Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #54 (by Bruce Gregory)

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

January 3, 2011
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

Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, (Little Brown and Company, 2009; Paperback, Back Bay Books, January 2011).   In Connected, now available in paperback, Christakis (Harvard University) and Fowler (University of California, San Diego) discuss concepts of social networks and ways in which they affect emotions, politics, economics, technology, moral questions, how we make choices, our capacity for free will, and other elements in human experience.  They argue the science of social networks supplements studies of the actions and identities of individuals and groups with a needed third way of looking at interconnections that give rise to new aspects of human experience.  

Hillary Rodham Clinton, "Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development," Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2010, 13-24.  The Secretary of State makes her case for US leadership in mobilizing actions to deal with global challenges that require collective solutions.  Her article foreshadowed findings of the US Department of State’s first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) on how to better equip, fund, train, organize, and better coordinate diplomacy and development.  She states the QDDR will focus on (1) modernizing and coordinating diplomacy across foreign and domestic US government agencies, (2) ensuring that development has sustainable impact, and (3) achieving stronger relationships between diplomacy and development, and better coordination with the military in conflict zones and fragile states.  In a brief section on engagement with publics, Clinton argues that public diplomacy "must start at the top."  The State Department is "streamlining and modernizing the way it conceives of and conducts public diplomacy" with changes in geographic priorities, partnerships with the private sector and civil society, and new  technologies.  "The QDDR endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat’s duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations."

Edith Drieskens and Louise van Schaik, eds., The European External Action Service: Preparing for Success, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael,’ December 2010.  This paper reports on a conference on the European External Action Service (EEAS) hosted by Clingendael on October 4-5, 2010 for representatives of 22 EU member states.  Essays compiled by conference co-chairs Drieskens and van Schalk explore challenges and opportunities for the national diplomacy of EU states, the role of the EEAS in diplomacy and development, and criteria for determining the EEAS’s success and other issues beyond institution building in Brussels.  Includes:

  • Foreword by Poul Skytte Christophersen (Special Advisor to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union), "A Guinness Record for Speed," 1-2.
  • Edith Drieskens and Louise van Schaik (Clingendael Research Fellows), "Introduction," 3-4.
  • Sophie Vanhoonacker (Maastricht University) and Simon Duke (European Institute of Public Administration), "Chairs’ Conclusions," 5-6.
  • Edith Drieskens and Louise van Schaik, "Clingendael Input Paper," 7-18.
  • Knud Erik Jorgensen (Aarhus University), "One Size Fits All?" 19-22.
  • Simon Smits (Acting Director-General for European Cooperation, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs), "Life After Lisbon," 23-26.
  • James Mackie (European Centre for Development Policy Management), "New Competition in Town," 27-32.
  • Simon Duke (Maastricht University), "Parameters for Success," 33-35.        

R. Evan Ellis, "Chinese Soft Power in Latin America: A Case Study," Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 60, 1st Quarter, 2011, 85- 91.  Ellis (National Defense University) examines China’s use of soft power tools to expand its economic, political, and cultural influence in Latin America.  He argues that the core of China’s soft power lies in (1) perceptions throughout the region that sustained high rates of economic growth and technology development present business opportunities and (2) hopes that China will serve as a development model and a counterweight to the US and Western institutions.  Ellis also assesses limits to China’s soft power grounded in cultural dissimilarities and difficulties in learning about each other’s culture and language.      

Institute of International Education (IIE), Open Doors 2010, November 15, 2010.  The latest edition of Open Doors, IIE’s annual assessment of international student enrollments, finds "the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 3% to 690,923 during the 2009/10 academic year."  Press Release.  This record high level was driven by a 30% increase in Chinese students, making China the leading sending country.  Open Doors reports a decrease of 0.8% in the number of US students studying abroad "with notable increases in the number of US students going to study in less traditional destinations."   Press Release.  Surveys and data tables can be downloaded from IIE’s website.  Also of interest is a brief history of IIE, America’s flagship international exchange organization.

