• Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy

    Jamming for Uncle Sam: Getting the Best From Cultural Diplomacy

    By Nick Cull This originally appeared on Huffington Post. It is gladly cross-posted here at Nick’s request. Recent years have seen a welcome resurgence in U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, which after honorable service in the Cold War, sailed into the doldrums in the mid-1990s. Today, the State Department is reaching out to foreign publics in partnership with major private sector partners including Jazz at the Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as maintaining its own program of visits, exhibitions and tours. While the new initiatives began under the administration of George W. Bush as a ‘soft power’ response to the challenges of the Global War on Terror,…

  • Cultural Diplomacy

    America in Alexandria, de Tocqueville in Arab

    By Amb. Cynthia P. Schneider "This is the most extraordinary place I have ever seen," exclaimed Sid Ganis, film producer and past President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern day reincarnation of the famous Library of Alexandria. Ganis was in Alexandria to participate in a conference organized by the Library commemorating the one year anniversary of President Obama’s Cairo speech. The brainchild of the Bibliotheca’s founding Director, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Initiatives in Education, Science and Culture Towards Enhanced US-Muslim Countries Collaborations, aimed to focus on concrete projects and initiatives in those three areas, and not on divisive political issues such the Israeli-Palestine conflict and…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy

    Refurbished approach to cultural diplomacy by Martin Rose of the British Council

    In a July 2010 issue of Layalina Productions’ Perspectives, British Council officer Martin Rose argues for the West, particularly Europe, to be more “culturally literate” and refurbish its approach to cultural relations. Rose discusses the social and cultural marginalization of immigrant minorities in Europe, who recently have been lumped into the category of “Muslims” to the detriment of their national identities. He argues the need for Europe to be more open-minded and accepting of the “huge multiplicity of rivers that flow into our sea.” Urging non-Muslim Europeans to break the “Us vs. Them” mentality when approaching cultural differences, Rose advocates building trust, understanding and personal relationships to “live well in…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Other,  Psychological Struggle

    USA Wins! and other news

    USA just won its group in the World Cup! Despite more bad referring! USA advances to the next round to play a team to be determined later this morning. Matt Ygelsias unbelievably jokes this is a result of the “failure of Obama public diplomacy” soon before Twitter’s fail whale appears. Right, and England advances from Group C as well. In other news: General McChrystal and his staff ironically fail to grasp true and full nature of the information war they are in as they roll their stones into new careers (excluding the oft-repeated highlights, the Rolling Stone article isn’t bad). Psychological Operations gets a necessary name change to Military Information…

  • China,  Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    Shanghai’d, or the USA Pavilion as a corporate theme park

    Below is an excerpt from a must-read post at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy by Cynthia Schneider and Hailey Woldt on America’s “contribution” to the World Expo now underway in China. Let’s begin with the positive: the United States is present at the World Expo in Shanghai. The Secretary of State deserves praise for making this possible, by launching an eleventh hour fundraising drive, after the previous administration had done virtually nothing (besides rejecting a proposal that included Frank Gehry as architect). The Chinese cared enough about the U.S. presence to have contributed both public and private funds to guarantee that the U.S. showed up for Expo Shanghai 2010.…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    A Tale from the Field about Religion, Culture, and Perception

    By Gregory L. Garland Matt’s blog has become a force to behold in the discussion about strategic communication, public diplomacy, and State/DOD relations. It has shined a light on what largely was a rarified, inside-the-beltway debate symptomatic of the old USIA’s domestic blank spot. What has been lacking are stories from the field outside the U.S. – examples of PD as it actually is conducted by PD professionals. Here’s one from my own experience that in many ways is typical. I’ve run effective PD programs that didn’t cost Uncle Sam anything except my own time. I’ve run next to useless PD programs so flush that I couldn’t spend all the…