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SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010

Final Submission
By Sam Ross

Table of Contents: 1. Topic 1: How have information and communication technologies (ICTs) transformed the notion of (or perhaps redistributed) power in international relations? (p. 2) 2. Topic 3: Why is public diplomacy important now, and what kinds of strategies or programs might improve public diplomacy? You may reference some of the other course concepts as part of your reasoning (e.g. ICTs, networks, globalization, media & cultural flows, etc.). (p.6) 3. Consolidated Bibliography (p. 10)
All sources in this Final, including those listed in the bibliography, correspond to Turabian Citation formatting

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 Topic 1: How have information and communication technologies (ICTs) transformed the notion of (or perhaps redistributed) power in international relations? On November 29th, 2010, the website Wikileaks released one thousand of several hundred thousand confidential communiqus between the U.S. State department and over 270 U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. The communications, which had been downloaded without the permission of the state department, consisted of the detailed accounts by analysts and embassy workers in regards to various global powers, their leaders and events of international importance, some of which had been classified under the secret-level of clearance. Wikileaks would have not seen success in this dramatic endeavor had it not been for modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) with which to distribute those communications. This may indicate a shift in power in international relations and communications, where dominance is governed not by the physical might of nation-states government or military, but the intangible idea. Ronfeldt and Arquila describe this as turn from the realpolitik in the rise of a noosphere, a global realm of the mind that may have a profound impact on statecraft.1 This is not to argue that hard power no longer holds influence; the physical presence and influence of the state will always have significant impact and control. However ICTs have given the potential for a variety of actors, including the state to affect the course of International Relations on a national and international level like never before. To discuss the potential influence of ICTs on international relations, one must explore how the new roles of civilians, media, and government have grown and changed to have unique presence within the structured systems that ICTs provide. For example, ICTs like the Internet have grown within the past decade to support a great deal more public information. Kumar highlights the particular case of Google Earth, software which allowed users to zoom into locations around the world, which was perceived as a threat to sovereignty by many nation-states. As they effortlessly transgress boundaries and bypass traditional controls on
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David Ronfeldt and John Arquila, "The Promise of Nopolitik," First Monday 12, no. 8 (2007). http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1971/1846 (accessed Dec 4 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 information flow, digital media institutions such as Google constrain the nation state in unprecedented ways, Kumar explains. They leverage what scholars have called network power, an amorphous web of treaties, organizations and institutions, which functions by presenting its private interest as a global one.2 ICTs have transitioned society to be less dependent on a state or media source for information, to an increased willingness to rely on an expansive globalized network of individual specialized nodes. This is not something that came about with the advent of internet technology; its development can also be seen in radio, television, newspapers; any form of information technology where one individual element has the ability, even if temporarily, to utilize the mediums audience and expose them to a particular message or perspective. This has been especially highlighted in the increase in activity and freedom of movement with a variety of activities and organization; citizen journalism, NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs), even terrorist organizations.3 ICTs change International Relations in that they encourage the development of international communities that transcend borders, or at the very least, have changed the discourse about representation and what parties are actors on the national and international scale. A variety of news organizations, national and transnational now heavily promote individual civilian-based reporting using ICTs on events they would consider to be significant and/or newsworthy. An example of this is CNNs iReport website, where anyones voice [in the form of an uploaded digital video], together with other iReporters, can help shape what CNN covers and how.4 CNN editors will then vet certain stories and broadcast them in an international market, potentially adjusting the discourse on any given issue. Even outside of the official media channels, the individual now also has access to blogs and social networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook and Twitter, which news organizations have begun to adopt as gospel
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Sangeet Kumar, "Google Earth and the Nation State : Sovereignty in the Age of New Media," Global Media and Communication 6, no. 2 (2010). http://gmc.sagepub.com/content/6/2/154 (accessed Dec 5 2010). 155 3 Kimmage explores Al-Qaedas use of global ICT networks to spread the groups ideology and message, and the linkages between different groups and extremist web forums. Daniel Kimmage, The Al-Qaeda Media Nexus: The Virtual Network Behind the Global Message (RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 2008). 4 CNN.com, "About CNN iReport", CNN.com http://ireport.cnn.com/about.jspa (accessed Dec 5 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 when reporting on global events that they have been blocked from reporting on. In the wake of a highly contested election in 2009, the Iranian government ejected and blocked foreign news organizations from directly reporting on the resulting protests. As a result, many Iranians then took it upon themselves to form online activist networks, using technological backdoors in technology to upload photographs, videos and stories of the protests; a process that was made dramatically easier through network-based communication technologies like cell phones and the internet. A watershed in these events to show how the discourse in International Relations stands to be changed on the state level was when the U.S. State Department made a point of asking Twitter, an SNS which had been heavily utilized by the protestors, to delay scheduled maintenance to avoid disrupting communications among the protestors. ICTs like Twitter had not only prevented the state from controlling the message, but had also been perceived by other actors as an avenue for undermining an enemy state. As Sean Aday et al. argues in their article Blogs and Bullets, this also had the effect of allowing communication to take place across borders, and forms of international solidarity to spring up relatively quickly.5 Suddenly the world had taken notice of the Iranian elections, and international groups that shared the protestors goals took steps to help perpetuate the flow of information. But while the growth of ICTs and information sharing exerts extensive soft power over the state, what that translates into in the physical reality is questionable. As Aday et al. point out, A year after the Twitter revolution [in Iran], Ahmadinejad is still in power, although his regime has lost considerable legitimacy.6 Likewise, in the case of Iran, the state was also able to use ICTs to delegitimize and demoralize the opposition, citing the State Departments request to Twitter as evidence that the protestors were being manipulated by western influences and using the media to identify and attack

