Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Contrary to popular myth and public misunderstanding, if President Barack Obama wishes to change the U.S. policy toward Cuba, he has ample authority to do so. If he takes charge of Cuba policy, he can turn the embargo into an effective instrument of ''smart power'' to achieve the United States' policy objectives in Cuba.
Obama's leadership is needed to change the dynamic between the United States and Cuba. The status quo is no longer an option. Not only has it failed to achieve its goals; it has tarnished our image in the hemisphere and throughout the world. Waiting for Congress to act will only further delay change. Fortunately, even in the case of Cuba, Congress has not materially impaired this country's venerable constitutional arrangement under which the president has the ultimate authority to conduct our foreign affairs.
Again and again we hear that the embargo can't be changed because the Helms-Burton law codified it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you agree or disagree with the current commercial embargo, the president can effectively dismantle it by using his executive authority. Helms-Burton codified the embargo regulation, but those regulations provide that ``all transactions are prohibited except as specifically authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury by means of regulations, rulings, instructions, and licenses.''
This means that the president's power remains unfettered. He can instruct the secretary to extend, revise or modify embargo regulations. The proof of this statement is that President Bill Clinton issued new regulations for expanded travel and remittances in order to help individuals and grow civil society.
Obama will have to modify Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations to fulfill his campaign promise to increase Cuban-American travel and remittances. If he wants to reproduce the more open conditions in Cuba that led to the ''Cuban Spring'' of 2002 and Oswaldo Payá's Varela Project, he could reinstate people-to-people and educational travel. By a simple rule change, he could also speed the entry of life-saving medicines from Cuba, rather than subjecting them to delays from cumbersome OFAC licensing procedures.
Since 1992, U.S. law -- the Cuban Democracy Act -- has sought to expand access to ideas, knowledge and information by licensing telecommunications goods and services. Yet, in practice, regulations are so strictly interpreted that the United States in effect is imposing a communications embargo on Cuba. To lift it, the president can authorize a general license for the donation and sale of radios, televisions and computers. In addition, rather than helping Cuban state security keep Yoani Sánchez and others off the Internet, the Obama administration could make Internet technology readily available so that any barriers to communications would be clearly the fault of the Cuban government, and not ours.
Environmental concerns rate high with the Obama administration. So it might open bilateral discussions, exchange information and license the provision of scientific equipment to improve the health of the ocean and success of commercial fisheries.
The United States Geological Survey estimates that the North Cuba Basin holds 5.5 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. If the president wishes, he can instruct the secretary of the treasury to license U.S. companies to explore, exploit and transport these resources that we and the region so badly need.
After a half-century of failed policy, there is enormous support in the Cuban-American community for initiatives that will improve the well being and independence of the Cuban people. What they didn't know -- but know now -- is that there is no reason they can't reach out to the Cuban people and still retain the embargo as symbol of their concern about the Cuban government's failure to live up to international norms of human rights, democracy and transparency
In the past, Pakistani-American citizen groups did not get much attention because of the classic reasons of "mosque" and "military." First, because many Pakistani-Americans prefer to identify with Islamic organizations rather than Paksitani-American organizations. Second, Pakistani military generals have been able to walk into the Pentagon bypassing these citizen groups.
But now, with a democratic Pakistan under increased scrutiny, Pakistani-American groups such as the Pakistan Public Affairs Committee lobby in Washington support a change in U.S. policy toward Pakistan from the current transactional relationship to one that involves a strategic partnership and it supports a shift in U.S. engagement directed towards the people instead of the Pakistani government. They support a change in the way the U.S. looks at Pakistan by moving away from a tactically driven set of short-term exercises in crisis management to a deeper, broader, long-term strategic engagement.
Obama has since made clear that the U.S. is, in fact, "not at war with Islam," and has banished the GWOT from the talking points (the FoxNews graphics department is likely not satisfied with the replacement 'Overseas Contingency Operation')...Despite the fact that the President continues to employ the 'Mulsim world' phrase (most recently in remarks at a student roundtable at a university in Istanbul, Turkey), it is clear that his distinct messages to audiences within that world are, themselves, a recognition of its internal divisions and diversity.
Consider the Administration's messages to the global Muslim community, and how their carefully-selected audiences effectively employ narrowcasting:
1. President Obama gives his first international media interview with the pan-Arab satellite network al Arabiyya calling for mutual understanding and respect, speaking directly to the region's Arab Muslims.
