Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March 30-April 7 Public Diplomacy Review

Abbreviated Edition

"The PD community really is a welcoming and supportive bunch."

--Academic James Pamment; image from


--How some academics define public Diplomacy


Quotations on Diplomacy and the Foreign Service - from J. Robert Moskin, American Statecraft - John Brown, Notes and Essays: Among them: "If there is any service that is of questionable value to our country it is our diplomatic service."

-- Ten-term congressman from Macon, Georgia, who chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee, informing the Congress in 1878. Image from


Misnamed ‘Peace Process’ thankfully failed - Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort, sdjewishworld.com: "Despite months of relentless and very public diplomacy it looks as though John Kerry is withdrawing from the negotiations (I refuse to call it a “Peace Process”) failing to have achieved an agreement between Israel and the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (I refuse to call them Palestinians).

This diplomatic failure is an embarrassment to the Obama Administration and American prestige in general. This very well may lead to the further isolation of Israel within the world community. There very well may be rioting and bloodshed as a result of this failure, G-d forbid. ... There is no room for a leap of faith when precious lives are at stake. When the Jews finally learn this lesson – when we finally say, 'Enough! Israel is ours and will always be ours,' only then can a true path to peace be forged. Peace for peace should be our rallying call; not the failed land for peace method, which has never worked." Eilfort image from entry

Catch-22 in the Sahel - Lesley Anne Warner, nationalinterest.org: "[O]ne of the main tools of U.S. engagement in the Sahel and Maghreb, the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP), spans the “three Ds”—Diplomacy, Defense, and Development. ... TSCTP is an outgrowth of the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI), a post-9/11 initiative that developed from the U.S. government’s concern that the region’s weak states could become a safe haven for terrorist groups linked with Al Qaeda to launch attacks against U.S. interests. Starting in 2002, the United States trained and equipped six company-sized Malian, Chadian, Mauritanian, and Nigerien [sic]

rapid-reaction counterterrorism forces with an annual budget of $7.75M. By 2004, the U.S. government had decided to expand PSI into a more comprehensive, holistic program that would transcend regional and bureaucratic boundaries, and allow development assistance and public diplomacy to become part of an overall counterterrorism strategy in the region. The new concept, then called the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI), was approved in January 2005, and subsequently became a Program of Record called TSCTP." Uncaptioned image from entry

American First Lady’s Visit Highlights Social Media’s Importance in China (April 1) - Bree Feng, New York Times: "Having petted a panda and trod the Great Wall, the American first lady, Michelle Obama, left China last week after a visit filled with friendly photo opportunities but also with political messages about issues such as freedom of speech. ... Throughout the visit, she kept in touch with global audiences by writing a travel journal and by posting on Twitter and other social media outlets.

To increase her visibility among Chinese readers, American diplomats in China made sure that her blog posts were translated into Chinese. China has the largest number of Internet users in the world — more than 600 million in 2013 — which means that foreign government representatives in the country have increasingly turned to social media networks as an important component of their public diplomacy tool kit. The American Embassy in China updates its social media accounts throughout the day on a wide range of topics, most of them noncontroversial, including American culture and history, news and diplomatic activities. Though relations between the two countries are often challenging, the embassy often finds a ready audience on Chinese social media networks from people who are eager to learn more about opportunities for work and study in the United States." Image from entry, with caption: Michelle Obama with daughters Malia, front, and Sasha at the Great Wall

Black-and-white star power(3) - China Daily: "China can position itself as a generous friend, who's willing to send some of the rarest mammals on the planet to certain zoos," explains Falk Hartig, a postdoctoral researcher of Chinese diplomacy at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. 'What's helpful here is the fact the giant panda only lives in China, which makes it a unique public diplomacy tool.' But he points out soft power is difficult to quantify - making it as fuzzy as the bears. 'If we understand soft power as winning hearts and minds, I'd say the panda might help to win hearts abroad but maybe not necessarily minds.' Many 'China threat' theorists defer to the dragon rather than the panda as China's totem. But this demonstrates misunderstanding, other scholars say, since Chinese dragons aren't menacing firedrakes but rather are water-dwelling dispensers of good fortune. There's even a current within Chinese academia to replace the word 'dragon' with the Chinese word long in English to distinguish the fabled beasts' Eastern and Western cultural taxonomies. 'In the West, the dragon is more associated with aggressiveness, hawkishness and the like,' says Hartig, whose study Panda Diplomacy: The Cutest Part of China's Public Diplomacy was recently published in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy. ... Michele Vaught from the US believes both creatures are associated with China, but the panda is more appropriate - to tattoo on her skin. That's why the 28-year-old got the Chinese characters for 'panda' inscribed on her midsection when she visited the country in 2005. 'I don't even know where this dragon nation usage originates from. But it's used constantly in academic thesis statements,' she says."

