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AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES. Communication and Public Diplomacy. Prof. Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine . Introduction 1. International Relations and Public Diplomacy 2. US Public Diplomacy

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communication and public diplomacy

AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES

Communication and Public Diplomacy

Prof. Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine

structure of the lecture
Introduction

1. International Relations and Public Diplomacy

2. US Public Diplomacy

2.1 Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm

3. German Diplomacy of Dialogue

3.1 Idealist, multilateralist, long-term civil-society centered paradigm

Summary

Structure of the Lecture
introduction
Introduction
  • After September 11, Americans sensed the urgent need to communicate with the world, particularly the Arab and Islamic world
  • Anti-Americanism seems to have become a new buzzword in today’s world
introduction4
Introduction
  • For scholars of international politics and international political communication, 9/11 presented a pressing need not only to examine the root causes of this unprecedented expression of anti-Americanism but to solve America’s image problems by explaining US policies and ideas to overseas audiences
introduction5
Introduction
  • For many Americans, public diplomacy helped to win the Cold War
  • In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, Americans policy makers, journalists and academicians concluded that public diplomacy could help to overcome anti-Americanism, particularly in the Arab and Islamic world
  • The US political leadership responded to this anti-Americanism by a public diplomacy campaign to “win minds and hearts,” and thus create a new resource for power in international relations
introduction6
Introduction
  • Public diplomacy has become an almost invisible feature of contemporary international politics
  • International politics has been turned into an arena of competing news stories between media players
  • It has been agued that the “means to success in WORLD politics” is to know how to wield WORD politics or soft power effectively
  • The media has become one of the central players in international politics
1 international relations and public diplomacy
1. International Relations and Public Diplomacy
  • International relations are witnessing a shift in the way countries manage their foreign affairs
  • The success of a country’s foreign policy relies on the success of its public diplomacy
  • Immediately after September 11, 2001 several policy makers, politicians and academics argued that in an age characterized by the limits of military power, public diplomacy should be made an integral part of US foreign
soft power
Soft Power
  • In a Brookings Institution Report, scholars argued that “public diplomacy” is the “primary tool” through which the US can harness “soft power”
  • The term “soft power” was first coined in the late 1980s by Joseph Nye, outgoing Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
soft power9
Soft Power
  • It has been defined as
          • “the ability to get desired outcomes because others want what you want. It is the ability to achieve goals through attraction rather than coercion.”
  • It is also described as “the most efficient” means of power “as it does not require the use of force or huge financial payoffs to achieve or sustain one’s policy objectives”
soft power10
Soft Power
  • In the context of America’s relations with the Islamic world, “soft power/public diplomacy” has become vital to the country’s “battle for the hearts and minds” of the citizens of the Islamic world
  • It has been suggested even by realists that something should be done for the sake of the “non-kinetic aspects of the war”
soft power11
Soft Power
  • For example, Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense, has talked positively about the necessity to do a better job “with respect to the nonmilitary aspects of the challenge.”
  • Consequently, the Pentagon established special offices to help reach public diplomacy goals
cnn effect media factor
CNN-EFFECT/Media Factor
  • The importance of the media factor in international relations and diplomacy has become evident
  • Media coverage of an event has profound implications for international relations
  • As Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, contended, “CNN is the sixteenth member of the U.N. Security Council”
cnn effect media factor13
CNN-EFFECT/Media Factor
  • The function of public diplomacy and broadcasting is the confrontation of “an iron curtain of misunderstanding” that separates America from the Arab and Islamic world
  • Aware of its declining image among the public in the Arab and Islamic world, the United States was forced to fight back with its own communication efforts
  • Americans have paid attention to the role that media plays in feeding international conflicts
cnn effect media factor14
CNN-EFFECT/Media Factor
  • The American “information edge” proclaimed by Nye has not solved America’s image problems
  • However, in an age characterized by an information overload, attention rather than information is the scarce resource
  • Communication has assumed a central place in the public diplomacy paradigm
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • The Bush Administration announced a program of public diplomacy to reach out to the Islamic world
  • The White House believed that such an initiative, based on public diplomacy practices coupled with marketing expertise, would bring an accurate understanding of America to the Islamic world and thus reduce the potential for future conflict
  • Henry Hyde, the Chair of the House International Relations Committee, called for the State Department to consult “those in the private sector whose careers have focused on images both here and around the world.”
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm16
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • The United States launched an intensified public relations offensive at the State Department
  • In October 2001, the State Department hired Charlotte Beers, a veteran Madison Avenue advertising executive, as Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, with the main mission of “selling” American policies and viewpoints to Arabs and Muslims
  • According to her, public diplomacy is “not really about advertising…it is about informing, engaging and influencing key international audiences…to advance US interests and security and to provide the moral basis for US leadership in the world.”
