Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy

On November 2, Bruce Gregory published the most recent edition of his periodic public diplomacy reading list. Known affectionately at CPD as "Bruce's List," it is a compilation of books, journal articles, papers, and blogs on a wide variety of PD topics, and features a number of CPD scholars. Highlights in this edition include:

James Cuno, “Culture War: The Case Against Repatriating Museum Artifacts,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2014, 119-129. Cuno (J. Paul Getty Trust) opposes the use of cultural objects and powerful memories of cultural heritage by government leaders to promote national identities and support repatriation claims based exclusively on national origin.  He supports UNESCO's efforts to regulate illegal trade in antiquities and the lawful repatriation of illicitly acquired art.  However, “encyclopedic museums” represent cosmopolitan ideals. By co-locating artifacts of different times and cultures, they encourage knowledge, curiosity, “pluralism, diversity and the idea that culture shouldn't stop at borders.”  Cultural property, Cuno contends, should be seen as “the legacy of humankind and not of the modern nation-state, subject to the political agenda of its ruling elite.”

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Government, “Public Diplomacy Strategy 2014-2016.”  DFAT's website profiles the mission, objectives, audiences, approaches, management methods, and key priorities and messages in Australia's public diplomacy strategy.  Includes brief descriptions of tools and methods that seek to “engage audiences” and “facilitate networks and connections”:  cultural diplomacy and media visits, sports diplomacy, alumni engagement, connecting key civil society and private sector organizations, engaging diaspora communities, “whole of government” diplomacy, and evaluation of “impacts and results.”

John Robert Kelley, Agency Change: Diplomatic Action Beyond the State, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).  Kelley (American University) makes two central arguments in this important new book.  First, a “diplomacy of status” grounded in diplomatic action by states is giving way to a “diplomacy of capabilities” understood as a relocation of power to non-state diplomatic actors.  Second, what diplomats can do increasingly matters more than who they are with the result that problem solving becomes more important relative to serving interests. 

To review the entire list, click here.