Turkey lifts Twitter ban [April 4] - news.iafrica.com: "Turkey lifted a much-criticised block on Twitter on Thursday, 24 hours after its highest court overturned the ban as a breach of the right to free speech. Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 20 March shuttered access to the social media site after it had been used to spread a torrent of anonymous leaks implicating his inner circle in corruption.

Turkey's NATO allies and international human rights groups strongly criticised the ban - as well as an ongoing block of video-sharing website YouTube - as a step backward for Turkey's democracy. ... After the service returned, San Francisco-based Twitter said: 'We are encouraged by the news from Turkey today and welcome our Turkish users back to Twitter.' The United States, which offered rare criticism of ally Turkey over its crackdown on social media, also welcomed the move. 'Welcome back to Twitter #Turkey. Good decision by constitutional court. @YouTube still offline,' tweeted Rick Stengel, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy." Uncaptioned image from entry

State Taps Atlantic Media CTO to Manage Digital Diplomacy Program - Katherine McIntire Peters, nextgov.com: "Tom Cochran, the former director of New Media Technologies at the White House before becoming chief technology officer at Atlantic Media, Nextgov's parent company, returned to government today to work in the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs. As managing director, Cochran will support the Obama administration's foreign policy initiatives. 'I'm really excited to help establish a worldwide platform, connecting online and offline assets for digital engagement,' Cochran said. 'I'd like to apply my experiences from a global media brand, digital startup, and online advocacy to [the bureau] and public diplomacy.'

The Bureau of International Information met with controversy last year when the department's inspector general reported that officials spent $630,000 to buy facebook fans in an effort to build engagement with foreign audiences. According to the IG report, 'Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as 'buying fans' who may have once clicked on an ad or 'liked' a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further. Defenders of advertising point to the difficulty of finding a page on Facebook with a general search and the need to use ads to increase visibility.' One of Cochran's most visible initiatives during his earlier service in the Obama administration was leading the team that created the We the People petition site. The site has driven public engagement on a range of topics, from whether pop star Justin Beiber should be deported to gun control." Image from entry

Travel of Assistant Secretary Ryan to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and Boston, Massachusetts - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, April 3, 2014 - state.gov: "Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will travel to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and Boston, Massachusetts, from April 2 to April 9, 2014. In Algiers, Assistant Secretary Ryan will join Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S.-Algeria Strategic Dialogue, which Secretary Kerry will co-chair with Algerian Foreign Minister Lamamra. Assistant Secretary Ryan will participate in a working group on higher education, English language study, and other exchange initiatives. In Rabat, Assistant Secretary Ryan will participate in the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue, co-chaired by Secretary Kerry and Moroccan Foreign Minister Mezouar. Assistant Secretary Ryan will discuss educational and cultural cooperation and ways to increase ties between our two countries. Assistant Secretary Ryan will proceed to Cairo, Egypt, where she will meet with alumni of State Department exchange programs to discuss issues such as women and entrepreneurship, human rights, and civic engagement. Assistant Secretary Ryan will also meet with Egyptian government officials to discuss cultural heritage protection. In Boston, Assistant Secretary Ryan will deliver remarks at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on 21st Century public diplomacy. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Be a part of the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. For more information, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov."

Operational Public Diplomacy: Brought to You by the Number "4" - Donald M. Bishop, Public Diplomacy Council: "For 'operational' Public Diplomacy, rather than theory, I usually explain there are four levels. Start at the bottom [publicity] and work up.

Public Diplomacy [;] The Long Game [;] Public Affairs [;]Publicity. ... This is how Public Diplomacy works at Foreign Service posts: Four levels. Simultaneous. Balanced. All keyed to achieving America's goals in the world. It's challenging and worthy work." Bishop image from entry

Levantine PD's Spring/Summer fun – Paul Rockower, Levantine: “Levantine Public Diplomacy has a busy Spring/Summer coming up in the wide world of cultural diplomacy. Projects on tap: -May 4-14, 2014: Levantine Public Diplomacy is sending the American Music Abroad ensemble The Boston Boys to Colombia with the U.S. Embassy in Colombia to perform at the 55th anniversary celebrations of the Colombian-American Binational Centers in three cities. -May 5-18, 2014: Levantine Public Diplomacy will be taking Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar legends Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson, with Hula Master Moanalani Beamer, to Venezuela with the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela to conduct performances, music masterclasses and collaboration sessions with local musicians. -May 18-June 7, 2014: Levantine Public Diplomacy will be running the new State Dept/University of North Carolina hip hop diplomacy program Next Level in India, with programs of MCing, DJing, Beatmaking and Breakdancing, as well as performances and collaboration, in Patna and Calcutta. June 24-July 6, 2014: Levantine Public Diplomacy

with take American Music Abroad ensembles Della Mae and The Clinton Curtis Band to Brazil with the U.S. Embassy in Brazil for cultural diplomacy programming during the World Cup. That's a lot of frequent flyer miles a'comin. Follow along on the Levantine PD Facebook page to stay up on all the cultural diplomacy fun!” Image from entry

