• Defense Department

    US Navy Rescues Iranian fisherman after saving Iranian cargo ship

    According to CJ Chivers of The New York Times, this week the US Navy broke up an attempted hijacking of an Iranian cargo ship by Somali pirates and after some clever surveillance, ended up rescuing Iranian fishermen held hostage by the same pirates. Senior Iranian military officials this week bluntly warned an American aircraft carrier that it would confront the “full force” of the Iranian military if it tried to re-enter the Persian Gulf. ,,, On Friday, Fazel Ur Rehman, a 28-year-old Iranian fisherman, had a warmer greeting for the carrier task force. … “It is like you were sent by God,” said Mr. Rehman, huddled under a blanket in this vessel’s…

  • Bruce Gregory's List,  Public Diplomacy

    Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #59

    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

  • Admin

    A New MountainRunner

    Dear Readers, as you may have noticed, this blog has gotten a facelift.  Over the next week you should see other improvements and a resumption in blogging.  Stay tuned for more, including details on the hiatus.  For the impatient, you can read my comments on Brian’s post at the Public Diplomacy Council. Notes related to the change in the blog may be found here. If you’d like to submit a guest post, review the guidelines and then email me.

  • Public Diplomacy

    There is a new Executive Director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

    The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is charged with appraising U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. The Commission formulates and recommends to the President, the Secretary of State, and Members of Congress policies and programs to carry out the public diplomacy functions vested in the State Department, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and other government agencies, as well as appraising the effectiveness of the public diplomacy policies and programs carried out by government agencies. There are seven members on the Commission, with “not more than four members may be from one political party.” In February, the White House sent to the Senate four nominations for…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Academia and Public Diplomacy: a new relationship

    There was something new at the 2011 International Studies Association conference in Montreal, Canada: a working group on public diplomacy. Organized by Craig Hayden, assistant professor at American University, and co-chaired by Kathy Fitzpatrick, professor at Quinnipiac University, it was a unique discussion to create a community of scholars across the many disciplines that comprise “public diplomacy.” Keynotes were given by Matt Armstrong and Maureen Cormack, Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Congratulations to Craig for a terrific, productive and long overdue working group. I’ll leave it to the participants to highlight the discussions of the day. Hopefully we will see…

  • Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level

    In the realm of public diplomacy reports, there are too few that should be on your required reading list. “Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level” (820kb PDF) is an exception. Written by Carolijn van Noort, a former intern at the Department of Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture of the Consulate General of the Netherlands, this 53-page report is a terrific analysis of the challenges of public diplomacy in today’s Now Media environment. Intended to explore the new public diplomacy of the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, and its various Consulates, the “public diplomacy 2.0” activities of the United States are also included . Carolijn rightly…

  • Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    China: Rebranding 101

    By Roseline Twagiramariya Even if you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you have heard about China’s impressive economic growth and its continuing rise as an important global player. A few weeks ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released an informative report on the disparities between Chinese and American public diplomacy activities today. Most importantly, the report, commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, gave a clear and concise look at China’s current rebranding strategies. Aware of its current spotlight and of its negative perceptions abroad, China has heavily invested in their soft power in hopes to ameliorate their image and be seen as…

  • Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    To Know Us is to Hate Us?

    By Emina Vukic After having spent two years studying in the United States in 1950, Sayyid Qutb, leading Islamic theologian of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who shaped the ideas of Islamists and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, wrote an article entitled "The America That I Have Seen". In it he criticized the individual freedoms he had seen exercised, he was appalled at having seen unmarried men and women dancing together, losing themselves in lust, while the band played a revolting song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” He returned to Egypt convinced that the America is evil that had to be stopped. This came to be known as “Sayyid Qutb Syndrome” that…