Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy: October 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 publications on how ministries of foreign affairs utilize Twitter (now X), and a panel discussion on the use of AI in public diplomacy, organized by the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.  

Ilan Manor and Elad Segev, “Follow To Be Followed: The Centrality of MFAs in Twitter Networks,”  Policy & Internet, 2023: 1-26. Manor (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) and Segev (Tel Aviv University) address three research questions based on network analyses conducted between 2014 and 2016. Why do some ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) attract more peers to Twitter than others? Why do some MFAs follow more of their peers compared to others?  And what factors relate to increases in the number of peers an MFA attracts?  They conclude digital reciprocity is a key factor — followed by regional proximity, technological proficiency, and national media environments — in explaining why some MFAs do better than others in gaining scarce attention in a world of information abundance. What Joseph Nye calls the “paradox of plenty.”  

US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Public Diplomacy,”Transcript of Panel Discussion, June 2023. In this Commission meeting, executive director Vivian Walker and Commission members hosted a virtual panel of experts to discuss AI and the future of public diplomacy: Alexander Hunt (Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy Guinea), Jessica Brandt (Brookings Institution), and Ilan Manor (Ben Gurion University of the Negev). They agreed, with qualifications, that AI can be “a force for good” in public diplomacy despite the risks, and they explored its potential for a broad range of planning, operational, and assessment activities. Among their conclusions: machine tools can perform work that expands time for practitioners to engage publics; AI can amplify not replace human activity; and practitioners must be vigilant about AI’s capacity to generate biased, inaccurate, and inappropriate content. See also Vivian S. Walker, “AI and the Future of Public Diplomacy,”  August 22, 2023, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Other Highlights in this Issue: 

Shearon Roberts, “Black Women Elected Officials: Advancing Equity Through City and Nation-State Public Diplomacy,”  May 2023, CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Ian Thomas and Nikki Locke, “Taking a Cultural Relations Approach to Sustainable Development: British Council Case Study,”  September 7, 2023, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

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


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