Hawaiian Culture Travels to Brazil - Paul Rockower, uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "In April 2013, I had the opportunity to accompany the Hawaiian slack key guitar ensemble Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson, with Moanalani Beamer, as tour manager as the group toured Brazil with the U.S. Department of State's American Music Abroad program. This program is the State Department's flagship musical diplomacy program, and has evolved from the legendary Jazz Ambassadors program.

The American Music Abroad program communicates the broad spectrum of the American musical landscape, showcasing genres ranging from bluegrass to hip hop to jazz, among many other styles. This particular tour marked the first time that Hawaiian music and culture had been displayed as a form of American cultural diplomacy in connection with the American Music Abroad program." Uncaptioned image from entry

A Caricature, Not a Critique - Martha Bayles, chronicle.com: "In 'Jingo Unchained' (The Chronicle Review, March 21), Toby Miller ... review[s] of Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad ... Miller’s real gripe ... [is that] [b]y examining the impact of American cultural exports on the moral sensibilities of religiously and socially conservative people around the world, I violate the accepted parameters of contemporary academic discourse.” Miller review, which mentions public diplomacy, accessible at.

U-M scholar to speak at Saginaw Valley - ourmidland.com: "A leading scholar on international relations during and after the Cold War will give a lecture at Saginaw Valley State University. Penny Von Eschen will present 'Public Diplomacy from Jazz to Hip-Hop' at 7 p.m. Thursday in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall banquet rooms. A professor of history and American culture at the University of Michigan, Von Eschen has authored two books, 'Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957,' and 'Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War.' The latter volume describes how from 1956 through the late 1970s, the United States dispatched its finest jazz musicians to the far corners of the earth, from Iraq to India, from the Congo to the Soviet Union, in order to win the hearts and minds of the Third World and to counter perceptions of American racism. Von Eschen is currently writing her third book, 'Cold War Nostalgia: The Wages of Memory in the post-1989 World.'”

Crimea no longer part of Ukraine on Voice of America map [April 8] - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch.com: "A map posted on U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) news website no longer shows Crimea as part of Ukraine. Voice of America Map, Posted April 7, 2014 [:]"

See also.

Congressman Jim Moran, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Population Services International Address The Power of Corporate Diplomacy - 3blmedia.com: "Join Congressman Jim Moran (D-Virginia), Bruce McNamer, CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Karl Hofmann, CEO of Population Services International, in an open dialogue around the challenges and opportunities inherent to cross-sector engagement and the requirements of being a leader in a globally connected world. TUNE IN HERE on April 7 from 2 – 5, EST for this live-streamed conversation, The Power of Global Corporate Diplomacy, at the Public Private Partnership Forum, moderated by Fortune Magazine’s Nina Easton.

Diplomacy, long believed to exist primarily for the purpose of effective government cooperation, is now a critical component of global business success. It is not enough to do well in the board room – businesses must also do well in the communities in which they operate and must be perceived as doing well in the minds of their customers. Working with and through partners in the public and social sectors to achieve complementary goals is one way in which this success is achieved. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is critical that public, private and social sector leaders are able to communicate not only across agendas, but across borders. As governments embrace the role of everyday citizens in enhancing international relations, agreeing on a common public diplomacy agenda—of governments, corporations, and others—becomes increasingly important. Individuals—especially those representing high-profile corporations—have initiated their own style of corporate diplomacy in the markets where they operate – but is it enough? How can we ensure that the traditional skills of the diplomat are ingrained as critical traits in corporate leaders? What does a true partnership look like?" Image from entry

Nato keen on developing strategic ties with GCC: We can tailor cooperation to fit our Gulf partners’ specific security needs, Rasmussen says - Habib Toumi, gulfnews.com: "North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said that the 28-member alliance was interested in developing its strategic relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 'As we look to the Wales Summit this September, we will work on ways to deepen our political dialogue and practical cooperation,' Rasmussen said as he opened the meeting between the Nato foreign ministers and representatives from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the four GCC countries that have partnered with Nato through the Istanbul Conference Initiative (ICI). ... The ICI offers a diversified menu of practical cooperation activities from which the member countries can choose. Activities include tailored advice on defence transformation, defence budgeting and civil-military relations; military-to-military cooperation including through selected military exercises; civil emergency planning and joint public diplomacy activities. The ICI is complementary to, but distinct from, the Mediterranean Dialogue that Nato launched in December 1994, with countries in North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean."