Sean Aday and others, Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2010). 24 6 Ibid. 26

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 individual protestors. Institutions and physical might are more reliable indicators of the force that any given actor can exert on international relations. With that caveat though, ICTs have arguably encouraged the potential power of an increased number of actors to affect issues of international relations. For example, with the Wikileaks dump of documents, a greater number of civilians, governments, and organizations around the globe, all of which are potential actors, are now candidly aware of U.S. impressions of and attitudes toward other nation states. A charismatic actor could exploit and twist this information to whip up a nationalist and/or antiU.S. fervor to accomplish their own political ends, and may dramatically affect who and how the U.S. negotiates with other international powers. ICTs have promoted the increased distribution of information and amount of strategic intelligence actors have of one another, which can always be used to the advantage of one party over another in international relations.

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 Topic 3: Why is public diplomacy important now, and what kinds of strategies or programs might improve public diplomacy? You may reference some of the other course concepts as part of your reasoning (e.g. ICTs, networks, globalization, media & cultural flows, etc.). Public diplomacy, or the art of a nation-state to spread a pleasant image of itself to foreign audiences and convince the same audiences that their goals are mutually compatible, is increasingly important because it allows the state to pursue their foreign and long-term goals more efficiently. This is in comparison to the other strategies to affect change in behavior, such as force or coercion; both of which have become somewhat frowned upon by the global international community, particularly when pursued by states with a perceived unfair disparity in economic or military power. Public diplomacy is a different kind of power, soft power which encourages the purveyor to be looked upon positively for its merits rather than its resources, which are finite. This encourages more peoples and organizations abroad to assist the nation-state in accomplishing its goals. Where this is significant is that nation-states are increasingly forced to negotiate with non-state actors in addition to international governments to accomplish their economical and security needs. For example, there is a tangible benefit for the U.S. to encourage a positive image of itself among Pakistanis. Pakistan currently plays host (willingly or unwillingly, depending on the party being asked) to Taliban forces which have been slowly encroaching on local state sovereignty. While many Pakistanis oppose the Taliban presence in their country1, there is also a lot of anti-U.S. sentiment for automated drone attacks against Taliban leaders which often result in heavy collateral damage against Pakistani civilians. Furthermore, should the Taliban ever achieve a key victory over the Pakistani government, it would leave an anti-U.S. power in control of a relatively modernized nuclear state. Up until this point, the U.S. approach was to donate aid money to build infrastructure, such as in the case of a 2009 $7.5 billion economic aid package passed through the efforts of Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar, but the

