Making Foreign Affairs Less Foreign

Yesterday, Secretary of State Kerry held a town hall-style meeting in Foggy Bottom with a group of university students. Transcript and video are available here: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/03/223660.htm I found it interesting that the State Department has very deliberately held an event with the U.S. domestic population as its audience. This appears to take into account the […]

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Germany and educational exchange

My first major interaction with another country’s public diplomacy program occurred when I was 16, studying German in high school. I was selected to take part in a program run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, which is a bit of a mouthful and therefore normally referred to as the PAD. The program basically entailed an all-expenses-paid […]

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Domestic agendas, international consequences: Coverage of U.S. politics in the media abroad

This entry is a follow-up to a point I made in class about international attention to the domestic politics of the United States, and what the soft power ramifications of this might be. Here is an example of how even state-level politics gets covered in other countries: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-26/arizona-bill-gay-discrimination-fears/5285554 One of the concerning tendencies of international […]

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Why is Qatar spending so much money in the United States?

I thought I’d shift from my usual habitat of East Asia and look into something closer to home that sparked my curiosity late last year: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/qatar-foundation-to-open-cultural-center-in-citycenterdc/2013/10/15/c5ff7192-359e-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html    In short: The tiny Arab monarchy of Qatar is investing big in the United States, building a massive residential business complex a couple of blocks north of Chinatown […]

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Taiwanese PD efforts

Here is a link to a blog article a friend of mine wrote recently for CSIS: http://cogitasia.com/mandopop-huayu-fake-food-taiwans-soft-power-opportunities-and-challenges/ Now naturally, Taiwan is pretty unique in that it has international recognition of its existence as a state as a key foreign policy objective. Nonetheless, I think it’s useful to explore how Taiwan uses PD to work towards […]

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