Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy: January 2023

CPD Faculty Fellow Bruce Gregory has compiled a list of the latest must-reads in public diplomacy. Known affectionately at CPD as "Bruce's List," this list is a compilation of books, journal articles, papers and blog posts on a wide variety of PD topics.

Highlights from the latest list include an issue of CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy that focuses on the intersection of technology and sports in public diplomacy, a piece on digital diplomacy, and two articles that were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Public Diplomacy.

Yoav Dubinsky, Sport-tech Diplomacy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,  CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy. Dubinsky (University of Oregon) explores the emerging concept of “sport-tech diplomacy” understood as “the use of sports-related technologies for nation branding and public diplomacy purposes.” His paper distinguishes intersections between sports, technology, and public diplomacy at Tokyo 2020 in four domains: public safety, games operations, cultural diplomacy, and backlash. Dubinsky provides an overview of the relevant literature, an explanation of his methodology, his assessment of sport-tech issues in the Tokyo Games, a discussion of functional strengths and limitations of sport-tech diplomacy, and five lessons for scholars and practitioners in using nation branding and country image frameworks. 

Ilan Manor and Ronit Kampf, “Digital Nativity and Digital Diplomacy: Exploring Conceptual Differences Between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants,” Global Policy, 2022: 13: 442-457. In this perceptive open access paper, Manor (Tel Aviv University) and Kampf (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) examine differences in the use of social networking sites (SNS) by younger diplomats (digital natives) and senior diplomats (digital immigrants). Can these differences, they ask, limit the ability of foreign ministries (MFAs) to leverage digital technologies for public diplomacy purposes? Their findings are based on a literature review and a survey of 133 diplomats from six MFAs. The authors found little support for a hard expertise binary between generations. Operational proficiency varies within native and immigrant cohorts. They did find, however, key conceptual gaps. Digital natives are more likely to perceive the Web as networks in which individuals generate content through dialogue, as a space for sharing life and work information with clusters of friends, and as a space for listening. The reverse is true for digital immigrants. These gaps, they argue, have three broad policy implications. First, provide digital training that focuses not only on operational skills but also on integrating SNS into policy formulation and implementation. Second, explore implications of generational gaps for the use of other technologies (e.g., virtual reality, big data analysis). Third, encourage digital immigrants to employ technologies in innovative ways. The authors point to areas for further research: a larger sample size, personal interviews as opposed to questionnaires, and practices in languages other than English. To these they might consider implications of generational differences in stakeholders beyond MFAs (e.g., native/immigrant gaps among lawmakers who provide diplomacy funding).

Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California) and Juan Luis Manfredi Sánchez (Georgetown University), “Virus Diplomacy: Leadership and Reputational Security in the Era of COVID 19.”

Isabelle Karlsson (Lund University), “Debating Feminist Foreign Policy: The Formation of (Unintended) Publics in Sweden’s Public Diplomacy.”

The full list for this edition of Bruce's List can be found here.


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