September 2, 2015
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome.
George Washington University
B. Senem Çevik and Philip Seib, eds., Turkey’s Public Diplomacy, (Palgrave Macmillan, Series in Global Public Diplomacy, 2015). Çevik (University of Ankara) and Seib (University of Southern California) have compiled the first English language study of Turkey’s public diplomacy. Their introductory essay analyzes public diplomacy in the context of Turkey’s rise as a major power in the broader Middle East and in its global reach as a middle power. They examine its contributions to Turkey’s political, economic, military, and cultural initiatives – as well as its limitations and the political and institutional challenges it faces. Effective public diplomacy, they argue, is linked to Turkey’s “soft power attributes and capacity” and is “contingent upon the consolidation of a liberal democracy by Western standards.” Chapters by 11 contributors look at historical issues, tools and methods, and how Turkey tailors its public diplomacy in a variety of regional and global relationships.
-- Gaye Ash Sancar (Galatasaray University), “Turkey’s Public Diplomacy: Its Actors, Stakeholders, and Tools”
-- Vedat Demir (Istanbul University), “Two Historical Perspectives: Ottomans and the
-- Özlem Tür, (Middle East Technical University, Ankara), “Engaging with the Middle East: The Rise and Fall of Turkish Leadership in the 2000s”
-- Melody Mohebi (Jeff Skoll Group, London School of Economics), “Dominance in the Neighborhood: Turkey and Iran”
-- Marija Mitrović Bošković ́ (Middle East Technical University, Ankara & Humboldt University), Dušan Reljić́, (German Institute for International and Security Affairs), and Alida Vracić (Populari, a Sarajevo based think tank), “Elsewhere in the Neighborhood: Reaching Out to the Western Balkans”
-- B. Senem Çevik, “The Benefactor: NGOs and Humanitarian Aid”
-- Kıvanç Ulusoy (Istanbul University), “Turkish Foreign Policy in a Transatlantic Context: A Case for Soft Power and Public Diplomacy”
-- Burcu Gultekin Punsmann (scholar, NGO practitioner, civil society activist) “Addressing Controversy I: Public Diplomacy between Turkey and Armenia”
-- Galip Dalay (SETA Foundation, Ankara), “Addressing Controversy II: Turkey and the Kurds”
-- Çağdaş Üngör (Marmara University, Istanbul), “Expanding Perspective: Reaching Out to China and the East”
-- M. Selcan Kaynak (Bogazici University, Istanbul), “Noor and Friends: Turkish Culture in the World”
Andrew F. Cooper, Diplomatic Afterlives, (Polity, 2015). The role of individuals as leaders and diplomats in the state system is well-plowed ground in foreign policy studies. In recent years, research has emerged on NGOs and “hyper-empowered” private individuals (e.g., Bill Gates, George Soros) as actors in global governance and polylateral diplomacy. In Diplomatic Afterlives, Cooper (University of Waterloo) focuses on an under-studied category of private individuals as governance and diplomatic actors – former world leaders who leverage celebrity and authority derived from their government service to become “policy and norm entrepreneurs” in global networks. Using Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela as case studies, Cooper examines their solutions to global problems and how they seek “to fill gaps and failures” in the state system. He explores the benefits of their innovative model of “extended hybridity,” a combination of insider and outsider roles that connects “not only the closed world of the diplomatic club culture but the diverse worlds of non-state actors.” He also considers the model’s potential deficiencies: lack of accountability, fatigue and shelf life factors, and temptations when public social purpose is blended with a private “dash for cash.”
Karen DeYoung, “How the Obama White House Runs Foreign Policy,” The Washington Post, August 4, 2015. The Post’s senior national security correspondent looks at the pros and cons of a National Security Council staff that numbers 400 people. Some evergreen issues are familiar: long repetitious meetings, micromanagement of departments and agencies, inexperienced and risk averse staff, delays and lengthy options papers. But DeYoung also conveys what centralization means for “national diplomatic systems” in a world where many more issues are characterized by surprise, complexity, transparency, and rapid change. “It used to be that State ran foreign policy,” said a former White House official. “Now, everyone’s got a hand in it. Go around the table, and they’ve all got equities, they’ve all got personnel out in the field, and all that needs to be managed.”