Julie Ray and Rajesh Srinivasan, "Taliban Increasingly Unpopular in Pakistan", Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/126602/taliban-increasingly-unpopular-pakistan.aspx (accessed Dec 8 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 measure drew little positive recognition especially after several Pakistani politicians argued that Americans were attempting to buy influence over Pakistani governance with it.2 As Joseph Nye Jr. explains, goodwill from foreign nationals is dependent on three features: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (where it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority). 3 In other words, the country must be successful in appealing to these audiences by presenting itself as a role model. Nye also clarifies that this must be done in a culturally sensitive process; some aspects of one society or culture may come off as offensive to those of another. It is necessary for the nation-state to be able to know who the image is being sold to and how that image is portraying the state in order for it to be effective. Pakistanis felt that the process in which the aid was being given was not transparent; that the US was going to become involved in projects in Pakistan as an excuse to gain a physical presence. What properly thought public diplomacy has the potential to achieve is a stable relationship between the U.S. and foreign nationals around the world, who may not now believe the U.S. has their best interests at heart. As reported by the Huffington Post in May 2010, A poll by the International Republican Institute (U.S.) found 74 percent of Pakistanis have a negative image of the United States while some European polling firms put the number above 90 percent. 4As this relationship sours, so too do the US options to work with Pakistan to fight a common foe. The conditions for spreading and maintaining the soft power of public diplomacies have changed, now that a great deal of governments have become democratic, even if corrupt. People want to believe they have a say in what their

"Obama Signs $7.5 Billion Pakistan Aid Bill", CNN.com http://articles.cnn.com/2009-1015/politics/pakistan.aid.bill_1_pakistani-government-pakistani-politicians-pakistani-parliament?_s=PM:POLITICS (accessed Dec 8 2010). 3 Joseph S. Nye Jr., "Public Diplomacy and Soft Power," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616(2008) (accessed Dec 8 2010). 96 4 Jordan Dey, "US Public Diplomacy in Pakistan", Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-dey/uspublic-diplomacy-in-pa_b_589373.html (accessed Dec 8 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 government is involved in. As a result, even when foreign leaders are friendly, explains Nye, their leeway may be limited if their publics and parliament have a negative image of the United States. In such circumstances, diplomacy aimed at public opinion can become as important to outcomes as the traditional classified diplomatic communications among leaders.5 Also significant in this issue, Pakistan and many countries around the world that are what Edward Hall cited as high-context cultures, its necessary to have this relationship with the people before theyre willing to work with you. To put it in perspective, Hall saw the U.S. as a low context culture where one gets down to business very quickly. The high-context culture takes considerably longer, and thats simply because the people have developed a need to know more about you before a relationship can develop.6 In other words, in the example of Pakistan described above, elements of the Pakistani government and populace may not have felt that Pakistan and the U.S. had a strong enough relationship that they knew what the true intentions of the U.S. aid package was. This was demonstrated when Secretary Clinton went on a three-day tour of Pakistan at the end of 2009, shortly after the package passed. During a series of town-hall meetings at several, the Secretary was frequently challenged by students who expressed that they felt that the U.S. had dragged Pakistan into the war on terrorism, and that the U.S. was taking steps that violated Pakistani sovereignty with the drone attacks.7 This context serves as an example of where public diplomacy would serve the U.S. well. Pakistanis feel shut out of U.S. actions within their own country and that the U.S. is manipulating their government to American ends at cost to Pakistanis. Nye would argue that this is an argument for better communication as effective public diplomacy is a two-way street that involves listening as well as talking. We need to understand better what is going on in the minds of others and what values we