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm17
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • Nye distinguishes between three types of public diplomacy all of which have equal importance
    • The first type is daily communications, which involves explaining the context of domestic and foreign policy decisions
    • The second type is strategic communication, which involves special focus on particular policy themes or initiatives
    • The third type is public diplomacy through scholarships, exchanges, training and conferences
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm18
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • Nye’s categorization is useful in understanding the Bush Administration’s preferred type of public diplomacy
  • In fact, the Administration’s first approach was to rely on broadcasting to send messages to the Muslim world
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm19
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • According to K. Tomlinson, the former Director of the Voice of America (VOA), Washington focused on electronic media for three fundamental reasons
    • 1. Television has already become the most important medium in the region for news and information, since more than four out of five people get all or almost all of their news from television and they trust television more than any of the other media channels
    • 2. Satellite television offers the chance to break the grip of the regime over audiovisual media outlets to promote pluralism of opinions
    • 3. To win “more long-term and reliable friends through the provision of accurate, balanced and reliable information.”
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm20
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • In addition, there are other reasons behind the US determination to focus on broadcasting
  • 1. There has been a broadcasting tradition in American public diplomacy
  • 2. In the media age, the United States was determined to fight media with media
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm21
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • As Joseph Nye observed, “the world’s leading communications country has proven surprisingly maladroit” in conveying its message
  • Nye argued that US soft power has been declining, because many of its crucial resources are outside the control of governments, and their effects depend heavily on acceptance by the receiving audiences
realist unilateralist short term state centered paradigm22
Realist, unilateralist, short-term state-centered paradigm
  • The exercise of soft power in the “Age of Al-Jazeera,”when the US government is no longer the sole player in the arena of public diplomacy, has become increasingly difficult
  • During the US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq the real focus of public diplomacy was to shape public opinion in the Arab and Islamic world, rather than to focus on the military interventions themselves
  • Al-Jazeera turned out to be a major focus of US public diplomacy efforts, because it carried reports and commentaries that helped helpful to communicate American arguments and views
radio radio sawa
Radio: Radio Sawa
  • On March 23, 2002, the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, the advisory group that oversees media programs, launched Radio Sawa, which means “together” in Arabic
  • Radio Sawa is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week service with 48 daily newscasts in Arabic being transmitted by various means
radio radio sawa24
Radio: Radio Sawa
  • Radio Sawa airs news, analysis, editorial comment, talk and music
  • It not only delivers a mix of news bulletins and popular music, but provides an ideal access to American opinion
  • It mostly plays music for young people, which makes its content is heavy on pop music and light on news
  • Radio Sawa’s motto is “you listen to us; we listen to you.”
radio radio sawa25
Radio: Radio Sawa
  • Radio Sawa targets young Arabs under 30, who constitute more than 50 percent of the population in the Arab world
  • Other sources reported that Radio Sawa has little penetration in the Arab world
satellite television al hurra
Satellite Television: Al-Hurra
  • On February 14, 2004, the United States launched a new $62 million Arabic-language satellite television channel, Al-Hurra, which means in Arabic“the free one,” to deliver US messages in Arabic across the Arab world
  • The decision to launch Al-Hurra was seen by many in America and in the Arab world as one of the clearest examples of the strategy to combat and counter competing messages from Arab news organizations such as Al-Jazeera
satellite television al hurra27
Satellite Television: Al-Hurra
  • According to Jon Alterman, Director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank,
  • Al-Hurra cannot serve the needs of American public diplomacy, partly because governments generally do not produce good television
  • And partly because of questions about journalistic independence and the potential for propaganda
german diplomacy of dialogue
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • Idealist, multilateralist, long-term civil-society centered paradigm
  • Much contemporary research on international communication is taking place in the field of public diplomacy, including its nature and strategies
  • Germany has developed and used a new concept of public diplomacy, based on what we call “diplomacy of dialogue.”
  • Therefore, Germany is a good example of those countries with limited public diplomacy resources that used soft power very adeptly
german diplomacy of dialogue29
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • The German diplomacy of dialogue is consistent with Nye’s third type of public diplomacy
  • Germany accomplishes a great deal of its public diplomacy through a range of instruments such as international broadcasting, cultural activities, educational exchanges and scholarships, programmed visits and conferences
  • In 1998, the Red–Green (Social Democratic Party–Green Party) coalition government redefined German foreign policy in a manner consistent with ideological orientations
german diplomacy of dialogue30
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • Since the reunification, Germany has witnessed a growing debate on the presumed role of the “dialogue of cultures” in reducing and easing political tensions between Europe and the Islamic world
  • Germany is keen on what senior officials call “fair and balanced communication and interaction between the two sides, which can energize and enhance the type of understanding that allows for peace and cooperation”
german diplomacy of dialogue31