Alberto M. Fernandez, “Surviving Al-Jazeera and Other Public Calamities,” The Foreign Service Journal, July/August, 2015, 61-64. Recently retired US Ambassador Fernandez reflects on his famously controversial Al-Jazeera interview, re-structuring public diplomacy in the State Department’s Middle East regional bureau, the importance of leadership support for diplomats engaged in high pressure media outreach situations, and lessons learned from his 32 years as a public diplomat. For teachers and students, it is a brief, well-written read that illuminates the importance of superb foreign language and media skills and what it means to be an entrepreneurial diplomat.
Calvert W. Jones, “Exploring the Microfoundations of International Community: Toward a Theory of Enlightened Nationalism,” International Studies Quarterly, Volume 58, Issue 4, December 2014. Does cross border contact break down artificial barriers and encourage a shared sense of community? Jones (University of Maryland) examines this research question using survey data from a sample (n = 571) of American study abroad students from 11 colleges (returning from a semester abroad) and a control group (students about to begin a semester abroad). He offers three findings. (1) Cross border contacts do not foster a shared sense of community characterized by warmth, trust, and shared understandings. (2) To his surprise, however, cross border contacts lowered threat perceptions. (3) Returning students also had a heightened sense of nationalism (Samuel Huntington’s hypothesis) and considerably greater pride in America’s literature, armed forces, political influence, and achievements in the arts and sports. See also Calvert Jones, “The Surprising Effects of Study Abroad,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2015.
Brian Hocking and Jan Melissen, Diplomacy in the Digital Age, Clingendael Report, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, July 2015. In this 58-page report, Hocking (Loughborough University) and Melissen (University of Antwerp), two Clingendael scholars with a deep understanding of the study and practice of diplomacy, provide “initial reflections” on what digitalization means for diplomacy’s forms, processes, and structures. Key questions include: What are the main characteristics of the debate on digital diplomacy? What do we mean by the digital age? How does the broader digitalized environment affect diplomacy? Through a variety of “offline and online perspectives,” they look at changing foreign policy agendas; cyber agendas; knowledge management; digitalization of diplomatic processes and structures in consular work, public diplomacy and international negotiations; and the implications of digitalization for national diplomatic systems and ministries of foreign affairs. Practitioners will find their report essential reading. Scholars will discover ideas for research and writing in practically every paragraph.
“I Am the Ambassador from America,” DR TV, May 21, 2015. DR TV followed US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford for three months. This 30-minute collection of sequenced videos captures different aspects of his work in Denmark. The videos are in spoken English with Danish titles and sub-titles. See also “Video: US Ambassador Shows Off Danish ‘Skills,’” The Local, December 4, 2014. (Courtesy of Alexa Stroh)
Harry W. Kopp, The Voice of the Foreign Service: A History of the American Foreign Service Association, (Foreign Service Books, 2015). Retired Foreign Service Officer and author Harry Kopp’s book has been rightly described as an “institutional history of America’s diplomatic service from its earliest days to the present” combined “with the twinned story of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).” Chapters cover the nation’s first diplomats and consuls, AFSA’s founding as a benevolent and social organization, its evolution into a professional association, and its subsequent transformation into an employee union. Organizational issues are placed in social and political contexts, e.g., the McCarthy years, Wristonization, diversity in the Foreign Service, and numerous foreign affairs agency reorganizations. His account is deeply researched and well written. He is even handed in his treatment of contested issues. Kopp is a former practitioner who brings unusual analytical distance to his assessment of people, institutions, and events.
Zhikica Zach Pagovski, Public Diplomacy of Multilateral Organizations: The Cases of NATO, EU, and ASEAN, CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Paper 4, 2015. Pagovski (German Marshall Fund of the United States) builds on scholarly research and uses case studies of NATO, the EU, and ASEAN to explore the motives, methods, audiences, and goals of multilateral organizations in conducting public diplomacy. He argues they are “established actors in the field of public diplomacy” that “envision unique goals, standardize appropriate means, and influence both internal (i.e., within the organization) and external audiences.”
