Areas of PDC activity, including academic study, professional practice and advocacy

portrait of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the war of ideas

Ayaan Hirsi Ali published a long essay, “A Problem From Heaven: Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation,” in a 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs.  Her article opened a window on the dilemmas faced by Public Diplomacy policymakers after 9/11 and the judgment calls by two Under Secretaries for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs,…

Rescuing Desperate Souls Through Knowledge: VOA’S Unique Outreach in 2019

On July 29, the Voice of America launched one of world’s most unique international broadcast language services: Rohingya. That service now reaches hundreds of thousands of displaced peoples in Bangladesh who for years have fled severe anti-Muslim persecution in neighboring Myanmar, or Burma. The five day a week half-hour program, Lifeline, is broadcast via radio on medium…

The Value of a U.S. Speaker

Professor Wilfred M. McClay, then holding the SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, recalled his experience as a U.S. speaker who visited Turkey under State Department auspices in 2006.  His article gave testimony to the value of Public Diplomacy’s speaker programs. It showed how speakers’ willingness to go…

Chinese movie poster showing photo of military commando

Xi Jinping on art and culture

The opening of a Chinese patriotic film, The Eight Hundred, scheduled for July 5 at the Shanghai Film Festival, has been canceled.  Apparently, its portrayal of a Nationalist army unit that stood against the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in 1937 was too positive.  Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times reports “. . .…

The “Profits” of Cultural Interchange

Cultural interchange is “fundamentally reciprocal” and “a matter of give and take. It means influencing and being influenced.” These were themes in a speech to the Public Affairs Institute of the University of Virginia on July 8, 1939, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Cultural Relations of the Department of State, Charles A.…