• China,  Cultural Diplomacy,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    China and American Public Diplomacy: Another US Deficit

    Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will publish another major report on public diplomacy shortly. Written by Paul Foldi, senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this report focuses on Chinese public diplomacy with the inevitable comparison to U.S. efforts. I was given a sneak peak at the report. It comes at a time when tough talk in Congress on the State Department’s budget could benefit from such an analysis of a country that is both a major competitor and partner across all aspects of national power and daily life. This report is another in-depth investigation and commentary on a critical aspect of U.S. global engagement. It focuses on the…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    Jazz Diplomacy: a Cold War Relic?

    By Candace Burnham Pop quiz: name three jazz artists under the age of 50. Maybe you named popular favorites Wynton and Branford Marsalis, but can you name any of their albums? Does anyone else spring to mind? No? You’re not alone – if anemic record sales are any indication, a majority of Americans would draw a blank at that question. As a trumpet player who graduated from a jazz school, I’m acutely aware of the fact that jazz is simply not as ubiquitous today as it was sixty years ago. Yet, it’s still the crown jewel in US public diplomacy efforts. We export it as representative of American culture, but…

  • Cultural Diplomacy

    Cynthia Schneider on Holbrooke and Rembrandt

    For another perspective on the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, read Ambassador Cynthia Schneider’s description of her first meeting with him in 2000. The context Holbrooke’s arrival in the Netherlands for the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. Holbrooke was the U.S. envoy to the UN and Cynthia was U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands. The result is a demonstration of a Renaissance Man. Having heard about Holbrooke’s formidable reputation, I had prepared myself to answer any and every question about the Tribunal, but was completely taken aback when the man who had tamed Milosevic asked me about Rembrandt. Read the whole, brief article here.

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Events

    Event: Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum

    From the Aspen Institute, The Phillips Collection, and the NYU John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress present the Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum. Date: October 4, 2010 Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Location: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC How should the United States use culture both to communicate and listen to other nations? The 2010 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum will feature the political and cultural leaders who are now shaping the policies and practices of cultural diplomacy in the public and private sectors. Keynote Speaker: Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State (1997 – 2001) Other speakers include: The Honorable John Brademas, President Emeritus,…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Events,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media,  State Department

    Event: U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy

    The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD), in partnership with the U.S. State Department and with the support of more than 1000 U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) conducting citizen diplomacy activities, will convene a historic U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy on November 16-19, 2010 in Washington, DC. The goal of the Summit and ten year Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy is to double the number of American volunteers of all ages involved in international activities at home or abroad, from an estimated 60 million today to 120 million by 2020. A detailed agenda is available online.

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Defense Department,  Events

    Interested in the culture and history of Afghanistan from 1842 to the present day?

    Too little is known in the US about the history of Afghanistan. History is something Americans tend to ignore, often to our detriment. We forget our history and ignore the history of others. Precedence is, in the American mind, reserved only for the law and not to the shaping perceptions or forming public opinion. This is a defect in our approach to global affairs. Such is the case with Afghanistan, where we failed to grasp (and ignored sage advice on) the impact of history on modern events. Enter The Great Game: Afghanistan, an epic 3-part play (nine hours total) from the UK’s Tricycle Theatre, which explores the “culture and history…

  • Cultural Diplomacy

    Yemeni YES participant discovers “real” America does not correspond to media image

    Written by Lisa Retterath of the Alliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange, where this post originally appeared. In a recent Huffington Post article, 17-year old Maad Sharaf shares his thoughts about how a year abroad in the United States through the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program has changed his life. Originally from Aden in the Republic of Yemen, Sharaf came to Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where he quickly learned that the image he had gotten about the United States, based mainly on media coverage in Yemen, did not correspond to reality: “I thought America was all about huge buildings, exciting places, drunken people everywhere and going to war with…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Psychological Struggle

    Conflict Resolution and Prevention: The Role for Culture Relations

    Earlier this year, the British Council co-hosted an event in Brussels with Security Defence Agenda and NATO to discuss how “cultural” projects facilitate dialogue between groups, play a part in preventing conflict, healing post-conflict wounds, and potentially avoid conflicts based on misunderstand or mistrust. The video below are the highlights from this conference that I attended. It includes a post-event interview with British Council Chief Executive Martin Davidson. I strongly recommend it to those interested in creating and supporting culture-based engagement pathways that to some may be “alternative” but are ultimately fundamental. One cannot hope to successfully engage in a struggle of minds and wills if one does not understand…