Barry Pavel and Peter Engelke, with Alex Ward, Dynamic Stability: US Strategy for a World in Transition, Atlantic Council Strategy Paper, No. 1, April 2015. In this 56-page paper, the authors, policy analysts with the Atlantic Council, examine global trends in a “Westphalian-Plus world.” They analyze an approach to national strategy, which they call “dynamic stability,” and assess the prospects for American leadership and ways to harness global changes to US national advantage. Half of the paper examines unfolding megatrends, and half argues a case for a novel approach to strategy. Whether or not readers are drawn to its strategy prescriptions, its concise and informed discussion of diplomacy’s current context make these pages good background reading for students in diplomacy and IR courses. They also fit nicely with the National Intelligence Council’s global trends reports.
Maria Claver Ruiz, “Explaining Spain’s Casas: An Instrument of Networked Diplomacy,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 10 (2015), 215-224. Maria Claver Ruiz, Director General for Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy in Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, profiles the goals and activities of Spain’s innovative networks of public diplomacy Casas: Casa America, Casa Asia, Casa Arabe, Casa Africa, Casa Mediterraneo, and Centro Sefarad-Israel. Located in major Spanish cities, these Casas seek to communicate Spain’s “foreign policy priorities among civil society representatives from third countries” and “create and forge alliances among civil society representatives.” The Casas are consortiums with different identities and management structures that link the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with regional and municipal authorities, foundations, and private firms. They connect Spanish politicians, diplomats, thinkers, creators, artists, entrepreneurs, and immigrant communities living in Spain with public and private stakeholders in other countries. Priorities include long-term relationship building, cultural activities, economic diplomacy, Spain’s national branding initiative, and a presence in social media.
Marwa Fikry Abdel Samei, “The European Union’s Public Diplomacy Towards The Arab Spring: The Case of Egypt,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 10 (2015) 111-138. Following a brief overview of her conceptual understanding of public diplomacy, Samei (Cairo University) develops arguments relating to the EU’s public diplomacy overall and in the Arab world. She devotes most of her article to a case study that analyzes differences in the content of the Facebook pages of the EU’s delegation to Egypt and the European External Action Service between October 14, 2012 and August 16, 2013. She concludes the “EU’s response to the Arab Spring was a missed opportunity to establish Europe’s normative power.” Comparison of the public diplomacy messages and images on the Facebook pages, she argues, illuminates a gap between the EU’s policies and its public diplomacy messages – a gap based on “the discrepancy between Europe’s perception of the region, which results in certain policies, and its internal identity-building considerations.”
Liesl Schillinger, “The Rise of Bulgakov Diplomacy,” Foreign Policy Blog, August 31, 2015. Schillinger, a critic and translator who writes for The New York Review of Books and other publications, looks at recent Russian efforts to use the “soft diplomacy” of its literature to “shore up the nation’s reputation overseas.” Her essay examines challenging political and literary implications of the “Books of Russia” festival held in Moscow’s Red Square in June 2015. Attended by President Putin and co-sponsored by Moscow’s Institute for Literary Translation, “Read Russia” (an American NGO), and Rospechat, Russia’s Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications, the festival launched an effort to publish the “Russian Library,” a collection of 100 volumes intended to cover three centuries of Russian literature in English translation. The collection will include world renowned authors such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Turgenev, Bulgakov, and others as well as less well known modern writers such as Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Mikhail Shishkin, Olga Slavnikova, and Vladimir Sorokin. Selections of books and scholars to provide introductions will be made by Peter Kaufman (Columbia University) and an editorial advisory board of scholars from Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, St. Petersburg’s Pushkin House, and Moscow’s State Museum of Literature.