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • After the end of the Cold War and the peaceful reunification of Germany in 1989-90, German interest in the role of public diplomacy increased and the diplomacy of dialogue has become a constant pillar of German foreign policy with the Arab and Islamic world
  • The style and substance of the German diplomacy of dialogue grows out of Germany’s political culture, including its modern history
german diplomacy of dialogue32
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • For many years now, dialogue with the Muslim world has formed a fixed component of German foreign cultural and educational policy
  • In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Germans rediscovered the importance of dialogue with the Arab and Islamic world
  • A content analysis of Fischer’s speech at the United Nations on September 12, 2001, indicated the continuity of interest in public diplomacy and dialogue with the Arab and Islamic world
  • The tenor of Fischer’s speech was in keeping with the idealist and “integrationalist” traditions of German foreign policy since the Second World War
german diplomacy of dialogue33
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • The dialogue was intended to serve as a long-term strategy to campaign against international terrorism and as a means of pursuing foreign policy, particularly with the Arab and the Islamic world
  • In 2002, for instance, the post of Commissioner for the Dialogue with Islam/Dialogue among Civilizations was created at the Federal Foreign Office and was directed by former ambassador Dr. Gunther Mulack
  • Germany has taken more proactive measures to build a long-term understanding of Arab and Islamic societies, cultures and ideas, and to intensify the “cultural and educational exchange programs.”
german diplomacy of dialogue34
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • The dialogue was intended to serve as a long-term strategy to campaign against international terrorism and as a means of pursuing foreign policy, particularly with the Arab and the Islamic world
  • In 2002, for instance, the post of Commissioner for the Dialogue with Islam/Dialogue among Civilizations was created at the Federal Foreign Office and was directed by former ambassador Dr. Gunther Mulack
  • Germany has taken more proactive measures to build a long-term understanding of Arab and Islamic societies, cultures and ideas, and to intensify the “cultural and educational exchange programs.”
german diplomacy of dialogue35
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • In contrast to conventional forms of diplomacy that focus only on dialogue between governments, the German diplomacy of dialogue aims at communicating with non-state civil society actors:
        • NGOs
        • The media
        • The general public
  • to promote greater understanding between Germany and the Arab and Islamic world
german diplomacy of dialogue36
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • According to Rainer Schlageter, the general director of communication at the Federal Foreign Office, public diplomacy is
          • “the sum of all communications activities directed towards a selected elite, contact organizations, and the broader public worldwide”
german diplomacy of dialogue37
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • With its international reputation and experience with civil society groups, Germany has positioned itself to strengthen multilateral international institutions as well as to cooperate with international organizations
  • The target of the German diplomacy of dialogue is to build long-term relationships that create an enabling environment for dialogue between cultures
  • This is designed to build goodwill between Germany and the countries of the Islamic world over time
german diplomacy of dialogue38
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • The development of a cultural public diplomacy intended to build a long-term relationship based on educational exchanges has become an objective of German foreign policy
  • According to Fischer, foreign cultural and educational policies should be integrated into the formulation of German foreign politics
  • All programs involved in cultural public diplomacy such as student exchanges and language training have played a role in enhancing better understanding between people in different cultural contexts
german diplomacy of dialogue39
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • Increasing scholarly exchange programs have given German culture more visibility at Arab universities and libraries
  • The aim of cultural public diplomacy is not to influence those same people to accept its values but to gain a long-term, cumulative effect
german diplomacy of dialogue40
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • Increasing scholarly exchange programs have given German culture more visibility at Arab universities and libraries
  • The aim of cultural public diplomacy is not to influence those same people to accept its values but to gain a long-term, cumulative effect
german diplomacy of dialogue41
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • While the US approach to public diplomacy appears rather competitive, unilateralist and realist, the German diplomacy of dialogue appears more cooperative, multilateralist and idealist
  • US public diplomacy is heavy on film-type image and light on message
  • The Germans focus more on relationship-building strategies by developing reciprocal connections between people and civil society
  • While US public diplomacy appears to have its share of problems in the Arab and Islamic world, German diplomacy of dialogue enjoys a reasonable degree of soft power
german diplomacy of dialogue42
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • By adopting this strategic and long term approach to public diplomacy based on relationship-building, Germany is developing a reputation for its diplomacy of dialogue
  • Should other European and Asian countries follow and promote the diplomacy of dialogue in the name of international cooperation and understanding, they would reduce the risk of creating an environment in which public diplomacy might become hegemonic
german diplomacy of dialogue43
German Diplomacy of Dialogue
  • It is worth bearing in mind that the notion of “soft power” was elaborated in a context of international competition
  • It would not be an exaggeration, if US public diplomacy was described as a hard “soft power.”
  • The question that arises is whether the critical assessment of current US public diplomacy by American scholars will result in a shift towards the diplomacy of dialogue