Shirley Temple Black, an American cultural icon of the Great Depression Era, and U.S. Ambassador to both Ghana (1974-76) and Czechoslovakia (1989-92), passed away on Monday, February 10th. CPD reached out to a few public diplomacy scholars and practitioners for their take on her global public diplomacy impact.
I’m a Shirley Temple fan. Not a big fan of her movies; they seemed more suited for my sister. I’m a fan of her diplomacy in Czechoslovakia. I was a Newsweek reporter living in Prague between the 1989 “Velvet Revolution” and 1991 when I saw up close how Ambassador Shirley Temple Black worked it. That’s how I became a fan. (Disclosure: I like ambassadors, my wife was U.S. ambassador to Hungary 2010-13.) America has had many notable diplomats dealing with Czechoslovakia, or the more modern Czech Republic, a country split from Slovakia in 1993 following a “Velvet Divorce.” But Shirley…... Full Text
In early February, 7 USC Master of Public Diplomacy students embarked for São Paulo, Brazil. We arrived with just a day to get acclimated to the city before our meetings began on Monday. As students of diplomacy, the logical choice for a research trip to Brazil might be Brasilia. As the capital, it hosts the country's diplomatic corps and would certainly make a worthy case study of how diplomacy works in Brazil. While traditional diplomacy will always be worth pursuing, we are not going to Brazil to study it. Rather, we are going to learn about innovations in public diplomacy:…... Full Text
“Soft power” is an important element of foreign policy, emphasizing attraction rather than coercion. The concept, popularized by Harvard professor Joseph Nye, provides counterbalance to the infatuation with hard power, especially military force, which has been driven by the accelerated development of “smart” weaponry. Drones, for example, are appealing to their users because their “pilots” may be thousands of miles away, wholly out of danger while people on the ground are dying. It is war without cost for one side. The “immaculate destruction” facilitated by such weapons makes it easier to drift into war. When there is little cost to…... Full Text
He can still dunk like a butterfly, but in the personally tragic case of former basketball pro Dennis Rodman in North Korea, the embrace of Kim Jong Un and his policies sting like a bee. Rodman is the most recent example of sports diplomacy gone awry. With the Sochi Olympics starting, a new cadre of unpredictable athlete diplomats will likely take the stage. It is a time-honored tradition to use athletes as diplomats. They are some of the most recognizable global personages whose participation can lead to substantial bilateral benefits. In the 1970s, for example, U.S. President Nixon successfully promoted…... Full Text