Quietly Quasi-Independant: The KRG


There are sub nation states that are highly organized and maintain representatives in Washington. One of which is the Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. It has a building on 16th Street. Starting as a no-fly zone in the 1990s after the U.S. and British tried to protect the Kurdish uprising in Northern Iraq the KRG is a viable quasi state that provides security and economic opportunities for its residents. What was once a rebel movement has formed into a legitimate political entity within Iraq with a large amount of autonomy. The KRG seeks to re-brand itself as different from the chaos and extremism of the rest of Iraq and to attract foreign energy companies and other foreign investment. Part of the KRG PD campaign is drawing the distinction between itself and the other Kurdish groups such as the PYD in Syria (which governs parts of Syria vacated by regime forces), and the PKK which is an armed group operating in South Eastern Turkey since the 1970s. The PD of sub state actors especially those formerly independent such as Taiwan or de facto independent includes the re-branding of any area trying to attract investment and overcome a past which may characterized by violence or instability. The politically ambiguous status and past or current security threats make international relations even more important to these fledgling entities and the priority they place on PD reflect this.The central government these sub state actors are under or who claim them may react with hostility to these attempts at outreach and try to undermine their efforts to cultivate official or unofficial diplomatic or economic relations with the international community? What if anything separates public diplomacy campaigns from being just a component of a political entity’s lobbying campaign?

Closed Countries: No News Hurts Less than Free Speech

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/02/new-internet-law-turkey-sparks-outrage-201422312144687859.html I saw this article on Turkey’s new law on internet censorship. I was wondering if the benefits of a media black out, censorship of the internet, or jailing journalists out weigh the potentially negative benefits to a country or government’s PD. This is somewhat in line with Andrea’s post about twitter in Venezuela last […]

Are Beauty Pageants a form of Public Diplomacy?

Thursday evening, while doing my usual patrol for news, I came across a BuzzFeed article,”First Black Miss Israel: I’m Not Ashamed To Say There Is Racism In Israel.” Needless to say that as a young, black, female, and a student of international affairs I was intrigued. The BuzzzFeed article is a different take on Israel;a […]

Paying for PD: Not all Communication Budgets are Created Equal

I was glancing at this article on Al Jazeera and this article http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/02/cypriot-leaders-resume-unification-talks-201421142920267198.html plus a job posting I recently saw got me thinking: Is it possible with social media and an effective PD strategy to get a small country’s cause or a less popular issue out there. Do new technologies level the playing field? I was […]

inefficient intermediary

I am using this article from aljazeera to comment on the current setbacks that the Kerry led peace negotiations have faced. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/02/israel-gives-permits-550-settlement-homes-201425141239118497.html Starting in July direct talks resumed between Israelis and Palestinians. The article notes that over 2,000 homes in East Jerusalem were pushed through the planning process since the negotiations started in July. The […]

Scarlett Johansson resigns as Oxfam’s global ambassador

    On Thursday, January 30, Scarlett Johansson resigned as global ambassador for international development organization Oxfam. The resignation came after a controversial ad of Johansson surfaced on the internet.  The advertisement featured Johansson  endorsing the Israeli product, SodaStream. The ad fomented controversy on the internet do to the Israeli company’s  manufacturing plant’s location in […]