For this blog obviously I was going to write about public diplomacy, but I didn’t want to make the typical run of the mill “America does it bad” or “soft power is blah blah” statement. Yet I was struggling trying to come up with an idea. I google imaged for some inspiration and found a lovely cartoon that I think illustrates the truth in American PD. To me it illustrates that obviously American public diplomacy exists…but it is greatly overshadowed by the military and government actions.
Then I returned to the weekly reading and found a great quote: “The soft power of a country rests primarily on three sources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority)” – Joseph Nye. This is a very interesting statement that makes logical sense in terms of the components of soft power. Obviously these three components are all drastically related, but personally I think that the political values are the most dominant component, specifically in relation to the government living up to what they say they do abroad. That provides evidence of the moral authority and in turn makes the culture more attractive abroad.
Then after still not feeling finished with the blog, and while chatting with a friend in med school (who is very politically savvy), I asked for inspiration for my public diplomacy blog. The response was somewhat amusing:
Ashley: Write my public diplomacy blog.
TJ: What’s that?
TJ: OH Hilldog does that all the time!
Ashley: haha yeah she does.
I want to say that this lack of awareness is reflective of soft power. In ways I think it’s true…the American public isn’t directly involved with most forms of American PD, unless they are in the elite few that study abroad, join the peace corps, or are a scholar (and this way Hilldog wouldn’t be doing it all!)
From these three sources I conclude that in order for American public diplomacy to make a larger impact it needs American military and government practices to live up to what they say they will abroad. That provides evidence of the moral authority and in turn makes the culture more attractive abroad, reassuring the three main components of PD. In doing this, PD will also gain a larger share of the foreign world’s viewpoint and the military will not be such a giant on the forefront of international perceptions. Lastly, there needs to be more examples of direct engagement from the American public. This is one of the best ways to enact PD and without it occurring it continues the government/military giant perception.