Sinikukka Saari, “Russia’s Post-Orange Revolution Strategies to Increase Its Influence in Former Soviet Republics: Public Diplomacy po russkii,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 66, No. 1, January 2014, 50-66. Saari (Finnish Institute of International Affairs) asserts that public diplomacy has become a more important instrument of Russian foreign policy and that it has two distinctive strands. One, which is directed at Western states, seeks to attract and persuade. A second strand, directed at post-Soviet and Baltic states, is a strategy of manipulation rooted in the Soviet practice of “active measures.” Her article includes a background discussion of public diplomacy concepts and Cold War public diplomacy and then focuses on the implementation of the two strands after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004. (Courtesy of Yelena Osipova)
Lene Bech Sillesen, “How Screens Make Us Feel,” Columbia Journalism Review, Special Report, July/August 2015, 16-19. A CJR study, conducted with the George T. Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism, finds “surprisingly similar results” in the emotional responses of print and digital readers of magazine features. They remember the same level of detail. They are equally engaged in sections of the narrative and the story overall, and they are similarly likely to act on their emotional responses. For CJR, the “results seem to contradict a consensus among scholars who say there are fundamental differences between reading experiences on paper and on screens.” The study concludes that “the real differences between paper and screens likely lie in the cultures we have built around them.”
“Smart Power,” Public Diplomacy Magazine, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Summer 2015. PD Magazine takes a fresh look at “smart power,” a term developed by Joseph Nye in 2004 and adopted by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. For Nye, “smart power” is the ability of state and non-state actors to combine “the hard power of coercion and payment with the soft power of persuasion and attraction” in contextually relevant strategies (The Future of Power). Articles and case studies include”
-- PD Magazine interview with Joseph Nye, “On ‘the American Century’ and the Future of Smart Power.”
-- Philip Seib (University of Southern California), a book review of Joseph Nye’s Is the American Century Over?
-- Tara Sonenshine (George Washington University), “Is ‘Smart Power’ Smart and Does it Work?”
-- Sheldon Himelfarb (US Institute of Peace), “Mobile Technology and the Peacebuilding Reboot.”
-- Robert Morgus (New America), “Security in a Power Diffuse Space? A Cyber Case Study.”
-- Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (Rice University), “Global Universities and Public Diplomacy.”
-- Michael K. Park (Syracuse University), “Wielding Smart Power Through Sport: A North Korean Case Study.”
-- PD Magazine interview with David Manning (Global Arms Series), “Military Smart Power.”
-- Muzaffar S. Abduazimov (University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent), “A Dutch ‘3D’ Approach in Uruzgan.”
-- PD Magazine interview with Beverly Kirk (Center for Strategic and International Studies), “Smart Women, Smart Power.”
-- PD Magazine interview with Naomi Fellows (US Department of State), “The United States Public Diplomacy Strategy in Africa.”
Bruce Stokes, “Russia, Putin Held in Low Regard around the World: Russia’s Image Trails U.S. across All Regions,” Pew Research Center, August 5, 2015. Stokes (Pew’s Director of Global Economic Attitudes) summarizes findings in a Pew survey conducted in 40 countries from March 25 to May 27, 2015. Outside its borders, a median of only 30% see Russia favorably. A median of 27% in the countries surveyed have “confidence in Putin to do the right thing in world affairs.” In only three countries does more than half of the population view Russia favorably: Vietnam, Ghana, and China. Lowest favorable views are in Poland and Jordan. For an assessment of the survey that argues US and other Western counter broadcasting efforts directed at Russians don’t work, see Leonid Bershidsky, “The World Hates Russia. Russia Hates it Back,” Bloomberg View, August 5, 2015.
US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, Getting the People Part Right II: The Human Resources Dimension of U.S. Public Diplomacy in 2015, June 17, 2015. This 41-page report looks at ways to enhance the recruitment and selection of public diplomats, improve their training and advancement, and strengthen their influence on policymaking. Written by Ambassador Laurence Wholers, with support from Meridian International Center and funding from the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the report is based on interviews with State Department professionals, focus group findings, analysis of reports on public diplomacy, and assessment of human resources data provided by the Department. Its findings and recommendations portray a mixed picture of the Department’s understanding and use of public diplomacy. A central conclusion: State is better at managing short-term field post and bureau specific activities than at “thinking long-term and across bureau lines” and about “how public diplomacy tradecraft should evolve to meet new global challenges.” In addition to its focus on human resources, the report conveys Wholers’ views on historical, structural, and strategic issues in US public diplomacy.