2. Obama records a celebratory message of outreach to the people of Iran for the Persian holiday of Nowruz, implicitly targeting non-Arab Shia Muslims.
3. Secretary of State Clinton concludes a tour of East and Southeast Asia with an appearance on Indonesia's most popular daytime TV talk show, reaching millions of Asian Sunni Muslims in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
4. President Obama wraps up his tour of Europe following the G20 with speeches in Ankara and Istanbul, again calling for mutual respect, speaking to Turkish and Kurdish Muslims and recognizing the United States' short-term image problems in Turkey and the global Mulsim community. He also affirmed the United States' support for the overwhelmingly-Sunni Muslim nation's membership bid for the European Union.
Many public diplomacy observers give Obama high marks for his Administration's willingness to recognize these distinctions and target different segments of the Muslim population worldwide with individually-tailored messages that nevertheless reinforce broad themes of respect, dialog, and understanding. In a recap of the Administration's 100 foreign policy successes in its first 100 days, Ian Goldberg of the HuffingtonPost includes, "Re-engaging with Muslim nations through targeted, positive public diplomacy."
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The China State Administration of Radio Film and Television announced earlier in February that, " From May1st, television stations at various levels should not broadcast oversea cartoon or any informational program introduces oversea cartoon from 5pm to 9pm, extend one hour compare to last restriction which is 5pm to 8pm."
Over at China Smack, I was able to read the translated commentary of netizens who all hold a diverse range of opinions on this issue. Some used anime as a platform to raise questions of nationality, while others berated Japanese anime for being too sexual and violent. I'll leave you all to read over the commentary provided here, but it would be interesting to see what you all think.
I can assure you, the classic State v. DoD Turf War, with Congress in the middle was most definitely on display.
What struck me most about this event was that the conversation that went on there about the use of public diplomacy, new technology, messaging, and credibility were exactly like the debates we have in class. The main difference is that in class we don't have a stake in one side or another. I think that is a strength. It allows us to see other solutions or at least simplify the matter by not worrying about who conducts the public diplomacy but that it gets done.
I think it is important for all of us looking to become practitioners of PD not to get lost in the turf war and remember that positive action by anyone is better then inaction by all.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The Saturday profile in the New York Times of Tibetan blogger Ms. Woeser by Andrew Jacobs portrays a woman who accurately displays the situation in Tibet to the outside world. While not a politician, the poet and photographer has depicted the current situation on one of her online blogs, Invisible Tibet, since 2005. Robert Barnett at Columbia University remarked that “She is not a politician but a poet who quite late in her career started talking about politics,” and further asserted that “She is an eloquent reminder of what’s happening in Tibet.” While her blog was just blocked by the Great Firewall in China, it is usually the only source of news because of her conscious effort to remain outside of the political spectrum and use poetry to present her views. She has recorded the disappearances, beatings, and deaths of Tibetans at the hands of the Chinese. Because her information is considered accurate, it has often been utilized by the international media and press.
For her actions, Woeser and her husband have been placed under house arrest, followed, and interrogated by the police and security force. Additionally, her friends and witnesses are scared to talk to her because they are victims of abuse by the police for their actions. Upon returning home to Tibet, the police harassed her mother.
Woeser resides in China but returns to Lhasa on a regular basis. Her father was a strong Communist supporter and worked for the government. Surrounded by an education and life filled with Chinese propaganda, it was only later in life that she was able to recognize her Tibetan roots.
Her information is utilized to mobilize the people inside and outside of Tibet. In the absence of a free Tibetan government, the bloggers have led the movement for change both nationally and internationally. They have mobilized protests and given light to a variety of human rights issues. Due to accounts of human rights abuse, China often has to account for the treatment of Tibetans. While blogging has been ineffective at dramatically altering Chinese policy, it has plagued China’s human rights record and stands in the way of the country gaining clout equal to the Western world.
Pfeifle and Thompson suggest a different approach. Rather than one PD boss with cabinet level authority, they argue that every agency should have at least one communications expert at the second tier. First on their list of recommendations is to:
"1. Require every military branch to create two active duty and reserve general officer positions in strategic communication, and make them eligible to reach the three-star rank. Likewise, the State Department needs at least two individuals of Ambassadorial rank dedicated to public and international communication."
They suggest more funding and control for the current Undersecretary for PD, direct from Congress, of course, but they also suggest more diffusion in the expertise and responsibility for Communication.
