Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Friday, November 9th 2012
Posting this article on behalf of my blogger colleague Alan Heil.
It has been a week of stunning contrasts: the world’s largest democracy, the United States, re-elects a president and other key leaders on Tuesday in which 118 million citizens, including earlier absentee voters, cast their ballots.
Less than 48 hours later, the world’s largest authoritarian government, the Peoples Republic of China, convenes a communist party congress in Beijing. That forum in a few days will announce new top leadership pre-selected behind closed doors by a tiny fraction of its 1.2 billion citizens, installing a new party chairman, Xi Jinping, and a powerful politburo standing committee whose members have not yet been made public.
By all accounts, that contrast should be a Western public diplomacy practitioner’s dream.
Wednesday, November 7th 2012
When I think of the "implications for public diplomacy" in the wake of the 2012 election, I can only come with—zero, zip, zilch. This never-ending political phantasmagoria we have just witnessed produced zero serious discussion of any foreign policy matter. The prospect of any new or telling involvement of our national government in matters of PD is also about zero, especially because we are looking at a future where expanding resources for any kind of government action in almost any sphere is, again, around zero. (especially in foreign affairs). The fact also that the shape of our national institutions, the Executive and the Congress, are roughly status quo ante, means exactly as much interest in PD matters as in our recent past—almost zero.
Wednesday, November 7th 2012
Yesterday's Presidential elections offered a rich vein of information and insights for public diplomacy officers around the world.
No matter your politics, the turnout and the changing demographics of the American electorate combined with the spectacle of ordinary voters having their say. The election's outcome leaves undecided how the campaign's bitterly fought policy issues may be resolved, but that leaves a playground for pundits and prognosticators at embassy presentations. If I were still a public affairs officer, I would rubbing my hands in glee at the program possibilities.
I'm no longer a PAO, but yesterday I saw the voting from the inside as an officer of elections for Arlington County, Virginia.
Tuesday, October 16th 2012
John Cale, a founder of the Velvet Underground and prolific musical innovator, explained in a recent interview what set his direction at age fifteen, when he was a viola student in Wales. "There was this fella called Willis Conover," he began. The legendary Voice of America jazz broadcaster spun Miles Davis records that Cale struggled to understand.
Tuesday, October 2nd 2012
Wednesday, the nation will watch President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney debate in a milestone of the presidential election campaign. The world will be watching too, and millions will get news from the Voice of America and other government-funded outlets like Al Hurra.
Click below for a report on the panel co-sponsored with the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy yesterday. Council Member Alan Heil has captured the discussion about how USG-funded foreign broadcasters are presenting the Presidential elections in Iran and the Middle East, and what they're hearing from their foreign audiences.