Call for Papers: Defence Strategic Communications

Read the below call for papers for a new academic journal.

“Defence Strategic Communications” is a yearly, open access, peer-reviewed and refereed journal published by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE), Riga, Latvia. The Editorial Board of “Defence Strategic Communications“ is headed by Dr Steve Tatham. I am a member of the editorial board as well. Continue reading “Call for Papers: Defence Strategic Communications”

Debating China’s Global Reputation – a conference in Beijing May 19

Source: USIA Archives
Source: USIA Archives

A high level conference on public diplomacy and China’s reputation in the world will take place in Beijing later this month. The event is co-sponsored by the Charhar Institute, China’s primary public diplomacy “tthink tank”, the Clingendael Institute of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China-Europe Academic Network (CEAN). The title theme is “Geo-cultural Perspectives on Public Diplomacy – Trialogue among Chinese, European, and American Scholars.”

The forum brings together a mixed group of leading Chinese and international scholars, think-tankers, and practitioners to discuss a geo-cultural perspective on public diplomacy based on a China-Europe-US-Dialogue.

The event starts on May 19 at 9am (Beijing time) and will end at 4:30pm. I am not aware of any webcast or transcription, but I will share what I can after the event.

The conference opens with three 30min keynotes, including one by me:

  1. Zhao Qizheng: The Future of China’s Public Diplomacy
  2. Matt Armstrong: The Learning Curve of US Public Diplomacy
  3. Amb. Markus Ederer: The Potential of Public Diplomacy in China-EU Relations

Zhao Qizheng is the Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Peoples Political Consultative Conerence and Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University. Amb. Markus Ederer is the EU Ambassador to China.

An hour-long “dialogue with journalists” follows the keynote. The second session of the day is “Debating China’s Public Diplomacy” with panelists speaking for 10min each. Tentative topics include “Is there a China model for public diplomacy?” and “What can China’s public diplomacy towards Pakistan tell us?”

The third session will be chaired by Clingendael’s Jan Melissen. Panelists, again with 10min each, include Phil Seib of USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy, Ronald Gratz, Wang Jay, and Ingrid d’Hooghe.

What would you highlight as positive examples of U.S. public diplomacy over the past ten years?

Opportunity: Congressional Research Awards

From the Dirksen Congressional Center:

The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the U.S. Congress. A total of up to $35,000 will be available in 2011. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to $3,500. Stipends will be awarded to individuals (not organizations) on a competitive basis. Grants will normally extend for one year. In some circumstances, the Center will make more than one award to a single individual in consecutive years, but not more than three awards to the same person in a five-year period.

Continue reading “Opportunity: Congressional Research Awards”

Event: Will Wikileaks Transform American Diplomacy?

This at 4pm, Thursday, 20 January 2011, the Burkle Center at UCLA will host the second of their three-part series on Wikileaks.

The panelists will consider the implications of WikiLeaks’ latest release for American diplomacy. Have the media played a responsible or even defensible role by releasing these diplomatic cables? What will be the effect on the future relationship of the media and American diplomats in particular and the media and the American government in general? Are the media supposed to protect the establishment or act as a watchdog in the public interest?

The panelists are Geoffrey Cowen and Ambassador Derek Shearer. The moderator is Kal Raustiala.

More information, including RSVP is at the Burkle Center website.

I’ll be there.

The third part of the series is entitled “What are the Legal Implications of Wikileaks?” This will take placed Wednesday, 26 January 2011, at 12:15pm at the UCLA Law School. The moderate is again Kal Raustiala and the panelists are Norman Abrams, David Kaye, Jon Michaels, and Eugene Volokh (blog). RSVP for Part III here.

Event: The Role and Relevance of Multilateral Diplomacy in U.S. Foreign Policy

The American Foreign Service Association (“The Voice of the Foreign Service”) is convening a new series of events linked to the cover story on its monthly flagship publication, the Foreign Service Journal. The first event highlighting the December 2010 FSJ article on multilateral diplomacy will take place at 3p on 11 January at AFSA. A panel to discuss the topic “The Role and Relevance of Multilateral Diplomacy in US Foreign Policy” will include:

  • Dr. Esther Brimmer,  Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
  • Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Member of House Foreign Affairs and outgoing chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.
  • Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
  • Retired Foreign Service Officer and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Molly Williamson will moderate.