John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison, The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion, (Basic Books, 2010). Hagel, Seely Brown and Davison (Deloitte Center for the Edge) examine a "big shift" from a push model (knowledge stocks) to a pull model (knowledge in network flows) that enables individuals and institutions to leverage ideas, creativity, and opportunities advantageously in an interconnected world. The authors define the power of pull as the ability to gain "access to what we need, when we need it, even if we’re not quite sure what ‘it’ is. . . ."  They discuss mindsets, strategies, innovation, motivation, talent development, and ways for governments and civil society institutions to collaborate and connect in a world where there are always more smart people outside organizations than within.         

Ingrid d’Hooghe and Chen Zhimin
, eds.,
"China’s Evolving Diplomacy," The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 5, Number 4, 2010. d’Hooghe (Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’) and Zhimin (Fudan University), guest editors of this special edition of HJD, have assembled articles that examine key issues in a new Chinese diplomacy that is expanding, multi-dimensional, more sophisticated, and more self-confident.  Includes:

  • Su Changhe (Shanghai International Studies University), "Understanding Chinese Diplomatic Transformation: A Multi-Actors’ Perspective, 313-329.  An assessment of four new actors in China’s diplomacy — local governments, governmental agencies other than China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, civil society, and enterprises.
  • Chen Zhimin, Jian Junbo (Fudan University), and Chen Diyi (China’s Ministry of Environment Protection), "The Provinces and China’s Multi-Layered Diplomacy: The Cases of GMS and Africa," 331-356.  Expands discussion of the role of local governments in China’s diplomacy with case studies of Yunan Province’s activities in the multi-lateral diplomacy of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program, and the trade, investment, and assistance activities of  Chinese provinces in Africa.
  • Zhao Suisheng (University of Denver), "Chinese Foreign Policy Under Hu Jintao: The Struggle Between Low-Profile Policy and Diplomatic Activism," 357-378.  Explores China’s efforts to balance a traditional low profile diplomacy and a new more assertive diplomacy, tradeoffs in relations with major powers and in regional diplomacy in Asia, and efforts to reconcile domestic interests with global calls for responsible behavior.
  • Frank Gaenssmantel (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), "Chinese Diplomacy Towards the EU: Grand Vision But Hard to Manage," 379-403.  Explores the rise and slow decline in China’s diplomacy with the European Union between 2001 and 2007.
  • Cheng Ruisheng (Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China) "Handling Relations with Myanmar in a Chinese Way: A Personal Reflection," 405-413. Insights from China’s former Ambassador to Myanmar into the value of pragmatism, personal relations, and use of symbolic gestures.    

Jane C. Loeffler, The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America’s Embassies (Princeton Architectural Press, 1998, Revised Second Edition,  2011). Loeffler (University of Maryland) in her first edition provided a thoroughly researched narrative (with numerous photos) of the way American embassies project "the art, culture, and political philosophy of the United States."  In her substantially updated second edition, she looks at how the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the attacks of 9/11, and other events led to construction of more than seventy new embassies during the past decade.  In contrast to "bold, eye-catching, trendy, and sometimes egotistical" 20th century US embassy architecture, recent embassies attract attention, not through their design, but largely because of their size, isolation, homogeneity, and imposing presence.  Loeffler explores difficult issues posed by the competing values of workplace security, design excellence, and structures that encourage public access.  She calls for critical attention to these issues and suggests the recently selected design for the new US embassy in London is a promising step in the building of future American embassies.

Kristin M. Lord and Richard Fontaine, Managing 21st Century Diplomacy: Lessons from Global Corporations, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), December 2010.  In this 33-page report, Lord (CNAS Vice President and Director of Studies) and Fontaine (CNAS Senior Fellow) examine management strategies of four global corporations (GE, McDonald’s, IBM, and FedEx) and their relevance to "new ways of thinking and new methods of management" in the US Department of State.  Among their recommendations:  more decision-making leeway for employees in the field, especially ambassadors; institutionalized collaboration across State’s regional and functional bureaus; linking strategy development, execution, and performance evaluation; creating new regional hubs to coordinate and oversee policy; adopting a three or five-year rolling budget plan; hiring for future needs; lengthening overseas tours of duty; new patterns of institutionalized collaboration and group trainingTheir report builds on structured interviews with executives in the four corporations and State Department officials active in its Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) process.

