...coming at a difficult time for US and South African relations, the first lady’s trip to South Africa is a chance for the Obama White House to use a bit of what Washington analysts call “soft power,” or the power to persuade by focusing on shared positive aspirations and goals.

Investing in sports like tennis is also important for China's global image and "soft power"....China has dominated some sports... so much so that some of the competition rules have been changed in order to "prevent" China from taking all of the medals, and to encourage other nations to participate.

This visit was not just about learning for Egyptian youth. It was also a great example of the “public diplomacy” which we have been hearing so much about recently, and a great sign that Turkish statesmen and Turkey have really learned this business well.

China's self-image and Americans' perception of China are two critical issues for China. The former is mostly a reflection of the Chinese history, culture and people. Recently, China has been somewhat overconfident, most likely because of its economic growth. But scholars point out that China still has a long way to go in realizing its social development goals.

DUBAI --- Take a look at Barack Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo. It was beautifully written and radiated good intentions. The U.S. government relied heavily on new media tools to disseminate it throughout the Arab world and beyond. Arab opinion of Obama improved significantly; and then it dropped like a rock.

PressReader gives them instant access to more than 1,800 full-content digital replicas of newspapers and magazines from 94 countries, often before they hit the newsstands in their local markets. Already, PressReader has proved to be an invaluable tool as the students learn about foreign societies and cultures, and read their local newspapers to understand how world events are perceived and interpreted abroad.

May 11, 2011

It's familiar, unmistakable. The melody echoing through the auditorium at Rangsit University is from Days of Wine and Roses, that Hollywood drama from the early 1960s whose theme music, composed by Henry Mancini, won an Academy Award. The odd thing is that the tune is being played by a group of Asian students who couldn't possibly have been born when that film was released.

Youth in Action is a new youth exchange program in Mexico... It will provide workshops in the United States for Mexican high school students so that they can develop their leadership and civic engagement skills. A joint public-private funded program, it emphasizes community problem-solving and grassroots action to address violence and drugs.