We Saw This Coming!

The much ballyhooed planned summit in Singapore on June 12 between US President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un is on shaky ground, and not due to any new nuclear weapon tests.

It has become a battle between definitions.

What does denuclearization mean? It depends on where you sit.

  • Peace is complicated
  • Obtaining peace is often an asymmetrical power game
  • Can we expect North Korea to give up its nuclear program unilaterally?
  • What confidence-building measures can the U.S., its allies, or other countries do to contribute to a lasting peace on the penninsula?

Putin (Russia) vs. Trump (USA) as Global Leaders: What the World Thinks

A Gallup International survey in fall 2017 asked the following:

If you had to choose between President’s Trump and Putin to govern your country,
which one would you chose–Trump or Putin?

Andrey Milekhin, Vice President Gallup International Association (GIA):

The choice between these two Presidents is not an easy one and at the end the candidate “against both” won. The complexity of the choice was defined by the fact that behind Trump stands the USA economic and military power, Putin on the other hand has 25 years of political experience being one of the most long-lived and sustainable among the world political leaders. To the majority of world’s population, the conservatism and reliability of Putin seems to be more appealing.

Check out the entire survey for how Putin and Trump were viewed in specific countries

Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit

A Joint Declaration was released in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at the conclusion of the 7th Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit. It includes several references to public and cultural diplomacy:

Acknowledging the importance of trilateral cultural exchanges through the East Asian Cultural Cities Program, we congratulate the designation of 2018 East Asia Cultural Cities and expect that cultural exchanges among the present and previous cultural cities will be promoted. Recognizing the significance of education cooperation in deepening mutual understanding, we also praise the trilateral commitment to promoting student exchanges in the field of higher education through the expansion of Collective Actions for Mobility Program of University Students in Asia (CAMPUS Asia), and expect the discussion would continue to further promote the program.

Considering the significance of public diplomacy in enhancing understanding and friendship among the people of the three countries, we welcome the continued consultations on the trilateral forum on public diplomacy.


Persuasion and Power: A UK Report

The House of Lords Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence published a 2014 Report, ‘Persuasion and Power in the Modern World’. The Committee found that British influence and effectiveness in a changed world now requires different methods of exercising power in order to safeguard national security and maintain prosperity.

This report precedes Brexit by two years.


Public Diplomacy Syllabus

Dr. Nancy Snow, Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy
Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
Spring 2018 
http://www.tokyonancysnow.com (course website)
http://www.nancysnow.com (personal website)

EdwardRMurrowhttp://www.nancysnow.com (personal website)

Required Reading

Nancy Snow & Philip M. Taylor, Eds., Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy

 Recommended Readings

The United States Information Agency: A Commemoration

Propaganda, Inc. by Nancy Snow (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2010)

Japan’s Information War by Nancy Snow (CreateSpace: Amazon, 2016)

Course Overview

Retired diplomat Edmund Gullion coined the term Public Diplomacy (PD) in 1965 while serving as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts (USA). The Fletcher School established The Edward R. Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy in memory of Murrow (1908-1965). Upon Gullion’s death in 1998, he received a write-up in the New York Times, which does not include the words “public diplomacy” but infers its value with reference to The Murrow Center, which “intended to establish direct communications with the peoples of other lands and to build mutual understanding. It also fit nicely with Mr. Guillion’s view, expressed just recently: ‘I always thought journalists and diplomats could learn a great deal from one another.’”

Public Diplomacy is a cross-section of international communication and diplomacy. It is a relatively new paradigm (pattern, model) in the field of international relations and the practice of diplomacy. Unlike traditional diplomacy, which only focuses on state-level relations, PD acknowledges the multifaceted nature of international communications, and can be carried out by individual citizens and NGO’s, as well as governmental agents and agencies. Simply put, PD focuses on the strategies, techniques and practice of influencing public attitudes and opinions.

Course Schedule


Week 1: April 12: What is Public Diplomacy?

 Week 2: April 19: How to Think About and Improve It

Week 3: April 26: Rethinking Public Diplomacy


Week 4: May 3: Golden Week (no class)

Week 5: May 10: Credibility and Public Diplomacy (Snow & Taylor, Chapter 13)

 Week 6: May 17: Guest lecturer

Week 7: May 24: Public Diplomacy, Key Challenges and Priorities

Week 8: May 31: Dialogue-based Public Diplomacy: A New Foreign Policy Paradigm?


 Week 9: June 7: Hard Power, Soft Power, and Smart Power

  • Get Smart,” Foreign Affairs, by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (July/August 2009)
  •  “Public Diplomacy and Soft Power,” Nye, The ANNALS (March 2008)
  • “Soft Power,”  Joseph S. Nye, Foreign Policy No. 80, (Autumn, 1990)

Week 10: June 14: Public Diplomacy: A Euphemism for Propaganda?

 Week 11: June 21: Grassroots Movements in Public Diplomacy

(Snow & Taylor, Part 4: Chapters 16-20)

Answer the following questions before coming to class:

  • What are the roles of non-state actors and individuals in PD?
  • Do states, governmental agencies, or international organizations dominate PD?

Week 12: June 28: Media and Public Diplomacy

(Snow & Taylor, Chapter 5)

Answer the following questions before coming to class:

  • What is the importance of media in forming public opinion?
  • What kind of media coverage does public diplomacy get?
  • How does the celebrity/spectacle penchant of the media help/hurt?

Week 13: July 5 : Creating a National Brand with Public Diplomacy

(Snow & Taylor, Chapters 21-23)

Naomi Klein (2002): America is not a Hamburger

Answer the following questions before coming to class:

  • What is a nation brand? Can a nation be brand?
  • Is PD a part of nation branding?
  • How can you create a brand for a nation?

Week 14: July 12: Public Diplomacy & You

What comes to mind when you think about public diplomacy?

(Snow & Taylor, Chapter 11)

 Week 15: July 19: Final Exam (open book); essay and short answer


Soft Power & Public Diplomacy

It’s been almost ten years, but US Soft Power never looked so promising as when Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009. Just check out this Voice of America feature:



The king of soft power is Joseph S. Nye Jr., Dean Emeritus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  You cannot advance in your understanding of public diplomacy without a nod to Nye and what he has meant to our understanding of this concept. Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country’s military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. That said, do not assume that soft power is a carpet of roses that leads nations into peace and harmony. If policies are bad, then no amount of soft power appeal will make a difference. Soft power follows good policies, and good policies reinforce soft power. 

Soft Power,  Joseph S. Nye Jr., Foreign Policy No. 80, (Autumn, 1990)

Think Again, Soft Power Foreign Policy (February 2006)

Get Smart Foreign Affairs, by Joseph S. Nye Jr. (July/August 2009)

The Soft Power 30

Q: Does being one of the best countries in the world enhance one’s soft power?

Congratulations, France

Eiffel Tower Daytime