"Russification" of "Soft Power" -- Part 1: Russia's view of Soft Power as Hegemony - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "Reading the coverage of Russia and Ukraine over the past few months, one would think that whatever happened was a disaster for Russia's image and Russian 'soft power' around the world.

Yet, we need to get beyond that Western-centric view and look at public diplomacy writ large. Not only has Putin's popularity increased domestically and abroad (including in the West), but Russia can now claim the entire episode with Crimea as the cherry on top of its soft power success story." Image from entry

China’s Renewable Energy Opportunity: Renewable energy could improve the quality of China’s air, and its international image - Arthur Guschin, thediplomat.com: "Look at overseas coverage of China over the past six months and you would be forgiven for thinking that the only topics of note are its slowing economy, a looming maritime showdown with the U.S., ongoing corruption investigations, and periodic spats with Japan. Little of the reporting is kind to Beijing. Chinese soft power has not yet developed the ability to consistently offset the harsh spotlight of Western media, principally because the message it seeks to send is at odds with the interests of its targeted audience. Meanwhile, economic challenges and corruption revelations have sparked public outcry and triggered social instability and unrest (with 180,000 mass incidents in 2010) at home.  Abroad, reports of maritime incidents or PLA training to capture disputed islands contradict the official narrative of a 'peaceful rise.' Clearly, China could benefit from an image makeover. It may seem somewhat counterintuitive and certainly some heavy PR would be required, but the environment represents an opportunity for Beijing to transform its public diplomacy.  ...  How is that an opportunity? First, the Chinese government has the ability to respond to these public concerns, winning domestic plaudits and demonstrating internationally that China is a responsible actor. Beijing could show a human face and potentially correlate this new image with its current policies in places like the Arctic, where its interest in energy and marine resources is camouflaged as concern for environmental protection and indigenous interests. A reorientation to public diplomacy that emphasizes the environment would make Beijing’s efforts in the Arctic appear more logical."

Press and Media Service - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China: "Director-General: Qin Gang [;]Deputy Director-Generals: Tian Qi, Sun Weijia, Hong Lei, Hua Chunying(female), Wu Peng [;] Main functions: The Information Department is responsible for releasing information on China's major diplomatic events and stating China's foreign policy. It manages press coverage on major diplomatic events. It guides China's overseas diplomatic missions on information work and provides service to permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists in China. It also covers public diplomacy and information collection and processing."

Iran Opens to the Arrival of Tourism - tourism-review.com: "Iran is a country without fast food restaurants and large hotel chains; it has a spectacular cultural and architectural heritage, exquisite gastronomy, magnificent natural places, as well as an agreeable and extremely hospitable people. However, it receives hardly four million tourists per year, a scarce figure the government of

Hasan Rohani is trying to increase. ... Rohani ... bets on tourism, not only for contributing to the economic recuperation this isolated country is yelling for, sanctioned, with rates of inflation of 40% and a fifth of the population actively unemployed; but also as a fundamental tool for public diplomacy. 'Tourism can help to create relationships and interaction between nations and bring cultural proximity and mutual understanding,' he said at a conference in September where he pointed out 'the brilliant past of civilizations, hospitality, rich cultural heritage, good weather and beautiful nature' of his country to tempt potential visitors." Uncaptioned image from entry

Democracy, Friedman-style - Dror Eydar, israelhayom.com: "As long as Jews like you play devil's advocate to those who hate us, there is no chance that anyone among the Arabs would agree to acknowledge the Jews' right to any part of the historic land of Israel. As of now, we do not rule the Palestinians. They have their own parliament, two governments (in Ramallah and in Gaza Strip), and, with the help of Allah, a third will be established in Jordan in the coming years (if we stop protecting King Abdullah). They have huge budgets (the majority of which finds its way to private individuals) and an education system (that does not recognize Israel as a legitimate entity). They have a foreign ministry and pursue public diplomacy efforts; they have an automatic majority in the U.N. and enjoy clear sympathy from the Obama administration."

Israeli diplomats end strike - Ryan Torok and JTA, jewishjournal.com: "Employees of Israel’s Foreign Ministry ended their two-week strike with an agreement to increase pay for Israeli diplomats. ... 'Everything is back to normal,' said Dana Erlich, consul for public diplomacy at the L.A. consulate, said in a phone interview."

Grapevine: Nothing sacred - Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post: "There are many cultural exchanges between Poland and Israel, some of which result in much better public diplomacy on Israel’s behalf by Poles who have been here than anything that might be dreamt up by Israeli PR experts. For instance, five senior lecturers from Jan Dlugosz University in Czestochowa who were recently in Israel, led by vice dean Przemyslaw Szmurkowski and Prof. Jerzy Mizgalski, took a lot of photos and have used them to create an exhibition that will open this coming Monday in the library of the university’s Faculty of History and Philology. If pictures are worth a thousand words, the academics are doing Israel a great service."

