Friday, February 13, 2009

The Globalization of Diplomacy

I found this article, "The Globalization of Diplomacy," which talks about Public Diplomacy on an individual level. The author says that for the past eight years, Public Diplomacy has been centered on curbing anti-American sentiment around the world and it lacked specific programs that went beyond foreign policy. The author suggests that Public Diplomacy programs should go beyond policy programs and focus on programs that differentiate the American government from the American people.

The author gives an example of how individuals can engage in Public Diplomacy and make great strides in improving the view of Americans abroad. His example is of Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, and his experience in Pakistan and his program to build schools in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. The people there have a high respect for Americans because their encounters have been positive, but the author notes that as soon as one policy is implemented, such as the bomb raids in Pakistan, it completely offsets the Public Diplomacy that has been done even on a small scale.

The author stresses that Public Diplomacy initiatives should not be limited to high ranking government officials but should occur on all levels and begin with grassroots programs. His final statement is the one that I find most important, "our youth need to know as much about the world as we want the world to know about America."

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