Thursday, January 5th 2017
Following up on a prior post, here are the abstracts of each chapter in the PDC’s latest book--
Deborah L. Trent
2. Public Diplomacy: Can It Be Defined?
Anthony C. E. QuaintonRead More
Tuesday, January 3rd 2017
Looking for some news you can use in this time of sound-bitten political transition? Or, for a straightforward, yet up-to-date instructional volume? The 11 contributors to Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future provide historical analysis, practice-based evidence, and forward-leaning insights for new and continuing actors in U.S. diplomacy’s expanding public dimension. The book is the U.S.Read More
Wednesday, March 2nd 2016
“Given the United States’ determination to project its hard and soft power and preserve its influence in a restless but interconnected world, the almost universal failure of the broader U.S. public to know and understand others, except through a military lens, is not just unfortunate but also dangerous. It severely hinders the creation and implementation of a rational, consistent, and nuanced foreign policy that reflects American values and enjoys public support.” “How to Open the American Mind” was thus the theme of an article by Sanford J. Ungar, “The Study-Abroad Solution,” in the March-April, 2016, article in Foreign Affairs. Ungar is a journalist, author, former Director of the Voice of America, and past President of Goucher College. He is a member of the Public Diplomacy Council.
This short gist necessarily omits all the useful statistics; Ungar’s analysis of impediments to study abroad; the experience of colleges and universities that have vigorously promoted international study; problems of affordability, access, and diversity; and proposals for federal initiatives. Here are some bullets from his article:
- One symptom of Americans’ new isolation is a sharp contrast between the positive, even zealous views they hold of the United States and its role in the world and the anti-Americanism and negative perceptions of U.S. foreign policy that flourish almost everywhere else. This gap persists in part because relatively few Americans look beyond, or step outside, their own borders for a reality check.
Thursday, January 28th 2016
“. . . at the final National Security Council meeting about Africa, Eisenhower set the tone of Washington’s outreach to the newly independent states by saying, ‘We must win their hearts and minds,’” recalled former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman J. Cohen in an article, “Winning Hearts, Minds, and Independence: How the United States Approached Post-Colonial Africa,” posted to the Foreign Affairs website on January 4, 2016.
The Eisenhower administration, he noted, launched several decades of development assistance that largely failed due to poor policy choices by the first generation of African leaders. He also cites misjudgments by Vice President Nixon. “Washington’s optimistic idealists were naive to believe that the new African nations were ready to make the leap from colonial dependency to sustainable irreversible economic development overnight. All they needed, we assumed, were hundreds of smart men and women swarming into their countries transmitting knowledge and equipment. We quickly learned that cultural, geographic, climatic, and religious impediments were out there to slow things down,” he added.
Cohen’s blunt article focuses on development and makes no mention of U.S. Public Diplomacy programs, but it is suggestive nonetheless. Embassy PAO's no doubt organized the press for every USAID event and promoted U.S. development initiatives that failed to achieve their goals. Cohen also cited the importance of international education, the growth of free media, and the role of international broadcasters like the VOA and BBC. Here are a few key quotes:Read More