Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 29 Public Diplomacy Review


"We have become what the privacy theorist Daniel Solove calls 'digital persons.'”

--Colin Koopman, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon; image from


Foreign Staid: State and USAID need an overhaul, but you won't hear it from Obama - Daniel Sewer, Foreign Policy: "Traditional diplomacy focuses on communicating with sovereign governments, while 21st-century diplomacy focuses on ensuring that governments represent their people. Today, conventional diplomatic and foreign assistance institutions in the United States have fallen short in ... area vital in a world in which states are less important and publics."

 The American Energy Renaissance: Who is to Credit and What is the Future Direction? - Kenneth B Medlock III and Keily Miller, "With the issues related to rising domestic crude oil production finally capturing national attention – highlighted by the recent release of Senator Murkowski’s white paper on US energy exports last week – the Obama administration has begun to engage in more public diplomacy around its ... energy strategy. ... The energy industry in this country is in a period of regeneration. Unconventional resource development has grown more rapidly in the US than anywhere else in the world, and it has triggered a renaissance in America’s energy and manufacturing sectors."

ABC's Asia TV network faces axe - "ABC's $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of 'soft diplomacy' in the region through television. ... The estimated $25m a year paid to the ABC from DFAT's [see] budget for 'soft diplomacy' dwarfs the $4m a year available to the department for direct public diplomacy."

Cultural diplomacy - the Jakarta Post: "A delegation from Indonesia takes part in the annual parade at the Surva XXIII International Festival of Masquarade Games in Pernik city, Bulgaria, on Sunday.

Indonesia’s delegation, which included embassy staff and students studying in Bulgaria, performed a short piece from the Mahabarata epic and played gamelan instruments during the procession, which drew enthusiastic applause from spectators. Parade participants also included representatives from Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Image from entry, with caption: Courtesy of the Indonesian Embassy, Sofia.

Nica In the Lens - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "The New York Times In The Lens photoblog has a wonderful story and series on the sugar cane workers of Nicaragua that La Isla Foundation has been trying to help.  I wrote about this issue years ago, and did some photo documentation of my own in my exhibit at USC on public diplomacy and public health."

Netanyahu postpones ministerial forum on BDS threat over Bennett row: Government was supposed to seriously discuss boycott for first time, after Dutch pension giant decides to divest from Israel’s banks - Barak Ravid, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to convene many of his ministers Wednesday for a meeting on the growing threat of boycotts and sanctions against Israel by Western governments and companies, but canceled the discussion at the last minute due to his ongoing crisis with Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. ...Bennett says the boycott and sanctions are a real threat but that they are also grossly exaggerated. In a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies conference Tuesday, Bennett said that since its inception, Israel has faced international boycotts. According to Bennett, the solution is allotting more resources to public diplomacy. 'We need to take the budget of a flight squadron or tank brigade and divert it to the struggle against the delegitimization of Israel,' he said."


Why Kerry Is Scary - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: So that’s where we are: Israelis and Palestinians need to understand that Kerry’s mission is the last train to a negotiated two-state solution. The next train is the one coming at them.

Advertisements for Death - Susie Linfield, New York Times: The Syrian civil war may be the first truly postmodern conflict, at least when it comes to its images. Both sides are engaged in a perverse competition to show the world, and each other, how ruthlessly barbaric they can be. Aided by new technologies — the cellphone camera, YouTube, Instagram, social-media sites — these images of cruelty ricochet around the globe. The traditional role of war photojournalism has been turned on its head: Rather than expose atrocities, photographs now advertise them. But in other ways the Syrian images are hardly unique. They are the culmination of a long and ignoble lineage of perpetrator photographs: pitiless pictures taken by tormentors of the violence and sadism they inflict on helpless victims.

Education USA: Where do you want to study? Las Vegas! With Marilyn Monroe? - DiplPundit:
In 2008, the State Department issued 340,711 student visas (F1 visas for academic or language training program).  In 2012, the agency issued 486,900 student visas as well as 27,561 F2 visas for spouse/child of F1 visa holders. According to NAFSA, in 2012-2013 academic year, international students across the United States supported 313,000 jobs, a 6.2% increase in job support and creation. It is no surprise then that our embassies and consulates overseas are working hard to attract foreign students to come to the United States to study. And while most of the videos we’ve seen have been sorta boring, a couple of missions have recently released YouTube videos that seems to be attracting attention.

Time To Fix The State Department - Joan Wadelton, Whirled View: The current mess at the Department is due to a longstanding lack of rigorous oversight -- both external and internal. In addition, State's insistence that it can manage, audit and investigate itself with no outside oversight allows existing problems to persist. The failings of three key components of the State Department – the Human Resources Bureau, the Office of Inspector General and the Office of the Legal Advisor – have combined over a long period of time to damage the agency's logistical operations and policy implementation. The American people are paying billions of dollars for our foreign policy.They deserve better than this.

Beijing boots U.S. reporter over stories of Communist corruption - Cheryl K. Chumley, A U.S. reporter based in Beijing was given until Thursday to leave the country, an order that seems tied to his media filings about the wealth that top Communist Party officials have been able to accumulate through the years. Thursday is the day New York Times‘ reporter Austin Ramzy’s visa expires, USA Today reported. But he’s the second journalist for the newspaper in a little over a year to be forced to leave China, and media watchers say it’s due to published reports that have proven embarrassing to the Communist Party — despite foreign ministers’ attempt to argue otherwise.

‘Ping-pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World’ by Nicholas Griffin - Steven V. Roberts, Washington Post: China’s top leaders sought to deploy Ping-Pong as the “perfect instrument of Communist propaganda.”But kids in China today don’t swat Ping-Pong balls — they shoot hoops. Table tennis is now a “living fossil,” a sport “your dad plays.” Image from entry, with caption: In this 1961 photo from China's Xinhua News Agency, Zhuang Zedong, right, competes in the men's team finals of the 26th World Table Tennis Championship in Beijing.


--Image from Facebook, with caption: A Spokane Woman. Photo by Frank Laroche. 1897. Via FW on Facebook



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