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.
JOHANNESBURG -- Regular readers of this blog no doubt saw the headlines last week expressing concern about the drop in the percentage of international travelers who head for the U.S.
In the Financial Times, for example, the headline on September 4 was "US tourism 'needs a warmer welcome.'" And there was this quote: “The image of the US is at an all-time low in many parts of the world.”
The public scolding took place right after the long Labor Day weekend, perhaps not to spoil anyone's vacation. Setting atop the office desks of those who manage the U.S. government's Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) when they returned to work was a terse report on their failings. It was not that their charges, America’s Arabic-language Radio Sawa and TV Alhurra, were putting out inferior broadcasts. Rather, the folks in charge of those broadcasts were not running things like good bureaucrats. What exactly does that mean?
Is it any wonder that U.S. public diplomacy is on life support?
While perhaps the truest measure of our effectiveness around the globe and an essential tool for U.S. national interests long-term, public diplomacy is in deep trouble -- undervalued at home and under siege abroad. From Katrina to Iraq, our communication wounds are deep -- hostage to policies that are viewed as bankrupt in both their rhetoric and application.
Today's turbulent world is one in which Canada's traditional role as a middle power or broker of interests is needed more than ever. 50 years ago Canada led the world in diplomacy, with the exclamation point coming with (eventual) Prime Minister Lester Pearson's key role in the Suez Crisis. Pearson served as an honest broker and set the standard for generations of Canadian diplomats to follow. Significant reductions in Canada's presence in this area constitute a setback to the country's traditional role within NATO and the world in general.
Let's face it, America. We're having more than just a bad day.
No, this isn't malaise, but a serious condition brought on by prolonged exposure to really bad news.
Like everything else, it seems to date from Sept. 11, 2001, when we faced the unthinkable on our own shores. We've been reeling ever since, seeking answers and leadership and policies that work. But it's been a bitter harvest.
USC Ph.D candidate Jade Miller explores soccer’s ability to unify and divide nations, and draws upon examples from this year’s World Cup tournament.
As a new member of the blog team, I'd like to note this report I recently published regarding the public diplomacy implications and opportunities surrounding the 2006 FIFA World Cup. A summary follows.
Author Alvin Snyder provides an insightful look at the world of diplomacy by providing sound advice from some of the field’s most celebrated figures.
Numerous columns have been written as a "Memorandum to Karen Hughes," with advice to the undersecretary of state on how to improve America’s public diplomacy efforts. But what if the president himself telephoned, to ask advice on the same issue? What would one say? (Remember, it’s the president, so no showboating).
USC Ph.D candidate Jade Miller argues that Hezbollah is public diplomacy’s biggest winner in the ongoing Middle East dispute. She also notes the actions associated with each party involved in the conflict.
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