Not expendable: Just let Israel's diplomats do their job -- The Foreign Ministry is a critical player in tackling Israel’s strategic challenges; so why is it constantly underfunded, bypassed and belittled? - Yiftah Curiel, haaretz.com: "[T]he most convincing evidence of the insufficient allocation of resources [for the Foreign Ministry] can be found in the frenzy of activity by other players within the Israeli system that are investing in the diplomatic arena.

From the Israel Defense Forces, to the Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Ministry, to the now defunct Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry (whose responsibilities have been scattered among various ministries), all are working within the FM's spectrum of activity, and have been allocated generous budgets in order to carry out work that falls under the FM's mission and which it is better equipped to handle." Image from entry, with caption: Striking workers at the entrance to the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem, March 24, 2014

Binding Ethio-Sudanese Relations - sudanvisiondaily.com: "[P]ublic diplomacy, which is characterized by cultural performances, academic and professional conferences, cultural events and other exchange programs, is in effect an extension of the current foreign policy of Ethiopia. In respect to the Sudan, its fundamental aim is to ensure that the challenges and opportunities of the bilateral, regional and global issues of the two countries remain in the public eye. It has the effect of cultivating long-term relationships, and increasing mutual understanding through dialogue as well as encouraging professional networking mechanisms, and promoting the shared interests of the respective populations. The recent cultural performances, which involved both Ethiopian and Sudanese performers, certainly helped communication of the cultures, values, traditions, histories and aspirations of both countries. They will motivate both peoples and encourage a common vision and their common interest in rooting out poverty, hunger, instability, drought, land degradation and other threats. Similarly, the recent scientific symposium held in Khartoum from the two Universities of Khartoum and Addis Ababa will unquestionably provide the basis for scientific studies and enhance the capacity for policymakers on both countries to push forward efforts for sustainable and inclusive development of the Eastern Nile. ... Besides, the two countries share a long border together with similar cultures, languages, history, values, religions, and traditions that have cemented the bilateral relations in various fields including trade, businesses, investment, agri-business, and power supply. ... The new public diplomacy accompanied by long historical ties and cultural affinities inspires the publics

of the two countries to further join their efforts in the fight against poverty, famine and instability as they crushed the heels of colonial powers in Omdurman in 1898 and Adwa in 1896. It also helps them to revitalize and renew the civilizations of Nubia, Merowe and Aksum on the bosom of the Nile Valley. This will pave the way for the realization of African Renaissance or Rebirth. ... Today is the time for both peoples of the two nations to fully own their own destinies and secure their own future in the spirit of shared visions for inclusive and sustainable development through the use of Nile waters. ... Ethiopia’s policies of public diplomacy are beginning to build a new tomorrow, improving personal and institutional ties to harness opportunities for the shared prosperity, peace and tranquility of the peoples of Sudan and Ethiopia. They are also righting the wrongs of yesterday through the genuine discussion, dialogue and scientific partnerships being built between the peoples of Ethiopia and Sudan. The way forward is very clear." Uncaptioned image from entry

Nigeria: Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism...(II) - Mohammed Sambo Dasuk, allafrica.com: "This is the concluding part of a two-serial publication of the presentation made by Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuk (rtd.)i, National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President at a seminar on the Roll out of Nigeria's Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism held in Abuja... The Third Stream: We are building our capacity to communicate our national values better and institutionalizing this capability through strategic communication for the military and law enforcement, and public diplomacy for our civilian institutions. This has become necessary because at the heart of terrorism is a deadly communication plan that furthers the aims of the terrorists. Unfortunately terrorist groups have over time been clearer in communicating what they stand for than government has. Plans have been concluded to institutionalize strategic communication in the training curriculum of the Nigerian Defense Academy. Through this training our armed forces will be able to analyze terrorist messaging, conduct psychological operations, evolve civil military relations and be equipped in media relations through a better appreciation of the requirements of our democracy. I have in the last year supported workshops and seminars that have led to increased awareness of the significance of strategic communication in the fight against terrorism. In partnership with our international development partners we are developing media training workshops for government public relations practitioners and independent media on conflict sensitive reporting and protection of the right to know under our laws. While it is in our national security interest that terrorists do not find unfettered access to free publicity we respect the media's freedom to report and that is why I shall be supporting the training of about 200 reporters who report on conflicts. We are concluding plans to institutionalize a civil service training program within an existing ministry to deliver certificated training on public diplomacy and strategic communication for public servants whose responsibilities include communicating government policies to the public. We believe that we must do a better job at conversing with our publics in Nigeria and abroad."