The idea is that these principles are important to every agency and department, military and civilian, State, Intellegence, Army, Navy, Airforce and etc, and that everybody needs to be practicing PD, rather than one PD department trying to put all these diverse activities into one package. The idea gets to the heart of the current debate about PD - is it one of the things countries do in the international arena, or is it a part of everything that countries do? The idea reminds me of Canada's approach of trying to get everybody in on the PD policy before launching it. All semester we've talked about the challanges of a country as big as the US condensing its activities into one message - maybe this more diffuse approach is one way to make that happen.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I found an interesting article about Turkey and a possible public diplomacy effort in Europe. There are about five million Turkish immigrants living in Europe in 2008. Turkey has been trying to secure membership in the European Union (EU) since 1999. But their efforts have been fruitless as Germany and France continue to refuse their bid.
According to the article, “Turks living in Germany could be public diplomacy tool “
Burak Erdenir, advisor to minister of state and minister of EU affairs and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış, said: “Turkey should start to invigorate Turkish immigrants in Europe as an effective diplomatic tool for EU membership. They have been in Europe for 50 years, but Turkey has not managed to mobilize them.’’
And continues to say that
‘’Euro Turks’’ are very important in building Turkey’s image in Europe, Erdenir underlined the significant role Turkish intellectuals, artists and writers could play in influencing European public opinion by referring to the award Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan won at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. He claimed this award helped change the negative image of Turkey.
Erdenir has a very simplistic idea of how Turkish immigrants can be used as a diplomatic tool to promote Turkey’s image and possibly gain membership in the EU. However, it seems like he doesn’t take into account whether or not these immigrants will identify with Turkey or with the country they are residing in. Maybe the 1st generation Turkish immigrants will identify with Turkey, whereas the 2nd generation or later Turkish immigrants might identify as either French or German. At most, these Turkish immigrants can disseminate their cultural tradition.
Also, it makes me wonder if Erdenir takes into account how these countries already view Turkey because of the large number of Turkish immigrants. If Turkey tries to mobilize its immigrant population in other countries as a form of public diplomacy to become a member of the EU, I can see it having negative effects from both the immigrant population and the countries they are trying to influence.
Berlin - Germany is to expand its cultural diplomacy abroad, reaching out to academics by building a series of missions to highlight German scientific and engineering achievements, officials said Thursday in Berlin. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the offices were part of a push to invest more in cultural diplomacy. The first such House of Science has been opened in Sao Paolo,Brazil, and more are planned in Moscow, New Delhi and New York.
Staff at a house of science can inform local academics about German scientists who are doing research in the same specialties. The houses are in addition to the chain of government-funded Goethe Institutes around the world which showcase the arts in Germany and offer German-language classes. Berlin also funds German-language schools in many nations.
Steinmeier said cultural diplomacy offered new ways to gain influence in a world of cultural and religious conflicts. "It offers others the chance to see the world through our eyes," he said. In the three years since Steinmeier became minister in late 2005, Berlin's cultural diplomacy budget rose more than 30 per cent, reaching 658 million euros (862 million dollars) last year. Steinmeier did not disclose the amount of further increases. A key planned project in Turkey is the establishment of a German university in Istanbul. (seen on Earthtimes)
Given the oftentimes event-driven attitude German public diplomacy takes, establishing Houses of Science can help focus the country's PD more on long-term achievements and relationships rather than creating campaigns around specific dates. Integrating the local public in a pull-attitude just like the successful Goethe-Institut does, is to my impression more promising than a rather pushy campaign-style approach that might create interest for a specific period of time but does not primarily focus on the long-term goals.
I am interested to see how the American audience will react to the House of Science in New York. Given that Germany is often seen as a competitor when it comes to technology and engineering, I am curious to see to what extend the American audience will accept the House as a resource.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The article cites the importance of mobile phones in the country. Zain - one of the country's wireless companies - says that 700,000 of its Iraqi users have internet-capable cell phones. The article labels the State Department's encouragement of technologies like this to encourage political participation and to counter negative characteristics, such as corruption, as "lofty."
Also, "It's estimated just 5 percent of Iraqis have Web access at home and the connection speed can harken back to the dial-up days of the 1980s. However, users can get faster connections at Internet cafes and the Web access on their cell phones."
I am curious to know what you think of this particular spin of technology in diplomacy because it is not so much the U.S. trying to direct a message through Web 2.0 as it is the U.S. trying to improve conditions by suggesting and developing a certain approach to using technology.
