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Foreign Policy Analysis
The Future of Public Diplomacy – Die Zukunft von Public Diplomacy

The Future of Public Diplomacy – Die Zukunft von Public Diplomacy


wittenberg was once again the setting
for a seminar jointly organized by the u.s. embassy Berlin and the center of us
studies in Wittenberg this cooperation was initiated in 1995 and is the fourth
seminar its kind since 2006 25 students of halliburton Berg and the Humboldt
University in Berlin gathered to discuss the future of public diplomacy among
them were students for Bulgaria Russia the Ukraine Hungary Poland and Lithuania
which gave the seminar a unique international viewpoint on the subject
so the discussion is really on how has public diplomacy changed over the
decades what are the goals of public diplomacy today the first half of the
three days of the seminar consisted of various high-level presentations on
public diplomacy including dr. Helen Akane Finn from the u.s. embassy Berlin
the strongest element of power is public diplomacy public diplomacy can be
divided into two large areas press sometimes called public affairs and
cultural diplomacy there is no question that it is essential that we use the
media to communicate our positions however it is extremely important that
we do so in such a way that our ideas and our positions are accessible all
good diplomacy depends upon the ability to get into the minds of those with whom
we are negotiating in our larger dialogue with the public our world
audience it is crucial that we consider how the message will be received public
diplomacy is not public relations PR is an aspect of advertising intended to
sell a product public diplomacy goes much deeper it is diplomacy because it
necessarily involves dialogue or the word the president uses quite often
engagement it is public because it is in tempt in this age of democracy to
influence not just small ruling elites but the people at large the highlight of
the program was a discussion moderated by Helena Kane Finn with pulitzer prize
winners geraldine brooks and Tony Horowitz first of all once again a warm
welcome to both geraldine brooks and tony Horvitz it’s spectacular to have
them here we’re talking in this conference about public diplomacy and
what is what is the sort of connection between all of this and public diplomacy
and I think you remember this afternoon that we were we were discussing conflict
resolution which is very much a part of that and that’s all about finding the
commonalities it’s about finding the common ground and I was struck over and
over again in your book Geraldine at the ways the very subtle ways in which it
was shown that there were commonalities between the three communities of the
book and particularly between Jews and Muslims and yet every time this kind of
defective gene that we have as human beings allows us to be demagogued into
the opposite belief that the other is the enemy and the other takes different
forms at different times but it seems like it’s very easy to go from a
prosperous creative commonality to a demonization of the other and a
destructive tearing down and every time we do it it takes maybe a hundred years
to claw our way back I would just add you know that substance is obviously
hugely important and you know this in this instance the substance of American
policy may or may not change but I think jolting would probably agree with me
from our time reporting in the Middle East just people a lot of it is they
just crave to be treated with dignity they’re not going to necessarily
suddenly agree with American policy but and it’s a long stretch from there to
the 15th century but again you sense the humans you know have
approaching people with a smile and a certain amount of respect and openness
goes a long way and the opposite being true and I think Iran is a perfect
example where words really matter in the second half of the program the students
were tasked with projects on specific aspects of public diplomacy professor
crabber has been involved in the cooperation since its beginning to the
national capital in Berlin I think has greatly helped us in developing and
maintaining a close relationship and also in developing the Center for United
States studies as a special convenient a venue for American cultural programs but
we’ve also tried not only to work with public affairs the embassy in Berlin but
also to bring in our own university-based and research-based
focus and that’s been accepted well and our programs have been funded so I think
the benefit has been mutual

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