Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Monday, February 18th 2013
Have you subscribed to Under Secretary Sonenshine’s biweekly Snapshot of Public Diplomacy in Action?
It’s the first newsletter of public diplomacy activities available to the general public that I recall. That’s a step forward in this age of government transparency. Every Snapshot contains text and photos about conferences, receptions and other happenings organized by U.S. public diplomacy staffs around the world.
But I wonder what unintended impressions thoughtful taxpayers might draw from these activity reports. Do they seem soft, perhaps superficial? In the impending reduction of government budgets, isn’t this the first thing you would cut from the foreign operations budget?
Tuesday, February 12th 2013
Here it is Valentine’s Day, and there is lots of advice for the lovelorn being offered. I want to do my part – with some thoughts on why the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy should embrace the newly reauthorized U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Saturday, February 9th 2013
Some of the bloom is "off" the social media rose.
Two years have passed since the initial demonstrations in Tahrir Square, and today not many journalists or other “new media” enthusiasts still claim that Twitter started, sustained or steered the 2011 Egyptian uprising. Indeed, many of the participants vociferously challenge the idea that Twitter or Facebook were anywhere nearly as important as their own determined efforts.
As part of the reassessment of social media’s role, Marc Lynch, George Washington University’s leading Middle East political analyst, writes an immensely intelligent commentary in Foreign Policy. The subtitle foretells his principal point: “How social media is hurting the Arab Spring.” (Image above from Foreign Policy)
Wednesday, January 30th 2013
At the risk of going against the grain, I am going to suggest that Hillary Clinton is not the model for the next Secretary of State.
Yes, I know, the hagiography is in full flow. Many say that never has the nation been blessed with a Secretary of State so wise, so traveled, so energetic, so attuned to the world’s cares, as this one.
Sunday, January 27th 2013
Here's a guest article by Council Member Robert Albro about how collaborative projects benefit diplomacy. U.S. Government public diplomacy offers some examples of this approach, now made easier through the Internet. You'll be hearing more about creative collaboration and cultural diplomacy in the coming months. So read on!
"Stephanie Stallings recently suggested that creative collaboration is a useful model for cultural diplomacy. She is definitely onto something. Circumstances have changed around the work of diplomacy. Publics are now much less distant, more assertive, and actively engaged participants in the making of their encompassing cultural worlds. To embrace this new reality likely requires rethinking many of the methods of cultural diplomacy and perhaps its basic goals.