Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Tuesday, May 23rd 2017
"Asserting U.S. leadership and influence" includes core public diplomacy programs, according to the White House budget for 2018.
We don't have a formal strategy or a reorganization plan from the new administration, but a budget may be the most important statement about its new directions. And this page from the State Department lays out nine major statements so far this year.Read More
Thursday, May 18th 2017
VOA’s alleged mishandling of a Chinese insider’s interview shouldn’t overshadow the important work done by it and the other U.S. government-sponsored broadcasters. See my latest commentary in The American Interest:Read More
Sunday, May 14th 2017
When my paper copy of the Foreign Service Journal arrives, I set aside time to go through it from cover to cover. There's always something about foreign affairs that I haven't seen in the various newspapers, newsletters and electronic sources I receive.
The American Foreign Service Association has announced recently an electronic archive going back 99 years. You'll see from one of the first covers that in 1919, the Journal called itself the American Consular Bulletin and was published by the American Consular Association.Read More
Saturday, May 13th 2017
In 1966 the Brookings Institution published a book by Charles Frankel entitled: The Neglected Aspect of Foreign Affairs – American Educational and Cultural Policy Abroad. Frankel argued that “in comparison with the sophisticated analysis devoted to U.S. military, economic, and diplomatic policy, little intellectual attention has been given to international cultural exchange”. Although more than half a century has passed, a similar argument can be made today.Read More
Tuesday, May 9th 2017
I still remember a very old New Yorker cartoon showing two dogs -- one at a computer, remarking to its friend: "On the Internet, no one knows I'm a dog."
That's no longer funny in a world where robots amplify propaganda messages and can even write news stories of their own. That Twitter handler you're following may belong to a robot ... or to a human troll contracted by a foreign power. Samel Woolley, director of research at Oxford's Internet Institute, reports: "Security experts argue that more than 10 percent of content across social media websites, and 62 percent of all web traffic, is generated by bots."
You can read Wooley's article and a dozen others in the Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission's latest report: "Can Public Diplomacy Survive the Internet?" Today I heard former Congressman Mike Rogers and five panelists, most authors of the report, discuss the issue at the Commission's panel discussion “Echo Chambers, Artificial Intelligence, and Bot-Driven Disinformation: New Challenges in Public Diplomacy.”Read More