Friday, June 23, 2017

PD News: USC Center on Public Diplomacy

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USC Center on Public Diplomacy

10:05 PM (5 hours ago)

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June 22, 2017
On June 22, 2018 the spotlight will fall on Newcastle and Gateshead – or NewcastleGateshead if you prefer – as it becomes the global showcase for the great contributions of the North of England in art and culture, design and innovation. Read More...
In addition to the aesthetic and educational value of international cultural exchange and collaboration, Asia TOPA provided an excellent platform for developing critical economic, political, and security relationships between Australia and its Asian neighbors. Read More...
A week-long exhibition on China Intangible Culture kicked off here [Kathmandu] on Thursday, offering Nepalese an opportunity to gain an insight into the rich and abundant Chinese history and culture. Read More...
China's soft power as the world's biggest property buyer is under severe strain due to a government crackdown on capital flight and the Qatar controversy, which is expected to drive a lot of Arab money into the property market in western countries. Read More...
A North Korean-led taekwondo organization will participate in a world taekwondo championship in South Korea opening Saturday, amid the Moon Jae-in administration seeking “sports diplomacy” to repair its relationship with North Korea. Read More...
Yunus Emre Institute, which was established with the aim of promoting Turkish language, culture and art and increasing cultural exchange between Turkey and other countries, has started operating in Washington DC after the first center was opened in Maryland, U.S. last April. Read More...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stop Inventing "New Diplomacies"

Shaun Riordan,; see also John Brown. "Diplomacies, from Public to Pubic," Huffington Post, as well as my off-and-on Facebook entries pointing out how this abused noun ("diplomacy") is being battered by meaningless adjectives (e.g. "skateboard diplomacy"). 

image from article

We must end the obsession with creating new “types” of diplomacy. It was probably a mistake “inventing” public diplomacy and digital diplomacy. It undoubtedly led both scholars and practitioners into unhelpful, and potentially harmful, cul-de-sacs like nation-branding or the obsession with social media presence. But now a plethora of new kinds of diplomacy are being offered up, ranging from education diplomacy, via sports and science diplomacy, to gastronomic diplomacy. No doubt such concepts are useful for securing academic funding and publication in academic journals. But they are frequently conceptually confused, risk these new kinds of diplomacy being seen as an end in themselves, rather than as part of broader diplomatic strategies, and, more seriously, risk emptying the concept “Diplomacy” of any meaning.
The conceptual confusion arises from the failure to distinguish between tools that can be used as part of a broader diplomatic strategy and the subject matter of diplomacy. Thus education diplomacy confuses educational networks as tools that can be used in the pursuit of broader diplomatic strategies with the application of diplomacy to resolve or manage issues arising in international education (e.g. the impact of Brexit on European educational exchange programs). Likewise, science diplomacy confuses the use of networks of scientists to advance broader diplomatic agendas (e.g. during the Cold War) with applying diplomacy to international scientific issues (e.g. Climate Change). I have previously pointed out the same confusion in digital diplomacy, suggesting the term “digital diplomacy” be confined to the use of digital tools in support of broader diplomatic strategies, while the term “cyberdiplomacy” be used to describe the application of diplomacy to problems arising in cyberspace. Failure to make this distinction between tools and subject matter does not create new kinds of diplomacy. It merely causes confusion.

If everything is diplomacy, then diplomacy no longer means anything useful, and we can give up using the term.

Equally, these new “kinds” of diplomacy frequently lack any context. Diplomacy does not exist in a vacuum. Nor is diplomacy an end in itself, divorced from all other activities. Diplomacy is a way of achieving broader objectives, set from outside diplomacy. Diplomacy does not itself have content. It is not the pursuit of peace and international understanding. It can be, if that is what their political masters instruct the diplomats to pursue. But equally diplomacy can be used to provoke war, or secure better conditions for fighting one (think Bismarck in 1869 or Blair in 2003). In governmental diplomacy, which remains the most common kind, diplomacy, together with Warfare and geoeconomics, comprises one of the ways in which governments can pursue their policy objectives. Public diplomacy is a subset of diplomacy, which seeks to help pursue those policy objectives through influencing foreign (and domestic) public opinion. By and large the new “kinds” of diplomacy are no more than subsets of public diplomacy, offering thematic areas and tools to help influencing foreign public opinions. Like diplomacy itself, they can be coercive. For example, sporting boycotts can be used to pressure just as sporting links can be used to attract. But it only makes sense to talk about sporting (or educational, or scientific, or gastronomic) activities if they form part of a broader diplomatic strategy in pursuit of policy objectives. Otherwise it is just sport, education, science or lunch.
There is understandable enthusiasm for extending the concept of “diplomacy” beyond government diplomats, reflecting the plethora of new state and non-state actors participating in international relations. But the lack of intellectual rigor with which this is often done risks emptying “diplomacy” of all meaning. When courses on diplomacy seriously discuss diplomacy in the family context, then diplomacy ends up meaning little more than getting what you want through negotiation or manipulation, rather than just thumping someone. If everything is diplomacy, then diplomacy no longer means anything useful, and we can give up using the term (and presumably close down the diplomatic studies courses).
Similarly, it is not clear if all those new state and non-state actors participating in international affairs do so as diplomats. They may be doing similar things to diplomats, or participating in the same activities, but are they doing so in the same way as diplomats, or with the same world-view? Is there a diplomatic way of doing things, or thinking about the world, which allows us to distinguish between diplomats and non-diplomats doing diplomat-like things? The question is crucial. If, as some have suggested, it is the pragmatic and almost amoral world view of the diplomat (seeing the world in shades of grey) that allows them to mitigate international conflict, what happens when international actors with less morally flexible world views (e.g. NGOs, seeing the world in black and white) multiply? These are questions for another blog, but which show up the lack of intellectual rigor behind the invention of new “kinds” of diplomacy. Meanwhile, let’s be done with these “new diplomacies”.
Note from the CPD Blog Manager: This piece originally appeared on BideDao, Shaun Riordan's website.
Photo via Nick Youngson I CC BY-SA 3.0

Beijing fears anti-China sentiment in U.S. from Mueller investigation

Bill Gertz, [Pls. scroll down link for below item.]

Image from, with caption: "Gościem specjalnym uroczystości stypendialnej był dr John Lenczowski, założyciel i prezes Institute of World Politics z Waszyngtonu."

John Lenczowski, a White House National Security Council official during the Reagan administration, is urging the U.S. government to wage ideological war against Islamic terrorism and political jihadism.
“We have spent trillions in this country fighting Islamist terrorism as if it is a military problem,” Mr. Lenczowski, president of The Institute of World Politics, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on June 14.
“This is like trying to eradicate mosquitoes by inviting your friends for a garden party, arming them with shotguns and shooting mosquitoes all afternoon. You’ll get a few.”
The problem is that jihadist ideology produces more terrorists dedicated to establishing a totalitarian caliphate worldwide.
“This is not a military problem — it is a political propaganda, ideological, cultural and religious doctrine problem,” he said.
The answer is to wage a “war of ideas,” but the U.S. government lacks ideological warriors in the fight, Mr. Lenczowski said.
Jihadis are migrating to non-Muslim lands and creating separatist enclaves under anti-democratic Shariah law, with the ultimate goal of political demographic conquest.
“Modern totalitarian Islamism, which incorporates Marxist-Leninist political strategy, forms the basis of the recruitment of new jihadists, both terrorists and resettlement jihadists,” Mr. Lenczowski said.
“Defeating this ideology requires an ideological counterattack based on superior moral precepts,” he said. “Above all, this requires telling the truth and ending self-censorship about radical Islamism and an information campaign exposing the ideology, exposing jihadists’ strategy, Shariah and the crimes of radical Islamist regimes.”
To better deal with the problem, the government should create a new public diplomacy office within the State Department, Mr. Lenczowski said.[JB emphasis]

Facing Russian Propaganda and Disinformation

image from entry

June 28, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
American Security Project
1100 New York Ave NW Suite 710W
Washington, DC 20005
Check-in time and Refreshments served from 12:00-12:30
Please arrive no later than 12:30
For years, the Russian Government has been engaging in a large scale propaganda and disinformation campaign aimed at confusing audiences and spreading its influence abroad. From RT and Sputnik, to warehouses full of internet trolls, Russia’s efforts have been prominent and concerning. Join us as we discuss Russia’s efforts to cloud the information space, and ways the US can contribute to clarity.
Eventbrite - Facing Russian Propaganda and Disinformation


Vera Zakem, CNA, Research scientist; Director, Strategy and Partnerships for the Center for Strategic Studies
Vera Zakem specializes in developing innovative solutions, analytics, and partnerships in assessing root causes of conflict and instability for vulnerable populations, European stability, media and Russia’s information operations, and civil-military operations. She incorporates development, diplomacy, and civil-military operations in assessing today’s security environment. She currently leads CNA’s work in assessing internal vulnerabilities to vulnerable populations, Europe and Russia, joint civil affairs, and media and influence.
Zakem has conducted field-work in the Balkans, Baltics, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Earlier in her career, she has collaborated with special operations forces, multinational organizations, and other U.S. Government agencies in analyzing and assessing human security. She taught adversary, futures analytics and red teaming at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Throughout her career, Zakem has worked with diverse sectors in promoting the role of women in security and development.
Zakem has an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University, a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of San Francisco and has also spent a year at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She speaks Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew. She is a Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations and a Member of Pacific Council on International Policy.

