“Countering” is Not Enough

The following essay commented on President Obama’s September 29, 2015, speech at the Leaders Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, held at the United Nations. It appeared on the former Public Diplomacy Council website as a “Commentary,” but it is no longer available on the web. It is here re-published for reference. Foreign policy…

A New Path Ahead For U.S. Public Diplomacy Advocates In A Digital Age?

What is public diplomacy? It’s a term used more widely than ever in the 21st century, as a leading scholar of the concept, the University of Southern California’s Professor Nicholas J. Cull explains: “Public diplomacy deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of a nation’s foreign policies.” Dr. Cull adds…

Global Media Giants Meet to Debate Their Future and Challenges Ahead in the 21st Century

It was perhaps the largest gathering of public diplomacy advocates and international broadcasters and media scholars ever held in America. The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) organized a day-long conference May 7 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in an atrium within sight of the Lincoln Memorial. Highlight of the day: an address by…

Is an ISIS Comeback Possible?

It appeared to some to be the end of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a month ago. That was when its last territorial holding in southeastern Syria, the town of Baghouz, was captured by largely Kurdish units of the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition forces. A network of underground tunnels where ISIS fighters…

Evolution of Public Diplomacy One Mutation at a Time

Last week offered two glimpses of U.S. public diplomacy’s gradual evolution. The State Department received confirmation that a merger between two of its three public diplomacy bureaus will move ahead.  International Information Programs and the Public Affairs bureau will become the Bureau of Global Public Affairs. A less visible but deeper change went public Thursday,…

Authoritarian Media: Supercharged in a Digital Age

In this era of expanding use of new communications tools, accuracy in media matters as never before. Globally, truth and fairness in journalism is endangered in unprecedented ways. Two specialists from the National Endowment for Democracy recently explained to a First Monday of the Month forum of the PDC and PDAA how China, Russia and…