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

Nobel Prize or Booby Prize

You may not think this column relates directly to public diplomacy but, in fact, it is all about public diplomacy. Certainly when President Obama was award the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, it was considered a public diplomacy coup.  Just being considered for the prize these days is a public diplomacy victory.  Indeed even in…

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,…