diplomacy) examines Russia’s state-sponsored Internet initiatives.  These include an increase in activities by government officials in virtual space, development of e-government services, regulations aimed at reducing the digital divide, and emergence of a new Cyrillic domain.  He concludes that Russia’s goal is to increase online interaction inside Russia, especially between citizens and the government, and an isolationist effort to decrease Russian interaction with the global network.  See also a related by post by Asmolov, "Russia: Flaws and Pitfalls of the Subsidized ‘Social Internet Plan," Global Voices Online, June 21, 2010.

Ken Auletta, "The Networker: Afghanistan’s First Media Mogul," The New Yorker, July 5, 2010, pp. 38-49.  The New Yorker’s  "Annals of Communications" columnist examines the programming and reach of Afghanistan’s leading media company, the Moby Group, and the influence of its CEO Saad Mohseni.  The Moby Group owns Afghanistan’s most popular television and radio networks, Tolo TV and Arman radio, as well as "a music-recording company, a second TV network, an advertising agency, a television and movie production company, the magazine Afghan Scene, and two Internet cafes."   Auletta discusses Mohseni’s background, his relationship with President Hamid Karzai, and the impact of the Group’s news and entertainment programming on Afghan politics and society.  The largest contributor to the Group’s capitalization is the US Agency for International Development, which also sponsor’s Tolo TV’s popular weekly reality show "On the Road."  Most of Tolo TV’s programming, much of it youth oriented, is commercially funded including the country’s most popular show, "Afghan Star", a Central Asian version of "American Idol."  Auletta looks at the prospects for continued media freedom in Afghanistan and concludes Mohseni’s influence over time may turn more on the Group’s entertainment programs than its news reporting.    

For additional views on Saad Mohseni’s influence and the growing competition of local and regional broadcasters for government broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and Voice of America, see "Waves on the Web: Western State-backed News Outfits Are Struggling to Keep Their Influence in the Developing World," The Economist, August 14, 2010, 47-48. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, (Henry Holt & Company, 2010).   Bacevich (Boston University) looks at US national security strategy from Truman to Obama and finds three elements of underlying continuity.  International peace and order require the US "to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism" (emphasis in the original).  Consensus on this triad is widely shared in American political culture broadly defined to include government departments, think tanks, interest groups, former officials, financial institutions, defense contractors, corporations, media, and elite publications.  Bacevich calls for a fundamental reexamination of America’s role in the world and its reliance on national security strategies grounded in the projection of military power.

John Brown, "America as a Shopping Mall: U.S. Cultural Diplomacy in the Age of Obama," Perspectives, Layalina Productions, Vol. II, Issue 6, June 2010.   The compiler of John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review 2.0 challenges the Obama administration to undertake bold new thinking in cultural diplomacy and give higher priority to "well planned government cultural programs overseas."

Victor Cha, ed., "Match Point: Sports, Nationalism, and Diplomacy," Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Summer/Fall 2010, 3-33.  In this forum, Cha (Georgetown University) has compiled three essays on the links between sports and politics.  Includes:
— Derek Charles Catsam (University of Texas), "The Death of Doubt? Sport, Race, and Nationalism in the New South Africa"
— Junewi Yu (National Taiwan College of Physical Education), "Cross-Strait Tug of War: Taiwan and the World Games"
— Thomas Garofalo (New America Foundation), "Sports Without Diplomacy: The United States, Cuba, and Baseball"

Melanie Ciolek, "Understanding Social Media’s Contribution to Public Diplomacy," posted on blog, June 17, 2010.  Ciolek (USC Center on Public Diplomacy) looks at the US Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook page, which with the two US consulates in Indonesia as of April 2010 "had more fans than all other U.S. embassies combined."  Ciolek analyzes the embassy’s Facebook strategy and how it "illuminates the limitations and potential for the State Department’s use of social media."

David Criekemans, ed., Regional Sub-state Diplomacy Today, (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010).  Criekemans (University of Antwerp) has compiled essays by scholars who examine ways in which th
e diplomacy and "foreign policy" of sub-state actors parallel, complement, and conflict with central governments.  The essays were originally published as Volume 5, No. 1 (2010) in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy.  Includes:
— David Criekemans, "Introduction" and "Regional Sub-State Diplomacy from a Comparative Perspective: Quebec, Scotland, Bavaria, Catalonia, Wallonia and Flanders"
— Noe Cornago (University of the Basque Country), "On the Normalization of Sub-State Diplomacy"
— Jorge A Schiavon (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE), "Sub-State Diplomacy in Mexico"
— Elena Albina (Institute for International and European Policy, Leuven), "The External Relations of Tartastan: In Pursuit of Sovereignty, or Playing the Sub-Nationalist Card?"
— Ellen Huijgh (Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael’), "The Public Diplomacy of Federated Entities: Examining the Quebec Model"
— Peter Bursens and Jana Deforche (University of Antwerp), "Going Beyond Paradiplomacy? Adding Historical Institutionalism to Account for Regional Foreign Policy Competences"
— Stephane Paquin (Universite de Sherbrooke), "Federalism and Compliance with International Agreements: Belgium and Canada Compared"
— Luc Van den Brande (European Union Committee of the Regions), "Sub-State Diplomacy Today"

Gao Fei, "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China’s New Diplomacy," Discussion Papers in Diplomacy, The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael’ No. 118, July 2010.  Fei (China Foreign Affairs University and Vice Secretary General, China National Association for International Studies) analyzes China’s "new diplomacy" in this case study of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional organization devoted to building "mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of politics, security, the economy, trade and energy."  Fei argues that practical achievements in the SCO reflect China’s embrace of multilateral approaches to regional issues and evolution from its communist ideology to a diplomacy based on economic and cultural cooperation.

Ali Fisher, Mapping the Great Beyond: Identifying Meaningful Networks in Public Diplomacy, USC Center for Public Diplomacy, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, Paper 2, 2010.  Fisher (Director, Mappa Mundi Consulting, and author of Wandren PD blog) builds on his network based approach to public diplomacy with three central arguments.  First, foreign ministries and other public diplomacy organizations are limited in their participation in networked conversations by technological constraints, policies, and organizational cultures.  Accordingly, they miss opportunities to listen, engage, and influence "hidden conversations" and known conversations where the risks are deemed to be too high.  Second, network tools and methods can enable resource mapping, information coordination, and planning.  Third, a network approach has potential in the evaluation of public diplomacy campaigns and initiatives.  Fisher’s paper contains case studies and detailed examples of network mapping.

John B. Hench, Books as Weapons: Propaganda, Publishing, and the Battle for Global Markets in the Era of World War II, (Cornell University Press, 2010).  Drawing extensively on archival and secondary sources, Hench (former Vice President of the American Antiquarian Society) tells the story of collaborative efforts by the US government and American book publishers to distribute books in occupied Germany and Japan, and elsewhere in Europe and Asia during and after World War II.  Hench focuses on activities of the U.S. Office of War Information, the US military’s psychological warfare units, and American and European book publishers whose interests in export expansion coincided with the government’s interests in countering Nazi and fascist propaganda.  A brief epilogue focuses on US book programs after 1948.  (Courtesy of Martin Manning) 

Parag Khanna, “Beyond City Limits,” Foreign Policy, September/October 2010, 120-123, 126-128.  Khanna (New America Foundation) contends that networks of cities, not states, are becoming “islands of governance” for the future, as well as “the real magnets of economies, the innovators of politics, and, increasingly, the drivers of diplomacy.”  He looks at historical analogs, quantitative indicators, megacities, telling anecdotes, cities as experimental laboratories, and ways in which "cities are the problem — and the solution” on issues from “climate change to poverty and inequality." 

FP’s issue on cities, “Metropolis Now,” also includes “The Global Cities Index” (2010), 124-125; Joel Kotkin (Chapman University), “Urban Legends: Why Suburbs, Not Cities, are the Answer,” 128-131; “Prime Numbers: Megacities,” 132-135; and Christina Larson (New America Foundation), “Chicago on the Yangtze: Welcome to Chongqing, the Biggest City You Never Heard Of,” 136-148.

Pauline L. Kerr, "Diplomatic Persuasion: An Under-Investigated Process," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2010, 235-261. Kerr (Australian National University) advances the claim that persuasion — "the process of arguing and reasoning" — in diplomacy is under-investigated by scholars and practitioners.  Important insights into the nature of diplomatic agency and diplomatic outcomes are missed as a consequence.  Kerr makes three basic arguments.  First, a diplomatic model of persuasion can be built in part from existing models, particularly constructivism and political psychology.  Second, a diplomatic model must accommodate the greater variation in existing models and the variation in persuasive processes, particularly those that (in contrast to constructivist models) are coercive or power based.  Third, a diplomatic model should reconceptualize constructivism to include coercive framing and rhetoric.  She compares constructivist, political psychology, and diplomatic studies models at four contextual levels:  outcomes, actors, processes, and conditions.  Her article concludes with a rich agenda for further research.