Anupama Sekhar and Anna Steinkamp, eds., Mapping Cultural Diversity — Good Practices From Around the Globe, published by the German Commission for UNESCO and the Asia-Europe Foundation, November 29, 2010.  The 39 competitively selected case studies in this publication assess the meaning of cultural diversity and its role as a component of sustainable development.  The essays focus on good practices in the promotion of cultural expressions with a view toward encouraging networking and collaboration as well as planning and policymaking.  (Courtesy of Aimee Fullman) 

Tripp McCuller, "Information Warfare and Decisiveness in Counterinsurgency," IO Journal, December 2010, 4-7.  McCuller (Defense Intelligence Agency) discusses the role of media in insurgency warfare and argues the US must do more to develop effective media skills and strategies at all service levels.   

Tim Moore, "Norway’s Focused Communication Strategy," American Diplomacy, December 13, 2010.  Moore, an American diplomat serving at the US embassy in Oslo, examines Norway’s diplomacy — its emphasis on soft power, conflict resolution, public diplomacy, and ways to attract positive attention despite its small population and limited resources.  He discusses the origins and strengths of the "Norway Model," future challenges Norway can expect in pursuing its communication strategy, and what the US can learn from the Norwegian approach to public diplomacy.  Moore’s assessment of Norway’s niche diplomacy, originally a paper written for a course at the Naval War College, draws on the work of numerous public diplomacy scholars in the US and Europe. 

"The New Soft Cell — Global," Monocle, Issue 39, Volume 04, December-January 2010.   In their inaugural annual soft power survey, the online subscription magazine Monocle, based in London, and the Institute for Government, a British think tank, rank order the soft power of 25 nations.  The survey uses anecdotal reporting (e.g., on Japan’s anime cartoons, Eurovision’s song contest, Spanish engineering in Milwaukee, English football’s Premier League) and more than 20 metrics (e.g., universities in TES Top 200, Olympic gold medals, percentage of GDP spent on aid, tourists per year, film exports, Transparency International Corruption Index, foreign languages spoken by
prime minister or president).  The issue contains a brief discussion of the meaning of soft power in diplomacy and government foreign policy strategies.  The survey ranks the UK and France as joint winners, the US 3rd, Sweden 6th, Australia 8th, Canada 12th, China 17th, South Africa 20th, Brazil 21st,  India 23rd, UAE 24th, and Turkey 25th.  (Courtesy of Maria Pomes-Jimenez).

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., "The Future of American Power: Dominance and Decline in Perspective," Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2010, 2-12.  Nye (Harvard University) challenges theories of hegemonic decline in American power.  He argues that power diffusion is a more helpful analytical framework in an information-based world and calls "for a new narrative about the future of US power."  Nye surveys a variety of declinist views based on arguments about China’s rise, imperial overstretch, domestic decay, the US economy, American education, and problems in US politics and institutions.  He concludes that, although net assessments of the future of American power cannot be certain, the best strategy for dealing with 21st century issues calls for recognition that the US cannot achieve successful outcomes without the help of others, a combination of hard and soft power resources, an emphasis on alliances and networks, and a deeper understanding of the changing nature of power.   

Donna Oglesby, Spectacle in Copenhagen: Public Diplomacy on Parade, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, Paper 4, 2010, USC Center on Public Diplomacy. In this essay, revised from a paper presented at a meeting of the International Studies Association – South on October 22, 2010, Oglesby (Eckerd College), provides a case study on roles played by states and environmental NGOs during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-15) negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009.  She tests values-based concepts in public diplomacy scholarship and thinking that privileges the politics of civil society activism in the context of the "apparent failure" of transnational actors to influence COP-15 outcomes.  Oglesby concludes that key decisions about mitigation and adaptation policies in climate change will be made by states.  Effective public diplomacy "must therefore be grounded in the particulars of politics both within states and between them in the media-saturated crossroads of international life."           