Batura: Belarus-Germany twin-town projects aimed at intensification of economic cooperation - : Belarussian Telegraph Agency: "Joint projects of twin towns of Belarus and Germany are aimed at the intensification of trade and economic cooperation, head of the Belarusian delegation, Chairman of the Belarusian civil organization Twin Towns, member of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Boris Batura said at the 8th meeting of the twin-towns of Belarus and Germany in Frankfurt an der Oder on 6 April, BelTA has learnt. The Belarusian-German twin-town and partnership movement shows the intention of local authorities and peoples to strengthen friendship and mutual trust through long-term and all-round international cooperation. We are doing our best to unite efforts and potential of partners and twin-towns in the implementation of programs to enhance living standards, environmental and social protection of the population,' Boris Batura said. In his words, the twin-town system which strengthens humanitarian relations in public diplomacy is an additional chance for the economic sector. The creation of joint economic zones, technological clusters, innovation projects, regional small business centers is able to provide Belarusian and German partners a platform for developing mutually beneficial production relations, trade, cross-border cooperation, Boris Batura is confident."

PM Christie: The Making of a Great Financial Centre‏ - thebahamasweekly.com: "Presentation by The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance On the Occasion of the Opening Ceremony of The 3rd Caribbean Financial Services Conference 'The Making of a Great International Financial Centre' 31st March, 2014 British Colonial Hilton Hotel Nassau, The Bahamas ... Public Diplomacy as a Strategy for IFC Development [:] The final thought which I wish to share with you is that there is a need for increased public diplomacy and dialogue on what we are doing in our financial services sector.

The Bahamas Government, led by the Ministry of Financial Services, has undertaken to unashamedly and forcefully champion its financial services industry. I have instructed Minister Pinder to articulate systematically, through all channels available to the Government of The Bahamas, exactly what The Bahamas and its financial services industry is about. We are seeking to ensure that international organisations continue to acknowledge that The Bahamas is a well-regulated jurisdiction and one which is known for its compliance with international best practices." Image from entry, with caption: Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie addresses delegates during the opening ceremony of the 3rd Caribbean Conference on The International Financial Services Sector. The three-day conference is currently being held at the British Colonial Hilton from March 31 – April 2.

Visiting Paul Widmer: The message of the Ambassador [Google "translation"] - Urs Hafner, nzz.ch: "Even in the now required diplomacy makes Paul Widmer of tendencies that disturb him. The job of a diplomat had 'lost its depth and width won,' making him a total devalues. It should not be that the ambassador would be a promoter diverse interests to a 'short-lived event manager for PR events or to an almost full-time host for itinerant parliamentarians, government officials and tourists.' In the age of 'public diplomacy' and the 'e-diplomacy' to each message deal with all sorts of topics and apply with Twitter and Facebook are increasingly directly to the public. And each ministry to care for its own foreign relations. Thus came the classic skills of diplomats, namely the political analysis and consulting, negotiating and legal representation of a country falling behind, says Paul Widmer. Instead their diplomats to trust locally, the Central unlock more and more directly electronically and dictate the course of action."

Sultan To Attend Symposium On Cultural Diplomacy, Religion In Vatican: Agency Report [includes video] - leadership.ng: "The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has been nominated as a speaker at a symposium on Cultural Diplomacy and Religion in the Vatican City of Rome.

The symposium is to hold from March 31 to April 3. This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Dickson Omoregie, Country Representative of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) in Abuja. ... The ICD said that the symposium would explore the use and potential of inter-faith dialogue to promote discourse with the ultimate goal of global peace. It said that the symposium would provide a forum that would unite religious leaders with politicians, diplomats and academics in order to create cultural platforms. The symposium will have the theme, 'Promotion of World Peace through Inter-Faith Dialogue’." Uncaptioned image from entry

Diplomacy 2.0: un cloud di pratiche e definizioni - Patrizia Rizzini Cancarini e Marco Lucchin, ilcaffegeopolitico.org: "New public diplomacy – Stretta cugina della Digital Diplomacy, con cui spesso è intercambiabile, rappresenta l’evoluzione della Public Diplomacy ovvero l’influenza dell’opinione pubblica sulla definizione ed esecuzione delle scelte di politica estera.

Public Diplomacy è inoltre comunicazione interculturale, rapporto tra media e personale diplomatico e la coltivazione di opinioni pubbliche da parte di governi stranieri. Lo scambio continuo d’informazioni e idee (senza limiti spaziali o temporali) e’ alla base del concetto di New Public Diplomacy, fenomeno reso possibile grazie all’ingresso delle ICTs e media nella sfera diplomatica." Image from entry

Hacking Diplomacy - Juan Luis Manfredi, uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "In considering how to establish relations with citizens, we must account for their ability to influence their governments' decision-making and to have an effect on the behaviour and habits of corporations. That's where public diplomacy becomes crucial. Public diplomacy consists of an information, education, and entertainment strategy focused on influencing publics abroad. It includes numerous exchange programs and nation branding techniques. It is not a public relations campaign, but a government action. The advantage offered by public diplomacy as opposed to conventional diplomacy is greater room for innovation: PD practitioners can experiment with small budgets and new areas of activity. It's an ideal lab because it allows for change and the creation of new activities, while simultaneously providing new professional skills to be put into practice.

