Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy is hosting their annual symposium today. This year’s theme is ‘A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy: Rising Soft Power in Emerging Markets.’ I see no information on whether or not it will be streamed live, but following @PublicDiplomacy throughout the day will keep you updated.
This conference will explore the cultural diplomacy efforts pursued by a number of countries with emerging economies. The conference aims to enrich our understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing institutions of cultural diplomacy in contemporary times. It is our goal to shed light on the bigger, broader issues of the role and potential of culture and public diplomacy in a multipolar world. [USC Center for Public Diplomacy]
— USC Public Diplomacy (@PublicDiplomacy) February 28, 2014
The latest issue of the Public Diplomacy and Place Branding journal by Palgrave Macmillan is now available. There are freely available articles by Nicholas Cull, Joao Freire, Edson Redy Moreira Dos Santos and María Lorena Rodríguez Campo.
Philip Seib highlights an example of potentially successful economic diplomacy focused on creating jobs in the Middle East.
It could be argued that the United States is trying to buy hearts and minds. That is an unnecessarily uncharitable judgment of these programs. American foreign policy planners would be foolish not to use economic muscle to accomplish their goals. Further, having a job – which leads to being able to put food on the table and have a decent place to live – are powerful stabilizing factors in any society, particularly one as unsettled as the Arab world has been. When the United States provides help along these lines it will win friends and advance its national interest. That is what public diplomacy, done correctly, can accomplish. [CPD Blog]
Apparently, new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel is on Morning Joe this morning. I will try to dig up video later.
— James Barbour (@jamesbarbour) February 28, 2014
House of Cards depicts the U.S. political system as corrupt and vicious for the sake of drama. In using China as its protagonist, it is also boosting China’s soft power in the eyes of many viewers at home and abroad.
But House of Cards delivers more than a corrupt U.S. political system and an incredulously susceptible and incompetent U.S. president: it depicts a China capable of tipping the power balance in Washington. This is an implicit acknowledgement of China as the key U.S. rival, a compliment and, no doubt, even an honor to many nationalistic Chinese viewers and party apparatchiks. Indeed, to my knowledge, this is the first time ever that a major U.S. production has put China at the center of its narrative, granting real power to a Chinese character. As one Chinese viewer put it: House of Cards “doesn’t make China look great,” but at least it “takes China seriously.” [China File]
— Twiplomacy (@Twiplomacy) February 28, 2014
Interesting read—even if you do not agree with the blatantly biased politics—on the perception of public diplomacy in Sri Lanka. The author is particularly focused on the lost media narrative about the country in India and how the president should lobby the U.S. Congress as a counterbalance.
Sri Lanka has once again come under the microscope of the international community. The image of Sri Lanka has been and is being tortured by the global media organisations worldwide. With the advent of the internet and online media, there has been a steady increase in the proliferation of news websites. The pro-separatist lobby seems to have made inroads into global media and adverse news reports have been and are being aired by the global media organisations. It would be an uphill task for Sri Lanka to counter each and every news story that is being hatched by the pro-separatist lobby. [Daily FT]
— Jonathan Henick (@J_Henick) February 28, 2014
Singapore currently has a positive international perception thanks in part to its lack of drama, but will that translate into sustained tourism dollars and the attraction of talented immigrants?
It is, however, not only the external image about which Singapore is concerned. The city state wants to gain attraction for the numerous well-educated and ambitious young Singaporeans who have left their home to study, work and do research abroad. Many of the most talented people have been complaining that life in Singapore is dull and that the city lacks intellectual stimulation. The Singaporean government knows that to attract these people it is not enough to offer shopping malls and excellent dining facilities, two attractions that have long been on the priority list of foreign tourists. [My Digital FC]
— Rod Mar (@RodMar15) February 28, 2014
As part of his campaign for prime minister, India’s opposition leader Narendra Modi is calling for more economic diplomacy to boost trade.
Sketching out his economic views in a series of speeches on Thursday, Modi said India must boost trade through “economic diplomacy” and slash red tape, and said it needed a strong government to restore investor confidence. He criticised the outgoing administration of Manmohan Singh for almost halving the pace of economic growth. “If we come to power, first we will have to fill up the potholes created by this government,” he said. [Reuters]
— Naomi Leight-Give’on (@NomiLite) February 27, 2014
— Naomi Leight-Give’on (@NomiLite) February 27, 2014