As much of the world’s media continues to focus on the politics of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the continued violent protests in the Ukraine, another country closer to home threatens to descend into civil war. Street demonstrations throughout Venezuela, now entering their second week, have turned a country already suffering from high rates of violent crime and murders into a battleground. Supporters of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez have taken to the streets in Caracas and elsewhere, demanding solutions for Venezuela’s economic nosedive and crime epidemic. The Venezuelan government has responded with a heavy crackdown against protesters, arresting opposition…... Full Text
China, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Russia are now known globally for their economic strength. But what about their cultures? These states are much more than just their GDPs, and increasingly, they are attempting to gain global recognition not only for their rapid growth, but also for their rich cultural traditions.
Among the principal assets of U.S. public diplomacy are American values. They are admired around the world, even by many people who dislike American policy. No other political system offers such extensive individual and systemic freedoms as those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Showcasing and standing up for those freedoms should be at the heart of U.S. public diplomacy. To narrow this a bit, consider freedom of the press. From time to time, it faces challenges within the United States, but it remains a fundamental element of American law and national character. As an instrument of soft power –…... Full Text
“Treknie gadi (the fat years) – tas jums tiešām ir jāzina (that one you really have to know),” said the Latvian teacher, and, for the next two hours, our language class dissected those two words. We read in Latvian about Prime Minister Aigars Kalvītis and his famous 2005 speech to the nation promising a modern incarnation of Jacob’s biblical prophecy of seven ‘fat years’ of prosperity followed by seven years of hardship. We learned pārpalikums (surplus) and dižkibele (global financial crisis). We discussed the crushing poverty faced by much of the society after the economy overheated, leading a new government…... Full Text
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.