foreign affairs

Digital diplomacy, the hipster cousin of public diplomacy, has been enjoying something of a Golden Age recently, with any (Western) diplomat or minister of any note (and the more forward looking senior officials too) offering digital pronouncements, policy engagement and two-way conversations as a mechanic for gathering support and understanding around often complex areas of foreign affairs.

In his review of Dennis R. Hoover and Douglas M. Johnston’s newly edited text Religion and Foreign Affairs, CPD Director Philip Seib notes the vital importance of an understanding of the role of faith in foreign affairs.

Particularly for practitioners of public diplomacy, understanding the role of religious faith in people’s lives is an essential part of crafting outreach efforts. In much of the world, secularism is viewed warily, seen as weakening the fabric of society, and so a respectful approach to religion is an essential element of diplomacy. Religion is not “mere sociology,” as the CIA reportedly referred to it prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution. Rather, it must be taken seriously as a foundation stone of international relations.

Having myself fired a few arrows at Dr Singh and the ruling Congress Party last month, I thought I would turn to an area where India is enjoying success: the projection of its soft power abroad. Here, arguably, it is outstripping China, its Asian Century rival.

Foreign Affairs is axing a $5-million program that funds Canadian studies abroad even though the department was told two years ago the program generates $70-million a year for the country’s economy.

From a global branding point of view what is the worst thing that can happen when you mention the word Finland? The worst thing that can happen is that nothing springs to mind. This is why Finland has become interested in developing its country brand and image over the past few years.