Published on April 21, 2014
History of U.S. Public Diplomacy Tim Standaert Foreign Service Institute April 2014
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Some Basic Questions • What is Public Diplomacy and what is its purpose? Is it simply propaganda, or something else? • How effectively do we use Public Diplomacy to protect and further our nation’s interests? To what extent can the U.S. government (USG) or other democracies really influence the opinions of foreign publics with Public Diplomacy? Is it enough to “tell America’s story,” clearly explaining US policies, society, and values? • In its Public Diplomacy efforts, should the USG aim for the elite in foreign countries, or the average citizen/broad masses?
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Continuing debates/tensions/questions • Is information more important than cultural programming, e.g., exchange programs, libraries, performing arts, etc? Or vice verse? Or are they apples and oranges? • How do you coordinate the Public Diplomacy of various government agencies, e.g., State, USAID, Peace Corps, U.S. military, U.S. Congress, etc? • How do you also involve academia, cultural institutions and foundations, business, private citizens, educational institutions (public and private), and other non-governmental partners? What share of the work of PD should be “outsourced”?
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Continuing debates/tensions/questions • How can “hard” and “soft” power complement each other? • How does new technology impact the conduct of Public Diplomacy? • Which PD tools are the most effective? How do you measure the effectiveness of Public Diplomacy anyway? What are the “metrics”? How important are the numbers anyway? • Are we spending the right amount of money on PD? • Is the U.S. good at PD? Are other nations better? How can we do it better?
Public Diplomacy Definition • PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: The efforts by a country’s government to communicate and interact openly and directly with foreign audiences – academics, NGOs, businesses, institutions, and even the general public – to deepen mutual understanding and to promote/protect national interests.
Public Diplomacy Aims • The aims of a country’s Public Diplomacy activities are to: – 1) influence how foreign citizens perceive that country, correcting misperceptions about its policies and values, battling stereotypes, etc; – 2) promote greater mutual understanding, keeping in mind that this should be a two-way street; – 3) indirectly impact official relations with the foreign government in a way that serves the country’s national interests.
Public Diplomacy Three Dimensions According to Joseph Nye, author of Soft Power, there are 3 dimensions to PD 1) Daily communications: Explaining decisions and policies to the media, the public, elites, etc.
Public Diplomacy Three Dimensions 2) Strategic Communications: Focusing on simple themes, with symbolic events and activities planned over the year, relying to some extent on individuals and groups outside government.
Public Diplomacy Three Dimensions 3) Lasting relationships: With key individuals, institutions, and organizations, through exchanges, conferences, seminars, etc.
U.S. Public Diplomacy Embassy Country Team Structure
Soft Power • Term coined by Joseph Nye, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Dean of Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), etc. – Watch Nye’s TED talk on global shift in power at: http://www.ted.com/talks/ lang/eng/joseph_nye_on_g lobal_power_shifts.html • Definition: The ability of a country or organization to shape the preferences of others, i.e., to get them to behave in a way that supports interests, without overt tangible benefits coming to them, i.e., without threats (sticks) or payments/ inducements (carrots).
Soft Power • Three vehicles: According to Nye, soft power rests largely on: 1) a country’s or organization’s culture, both high and low; 2) its political values; and 3) its foreign policy.
Soft Power Audience • Soft power depends on the existence of willing interpreters and receivers in a country or in group.
Soft Power: Culture, Political Values, Foreign Policy
Soft Power: Culture, Political Values, Foreign Policy
Soft Power: Bush, Africa and HIV/AIDS • President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR): Bush commited $15 billion over five years (2003–2008, much of it going to Africa.
Soft Power: Bush and Iraq
Soft Power: Sometimes Beyond Government’s Control • The central government, at least in liberal, democratic countries, cannot (and should not) control all levers of soft power, e.g., television, movies, music, sports, products, companies/firms, groups and individual citizens, etc. • These other agents can have a positive or negative impact on a country’s soft power.
Soft Power Negative impact of Bhopal •A subsidiary of Union Carbide was operating a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. •Night of December 2-3, 1984: A leak of gas and chemicals from the plant killed perhaps 3000 within the first week and 8000 more since, plus over 550,000 injuries, including almost 40,000 temporary or partially disabling and almost 4000 severely and permanently disabling. •8 ex-employees were convicted in 2010.
Selection of Ambassadors: Politics and/or Soft Power
History of U.S. Public Diplomacy
International Background: Europe • French Revolution: Appealing directly to foreign publics to promote a revolutionary ideology. • 1883: In wake of defeat in Franco- Prussian War, France creates Alliance Francaise to repair national prestige, promote French language and literature. • Italy and Germany soon follow suit.