Jake Schaffner, "The Ongoing Debate About the Definition and Future of Information Operations," IO Journal, December 2010, 8-12.  Schaffner (Senior Advisor for Science & Technology on the Staff of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence) looks at the history of Information Operations (IO) definitions and recent approaches in Department of Defense internal debates on its meaning and future prospects.

Maria Wey-Shen Siow, "Chinese Domestic Debates on Soft Power and Public Diplomacy," East-West Center Asia Pacific Bulletin, Number 86, December 7, 2010. Noting that Western discussion of China’s soft power tends to focus on how it is projected, Maria Wey-Shen Siow (East Asia Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia) looks at variations in how soft power is perceived within China.  She argues that although Chinese analysts generally agree with Joseph Nye’s definition of soft power as attraction based on the appeal of one’s culture, values, and policies, discourse in China has increasingly taken on distinct Chinese characteristics grounded in internal perceptions of China’s cultural heritage, the role of global media, distinctions between internal and external communication, and fluctuations between domestic pride and a sense of inferiority.  

Clay Shirky, "The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Social Change," Foreign Affairs, January/February 2011, 28-41.  Shirky (New York University, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus) argues that the greatest potential of social media lies in their use as long-term tools to strengthen civil society and the public sphere (an "environmental view") rather than as tools to challenge state censorship (an "instrumental view") in the short-term.  Shirky does not dismiss the possibility that groups can use social media to challenge governments successfully.  But he questions the emphasis in US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Internet freedom speech on preventing states from censoring social media tools — an instrumental view that is "politically appealing, action oriented, and almost certainly wrong."  Rather than risk a counterproductive backlash to US government-sponsored support for specific campaigns, Shirky urges "reordering the State Department’s Internet freedom goals" to focus primarily on encouraging personal and social communication and freedom of assembly in civil societies.             

Matthew G. Specter, Habermas: An Intellectual Biography, (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  Specter (Central Connecticut State University) looks at the life of Jurgen Habermas, one of post-World War II Europe’s leading thinkers known particularly for his influential theories of the public sphere, civil society, and communicative action — theories with important implications for the study of strategic communication and relational models of public diplomacy.  Specter’s book shows how Habermas’s views were shaped by political and intellectual events in Germany during the second half of the twentieth century as well as the important role Habermas played in Germany’s adoption of liberal values and democratic institutions.             

US Department of State, Leading Through Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Washington, DC, December 2010. The stated goals of the State Department’s 219-page QDDR are to examine key global trends, assess the core missions and work of US diplomacy and development, address opportunities to improve and adapt, and "elevate civilian power alongside military power as equal pillars of US foreign policy."  Although several pages focus on public diplomacy as it relates to activities within the purview of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the QDDR for the most part treats public diplomacy more broadly — as a central element in diplomacy understood as global engagement in a whole of government context where there is "astonishing growth" in the number of civilian agencies associated with international activities and the work of US embassies.

Gem from the Past

Otto Klineberg, The Human Dimension in International Relations, (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1964).  Pioneering social psychologist Otto Klineberg was born in Canada in 1899 and became an American citizen in 1938.  In a career that included service with the US Office of War Information and UNESCO, Klineberg taught until the 1980s at Columbia University and the University of Paris.  His research critical of racial superiority theories contributed to the US Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown vs, Board of Education decision.  Klineberg’s book The Human Dimension in International Relations discusses such issues in cross cultural communication as stereotypes, the shaping of public opinion, the origins of UNESCO, group loyalty, the nature of leadership, and the effects of contact on group attitudes and intergroup relations.      

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 and by

2 thoughts on “Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #54 (by Bruce Gregory)

  1. FYI: the links for the report by Lord/Fontaine and for the article by Oglesby are wrong.

  2. Ali, thank you for letting me know about the bad links. The links you highlighted and others have been fixed.Matt

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