The primary purpose of the conference is to elicit and facilitate the presentation of research, including faculty and student research (drawing upon seminar papers, M.A. and M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. theses, conference papers, etc.), in the field of Public Diplomacy, broadly conceived to encompass not just informational activity and communications systems and flows (and related techniques and technologies) but also educational exchange programs, cultural projects, foreign correspondence, the role of public opinion, government-business and government-civil society interaction, and inter-civilizational dialogues involving individuals and groups as well as governments and international organizations, at various levels and on different scales.
Particular topics on which panels have been proposed so far include: the various challenges facing officials conducting government public diplomacy, U.S. and other; international exchanges (educational, professional, cultural); diplomacy and ICT/media; PD and international business; the role of public diplomacy in conflict situations; and the public diplomacy of international organizations (UN system, WTO, other multilateral institutions). The “public diplomacy” of national political campaigns and the state branding efforts of “green” countries also have been suggested as possible panel topics for the conference. Other ideas may also be considered.
While the topics are broad, this is primarily an internal discussion as conference panelists are primarily Tufts alumni with some current students. That said, I am very interested in what was said in this morning's panels "Public Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution" and "Public Diplomacy and National Security" and especially the panel later today: "Government Public Diplomacy: Contemporary Challenges." Tomorrow's "Nation Branding" will be interesting, but, and no offense to Switzerland, I would have suggested somebody from Sweden (a post on that country's PD is forthcoming).
I won't be there but if you are, I'm interesting in your take-aways from what will surely be valuable discussions.