I think it is a way of using technologies that are democratizing in the way that they mediatize (is this the correct verb form to discuss the concepts we discussed much, much earlier in the course?) interaction to the benefit of Iraqis. I think it would actually be excellent to push domestically in any place where the technology is widespread in its availability. I think the range of players invited to participate in a - and here comes the PD piece - "trip to Iraq's capital, sponsored by the State Department...billed as a way to assess the faint stirrings of Iraq's online culture and possibly inspire future Iraqi Web entrepreneurs."
I was taking pictures alongside other tourists at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt earlier this month when a member of the national police marched across 50 yards of sun-blasted terrace to talk to me. He was wearing the black uniform and beret of the security forces, and he had an assault rifle strapped acoss his chest.
"Where from?" he asked me.
"America," I said.
"Obama!" he shouted, suddenly beaming and nodding.
It might have been startling, except that something similar happened every day of the dozen I was there.
It's a commonplace that President Obama has altered the perception of the United States around the world. But meeting people in an Arabic-speaking country brings that statement to life in compelling ways.
Shopkeepers and cabbies, students and business people, young and old are eager to signal their interest and approval. America, an old and well-known actor on the world stage, has undergone a character transformation overnight.
The author cautions however that this may be more of an "Obama Moment" than a lasting changing in perceptions.
It is impossible to escape the sense of something opening all around you. If it is not a new era, it is at least a new window of possibilities. Perhaps the "clash of civilizations" paradigm that dominated after Sept. 11 will not prevail indefinitely.
Yet, alongside that glimpse of hope there are shadows of caveat and doubt. For one thing, the impressions Americans receive in foreign countries are often formed inside a tourism bubble, where people have a strong interest in courting our friendship.
Beyond that, the sheer intensity of the Obama phenomenon suggests impermanence. Having dazzled his way from London to Istanbul to Baghdad, the American president is a starburst over the global consciousness -- much as he was on the U.S. political scene late in 2007. He maintained altitude well enough in 2008 to be elected, and he remains popular after three months in office. But staying aloft this well as a world figure will be more difficult.
The international version of the Obama Moment is unlikely to survive the first international crisis in which the Obama administration must defend the U.S. interest. And sooner or later, that crisis and choice will come, forced by the complexities of world problems and the simplicities of domestic politics.
For now, the Obama administration is doing all it can to postpone the day of reckoning. The White House maintains that the national interest can be redefined to harmonize with the global good. It's an inspiring vision, but it contends with powerful impulses deep in our political nature.
Again we see the issue of the say-do gap. There is a distrust of what the difference between what Obama says now and what the US would do then if a crisis did occur. America's credibility reserve with the rest of the world has been spent and seems that it will take some time and actions to build it back up.
We discussed in class tonight about Chinese government’s increasing efforts in expanding international media. Here is a very recent example. Yesterday, The English Version of Global Times (which focuses more on international news, and affiliated to People’s Daily, the Official Party Newspaper) was launched. This was a conscious decision and also a yearning of letting the outside world know more about China and a more truthful China from the perspectives of Chinese policymakers and academia. I have highlighted a few scholars’ reaction to this launch in the news article. As some scholars pointed out, the identity of Global Times may be a concern. In my opinion, the launch of its new English-language edition and website is a good start because if the English edition of the Global Times is on the track of fair and balanced reporting of international news and also Chinese domestic news, it may help drive the Chinese government to further liberalize its media gradually and the Chinese leadership will finally learn from various international experiences how to better cope with others’ criticism. As the Tibetan story occurred in the 08 Beijing Olympics Torch relay has shown, the Chinese government was so inexperienced, clumsy, and counter-productive in tackling with this “embarrassing incident” (for many Chinese leaders). Also this is related to the “Face” culture in China, embarrassing the government in public only angers the leaders, but in my personal opinion, they finally have to get used to this because as a big rising power, it is inevitable that it draws the whole world’s attention and will be exposed to spotlight very often. What they should do is trying to learn from the healthy criticism in order to act as a more responsible power in the international arena instead of fearing these criticism and trying to insulate the Chinese people from the foreign media’s negative coverage of the Chinese government.
The Global Times held a reception at the Kerry Center Hotel in Beijing yesterday to celebrate the launch of its new English-language edition and website.
Zhang Yannong, president of the People’s Daily, said in his opening speech, “The launch is a landmark step for the People’s Daily in building a system of modern communication.”
“This is a pivotal moment in history, ideal for the Global Times to take responsibility for making China more accessible to the English-speaking world,” Zhang said.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, said in his welcome speech that the newspaper “will speak directly to foreign readers” and that he hopes “the transformation of the Global Times will be encouraged and facilitated.”
