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This Week in Public Diplomacy Feb 4

This Week in Public Diplomacy Feb 4

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Human Rights and the Failings of U.S. Public Diplomacy in Eurasia

Amy McDonough / Open Society Institute

The degree to which the United States holds countries in Eurasia publicly accountable for respecting human rights and democracy depends on each country’s relative strategic importance to the United States, not the human rights conditions in each country.

Special Olympics opportunity for public diplomacy

The Korea Herald

The word “diplomacy” often conveys an image of stiff-collared old men in buttoned suits talking endlessly in puffed-up niceties. But that out-of-date image gets upended by events like Special Olympics with its grassroots sports, health, educational and other programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Cuba — Ripe for a Public Diplomacy Initiative

Alan Kotok / Public Diplomacy Alumni Association

We returned this week from an eight-day study tour of Cuba, mainly in Havana and the southern coastal city of Cienfuegos. The experience that included several meetings with Cuban intellectuals and educators suggests to me the U.S. has an opportunity to make direct people-to-people connections that can pay off in the post-Castro future, but only for a brief time before others beat us to it.

The Intersection of Policy and Public Diplomacy: The View from State

Tara Sonenshine / State Department

Imagine a neighborhood. Neighborhoods are about people. If want to address our shared challenges, we must engage with the people most affected by our policies. When we listen to people we build trust and understanding, when we support peoples’ efforts to build better futures, we can inform our policies.

Static at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Jackson Diehl / The Washington Post

In the past few months Vladimir Putin has terminated the work in Russia of the U.S. Agency for International Development, ended American adoptions of Russian children and, most damagingly, drastically reduced the audience and credibility of U.S. broadcaster Radio Liberty, driving a wedge between it and some of Russia’s most renowned human rights activists and journalists.

Qatar’s public diplomacy woes

Michael Stephens / Open Democracy

Qatar is a young underdeveloped state. Its Ministries are small and lack research teams of adequate depth, and it does not possess a foreign intelligence service, it relies instead on the good will of others to share information with it.

Basketball Diplomacy in Iran

Deutsche Welle

Tensions between Iran and the US were intensifying in 2008 when American basketball player Kevin Sheppard went to play for the Iranian league. A German filmmaker has brought his unusual story to the cinema.

Speaking without conversing: when being present simply isn’t enough

Liz Galvez / Diplo

As a fairly recent recruit to the ranks of Twitter, I’m still undecided when it comes to assessing the kind of tweets which are likely to be effective from a public diplomacy point of view.   What is clear is which are not.

Immigration: Romanian or Bulgarian? You won’t like it here

Rajeev Syal / The Guardian

Please don’t come to Britain – it rains and the jobs are scarce and low-paid. Ministers are considering launching a negative advertising campaign in Bulgaria and Romania to persuade potential immigrants to stay away from the UK.

Mexico Wants to Go Beyond the Drug War

Oscar Castellanos del Collado / CPD Blog

In spite of the change in political power, it is clear that Mexico wants to be regarded as a trustful and respected partner instead of a source of problems for U.S. national security. However, Mexico’s drug-damaged image needs to be addressed and a new narrative crafted if it wants to gain trust and respect from its neighbor.

 

ASP Reports

The Challenges of the Internet and Social Media in Public Diplomacy

Matthew Wallin / American Security Project

Recent years have witnessed an explosion of social media in conjunction with political upheaval around the world, causing many in the international policy community to draw an immediate connection to the perceived power of social media.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Military “Propaganda” in its Current Form

Matthew Wallin

This weekend, USA Today indicated that outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed skepticism at the effectiveness of the Pentagon’s “propaganda” programs. To an extent, Panetta is right: it is incredibly difficult to gauge the effectiveness of modern “propaganda.”

 

Brazil Advances Efforts to Strengthen International Brand

Lívia Pontes Fialho

For some time now, Brazil has been enjoying a wave of good publicity across the globe. Seen as one of the next major economic players along with its BRICS partners (Brazil, Russia, India, China and now South Africa), its economic and social advances have made it a popular discussion topic in the media.

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