Early U.S. Public Diplomacy • The U.S. lacked any organized, official Public Diplomacy of any sort until the early 20th century. • However, informal people-to-people connections, Americans did exist: – Diplomats, e.g., “Founding Fathers” Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc; – Missionaries: schools, libraries, hospitals; – U.S. students and scholars travelled to Europe in the 19th century. • Tremendous influence of German university structure on America’s.
Boxer Rebellion •1900 Boxer Uprising in China •Qing Empire defeated, fined $333 million. •U.S. share of indemnity: 7.32% (plus interest) •U.S. “Open Door” Policy toward China – general opposition to “spheres of interest” •U.S. sets up program in 1909 using indemnity funds for education.
Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholars •In China: •1909-1929: 1300 Chinese students prepared to study at American universities, most at Tsinghua College, established in Beijing in 1911. •1929: Tsinghua College expanded into a university, with 4-year undergraduate and post- graduate school. •In America: •1926: China Foundation (later the China Institute) founded in New York. 5 groups of scholars educated in U.S. before 1937 Japanese invasion of China.
Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholars (continued) •Graduates: •philosopher Hu Shih (later Chinese ambassador to US); •physicist Chen Ning Yang (Nobel Prize-winner); •mathematician Kai Lai Chung; •linguist Yen Ren Chao; •rocket scientist TsienHsue-shen. •UK, France, Japan later follow suit, set up similar programs. •Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholars Program became model for Fulbright Program (established in 1946).
First World War: Committee on Public Information (CPI) • One week after U.S. enters war in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson creates the CPI (Executive Order 2594). • Main purpose: Build U.S. public support for the war. But also had offices in 9 foreign countries to counter German propaganda.
First World War: Committee on Public Information (CPI) • CPI headed by George Creel, editor of The Rocky Mountain News. • Over 20 divisions and bureaus. • News articles, movies, lectures, posters, signboards, wireless cable service, foreign press bureaus, film division, leaflet-filled balloons.
First World War: Committee on Public Information (CPI) • News Division: Official Bulletin, an 8-pages (later 32 page) paper, with positive news, distributed to all US newspapers, post offices, government offices, military bases. • Films Division: Three feature- length films released. • Division of Pictorial Publicity: posters. • Other activities: Lectures, signboards, leaflet-filled balloons.
CPI Shuttered (1919) • Criticism of CPI at home. Psychological warfare? Propaganda? (Creel said no, instead an honest attempt to counter German disinformation.) • CPI ends domestic work with Armistice in November 1918, Congress ends funding for foreign operations in June 1919, formally abolished by Wilson in August 1919. • No formal USG Public Diplomacy operation or office for another 19 years, with Germany posing a threat again...
Franklin Roosevelt, the Good Neighbor Policy, and Internationalism •Uneasy relations with Latin America before FDR – neglect, exploitation, and/or intervention: War with Mexico (1848), unfair business deals, Panama Canal, etc. •Good Neighbor Policy •FDR’s speech at Pan American Union (1933): need for mutual understanding •Montevideo Inter-American Conference (1933): Announcement of lower tariffs, plans to establish cultural exchanges. (Buenos Aires 1936, Lima 1938.)
Establishment of State Department’s Division of Cultural Relations (1937) •By 1937, U.S. (and Britain and France) aware of threat German and Italian propaganda and cultural diplomacy •US State Department sets up Division of Cultural Relations in 1938 to promote exchanges, English language study, set up libraries and reading rooms, translate books, provide, technical assistance, etc. •Note: Focus is on Latin America only at first. •But in pre-war period, Congress still does not want to fund fully.
Second World War: Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs • August 1940 (before US entry into WW2), FDR names millionaire Nelson A. Rockefeller to position. Committed to art and education. • Responsibilities: Coordinate cultural and commercial relations with Latin America.
Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs Activities • Rockefeller’s contributions: – Promotion of American high culture, including modern art (though very controversial Washington!) – Positive portrayal of Latinos in Disney movies, e.g., Saludos Amigos, Three Caballeros – Assistance to Mexico’s railroad industry • But Rockefeller also mixed in business, propaganda (paying for placement of positive stories in newspapers), and intelligence- collecting. (Bad formula.)
Second World War: Office of War Information (OWI) • 6 months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) establishes Office of War Information (OWI). • OWI’s goal: Explain US policy to domestic and foreign audiences, public and media through movies, leaflets, magazines, and RADIO. – Soviets had begun radio broadcasts in 1926. – Germany, Japan, Britain, Holland follow suit. – “Voice of America” (VOA) inaugurated July 1942.
