The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

Yesterday– 18 June 2010 – marked the seventieth anniversary of one of the great broadcasts in the history of international broadcasting: the broadcast from London of General Charles de Gaulle to the people of German-occupied France. Speaking at 10 PM from the fourth floor of Broadcasting House in London the general called for free Frenchmen to join him in the UK and fight on against the Nazis.

Last Thursday (March 4, 2010), some of the top thinkers currently engaging the issue of America’s image in the world testified on Capitol Hill in hearings before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs under the title ‘Restoring America’s Reputation in the World: Why it Matters.’ Joseph Nye of Harvard stressed the value of smart power. Andrew Kohut of Pew pointed to the fragility of the recent promising trends in world opinion and J... >

It is received wisdom among those who monitor the ebb and flow of national reputations that major movements are rare. The cartoon crisis of 2005 sent Denmark into a nose-dive. The end of apartheid in South Africa lifted that country into a new league. Mostly the rankings have been surprisingly stable, with France, Germany and the United Kingdom jostling for the top slot in the leading index, the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index.

In recent years Australia has made great strides in its public diplomacy and has demonstrated a remarkable ability to ‘punch above its weight,’ especially in the realm of international education. As the US international student recruitment became bogged down in visa bureaucracy and post-9/11 paranoia, Australia surged ahead to take up the slack and recruited large numbers of students from Asia especially.

This summer much global attention has focused on South Korea's biggest problem: its northern neighbor with his nuclear missiles and penchant for detaining American journalists. But South Korea has another problem: its international reputation. South Korea now has an economy approaching one of the ten largest in the world but falls short of the top thirty on the indices of brand reputation. Korea's image has lagged behind the reality of its economic and political transformation over the last twenty years.

Like many great orators President Obama knows how to quote scripture to maximum impact. His Cairo speech included passages from the Holy Koran, which his audience applauded.

President Barack Obama inherited two major public diplomacy problems. The first was the obvious crisis in America's communication with the world and the attendant decline in America's global standing. The second was the identification of the process of public diplomacy with the administration of George W. Bush. It was a paradox. The administration could not summon the cure without reminding people of one of the causes of the disease. The linking of Bush with Public Diplomacy was not wholly fair. The term was brought into its modern use in the U.S.