Bruce Gregory is a visiting scholar at George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication and a non-resident faculty fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.
March 5, 2020
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome.
Gordon Adams, “The Presidential Inbox: Reform the Foreign Policy Toolkit for a Rebalanced World,” Policy Brief, February 2020. Adams (Stimson Distinguished Fellow, Quincy Institute, American University) calls for fundamental reforms in US foreign policy capabilities based on two key propositions: (1) Today’s global security challenges are not susceptible to military solutions or solvable by any one nation alone. (2) Deep and persistent problems in the Department of State and US foreign assistance institutions render them “woefully unprepared” to deal with climate change, migration, health crises, economic inequality, and other global issues. His paper makes a number of recommendations. Recruit, train, empower, and reward diplomats with skills relevant to new global challenges. Establish a separate curriculum for each of these global issues at the Foreign Service Institute. Make strategic planning and implementation mandatory in Foreign Service training. Train and assign diplomats who are skilled managers, not just negotiators. Completely restructure foreign and economic security assistance programs. To rectify the imbalance between military and diplomatic instruments, strengthen civilian institutions first and then address needed reforms in National Security Council coordination.
Richard Wilke, Jacob Poushter, Janell Fetterolf, and Shannon Schumacher, Trump Ratings Remain Low Around Globe, While Views of U.S. Stay Mostly Favorable, Pew Research Center, January 8, 2020. Pew’s research team continues to illuminate widespread negative views abroad on the Donald Trump presidency. Survey findings in 32 countries show “a median of 64% say they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs.” Negative views are especially high in Western Europe and Mexico. Pew’s surveys included questions and data on tariffs, withdrawal from climate change agreements, a border wall, immigration policies, withdrawal from the Iran nuclear weapons agreement, negotiations with North Korea, and ratings for Trump in comparison to other world leaders. See also Richard Wilke, “The New Anti-Americanism: How Worries About U.S. Dominance Gave Way to Worries About U.S. Decline,” January 8, 2020, Foreign Affairs.
Gem From The Past
Kenneth A. Osgood and Brian C. Etheridge, eds., The United States and Public Diplomacy: New Directions in Cultural and International History, (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010). Don’t be misled by the title. Half of the chapters in this volume assess the public diplomacy of countries other than the United States. Ten years on, this compilation is worth another look. The scholarship overall is excellent. The essays combine informed theoretical concepts and historical perspective with careful empirical research. Prominent themes include relations between cultural diplomacy and civil society, ethnic groups as agents and targets of public diplomacy, the impact of domestic politics and public diplomacy programs, public diplomacy as an instrument of power, and the roles of private individuals and non-state actors. Four chapters in particular stand out.
An archive of Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites (2002-present) is maintained at George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. Current issues are also posted by the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, the Public Diplomacy Council, and MountainRunner.