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Nye Jr. 99 Edward T. Hall, "Learning the Arabs' Silent Language," in Culture, Communication, and Conflict: Readings in Intercultural Relations, ed. Gary R. Weaver(Boston, MA: Pearson, 2000). 18 7 "Clinton Talks to Pakistani Students", CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/29/world/main5448151.shtml (accessed Dec 8 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 share.8 Its doubtful that Pakistanis desire violence from an aggressive and disenfranchising Taliban minority, but they feel that they are caught in the conflict against their will. Secretary Clinton took a good step with the town-hall meetings, as it gave Pakistanis a chance to air grievances they felt were going unheard. It shows that Pakistanis may want to work with us; they just feel they need more information and say in regards to the policies and aid floating around them so that both parties can work to find a mutually agreeable strategy towards dealing with the Taliban. Giving more information, and listening more to the people in the middle of the fight is cheaper than aid, and in the long run may be more effective than the temporary positive image that the aid might provide. The effectiveness of public diplomacy, suggests Nye is measured by minds changednot dollars spent or slick production packages.9 In short, the power of public diplomacy should not be underestimated, and may be simpler and more effective in the long run than employing either the carrot or the stick approach.10 The more the U.S. presents itself positively to the world and encourages relationships, whether based on discourse on drone strikes or TV shows, the more likely it is that the world will respond positively to working willingly and co-operatively with the U.S.

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Nye Jr. 103 Ibid. 101 10 Another example of this recently was in a cable released by the organization Wikileaks, in which a state department official in Saudi Arabia, another country where the populace are distrustful of the US, cited David Letterman and other American television programming as Agents of Influence: "It's still all about the War of Ideas here, and the American programming on MBC and Rotana is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that 'Al Hurra' and other US propaganda never could. Saudis are now very interested in the outside world, and they are fascinated by US culture in a way they never were before." - "US Embassy Cables: Desperate Housewives and Letterman More Effective Than US Propaganda", The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassycables-documents/206346 (accessed Dec 8 2010).

SIS 640 International Communication Fall 2010 Consolidated Bibliography Aday, Sean, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, and John Sides. Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2010. "Clinton Talks to Pakistani Students", CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/29/world/main5448151.shtml (accessed Dec 8 2010). CNN.com, "About CNN iReport", CNN.com http://ireport.cnn.com/about.jspa (accessed Dec 5 2010). Dey, Jordan, "US Public Diplomacy in Pakistan", Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-dey/us-public-diplomacy-in-pa_b_589373.html (accessed Dec 8 2010). Hall, Edward T. "Learning the Arabs' Silent Language." In Culture, Communication, and Conflict: Readings in Intercultural Relations, edited by Gary R. Weaver, 17-22. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2000. Kimmage, Daniel. The Al-Qaeda Media Nexus: The Virtual Network Behind the Global Message. RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 2008. Kumar, Sangeet. "Google Earth and the Nation State : Sovereignty in the Age of New Media." Global Media and Communication 6, no. 2 (2010). http://gmc.sagepub.com/content/6/2/154 [accessed Dec 5 2010]. Nye Jr., Joseph S. . "Public Diplomacy and Soft Power." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (2008). [accessed Dec 8 2010]. "Obama Signs $7.5 Billion Pakistan Aid Bill", CNN.com http://articles.cnn.com/2009-1015/politics/pakistan.aid.bill_1_pakistani-government-pakistani-politicians-pakistaniparliament?_s=PM:POLITICS (accessed Dec 8 2010). Ray, Julie, and Rajesh Srinivasan, "Taliban Increasingly Unpopular in Pakistan", Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/126602/taliban-increasingly-unpopular-pakistan.aspx (accessed Dec 8 2010). Ronfeldt, David, and John Arquila. "The Promise of Nopolitik." First Monday 12, no. 8 (2007). http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1971/1846 [accessed Dec 4 2010]. "US Embassy Cables: Desperate Housewives and Letterman More Effective Than US Propaganda", The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/206346 (accessed Dec 8 2010).

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