Thursday, April 3rd 2014
Those of us who spent too much time in China notice policy "by the numbers." Jiang Zemin's "three represents," Deng Xiaoping's "four modernizations," and Taiwan's "three no's" are only the most famous. I notice that American writers are fond of listing elements or pillars. For Public Diplomacy, the favored number seems to be "four."
Elements of national power? Our military friends list four, using the acronym D-I-M-E: Diplomatic, information, military, economic. Say what you will about lack of nuance, Public Diplomacy ("information") is playing in the foursome.
Historian Nicholas Cull of the University of Southern California identified four elements of Public Diplomacy: listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, and exchange. He adds another, international broadcasting, executed by the USG broadcasters. PDC member Martha Bayles follows Cull's lead in her new book.
A fact sheet from the Public Diplomacy Council lists "Four Ways of Thinking about Public Diplomacy" -- public affairs, information, people, and storytelling.
The State Department's strategic framework for Public Diplomacy has one goal on resources and priorities and four substantive goals: "shape the narrative," "expand and strengthen people-to-people relationships," "combat violent extremism," and "better inform policymaking."
There are many other formulas and categorizations for Public Diplomacy. Indeed, defining “Public Diplomacy” has become an active area of policy and academic debate. Or perhaps confusion, but that’s another story.
Today, however, let me cut the cards, reshuffle, and stack the deck another way to explain how Public Diplomacy works overseas at Foreign Service posts. For "operational" Public Diplomacy, rather than theory, I usually explain there are four levels. Start at the bottom and work up.
The Long Game