Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
We hear endlessly about political leaders joining Twitter, but there has also been a move toward establishing a presence on Chinese social media as well.
Political leaders dominate headlines and TV news, and some even maintain official Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now foreign leaders are popping up on China’s most popular social networks and gaining masses of followers. Before his three-day visit to China, British Prime Minister David Cameron registered an account on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Nov. 29. Within ten minutes of posting his first message, Cameron had amassed over 10,000 comments from the social network’s users. So far, the post has gained 50,000 forwards, comments and “likes.” [Xinhua]
Perhaps the best nation branding campaign possible: winning the “happiest country” award two years in a row.
There appears to be nothing rotten in the state of Denmark these days. For the second straight year, Denmark has been named the happiest country, according to a survey of 156 nations called the World Happiness Report. Based on Gallup data collected from 2010-2012, the survey looks at measures like life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption and generosity. Denmark nudged out Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden. [New York Times via PDiN]
Canberra’s new brand “Confident, Bold, and Ready” – how does Australia striking down gay marriage laws square with that? @Public_Diplomat
— Melissa Aronczyk (@M_Aronczyk) December 12, 2013
Putin’s hardline take on international broadcasting has the potential for serious backlash for RT’s credibility.
Still, the voices of support for RIA Novosti are far louder among the Russian media. Some analysts are trying to work out why this decision was made shortly before (and not after) the Olympics. The answer on many lips: the anti-Russian, pro-EU protests that have been going on in Ukraine. This is a worrying moment for a Kremlin administration desperate to strengthen its political power both inside and outside of the country. [The Conversation]
— Philip J. Crowley (@PJCrowley) December 13, 2013
USAID’s chief scientist has stepped down, leaving a hole in one of the Obama administration’s main mechanisms for promoting science diplomacy.
The chief scientist for the US Agency for International Development, Alex Dehgan, will leave his post tomorrow, he said in an email this week in which he also issued a stern warning about the dangers of reversing the recent gains in embedding independent scientific advice to USAID. Dehgan’s appointment to the newly created post in 2010 was seen as the agency stepping up its efforts to link science and development, and supporting Obama administration’s push for science diplomacy, after a period of neglect. [Sci Dev Net]
— MFAKosovo (@MFAKOSOVO) December 13, 2013
— The Globalist (@theglobalist) December 13, 2013
Watch Ambassador Rengaraj Viswanathan give a speech on economic diplomacy to ASEAN diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi.