The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.
No, the above title doesn’t have a typo, a typo that occurs (to the embarrassment of those responsible for it, and to the amusement of those noticing it) when referring to that increasingly widespread international activity, public diplomacy (PD) -- which can be defined, to cite the U.S.
When I give my course, "Propaganda and US Foreign Policy" (1) -- a historical overview of the subject -- I like to invite the class for a modest buffet dinner chez moi. The last time this get-together took place, it included a screening of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will (1935), a film -- considered by some a propaganda classic -- that celebrates the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. As the students ate their dessert, I turned on the DVD, and the Nazi director's troubling yet spectacular black-and-white images appeared.
The greatest lure of propaganda, for those using it to achieve total victory in the so-called war on terror, is that on surface it may appear to pose no intellectual problems about what it is and what it does. Drop leaflets on enemy territory; place pro-U.S. articles in newspapers abroad; broadcast radio programs that attack the enemy and praise American values -- and hearts and minds in hostile lands will be won over, like a salivating Pavlov dog reacting to food-related stimuli. But propaganda is not as simple as that.
People, Places, Power | Season 2, Episode 48: The Nation Brands Index 2022 and Russia's Fall from Grace
Join the Conversation
Interested in contributing to the CPD Blog? We welcome your posts. Read our guidelines and find out how you can submit blogs and photo essays >.