Featured Article

August 8, 2014

If signed into law, HR4490 will end the Voice of America as the world has known it for over seven decades.

The spring of 2013 has been a particularly exciting time for Iranian-Americans and Iranians living in the United States. Just in time for the Persian New Year, the Cyrus Cylinder started its first-ever tour of the U.S. with a magnificent debut in Washington, D.C.

Advocates of improving the U.S. government’s global communication capacity and thus its public diplomacy heaved a sigh of relief in January. The reason: When President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, he also signed into law the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which contains a much needed overhaul of Smith-Mundt’s prohibition on domestic dissemination of the programming of U.S.

It is by now well-known that the process of globalization, beginning in the 1960s and picking up pace rapidly in the late 20th century, quickly changed the context for international affairs. Globalization produced increased contact among the peoples of the world, a rapid expansion of interdependence among nations, and an explosion of new actors in international affairs.

The term “nation branding” is much evoked these days by practitioners and researchers of international communication. There are two broad conversations underlying the discussions and debates.

One, if and what could branding in the commercial sector teach us about nation-state image communication in contemporary times?
The other concerns to what extent multinational brands and country image are interconnected or interdependent. For instance, does consumer perception of a country‘s policies and actions affect companies and brands from the said country, or vice versa?

Much has been made of the potential for cultural diplomacy to ease the tensions between Pakistan and India. Given those nations‘ nuclear posturing, their complaints against each other for fomenting cross-border terrorism, and the potential for that area to destabilize the rest of the world, every possible tool should be tried.