About 100 foreign diplomats, representatives of international media organizations and almost 200 local scholars and celebrities attended the event.
Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, praised the timing of the newspaper’s launch, saying China’s opening up over the next 30 years should center on letting the world know and accept China.
“Chinese media should help world audiences to see China’s advancement, problems and challenges, but also make the world accept a country with a vast population that is experiencing unprecedented growth,” he said.
“It is incumbent on the Global Times to report in a fair and balanced manner, and always to seek the truth,” Ambassador Serge Abou, head of the Delegation of the European Commission to China, said at the reception.
“I started reading the Global Times today and it’s quite an experience,” said Henri Carrières, second secretary of the Embassy of Brazil. Laura Møller Dombernowsky, an assistant at the political affairs department of the Royal Danish Embassy, told the Global Times she was looking forward to “seeing how the newspaper will make a difference.”
Feng Zhongping, a professor at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the Global Times’ endeavors epitomized the image of a hard-working China.
Professor Yu Guomin, deputy dean of the School of Journalism at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that he is optimistic about the newspaper’s prospects despite the decline the world’s press has been facing since September.
While some Chinese scholars voiced concerns over the identity of the Global Times, most were upbeat about the launch.
“Many foreigners believe the Chinese media is like an octopus with lots of tentacles but controlled by a single brain. This belief could be fatal for the opening up of Chinese media, but if the English edition of the Global Times can shed light on the complexity of Chinese issues and always stick to the truth, it may help to change the Western stereotype,” Zha Daojiong, professor at the School of International Studies of Peking University, told the Global Times.
He Maochun, director of the Center of Economy and Diplomacy at Tsinghua University, said the Global Times will provide an alternative to China’s existing English-language national newspaper, and can respect the principals of journalism and improve the reporting quality.
Published by the People’s Daily, the Global Times Chinese edition was established in 1993 and specializes in current affairs and international issues. It has more than 500 correspondents in 75 countries and regions around the world.
With a circulation of 1.6 million, the newspaper is one of the country’s Top 500 brands with an estimated value of more than 1.4 billion yuan ($206 million), according to the People’s Daily.
The English edition of the Global Times launched yesterday with 100,000 copies being circulated from five cities across the country.
By 11 pm last night, the English version of the Global Times website had received 100,000 visits, according to official statistics.
On the Chinese website, an Internet user nicknamed “Sashimi” said Chinese people are eager to voice themselves in an objective way to show the world “a more open China.”
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
After our class discussion on marketing Germany as a green country, the US joined efforts to curb climate change by issuing a report on the harmful effects of CO2. Perhaps, Germany is not going alone in addressing global environmental issues.
At the Environmental Summit in Copenhagen in 2008, the results were mixed. Many environmental groups thought that the US and other Western nations were holding down progress. The developing countries refused to make concrete changes until the developed countries amended their policies and reduced their carbon footprint. At that time, the hope of seeing the US- the country with the largest carbon footprint- alter its policies was almost nonexistent. It appeared as though the environmental situation would stand still until the US budged.
The BBC article "Obama to Regulate 'Pollutant' CO2" by Richard Blake summarizes the change in policy and its effects on the global environmental movement. The leadership of Barack Obama allowed this report to go public and shows a newfound dedication to the environment. Lisa Jackson of the EPA remarks that the report, "follows President Obama's call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation; and... the solution is one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country's dependence on foreign oil."
Now, the US has sent a message of respect for the world's environment. Phyllis Cuttino, the Director of the US Global Warming Program at the Pew Center, has stated that,"This reclaims the US role on the international stage as a leader." The US indicates that it must amend national policies and streamline with the international community. Changes have to occur in its own backyard before expecting the world to make changes. As the US regains a leadership position on the environmental front, I wonder if it will align with Germany to combat environmental issues. If Germany wants a time to broadcast its strong stance on the environment,
Similarly, Obama has cracked open our doors to Cuba since he began his presidency, allowing for more freedom of movement of both capital and of people between the US and Cuba. He lifted restrictions on Cuban-Americans that prevented them from sending money to relatives in Cuba, and he also removed restrictions on visiting their families back in Cuba. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/17/us.cuba/index.html?iref=newssearch).
Are these steps in the right direction for Obama if he wants to make America look like a country that is much more willing to hash out its differences with other countries rather than shut its doors to them as its policy had for the past 8 years?
