The role of public diplomacy in statecraft; professional ethics; organizational principles; arguments for using public diplomacy

Folded newspaper section "China Watch"

Sharp Power Focus on China

Dr. Michael Schneider, the director of Syracuse University’s D.C. Public Diplomacy program, calls our attention to an update on the topic of China’s “sharp power” thrust. The Journal of Democracy carries a set of eight articles on “China in Xi’s new era” examining the country’s internal changes in the wake of the 19th Party Congress, its expanding global ambitions, and its…

Soft Power and Hard Targets

Occasionally I co-lead a strategy workshop for State Department practitioners of public diplomacy.  Each participant brings a topic and develops it into a public diplomacy campaign over five days; it’s learning by doing. The hardest thing for our students – both Foreign Service Officers and locally-hired staffers – is to define a clear objective and…

Uncle Vova and Mad Nick

Living and working in other countries, Public Diplomacy practitioners hear a mix of many ideas – political, economic, social, and religious.  Among them are patriotism and nationalism.  A recent video – and the controversies it sparked – presents a case study that can give viewers some perspective on today’s currents of Russian nationalism. Last year,…

Labels and sharp power

Last week I spoke to a Great Decisions discussion group in Arlington, Virginia.  Great Decisions is a program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association to encourage citizen awareness of foreign relations. The topic, “The Media and Foreign Policy,” gave me the chance to highlight the work of public diplomacy.  As so much diplomacy is carried…

Deep Dive on North Korea

  This link includes a 40-page guide – quotes and links to articles, essays, opinion pieces, and reports — on North Korea’s information environment.  Intended for strategic communication and Public Diplomacy practitioners, it focuses on information, broadcasting, cyber, internet access, propaganda, the activities of defectors, policy debates, and related topics. This is a special number in…