Public Diplomacy Post-War Germany and Japan • How to “reorient” society? • Weeding out Fascist textbooks, revising curriculum, radio programs (and eventually television), etc. • Exchange programs. • Performing arts, e.g., Tokyo Symphony. • Protection of art and other cultural treasures, e.g., Kaiser Friedrich collection. • Establishment of Amerika Hauser (libraries) throughout Germany. (Warm places to read in the awful winter of 1946-47.)
Public Diplomacy Post-War Germany and Japan • Rebuilding the media, other parts of civil society. • English language training. Book translations. • Censorship of films, including samurai epics in Japan that ostensibly fueled militarism. • No demands for restitution or indemnities. • VERY EXPENSIVE!
Cold War • Rivalry between USSR and U.S./West in many areas, including Public Diplomacy • Culture: The arts, exchanges, exhibits, etc. • Libraries, books, etc. • Information: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty • Obstacles/challenges for U.S.: – racism/segregation – McCarthyism/Red Scare
Establishment of USIA (1953) • 1953: Establishment of U.S. Information Agency. – USIA takes books, libraries, English language, and broadcasting. – Exchanges remain responsibility of State Department until 1977. – 1999: USIA merged into State Department.
End of Second World War Fulbright Exchange Program • Sen. William Fulbright (Democrat – Arkansas) • Himself a Rhodes Scholar • 1946: Sponsored legislation to begin exchange programs.
Exchanges Fulbright Program •First handful of exchanges with China and Burma. •First massive wave of Americans go to France and Italy.
Exchange Programs: Ukraine •20000 Ukrainians (1992-2011), including 9000 on academic and 11000 on professional exchanges, including: •700 on Fulbright Programs (Master’s Degree students, young faculty, scholars, etc) •Over 950 on the Muskie Program (Master’s Degree) •Almost 850 on the Global Undergraduate Program •Over 650 secondary school teachers •Over 5000 secondary school students (Future Leaders Exchange, or FLEX, Progam) •Plus, over 400 American students and scholars came to Ukraine on the Fulbright Program (1992-2011).
Posters, Magazines, Publications: Cold War and Today
Broadcast Media Cold War and Today
Jazz Diplomacy Cold War • Parallel developments: Cold War, Jazz Diplomacy, U.S. Civil Rights Movement. • 1954: President Eisenhower convinces Congress to fund cultural exchanges as part of the Cold War battle of ideas and ideologies. • During thaw following Stalin’s death, U.S. and USSR agree to bilateral cultural exchanges at Geneva Summit (1955). • Purpose of Jazz Diplomacy during Cold War: – Promote better understanding of American society, including musical heritage. – Part of bilateral cultural exchanges with Soviet Union and other nations. – Weapon in U.S. cultural competition with Soviets. – Also helps U.S. combat “image” problem with racism and segregation.
Jazz Diplomacy Cold War • Early jazz ambassadors : – Dizzie Gillespie: East Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, Yugoslavia (1956); Uruguay, Ecuador (1956). – Benny Goodman: Asia (1956). – 1957: Louie Armstrong cancels State Department tour of Soviet Union to protest President Eisenhower’s slow response to the school desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. But later that same year, goes on tour of Latin America. Also goes to Africa (1960-61). – Dave Brubeck: Poland, East Germany, Turkey, South Asia (India, Afghanistan), Middle East (1958). – Etc… • One criticism of this an other cultural programming: expense. Jazz in Ukraine: •Benny Goodman (June 1962): First visit to Soviet Union by an American jazz group, between the Berlin Crisis (August 1961) and Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962). •Earl “Fatha” Hines (1966) •Duke Ellington (1971)
Jazz Diplomacy Cold War
Jazz Diplomacy Today
American Ballet: Visits to Ukraine During the Cold War • American Dance Performances in Kyiv: – 1960: American Ballet Theater – 1962: New York City Ballet – 1963: Joffrey Ballet (President Kennedy assassinated while troupe in Ukraine)
Cold War American Exhibit at Sokolniki in Moscow • During thaw following Stalin’s death, U.S. and USSR agree to cultural exchanges at Geneva Summit (1955). • Soviet exhibit in New York City (June 1959) • American exhibit at Sokolniki in Moscow (July 1959) – Importance of the young exhibit guides • YouTube video on Nixon-Khrushchev "Kitchen Debate” (GWU) • "Nixon, Khrushchev And A Story Of Cold War Love” (NPR)
Cold War 1959 American Exhibit at Sokolniki in Moscow
Libraries, Reading Rooms, Books: Cold War and Today • Books/Libraries were a CPI focus starting in 1917. • Rockefeller revived idea again in Latin America in 1942, reopening reading rooms and building 3 major libraries. (First: Mexico City.) • Mexico, Iran, Pakistan, etc. • McCarthy era purges of USIS libraries • Through the decades, USG support for libraries rose and, particularly after end of Cold War, fell. • American Corners – established first in Russia (IRO Eric Johnson), concept then spreads. • How important are books and IIP publications today?
