Our round-up of news, notes, tips and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
At least 200 world leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have accounts on weibo, the Beijing Times reports. More than 12 million people watched the 30-minute-long web-chat, which included discussions on the situation in the Middle East and Sino-Israeli ties, reports say. Li Weijian, a professor at Shanghai Institute for International Studies, tells the Global Times that Mr Peres “is using public diplomatic channels to win the Chinese people as he knows that they have a good impression of Israel”. “Weibo has now become the ‘national tea house’ of the Chinese, and many foreign leaders are trying to turn this ‘huge tea house’ into a ‘lecture hall’ where they could elaborate on their foreign policies, promote the image of their countries or even to show off their charm,” Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao daily says. [BBC News]
R. S. Zaharna comments on how many international relations scholars default to calling a country’s actions “propaganda” when it does not fit within their own cultural contexts.
Last week I joined several hundred other scholars at the 2014 International Studies Association convention. As expected, opinions on events in Ukraine abound. I was struck by the multiplicity of versions of the same events. More interesting still was how readily scholars were to label different versions as “propaganda.” This concerns me, especially in today’s communication ecology. Strategically, the default to “propaganda” creates blind spots, its own reverse deception, and most importantly, a lost opportunity. [CPD Blog]
— Matthew Wallin (@MatthewRWallin) April 10, 2014
For the econ-heads: here is a new book on economic diplomacy in the 21st century.
Georgetown University Law Center Professor Chris Brummer publishes cutting edge work on 21st century economic diplomacy in his new book, Minilateralism (Cambridge University Press). In the book, which moves from European trade and monetary relations to the G-20 and the internationalization of Chinese currency, Brummer explains how strategic alliances, informal agreements and financial engineering increasingly characterize a new generation of economic statecraft as power becomes more diffuse. [Georgetown Law]
Tara Ornstein looks at the public diplomacy strategies used by the STOP TB Partnership.
STOP TB uses a variety of public diplomacy techniques to achieve its goals of assisting people affected by tuberculosis and ensuring that high-quality treatment is available to all those who need it, including face-to-face meetings between STOP TB members and government stakeholders as well as events where STOP TB representatives speak to members of the public .In recent years, the global financial crisis has threatened the progress achieved in TB control. The STOP TB Partnership has been instrumental in advocating for additional funding for TB services In 2011, the US government – a major donor to global tuberculosis initiatives – was under heavy pressure from different political groups to reduce its global health funding. In response, STOP TB organized a mission to Washington D.C. by Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, Benedict Xaba, and Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the health ministers of Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland respectively, met with American policymakers and participated in a media campaign designed to generate awareness among the American public about the heavy toll the disease has taken on their countries and underline the crucial role US support plays in the efforts to contain the epidemic. [CPD Blog]
— Catherine H (@HookCat) April 11, 2014
The Vietnamese navy + the Philippine navy + beer + volleyball = bad news for China.
The Philippine navy will soon return to a South China Sea island it lost to Vietnam 40 years ago to drink beer and play volleyball with Vietnamese sailors, symbolising how once-suspicious neighbours are cooperating in the face of China’s assertiveness in disputed waters. Diplomats and experts describe the nascent partnership as part of a web of evolving relationships across Asia that are being driven by fear of China as well as doubts among some, especially in Japan, over the U.S. commitment to the region. [Reuters via PDiN]
— Lena O (@LenaOsipova) April 10, 2014
Interesting web of traditional diplomacy, paradiplomacy and public diplomacy developing if the Vatican agrees to mediate talks between the Venezuela government and the protesting opposition party.
Venezuela’s government formally invited Vatican No. 2 Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Wednesday to mediate talks with the opposition in hopes of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation’s worst unrest in a decade. In a letter, Maduro’s government asked that Parolin, a former envoy to Venezuela who is now the Vatican’s Secretary of State, be named a “good faith witness” to a dialogue finally agreed after two months of protests. A Vatican spokesman confirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s willingness to mediate, but gave no more details. [Global Post]
— Daniella Foster (@deeindc) April 11, 2014
photo credit: BBC News