Ali Molenaar, Library and Documentation Centre, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael.’  The Institute’s extensive "Reading Lists," include updates on diplom
acy and negotiation, citizen and track II diplomacy, city diplomacy, public diplomacy, soft power and public diplomacy in East Asia, US diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, branding, intercultural communication, and other topics.

William Pfaff, The Irony of Manifest Destiny, (Walker and Company, 2010).  Pfaff (journalist, essayist, and the author of numerous books on US foreign policy) challenges underlying assumptions of America’s global strategy:  its commitment to "a secular utopian ideology of universal democracy," and its claims of exceptional status and a unique moral role in world affairs.  He traces historical roots of the American project in the Enlightenment’s secularization of society and subsequent globalization of America’s 19th century transcontinental expansion.  Pfaff questions the US effort to "consolidate its ideological assumptions and historical legacy in a universalization of the power and leadership it has assumed since the collapse of the Soviet Union."  Religion figures in his narrative, not as a factor in violence or domestic politics, but in his treatment of the consequences of substituting the Enlightenment’s secular utopian aspirations for religious expectations.  Part history, part political theory, and part strategic analysis, his book is a critique of American statecraft in the tradition of George Kennan and Reinhold Niebuhr.

PD Magazine, "Pursuing Human Rights Through Public Diplomacy." Issue 4, Summer 2010. The online magazine of USC’s Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars concludes its second year of publishing with this edition that focuses on "the use of public diplomacy by nonstate actors to further the promotion of human rights." Includes the following contributions:
— Geoffrey Wiseman (University of Southern California), "’Polylateralism’: Diplomacy’s Third Dimension."  Wiseman’s essay anchors this issue with an inquiry into conceptual issues in diplomacy raised by the proliferation of varieties of nonstate actors.  He explores analytical distinctions and definitional questions — and provides a brief survey of relevant literature.  Wiseman seeks to test claims that "a new age of international politics" is changing the balance between states and global civil society actors.  He offers six hypotheses for analysis:  1. "State capacity for diplomatic intervention is generally underestimated;" 2. "Small and middle-sized state diplomatic institutions are more likely to innovate and cooperate with transnational civil society actors;" 3. "Democracies are more likely than semi-democracies and non-democracies to innovate polylaterally;" 4. "States will welcome transnational civil society actors more in low politics than high politics;" 5. "State diplomats are more likely to engage with transnational civil society actors involved in long-term policy influence (a ‘cooperative’ model) than with those pursuing highly politicized, short-term campaigns or protests (a ‘conflict’ model); and 6. "State responsiveness to transnational civil society actors will vary significantly with decision phase."            
–  Dieter Fleck (Cologne, former Director of International Agreements and Policy, German Ministry of Defense), "Direct Participation in Hostilities by Nonstate Actors and the Challenge of Compliance with International Humanitarian Law"
— Jody Williams (Nobel Laureate, International Campaign to Ban Landmines), "Public Diplomacy and Human Rights: Nothing About Us Without US"
— Ven. Pomnyun Sunim (The Peace Foundation in Seoul), "The Human Rights Situation in North Korea and Humanitarian Aid"
— Tori Horton (Weber State University), "New Technology and Public Diplomacy"
— Colin M. Wilding (BBC Global News and BBC World Service), "International Broadcasting"
— Matt Armstrong (MountainRunner blog), "Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy"
— D Varaprased Sekhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University), "Science Diplomacy"
— Leah Rousseau (Senior Editor, PD Magazine), "Interview with Robert Glasser" (Secretary General, CARE International)

William Powers, Hamlet’s Blackberry, (HarperCollins Publishers, 2010).  Powers (a former staff writer for The Washington Post) examines "the conundrum of connectedness" — the values of computers and digital connections and the challenges they present to the competing values of focus, depth, solitude, and strong relationships.  He draws insights from the ways in which history’s leading thinkers addressed comparable challenges of "connectedness" and "disconnectedness."  Includes chapters on Plato, Seneca, Gutenberg, Shakespeare, Ben Franklin, Thoreau, and Marshall McLuhan.  Powers offers clear prose, instructive examples, and practical advice. 

"Public Diplomacy: Moving from Policy to Practice," Report on Wilton Park Public Diplomacy Conference 2010, July 7-9, 2010.  This report contains a summary of key points made by participants at this conference sponsored in cooperation with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US Department of State.  The conference website includes brief videos by conference participants on the meaning, value, and future of public diplomacy.    

Lee Rowland and Steve Tatham, "Strategic Communication & Influence Operations: Do We Really Get It?" Small Wars Journal, August 3, 2010.  Rowland (Behavioural Dynamics Institute) and Tatham (CDR, Royal Navy) examine the priority given to influence operations over kinetic operations by the UK’s 52 Brigade in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province (2007- 2008).  The authors discuss the critical importance and difficulty of understanding civilian populations and evaluating effectiveness in armed conflict.  They conclude that "how to do it" guidance needs to catch up with increased enthusiasm for the use of strategic communication and influence operations.  &

Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, (The Penguin Press, 2010). In this book, Shirky (New York University and the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations) argues that global media allow people to treat free time as a shared global resource.  This "cognitive surplus" has the potential to enable new kinds of participation and sharing.  Using numerous examples and ordinary language, Shirky examines the means by which humans are aggregating free time, motives in taking advantage of this new resource, and the kinds of opportunities that are being created.    

US Government Accountability Office, Engaging Foreign Audiences: Assessment of Public Diplomacy Platforms Could Help Improve State Department Plans to Expand Engagement, GAO-10-767, July 2010.  GAO’s report examines challenges and opportunities in the State Department’s physical and virtual outreach platforms located outside US embassies and consulates:  American Presence Posts, American Centers, Binational Centers, American Corners, Virtual Presence Posts, and social media efforts.  The report reviews legal authorities, physical safety issues, technical and staffing limitations, and State’s expansion plans.  GAO finds that State "lacks information that would enable it to assess the effectiveness of these platforms," and recommends that State undertake evaluations that would inform resource allocation decisions.  Extensive use of photographs and descriptions based on GAO’s field work make this a useful classroom resource.  

U.S. International Broadcasting: — Is Anybody Listening? — Keeping the U.S. Connected, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, June 9, 2010. This 91-page report, signed by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Committee’s Ranking Member, and written by senior professional staff member Paul Foldi, examines U.S. international broadcasting’s changing context and an array of geopolitical, technological, and management problems facing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).  Recommendations include:  (1) confirm long pending BBG nominations; (2) consider another management structure for US broadcasting if BBG staffing problems persist; (3) increase resources for the "little watched" Alhurra Arabic television network and consider discontinuation if viewership does not increase; (4) give priority to multiple challenges in Russia, China, and elsewhere in Asia; (5) given a 25% decrease in listenership for Radio Sawa’s music/news format due to imitation by local stations, consider additional funding or changed formats; (6) give high priority to US Persian-language broadcasts; (7) revisit "anachronistic and potentially harmful" Smith-Mundt domestic dissemination restrictions; and (8) reconsider the decision to close the only remaining shortwave broadcasting facility in the United States.  The report is useful for its historical and current factual information on US broadcasting services.

Thomas Wright, "Strategic Engagement’s Track Record," The Washington Quarterly, Volume 33, No. 3, July 2010, 35-60.  Wright (The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, University of Chicago) examines the Obama administration’s engagement strategy in five areas:  "engaging civilizations, allies, new partners, adversaries, and institutions."  He concludes the administration has "largely succeeded" in engaging civilizations, described as building relationships with Muslims, not just the governments of Muslim majority states, in areas of common interest beyond counterterrorism.  In the other areas, Wright argues, geopolitical realities have led the administration to scale back its ambitious goals and have "called into question some of the strategy’s underlying assumptions and propositions.  He calls on the administration to adopt a more "competitive mindset" while continuing to recognize that many of today’s global issues can only be engaged multilaterally.      
Gem from the Past

Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, (Macmillan, 1922; CreateSpace Paperback edition, 2010). Lippmann’s masterpiece remains highly relevant for public diplomacy and related courses for a variety of reasons:  his insights into cognitive framing and the psychology of how we know, the role of the media in shaping thoughts and actions, democratic theory and the role of citizens in a democracy, his debate with John Dewey on the role of elites and deliberative dialogue in the public sphere, Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech, and his views on communication strategies (enlisting interest, building common ground, political symbols, and the importance of building political consent).  The full text is also available online courtesy of the University of Virginia and Google Books.

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.

See also previous compilations posted on