RSVPs are required, and should be sent to events@afsa.org by January 10.

AFSA is located at 2101 E St NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Event: International Broadcasting and Public Media

Checkout this event of potential value at the New America Foundation, “International Broadcasting and Public Media.” The event’s description is promising, as are the panelists (described as ‘participants’ but surely the audience will be allowed to participate as well, right?).

In an increasingly digital media landscape, people across the globe are relating to their news outlets in new ways. The missions of media producers are changing, as technological innovations reshape news networks into communities. The assumption is that U.S. public media institutions and international broadcasters are also transforming themselves to serve the emerging public interests in media. How should these institutions be changing to meet the needs of audiences that expect to engage in news and information, not just passively receive it? Even amid the explosion of information, there are information gaps. If foreign coverage one of them, how best is it produced and by whom?

I will not be there, unfortunately, but below are questions off the top of my head I’d like asked and discussed (are there really ‘answers’?).

Continue reading “Event: International Broadcasting and Public Media”

2010 Cultural Diplomacy Conference: Cultural Diplomacy as a Listening Project?

On Monday, 8 November 2010, the International Communication Program of American University’s School of International Service, with sponsorship from the MountainRunner Institute and the Public Diplomacy Council, will host a 1-day conference to consider the extent to which, and how, cultural diplomacy might be a “listening project.”

From 12:00pm to 4:30pm on the AU campus, this conference is an opportunity for productive exchange among key stakeholders in the future of cultural diplomacy, all of whom should be in more regular conversation: the policy community, practitioners in public diplomacy, and academic researchers on the topic. Continue reading “2010 Cultural Diplomacy Conference: Cultural Diplomacy as a Listening Project?”

Navy Strategic Communication Workshop

I’m off to the beautiful Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California to give a lecture tomorrow as part of the Navy Strategic Communication Workshop. About the SCW:

The Navy Strategic Communication Workshop (SCW) is a three‐day workshop designed to help commands in the development and implementation of a Strategic Communication planning process. Participants are encouraged to attend as part of a command sponsored team of three to five members, led by a senior executive (Flag Officer or Senior Executive Service member). Ideally, teams include a diverse mix of functional area responsibilities. Teams are asked to bring strategic plans or change initiatives that might require a strategic communication component. Through a combination of classroom presentations and facilitated breakout sessions, teams will be able to apply new skills and techniques to advance their plans.

imageMy talk is titled “The New Information Environment” and will cover the information-centric “now media” environment of borderless news and audiences, dynamic and voluntary “diasporas” (my favorite depiction of this challenge is the image at right), and the organizational and conceptual confusion that abounds across the Government on the requirements, responsibilities and authorities to be effective in this environment. Of course I’ll talk about Wikileaks weave in that The New York Times has more Twitter followers than print subscribers, .

Also, of possible interest is my (draft) syllabus for the public diplomacy class I’m teaching this Spring 2011 at USC.

ISA Working Group on Public Diplomacy

The International Studies Association was founded in 1959 to promote research and education international affairs. Its annual conference is a significant event for relevant academic communities. The next annual conference will be in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on March 16-19, 2011.

Of interest to readers of this blog, the 2011 conference had added a Working Group on Public Diplomacy:

The primary objective of the Working Group on Public Diplomacy is to establish a productive community of scholars from across the disciplines and divisions of ISA in order to advance the scholarship and teaching on public diplomacy. Public diplomacy represents an increasingly important convergence of multiple research trajectories within the ISA – including theoretical and practical research on influence efforts and ‘soft power,’ comparative work on foreign policy and practices of public engagement, as well as the instrumental role of international communication and global media leveraged by state and non-state institutions. The Working Group invites scholars actively engaged in research and teaching that recognizes the increased salience of public diplomacy as a foreign policy imperative around the world, and, how public diplomacy has transformed conceptual boundaries between diplomacy, communication, and international politics.

This working group will be led by (and the result of the hard work of) Craig Hayden, professor at American University and occasional blogger, and Kathy Fitzpatrick, professor at Quinnipiac University.

The working group includes one all-day pre-conference workshop on March 15 and two follow up meetings on March 17 and March 19. The schedule is below.

