Friday, February 20, 2009

Can't Get Enough of these Lists!

We all might be a bit exhausted of lists given Pratkanis's love of the structure in last week's reading, but this one is worth some consideration. Just because he knew I needed something to post on, John Brown outlined the "Ten Reasons Why We Don't Need an Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs," in the Huffington Post this afternoon. Several of his points are almost too cynically obvious to mention (i.e. 1. Nobody with a normal jaw can pronounce this title, a mouthful of a name that is a bureaucratic offense to the English language.), and some are a bit too paranoid (point 10), but point 9 on the merits of exchange programs is surprisingly relevant. To what extent is the legitimacy of an exchange program compromised when it is government sponsored? Although I tend to believe that a scholar on a Fulbright would not be perceived as hampering public diplomacy initiatives (and here I would love for Andrew or any other classmates who have participated in government exchanges to comment), is it valid to be concerned about our exchane program credibility?

1 comment:

  1. I found that article extremely amusing. I liked the point about how just being affiliated with government, an exchange program can be tainted. I do believe though, that when meeting people on a one on one basis, as cultural exchanges allow, these programs do often change opinions of foreigners and allow them to view positive aspects of a government. So rather than the program being viewed more negatively as a result of its association with the government, the government is able to be viewed in a more positive light because of the program. Which is usually the point anyway, right?