A Public Diplomacy Council Affinity Group
What Is It?
Citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape foreign relations. Increasing global interdependence, expanding Internet communication, and waning trust in official institutions are fueling all kinds of citizen diplomacies, including culinary, dance, sports, business, science, and family diplomacy. Even before former U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root wrote an article about the need for popular diplomacy in the first issue of Foreign Affairs ever published in 1922, farsighted citizens have played a role in international affairs. The Citizen Diplomacy Research Group (CDRG) brings together students, scholars, citizens, and professionals worldwide who are studying and/or practicing citizen diplomacy, communicating, and collaborating across borders for political, economic, religious, cultural, educational, and other public purposes. The CDRG aims to help spread, better understand, and foster collaboration in the citizen diplomacy movement, in the context of public diplomacy.
The Group meets every two months online via Zoom to present and discuss research on citizen diplomacy worldwide, and to allow participants to report relevant news, events, and activities.
Selected members will discuss their research projects in this varied field. The group’s first meeting, held via Zoom, brought together 42 participants from a variety of countries including the USA, UK, France, Italy, Senegal, Bangladesh, and China.
For any questions, or to receive e-notice of the Group’s meetings, please email the group’s coordinator, Paul Lachelier, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, title, organization, and email address. By joining, you’ll be added to the PDC Citizen Diplomacy Research Group where you will learn of upcoming meetings and receive information from group members.
Paul Lachelier, coordinator, is a sociologist, and founder and director of Learning Life, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit lab devoted to innovating education and citizen engagement. Through Learning Life, Paul leads three programs: the Family Diplomacy Initiative, an International Mentoring Program, and Democracy Dinners. Before founding Learning Life in 2012, he taught at Stetson, Harvard, Tufts, and the University of Wisconsin. Paul holds a B.A. in sociology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His writing, research, and programmatic work focus on the intersection of democracy, culture, and education. His writings have appeared in academic journals as well as popular media including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Albuquerque Journal, and truthout.org. More at Paul’s Linkedin page and his website paullachelier.info.
Deborah L. (Debbie) Trent is an analyst of international diplomacy, development, and civic engagement. Debbie’s research, consulting, community organizing, and regional expertise concern public-private partnerships involving diasporas and other diverse groups in the United States, Near East, North Africa, South Asia, and Eurasia. She was the Public Diplomacy Council board secretary after co-chairing the program committee and the 2013 Fall Forum and serving as managing editor of the PDC’s most recent book, Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present and Future. Debbie holds a Ph.D. in public policy and public administration. Among other positions in government and nonprofits, she was a Fulbright program manager for 13 years at the United States Information Agency.