Libraries in Ukraine • “America House” (old-style library) set up in Kyiv, eventually transferred to a local university (National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy). • The U.S. Embassy maintains an Information Resource Center (IRC) and additionally assists libraries throughout Ukraine. • As of 2011, Embassy had established Window on America Centers (same as American Corner) in almost every oblast center, and has set up over 140 free Library Electronic Access Project (LEAP) internet centers all over the country, including (in 2011) three special centers for the blind in Kyiv, Kherson and Rivne. • Click here to see the impact of one LEAP center on a small Ukrainian village.
English Language Programs • Language as a PD tool. • Examples: – Pre-revolutionary Iran: • self-funding • 2 X full-time contract teachers • 100k studies annually in 6 cities – Ukraine • RELO • 3 X ELFs • Access Microscholarship Program (2009-10) – Russian-leaning cities: Luhansk (east) and Sevastopol (Crimea) – Kyiv (school integrating differently-abled students into classroom)
Peace Corps • Peace Corps (PC) founded in 1961 • Part of responsibility for English language teaching shifts away from State. But opportunity for synergies exist. • Peace Corps in Ukraine – Largest PC program in the world (as of 2011). All PCVs evacuated in 2014. – 3 areas of activity: • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) • Community Development (CD) • Youth Development (YD) Peace Corps – http://ukraine.peacecorps.gov/proj ects.php – PC Volunteer (PCV) website: http://www.pcukraine.org
Educational Advising • Almost 1700 Ukrainian students are currently studying in the U.S. at American universities. • A network of 4 EducationUSA advising centers provides assistance to Ukrainians on the application process and the search for financial assistance.
Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP): Ukraine Over the years, the AFCP has funded a number of projects in Ukraine to help conserve, preserve, and/or promote or display the following: •Fabrics in the Chekhov House-Museum (Yalta); •16th century Golden Rose Synagogue (Lviv); •Papers of Taras Shevchenko, rescued from archives in New York City (Kyiv); •MykytynskaSich fortifications in Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk oblast);
Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP): Ukraine • St. Nicholas wooden church in Kolodne (Zakarpattiya); • Crimean Tatar music, manuscripts and handicrafts; • Studion Icon Collection (Lviv); • 12th century KhystynopolskyApostol manuscripts (Lviv).
Other Programs Ukraine
Other Programs Ukraine
Other Programs Ukraine
Other PD Programs Ukraine
Technical Assistance as a Form of PD • Technical assistance and education had been responsibility of State since 1938 establishment of Division of Cultural Relations. • Transferred from State to forerunner of USAID in 1948 as part of Marshall Plan. • USAID formally established in 1961.
Technical Assistance as a Form of PD • Some countries “graduate,” no longer needing USAID assistance. • Russia kicks out USAID (2012). • Ukraine example: (http://ukraine.usaid.gov) • Economic Growth • Democracy/Governance • Health and Social Issues • Combating trafficking in persons.
Cautionary Tale: Ramparts Scandal •Prominent pacifists and leftists take part Peace Conference in March 1949 in NYC, urging peace with Soviet Union. •Congress for Cultural Freedom (KongressfürKulturelleFreiheit) founded in 1950 in Berlin. •Aim: Gather liberal and socialist intellectuals – from U.S., Germany, France, etc – to counter Communism. •Produced many intellectual and cultural magazines. •Cultural diplomacy effort, relatively successful in countering Soviet propaganda. •However, Ramparts magazine exposesscandal in 1966/67: CCF had been funded all along by the CIA.
Bibliography Arndt, Richard T., The First Resort of Kings: American Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century. Asgard, Ramin, “Excerpts from US-Iran Cultural Diplomacy: A Historical Perspective,” International Institute of Iranian Studies Annual Conference (Toronto, July 31 to August 3, 2008). http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2009/07/20090716172735xjsnom mis0.8587109.html#axzz2zTBS21FZ Asgard, Ramin and Barbara Slavin, “U.S. Iran Cultural Engagement,” Atlantic Council, June 2013. http://riirpolitics.com/sites/default/files/sac130627usiranculture_0.pdf Cull, Nicholas J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989. Davenport, Lisa E., Jazz Diplomacy: Promoting America in the Cold War Era. Hixson, Walter L., Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945-1961. Prevots, Naima, Dance For Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War. University of South California’s Center for Public Diplomacy: http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/ Von Eschen, Penny M., Satchmo Blows Up the World. Wagnleitner, Reinhold, and May, Elaine Tyler, eds., Here, There and Everywhere: The Foreign Policy of American Popular Culture.
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