Jeffrey N. Trimble, IBB Deputy Director
As IBB Deputy Director, Jeffrey Trimble works with the Global Strategy team focusing on special projects that advance collaboration and coordination across the BBG.  He provides strategic editorial guidance to enhance BBG content in an environment of increasing global competition.
Trimble joined the BBG in 2007 as Director of Programming and later served as Executive Director, managing the Board staff and providing strategic guidance and program oversight. He became IBB Deputy Director in 2012. Trimble also worked for 10 years at RFE/RL, where his positions included Acting President, Counselor to the President for Programs and Policy, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning, and Director of Broadcasting.
Previously Trimble worked at U.S. News & World Report magazine for 15 years, in positions including Assistant Managing Editor, Foreign Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, and diplomatic correspondent.
He holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and is a fluent Russian-speaker.

Helle C. Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy, The Heritage Foundation
Helle C. Dale is the Heritage Foundation’s Senior Fellow in Public Diplomacy studies. Her current work focuses on the U.S. government’s institutions and programs for strategic outreach to the public of foreign countries, as well as more traditional diplomacy, critical elements in American global leadership and in the war of ideas against violent extremism.
She joined The Heritage Foundation in 2002 as Deputy Director of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, the think tank’s umbrella institute for all branches of study relating to international relations. In this capacity, among other tasks, she supervised the institute’s production of research papers.
After 2005, she also was Director of Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, which currently houses the fields of Middle Eastern, Latin American and Eurasian studies as well as defense and homeland security research

Found on the Web: “What’s Next?” with ASP Fellow for Public Diplomacy Matthew Wallin

Posted By Maggie Feldman-Piltch on Nov 29, 2016,

Wallin image from

On this week’s episode of “What’s Next?” Maggie Feldman-Piltch interviews Matthew Wallin, ASP Fellow for Public Diplomacy, to discuss public diplomacy strategy and priorities for the next administration.
For Matthew, the most pressing challenge facing the next administration will be appointing the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the Department of State. Although currently occupied, this position is frequently unfilled. If the incoming administration fails to appoint a new Undersecretary, there will be a lack of U.S. global engagement that will have negative consequences on U.S. positions around the globe.
Maggie and Matthew’s conversation highlights the impact of online public diplomacy on undermining violent extremism and the need to translate online initiatives into action. They also touch on how the new administration may approach Russia’s public diplomacy efforts. Matthew outlines how Russia’s laws limit the ability for the U.S. to employ traditional public diplomacy efforts, and how this negatively impacts U.S.-Russian relations and Russia’s power in the Baltic states. For both of these issues, the new leadership, or lack thereof, and the approach he or she takes to these contemporary challenges will set the tone for how the U.S. is perceived around the globe. And whether or not our efforts are effective will have a direct impact on the geopolitical balance of global powers.

Russian diplomat appointed UN counter-terrorism head

Voronkov image from

Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, Russia's envoy to the UN offices in Vienna, becomes new UN anti-terror chief.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov under-secretary-general of the newly created UN Counter-Terrorism Office.

"The under-secretary-general will provide strategic leadership to UN counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the UN, and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the UN," the UN said in a statement.

It said Voronkov is currently Russia's ambassador to the UN offices in Vienna.

"Mr. Voronkov brings to the position more than 30 years of experience within the Foreign Service working primarily on UN as well as responsibilities ranging from public diplomacy and social and economic development issues to intergovernmental affairs," it added.

The UN Counter-Terrorism Office was established by a General Assembly resolution on June 15.

Mason's Mohammed Cherkaoui explains Qatar's conflict with its neighbors

News at Mason

Cherkaoui image from
Because of the conflict between Qatar and its Persian Gulf neighbors, George Mason University professor Mohammed Cherkaoui has been in demand by media outlets in the United States and abroad. Cherkaoui, a professor of conflict narrative at George Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, has extensively studied and written about Middle Eastern media, politics and society. Here, he explains factors fueling the conflict. 
Q. What was the reasoning behind the nine Middle East countries imposing restrictions on Qatar?
Cherkaoui: There have been several anti-Qatar narratives, which showcase a tendency toward dominant groupthink among most Gulf nations in seeking a “unified” approach, vis-à-vis Tehran. Qatar remained skeptical about the purpose of further demonizing Iran.
The latent factor is the pursuit of undermining an underdog country whose public diplomacy—through Al Jazeera, the Brookings Qatar and other institutions—has outperformed that of other Gulf-rich nations. Since 1996, Al Jazeera’s discourse has been critical of certain U.S. foreign policy decisions in the Middle East. ...