Furthermore, the idea of transforming perceptions abroad drives internal innovation. Communications technologies in particular have become central tools for the transmission of messages, to connect with communities, and to listen to citizen demands. The key to success is the effective connection of governments with the interests of citizens. A government’s relationship with citizens abroad should be independent of its diplomatic relations with those citizens’ government. Public diplomacy involves creating communities of interest with publics abroad. The demographic challenge deserves special mention: public diplomacy will not be able to exert influence if it does not adapt to online social networks where young people (comprising 45% of the world's population) spend half of their lives." Uncaptioned image from entry

Reflections from the International Studies Association Conference, 2014 - James Pamment, uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "ISA is the major annual conference where PD scholars convene, particularly through the International Communication (ICOMM) and Diplomatic Studies divisions. ISA has around 5,000 participants, of which the regular faces working on PD comprise of less than one percent. In other words, although ISA is very much the home of PD scholarship, it is also a humbling experience to see the challenges scholars face to raise its profile. Indeed, as is often the case in the practitioner world, it is abundantly clear that PD still needs to be defended and advocated as a legitimate field of inquiry, even when on 'home' territory. ... The challenge of bringing PD into the IR mainstream seems to be about establishing its value within existing IR paradigms – realism, constructivism, critical theory etc – without stating that it belongs to one of them exclusively."

Creating Credibility Not A Vanity Project [subscription] - Michael Hedges, followthemedia.com: "Nobody doubts the soft power value of international media. Words and pictures can frame any message. Soft power effectiveness depends on credibility far more than technology. Desired outcomes, however, must be clear." [According to Google search, mention of public diplomacy].

Professor Sam Richards to give TED Talk in Brazil Friday - onwardstate.com: "Following his talk at the inaugural 2014 State of State Conference this past Sunday, famed Penn State SOC 119 professor Sam Richards will take the stage again tomorrow, this time 5,179 miles away in Porto Alegre, Brazil at TEDxLaçador. This event will mark his sophomore performance on the TED stage, the first of which has nearly 1 million views on TED’s official website, and will be titled ‘The Wisdom of Sociology.’ According to the Facebook event page for the viewing party hosted by Penn State World in Conversation, ‘Wisdom’ will delve into ‘larger web of connections that entwine all of our lives,’ and will address the societal phenomenons that arise from constant conversation among humans on a daily basis.

‘Seeing as [World in Conversation] has grown to center status as a center for public diplomacy, the fact that Sam is giving an international TED talk fits right into that vision,’ said Nick Sikoutris, curator of this year’s TEDxPSU conference. ‘I’m looking forward to seeing Sam rock the TEDx stage again.’”
Uncaptioned image from entry

Heritage Mourns Loss of Douglas Allison - heritage.org: "Now marking its 10th anniversary, the Allison Center has established itself as a top-level public policy institute specializing in issues of national security, terrorism, missile defense, public diplomacy, and U.S. interests in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa."

Students film Barcelona - Christina Bartson, berkeleybeacon.com: "[U]ndergraduates for Emerson College Takes Barca! ... [went] a spring break trip to Barcelona in partnership with Ramon Llull University to help launch a grassroots campaign that aims to frame sports as a uniting force for Spain. The campaign is a collaborative effort with Play 31, a New York-based nonprofit organization that uses what it calls the unifying power of soccer to bring together communities that have been divided by conflict, according to its website. Emerson students are creating a documentary to promote the launch of Play 31 in Barcelona. Gregory Payne, associate professor in the communication studies department, and Enric Ordeix of Blanquerna directed students around the city to see tourist sites, attend sporting events, visit public relations and government organizations, and take classes to study sports as a tool of public diplomacy, all while collecting footage for their film, said Payne."