Continue reading “ISA Working Group on Public Diplomacy”

Influence and Propaganda Conference

IandP Conference Sign The Influence and Propaganda Conference continues tomorrow. Today’s discussion was fantastic with valuable insights from Todd Helmus, Ted Tzavellas, Steve Shaker, Adam Pechter, Bryan Rich, Michael Dominque, Steve Luckert, Lee Rowland, Glenn Ayers, Glenn Connor, Tim Hill, Cliff Gilmore, and Al Bynum.

Tomorrow is another day beginning with a presentation by Brad Gorham. This is followed by arguably the best panel of the conference: the media panel co-chaired by Russ Rochte and myself. The panel will include Jamie McIntyre, Bill Gertz, and Wally Dean. Following this panel is Mahan Tavakoli, Nancy Snow, Mike Waller, Amy Zalman, Cori Dauber, Carol Winkler, and Jim Farwell. Friday, the last day, has Brian Carlson, Evan Mitchell Stark, Joel Weinberger, John Foxe, and Wil Cunningham.

The conference is presented by the IO Institute, in partnership with the MountainRunner Institute. The IO Institute will post a transcript after the event.

Follow (and catch up) on live tweets from the event with the hash tag #iandp.

Influence and Propaganda Conference this week

2010iandpadThis week is the Influence and Propaganda Conference in Verona, New York, outside of Syracuse. Put on by the IO Institute in partnership with the MountainRunner Institute, the conference will be a frank and open discussion on the nature, purpose and format of propaganda and activities intended to influence. This conference comes at a critical time as the volume and quality of disinformation and misinformation increases in an environment that empowers virtually anyone. The gatekeepers of yesterday, governments and major media, are increasingly bypassed, ignored, reactionary or co-opted as today’s information flows across geographic, linguistic, political and technological borders with increasing ease and speed.

Continue reading “Influence and Propaganda Conference this week”

Event: Rethinking the Future International Security Environment

The Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory announced the 7th year of its Rethinking Seminar Series. This year’s theme is Rethinking the Future International Security Environment and the objective is the “exploration of possible future international environments including potential adversaries and threats to US National Security.” Topics to be covered include:

  • Regional areas of concern (i.e., the Middle East, China, Russia, and N. Korea)
  • Economics and National Security through examinations of potential economic threats to the US and her allies including:
    • The use of sovereign wealth funds to manipulate markets and currencies
    • Nation state economic collapse, sovereign default, and nation state instability
    • US and Allies’ budgets, deficits and their ability/inability to fund robust national security infrastructures
  • Resource Competition and Scarcity including issues of energy, water, agriculture and strategic minerals competition

The free events will occur about every month near the Pentagon. Video, audio, and usually the presentation and even notes are posted to the web about one week after each meeting.

Continue reading “Event: Rethinking the Future International Security Environment”

Discussion & Webcast: Freedom vs. National Security: Finding a Middle Ground

The Voice of America is hosting a discussion and webcast entitled Online Freedom vs. National Security: Finding a Middle Ground.

Government efforts seeking new controls over the Internet and mobile communications are raising concerns about the possible erosion of human rights and basic freedoms.

Participating are: Bob Boorstin, Director, Corporate & Policy Communications, Google; Arnaud de Borchgrave, Director & Senior Advisor, Transnational Threats Project, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS); Julie Barko Germany, Vice President for Digital Strategy, DCI Group; and Marc Rotenberg, President & Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center.

When: Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 10:00am ET – 11:00am ET.

Where: Voice of America
Briefing Room 1528-A
330 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20237

RSVP at askvoa@voanews.com or call (202) 203-4959

****

It is not clear to me that this worthwhile and necessary discussion should be available to audiences within the borders of the United States as a result of continuing Congressional censorship found within the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948. Further, will someone mention irony of the firewall at the US border that inhibits informing audiences both abroad (at the very least by such engagement to Americans, including its value and content) and ignores diasporas (real or manufactured through empathy, sympathy, or other joining beyond the traditional ethnic, cultural, or linguistic bonds)? 

