Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy: March 2022

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:

Sohaela Amiri, “City Diplomacy: An Introduction to the Forum,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (HJD) (Online Publication Date February 11, 2022). CPD Senior Research Specialist Sohaela Amiri provides a needed and useful framework for shaping city diplomacy research and an introduction to five articles in the HJD’s March 2022 edition. Key parameters in her well-organized framework are (1) contextual factors (relational, instrumental and discursive) “that affect the success or failure of a city’s international affairs” and (2) five interdependent functions of city diplomacy understood as an instrument of “non-coercive statecraft.” Cities are an “in-between power in global governance,” she argues. They draw authority from their role in governance. They have legitimacy based on close proximity to the people they serve.

Shawn Baxter and Vivian S. Walker, “Putting Policy & Audience First: A Public Diplomacy Paradigm Shift,” U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy Special Report (December 2021). In 2017, the U.S. State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs expanded a review of position descriptions for overseas locally employed staff to create a “Public Diplomacy Staffing Initiative” (PDSI) intended to restructure public diplomacy operations overseas. Described by the Commission as “one of the most important transformations” in U.S. public diplomacy since the merger of USIA and State, the PDSI is a staffing structure for U.S. embassy public diplomacy sections organized around audiences and policies with updates to content development and resource distribution. Vivian Walker is Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and CPD Faculty Fellow.

Philip Seib, Information at War: Journalism, Disinformation, and Modern Warfare (Polity, 2021). Books by the University of Southern California’s longtime journalism and public diplomacy professor Philip Seib (CPD Faculty Fellow) can be counted on to be timely and well-written. They are filled with illuminating stories, insightful information and grist for debate. His latest is no exception. Seib surveys the importance of mediated information in warfare from the Trojan War to today’s armed conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Along the way, he discusses a huge variety of technologies and media forms, and the roles in different contexts of journalists, leaders, soldiers, diplomats and citizens. His dominant focus is on modern warfare. 

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


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