Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
One aspect of China’s outreach that is changing as it graduates from being a “partial” power to a global power is its science diplomacy: Chinese foreign policy is deemphasizing safer academic research collaboration for “innovation diplomacy.”
It is not yet clear what these developments in China’s foreign policy will mean for its approach to collaboration in science and innovation. But as policymakers try to work out what a more strategic relationship with China in science and innovation would entail, we can detect a shift underway from established agendas of “science diplomacy” – which focus on promoting academic research collaborations – to the more expansive and at times treacherous terrain of “innovation diplomacy”, in which collaborative opportunities and risks need to be assessed across every link in the innovation value chain. [The Guardian]
How 142 nations capitalize on science. http://t.co/apQbuUA4Yd Some surprises here.
— Mariette DiChristina (@mdichristina) October 10, 2013
Nicholas Kralev discusses the Royal Family’s role in British public diplomacy with Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to Washington.
Westmacott, a former deputy private secretary to Prince Charles during his marriage to Princess Diana, recalls the princess’ role in changing attitudes toward HIV/AIDS patients and raising awareness about the danger of land mines. He says the main focus of British diplomacy today is the “prosperity agenda” aimed at producing economic growth and jobs at home through trade and investment. [Huffington Post]
The big thaw in US – Iran relations has been compromised. The world’s leading authority on antiquities fakes — long-time Metropolitan Museum of Art Ancient Near East expert Oscar White Muscarella, who excavated throughout the 1960s in Iran — has told me that “America’s souvenir to the Iranian people,” the just-returned silver griffin allegedly 2,700 years old and from Iran’s Kalmakarra Cave, is actually a modern forgery. A major scandal brews as the Iranian government, apprised of the dubious nature of the artifact, now scrutinizes the US gift for its authenticity. [Scoop]
As the digital diplomacy arm of public diplomacy continues its ascendancy into a prominent diplomatic tool, Craig Hayden asks whether or not technology actually persuades.
And yet, you get the sense from detractors that digital engagement advocates ignore how audiences have always been complicated, literate consumers of information – regardless of media platform. I am not sure what this amounts to: a critique of using new media forms for public diplomacy, or, a critique of claims made by its proponents about the requirements of influence today. Still, I don’t think it’s right to dismiss the rhetoric of novelty surrounding digital diplomacy as simple faddism. Clearly something is happening in the field of diplomatic practice related to technology. Diplomats, NGOs, and other actors see digital platforms as a crucial element of how they shape and target the narratives they want to promote and the relations they want to cultivate. [The CPD Blog]
According to at least one news site, Iran’s Football Federation and the U.S. Soccer Federation have agreed to two national team friendlies to take place before the 2014 World Cup.
“We have talked with the US Soccer Federation officials and they, too, are interested in hosting this match. The only remaining issue is deciding the time and the venue for it, and whether it would be a game between the two teams or in the framework of a multilateral competition,” Head of the Iranian Football Federation Ali Kaffashian told Tasnim News Agency on Wednesday. He said that the Iranian side’s proposal for the time of the game is April or May of 2014, when the Iranian team’s preparation camp for the Brazil World Cup would be set us up. [Tasnim News]
China is pouring billions of yuan into its cultural sectors with the hope of creating global soft power, but can cultural influence be bought without freedom of expression?
Authentic culture doesn’t happen by decree or to serve the narrow power interests of an unelected government. It happens under conditions of free and spontaneous expression. China has enormous talent and creative potential. Its talent won’t flourish, however, its potential won’t be realized, and its soft power efforts are doomed to fail until the Chinese government takes its boot off the throats of China’s creative and intellectual communities. If freedom of expression can work in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and most of Mainland China’s other Asia-Pacific neighbors, it can work in Mainland China. Without freedom of expression, there will be no Chinese Renaissance. There will be only a Xanadu built of lies and illusions. [Yahoo!]
— Fit Across Cultures (@fitaxcultures) October 9, 2013
Former State Department director of policy planning, Anne-Marie Slaughter, discusses the effects that the U.S. government’s shutdown is having on international perceptions of America. (ed.’s note: recorded Oct. 2, 2013)
Just imagine what we are seeing today on Capitol Hill were happening anywhere else in the world and imagine American headlines. The president cannot even reach a deal to continue to fund the government. But Congress won’t speak to each other. The government is collapsing. You can imagine what it looks like from Beijing or from Rio or from New Delhi. We look incredibly irresponsible. [Bloomberg]
The International Committee of the Red Cross hopes to persuade video game producers to make international humanitarian law part of the player experience.
In their pursuit of victory, gamers can choose to wipe out whole villages, shoot civilians, and commit other acts that in real life would constitute war crimes. Now the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is arguing that this false sense of impunity has the potential to affect what happens on actual battlefields. [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via PDiN]