Syuzanna Petrosyan shares top prize in USC film competition - reporter.am: "A student from the University of Southern California who is a descendant of survivors of the Armenian Genocide shared the top prize at this year's Student Voices Short Film Contest sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual Learning and Education. Syuzanna Petrosyan and fellow student Greg Irwin won the award March 6 for their short film 'Play for your Life,' which looks at the orchestras organized by the Nazis in German concentration camps during World War II. ... Petrosyan said her interest

in entering Student Voices comes from her own Armenian background and interest in exploring the various dimensions of genocides. As a public diplomacy master's candidate, she said, 'it is important to understand not only the big picture and history of genocides, but also to observe the smaller and personal stories of survivor's of the biggest crimes in history.'" Image from entry, with caption: Syuzanna Petrosyan (center) and Greg Irwin (right) awarded by the USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith


U.S. Government Hilariously Creates Secret Cuba Twitter, Then Just Quits - Peter Van Buren, dissenter.firedoglake.com: There is, clearly to at least two or three people in Washington, no greater threat to American safety and security than Cuba. America has had a Cold War hard-on over Cuba for decades, and so spending millions of taxpayer dollars on it, even if it means a lot of that money actually and knowingly gets paid to the Cuban government itself, is OK. Freedom isn’t free.

One of the most recent such events was a failed U.S. government attempt to create a Cuba-only Twitter-like text system, and then to use subscribers’ mobile phones to seed anti-Castro propaganda. The bizarre thinking underlying all this was that such social media would foment “flash mobs” in Cuba that would somehow lead to a people power revolution to overthrow the Cuban government. Batista image from entry

How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better: If you’re looking for some of America’s best bourbon, denim and burgers, go to Japan, where designers are re-engineering our culture in loving detail - Tom Downey, Smithsonian Magazine: The American presence in Japan now extends far beyond the fast-food franchises, chain stores and pop-culture offerings that are ubiquitous the world over. A long-standing obsession with things American has led not just to a bigger and better market for blockbuster movies or Budweiser, but also to some very rarefied versions of America to be found in today’s Japan.

It has also made the exchange of Americana a two-way street. Part of what’s going on is simply the globalization of taste, culture, cuisine and the way that, in the modern world, you can get almost anything everywhere. But Japanese Americana is more than that. There’s a special way that the Japanese sensibility has focused on what is great, distinctive and worthy of protection in American culture, even when Americans have not realized the same thing. It isn’t a passing fad. It’s a long-standing part of Japanese culture, and, come to think of it, as more Americans are exposed to U.S. products revived or reinterpreted by Japanese designers, the aesthetic is becoming part of American culture, too. If you ever wonder which of the reigning American tastes, sounds, designs or styles will last into the future, there’s no better place to answer that question than in the stores and restaurants, the bars and studios of Japan. They often know us better than we know ourselves. Image from entry, with caption: A jacket at Workers reflects the line’s focus on recreating 20th-century American work clothing

A Virtual Iron Curtain Closes In on Russia’s Intelligentsia: Even before the crisis in Crimea, Moscow’s creative class was in trouble. Now the Russians who call themselves hipsters feel like strangers in their own homeland - Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast: A recent survey of listeners by Echo of Moscow radio (which still preserves most of its editorial independence) demonstrated that 70.8 percent of the radio’s audience considered European values harmful for Russia. What are Western values, the hosts asked? One of the listeners, a young Muscovite, interpreted the values, “as freedom for a human body and desires, all sorts of pedophilia and zoophile love.”

And Echo of Moscow has one of the most pro-Western audiences in Russia. Within days, the anti-Western line drawn to connect the dots of supposed Western decadence reached theaters and movie theaters. Attacks on Moscow’s popular Taganka and Gogol Center theaters, accused of producing performances that “promoted violence, homosexuality, pedophilia, suicide” shocked the theater world. Copying the Korean and Chinese experience, the ruling party United Russia drafted a new law to cap the number of foreign movies released in Russia, down to 50 percent, so instead of “American values” and “propaganda of American interests” Russians would watch Russian movies. Image from entry


"SMU art professor Roger Winter ... told Bush that since the president had such a knack for capturing the expressions of animals, he should try painting the faces of the world leaders he had come across."

From: Ann Binlot, "Dubya’s Portraits of Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin Are Just as Genius as You Hoped: Up-and-coming artist George W. Bush has graduated from paintings of his pets to thoughtful portraits of the world leaders he encountered while president. This is diplomacy, y’all," Daily Beast; image from entry, with caption: A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, painted by former U.S. President George W. Bush, is displayed at "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" exhibit at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas April 4, 2014. See also.


Walking in Vegas - John Brown, Notes and Essays --  "My favorite sign this time around in Vegas,

scribbled, unevenly spaced words on a piece of cardboard held by a begging but jolly street person: 'My wife had a sex change operation and ran off with my girlfriend.'" Image from


--From: Matt Stopera, "Completely Surreal Photos Of America’s Abandoned Malls," buzzfeed.com; via GG on Facebook


Topless Florida Woman Wrecks McDonalds, Pauses to Guzzle Ice Cream - Jay Hathaway,gawker.com: A Florida woman wearing nothing but a thong rampaged through a St. Petersburg McDonald's Monday, banging her head on the counter and then attempting to take apart the kitchen with her bare hands. Eventually, she chilled out by eating soft-serve straight out of the machine.

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