I'm no cricket fan, but as I understand it, the sport is a fixture of South Asian culture (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka) as well in the former British Empire more generally, making the World Cup a major international event. Most importantly, this passion for cricket and the pending World Cup gave Pakistan visibility on the world stage as something other than a state teetering on the brink of terrorist anarchy. With the World Cup gone, news from Pakistan will be that much more dominated by stories of violence and political upheaval.
For those of us who believe economic development is a critical part of fighting extremism, this story is part of a viscious cycle. Image is reality in a case like Pakistan's: the more people think the country is disfunctional, the more it actually becomes so. A world sporting tournament would have had the opposite effect: an injection of capital and positive attention, and a much needed respite from constant political pessimism. While I hardly expect cricket players to risk their safety for the sake of Pakistan's international image and self-esteem, I'm tempted to join Pakistanis in asking if it would have killed the ICC to wait a year or so before bailing on them.
This year, the study gets a new feature. For the first time, the research will also evaluate the image of 50 key cities in 20 countries.
"By partnering with GfK, we are able to provide deeper analysis and offer more comprehensive city-to-city comparisons," says Simon Anholt. "The new study not only creates an opportunity to better understand a city's brand, but also provides a picture of where it stands against other key global destinations." (…)
Selected based on objective measures such as infrastructure, climate and population size as well as political, economic and cultural strengths, the cities included are listed below:
- Western Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Geneva, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, The Hague, Vienna
- Central/Eastern Europe: Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, Prague, Warsaw
- Asia Pacific: Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo
- North America: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver,
- Latin America: Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro
- Middle East/Africa: Cairo, Dubai, Jeddah, Johannesburg
Each city is rated by approximately 6,000 respondents worldwide across the following six dimensions:
- Presence: Knowledge of the city, perception of its global contribution to science, culture and governance, along with city "brand signatures".
- Place: The overall cleanliness of the environment, its climate and other aesthetic qualities.
- Pre-requisite: Affordable accommodations and quality standards of public amenities.
- People: General nature of the population, how they make visitors feel (i.e. safe, welcome, etc.), work ethic and cultural diversity and sophistication.
- Pulse: Ability to attract visitors and residents, availability of interesting events, food, fashion, arts, culture, sports, shopping and nightlife.
- Potential: Perception of the city as a good place to do business, go to school and/or work.
I think it is interesting to look at the differences between the country’s image and the respective city. As we touched upon in class discussion, sometimes the image of a city or a State within the country takes on a completely different direction as the overall country image. However, with regards to nation branding, I am skeptical on how the image of a single city can impact the image of a whole country. After all, a city is always embedded in the nation’s context.
For more information see Press Release: "GfK Roper and Anholt Partner to Offer More In-Depth City Brands Index(SM)"
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Did you know that North Korea has a PD website? Because I didn’t until now. Many Western media have portrayed North Korea as a threat to the world (but who would blame them?), yet at the same time there is a website online http://www.korea-dpr.com/ displaying photos, videos, music clips and information (history, culture, and much more) about North Korea.
North Korea’s public diplomacy is managed by the Foundation of the Korean Friendship Association.
According to the webpage:
The Korean Friendship Association (KFA) was founded on November of the year 2000 with the purpose of building international ties with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It has members from 120 countries.
The KFA has full recognition from the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and is the world-wide leading organization of its supporters.
It has offices in DPR Korea, Spain, Norway and Thailand.
The main objectives of the KFA are:
- Show the reality of the DPR Korea to the world
- Defend the independence and socialist construction in the DPR of Korea
- Learn from the culture and history of the Korean People
- Work for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula
And here are their activities:
- Public Expositions of the D.P.R.K. (pictures, books, music...)
- Conferences and meetings about the Korean history, society and other aspects.
- Information and consulting in diplomacy and business.
- Radio, T.V. and other media programs.
- Cultural Exchange with different countries.
- Link contact with associations/companies/individuals interested in North Korea.
Plus the website is available in many other languages besides the standard Spanish, French, and German, demonstrating their efforts to engage with a wider global audience.
It’s interesting to see the image that North Korea wants the world to see of them. Although I’m sure that the “reality of the DPRK to the world” is more like an illusion. This is become it is these “positive” images that North Korea want you to see. There are no other images from an outside source to prove that North Korea is like what the images on the websites portray. But I give North Korea credit for trying to improve its image. And if you get the chance listen to this song Raise your weapons to wave the Supreme commander or any of their other songs. You’ll be waving more than just your weapons high to North Korea’s public diplomacy!