Geoffrey Wiseman, “Diplomatic Practices at the United Nations,” Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 50(3), 316-333. Wiseman (University of Southern California) makes two key contributions in this article. First, it is a case study of the importance of “informal, practice-based change” at the UN. Changes in routine practices, rather than major reforms of the UN Charter, better explain such developments as the evolving role of the Secretary-General, the appointment process for a new Secretary-General, and the UN’s emerging diplomatic practices in a wider community of diplomats and non-state actors. Second, his article provides a useful summary of the meaning and methods of practice theory, views of its adherents and critics, and its utility for conducting research in diplomatic studies. In his conceptual argument, Wiseman makes three claims. (1) Diplomatic studies scholars and practice theorists “would benefit from more flexible research methods and mutual engagement on methods.” (2) Both fields can learn from each other about the role of leading individuals and “competent performances” of individuals at all levels of diplomatic practice. (3) The work of leading diplomacy scholars (e.g., Andrew Cooper, Jorge Heine, Alan Henrikson, and Brian Hocking) demonstrates a clear convergence between the fields and the value of blending “practice theory’s theoretical strengths with diplomatic studies’ empirical strengths.”
Geoffrey Wiseman, ed., Isolate or Engage: Adversarial States, US Foreign Policy, and Public Diplomacy, (Stanford University Press, 2015). This is an original and important book. Wiseman (University of Southern California) and the authors of nine case studies examine a central question. What are the challenges and opportunities of US strategies that abstain from or limit formal diplomatic relations with adversarial states, while simultaneously seeking to influence their governments by engaging with their publics? Each case looks at how the US has implemented its isolation and engagement strategies and assesses whether its public diplomacy has been effective. The book rewards for reasons that go beyond research on a significant and under-studied issue. It is grounded in a carefully constructed methodology and comparative cross-regional framework. Collaborative focus by international relations and foreign policy scholars on diplomacy’s public dimension, unusual in the literature, helps to correct an imbalance in this multi-disciplinary field of study. Wiseman’s thoughtful discussion in the introduction and conclusion addresses cutting edge theoretical issues in public diplomacy. The cases illuminate both conceptual frameworks and current policy issues. See Wiseman, “Engaging Cuba and Iran,” Stanford University Press Blog, August 2015. Cases include:
-- Robert English (University of Southern California), “USSR/Russia: US Diplomacy with the Russian ‘Adversary’”
-- Robert Ross (Boston College), “China: American Public Diplomacy and US-China Relations, 1949–2012”
-- Scott Snyder (Council on Foreign Relations), “North Korea: Engaging a Hermit Adversarial State”
-- Mark P. Bradley (University of Chicago) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (University of Southern California), “Vietnam: American and Vietnamese Public Diplomacy, 1945–2010”
-- Dirk J. Vandewalle (Dartmouth), “Libya: The United States and the Libyan Jamahiriyya: From Isolation to Regional Ally, 1969–2011”
-- Suzanne Maloney (Brookings Institution), “Iran: Public Diplomacy in a Vacuum”
-- William Rugh (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy), “American Public Diplomacy in Syria: Overcoming Obstacles”
-- William LeoGrande (American University), “Cuba: Public Diplomacy as a Battle of Ideas”
-- Michael Shifter (Georgetown University), “Venezuela: The United States and Venezuela: Managing a Schizophrenic Relationship”
Recent Blogs and Other Items of Interest
Sohaela Amiri, “A Toolbox for Successful Digital Diplomacy,” July 27, 2015, USC Center on Public Diplomacy Blog.