Event: The hidden geopolitics of cyberspace

From the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism:

The Annenberg Research Seminar series, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the USC Master’s in Public Diplomacy program welcome Dr. Ronald Deibert for a conversation about “The hidden geopolitics of cyberspace.” Deibert is an associate professor of political science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development hothouse working at the intersection of the Internet, global security, and human rights. He will be speaking about his current project which monitors, analyzes and investigates the impact of power in cyberspace as it relates to public diplomacy. This is the last in a series of Canadian-US Fulbright Chair in Public Diplomacy talks. This talk is a presentation of the Annenberg Research Seminar series. Lunch will be served. RSVP requested. To RSVP, click here.  If you are having problems submitting your RSVP, please contact cpdevent@usc.edu.

Checkout Ron’s website and follow him on Twitter: @citizenlab.

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, New York University
Elizabeth Diller, Architect
Eric Fischl, Painter
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (invited)
Chairman Jim Leach, National Endowment for the Humanities
Congressman Jim Moran, U.S. House of Representatives
Dr. Azar Nafisi, Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
His Excellency Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican Ambassador to the United States
His Excellency Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States

In Conversations Moderated by: Michael Dirda, Joseph Duffey, Dana Gioia, Frank Hodsoll, Philip Kennicott, Dorothy Kosinski, Eric Motley, and Cynthia Schneider.

Lunch will be served in the Phillips Collection courtyard.

To register for the event, please visit: https://secure.aspeninstitute.org/culturaldiplomacyforum

See also:

Reminder: Broadcasting Board of Governors meeting live webcast

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will meet on Friday, September 17, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. The BBG will be considering BBG Governance Committee recommendations, the BBG’s research program and other business. The meeting is open – via webcast – to the public.

The public may observe the open meeting via live and on demand streaming at www.bbg.gov.

To watch live, click here during the meeting time. To watch after the event, click here.

See also:

Event: exploring an independent public diplomacy / strategic communication organization

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is convening a non-partisan public diplomacy initiative next week, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense William Perry. The initiative will bring together a broad coalition of high-level experts, practitioners, including members from the corporate and foundation sectors, the think-tank and academic communities, and the Congress, to develop a business plan for the new organization to provide sustained, innovative, and high quality private sector support for US public diplomacy; and identify public and private sources of funding.

The envisioned entity will be non-partisan and transcend Administrations. It will facilitate better coordination and implementation between the government and the private sector while providing the U.S. Government additional capabilities. It “will not encroach” or “undertake the Government’s current [public diplomacy] activities.”

There will be five independent subcommittees under the Business Plan Working Group to be launched at the meeting next week. Matt Armstrong, your blogger and president & founder of the MountainRunner Institute, is a member of this working group.

See also:

Event: U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy

image 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.

Continue reading “Event: U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy”

Event: Influence and Propaganda Conference

The Information Operations Institute, in partnership with the MountainRunner Institute, invites you to attend the Influence and Fighting Propaganda Conference.

Identifying and countering propaganda and misinformation through dissemination that avoids the label of propaganda will be the key themes of the event. Discussions will explore who, how and why can people or groups be influenced, and difference between engagement from the lowest to the highest levels of leadership.

Russ Rochte, retired US Army Colonel and now faculty member at the National Defense Intelligence College, and I will co-moderate a panel on the media exploring the tension between “Media as an instrument of War” and the journalist’s traditional obligations to the truth, objectivity, informing the public, and verification. What is the impact on the media’s relationship with itself, its readers, and its sources as the media struggles for mind-share and relevance in a highly competitive environment of diminished resources, intensified news cycles, and direct audience engagement by news makers, and pressure to de-emphasize journalistic ethics. What constitutes the media and how does an organization like Wikileaks change the environment? How does this show in the natural conflict between the government and the media and how is it exploited by America’s adversaries?

This will be a two-hour panel, October 14, 10a-12p, with:

  • Wally Dean, Director of Training, Committee of Concerned Journalists (confirmed)
  • Jamie McIntyre, Host: “Line of Departure”, Military.com (confirmed)
  • Dana Priest, Washington Post investigative reporter (invited)
  • Bill Gertz, reporter for The Washington Times (confirmed)

The agenda for the conference is below.

Event website is here
Date: October 13-15 (2.5 days)
Location: Turning Stone Resort, Verona, New York (map)
Registration Fee: Students/Faculty: free; Government: $50; Military: $25; Corporate/Industry: $200
Registration: online or PDF

Continue reading “Event: Influence and Propaganda Conference”