Matt Armstrong, “Thoughts About CBS Evening News Going to VOA’s Steve Herman for Bangkok Bombing Coverage,” August 21, 2015, MountainRunner.us
Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger, “Russia Wields Aid and Ideology Against West to Fight Sanctions,” June 7, 2015, The New York Times.
Jeffrey Brown and Adrian Chen, “Why are Russian Trolls Spreading Online Hoaxes in the US?” June 8, 2015, PBS NewsHour.
Robin Brown, “Nation-Branding Lite? The GREAT Campaign,” September 1, 2012; “Why Do Government Agencies Have Strategic Reviews?” August 24, 2015; “What’s More Limited? Chinese Influence or the Concept of Soft Power,” July 14, 2015; “The Elcano Global Presence Index,” June 17, 2015, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence Blog.
Joseph Cassidy, “10 Ways to Fix America’s Ailing State Department,” July 20, 2015, FP Blog.
Daryl Copeland, “Will Canada Be the Country That Dumbed Itself to Death,” August 31, 2015, iPOLITICS.
James Glassman, “Time to Whip ISIS on the Internet, Part 1: The Secret of the Terrorist Group’s Success;” August 20, 2015; “Part 2: Crafting the US Strategy,” August 21, 2015; “Part 3: Getting Public Policy Right,” TechPolicyDaily, AEI.
Guy Golan, “Can the U.S. Counter ISIS on Social Media,” July 31, 2015, The Huffington Post.
Jane Harmon, “America is Losing the Digital War Against the Islamic State,” July 17, 2015, The Washington Post.
Alex Hern, “Twitter Blocks Access to Political Transparency Organization Politwoops,” August 24, 2015, The Guardian.
David S. Jackson, “Panda-plomacy: How Americans Are Paying a Fortune for China’s Public Diplomacy,” September 1, 2015, USC Center on Public Diplomacy Blog.
Philip Kennicott, “A New Front Door Opens Up an Insular Enclave at the State Department,” June 12, 2015, The Washington Post.
Tim Mak, “Did This Congressional Powerhouse Write a [broadcasting] bill to Help His Donor Make a Quick Buck?” June 16, 2015, The Daily Beast.
Ilan Manor, “The Framing of #IranDeal on Digital Diplomacy Channels,” July 14, 2015, digdipblog.com.
Mark Mazzetti and Michael R. Gordon, “ISIS is Winning the Social Media War, U.S. Concludes,” June 12, 2015, The New York Times.
Rod Nixon, “John Lansing Named as new Chief of Broadcasting Board of Governors,” August 17, 2015, The New York Times.
Al Pessin, “From VOA to Radio Free Europe, the US Needs a Single News Voice Abroad,” July 16, 2015, DefenseOne
“Philosophers Habermas and Taylor to Share $1.5 Million Kluge Prize,” August 11, 2015, Library of Congress News Release.
“Q&A With CPD: Kristen Lord,” July 8, 2015, USC Center on Public Diplomacy Blog.
Philip Seib, “Israel, Public Diplomacy, and the Iran Agreement,” August 8, 2015, USC Center on Public Diplomacy Blog.
Richard Stengel and Anwar Gargash, “The Right Path to Counter Daesh,” July 9, 2015, USA Today.
Gem From The Past
Glen Fisher, International Negotiation: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, (International Cultural Press, Inc., 1980). Glen Fisher was an important and unusual figure in diplomacy – a career Foreign Service Officer, an educator, and an accomplished scholar in the social sciences. His book, Mindsets: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations (1988,1997) is often cited and assigned in the classroom. Perhaps less well known is his earlier work on cross-cultural issues in negotiation. This slim 69-page volume, written 35 years ago, is a revised version of a discussion paper Fisher wrote for his training courses at the US State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Fisher addressed five issues that are applicable today: (1) a cultural dimension in the way negotiators address the negotiation encounter itself; (2) how local cultures and institutional cultures affect a diplomat’s decision-making style; (3) the extent to which “national character” affects negotiations; (4) coping with cross-cultural noise; and (5) limits in translating ideas, concepts, meaning, and nuance.
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