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Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds Through Public Diplomacy ePub download

by William A. Rugh

  • Author: William A. Rugh
  • ISBN: 0976439107
  • ISBN13: 978-0976439103
  • ePub: 1448 kb | FB2: 1983 kb
  • Category: Politics & Government
  • Publisher: The Public Diplomacy Council (December 13, 2004)
  • Pages: 184
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Votes: 404
  • Format: lrf docx doc azw
Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds Through Public Diplomacy ePub download

Engaging the Arab World through Social Diplomacy. Public diplomacy’ therefore became the catchphrase of Western governments in their aim to win hearts and minds in the Arab and Islamic world.

Engaging the Arab World through Social Diplomacy. Whereas public diplomacy was heralded as the solution to rebuilding relationships and reinstating trust, it was still underscored by fear of terrorism and the mission to prevent radicalization. As public sentiment towards the Western world continued its steady descent in the Arab world, the need for effective public diplomacy continued to rise.

Wireless File to Web Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy. The Collapse of American Public Diplomacy: What Diplomatic Experts Say About Rebuilding America’s Image in the World -A View from the Trenches. The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency.

Public Diplomacy Council. Journal or Book Title: Page Numbers: Sponsoring Organization: Specific Office: Delivered By: Location of Address/Interview: Author: William A. Rugh. Resource Topic: Cultural Diplomacy. Government Public Diplomacy.

Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A Report and Action Recommendations

Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A Report and Action Recommendations. The Arab and Muslim world became a central focus of many of the State Department's new initiatives because this was where the American message was being perceived as horribly distorted or missing altogether. Top American officials began granting interviews to the Al-Jazeera news network, taking America's case directly to the Arab public.

William A. Rugh, ed. Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A Report and Action Recommendations (Washington, DC: Public Diplomacy Council, 2004), . oogle Scholar. 12. Philip Seib, ed. Toward a New Public Diplomacy: Redirecting . Foreign Policy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), . 15. Juan Cole, Engaging the Muslim World (New York: Palgrave, 2009), . 16. John Esposito, Who Speaks for Islam?

Public diplomacy in the Islamic Republic of Iran refers to the public relations efforts to disseminate information about the Islamic Republic of Iran

Public diplomacy in the Islamic Republic of Iran refers to the public relations efforts to disseminate information about the Islamic Republic of Iran. Instruments of public diplomacy in the Islamic Republic of Iran include cultural exchanges, film and print media, and sports diplomacy. There is no standard definition of public diplomacy. Rugh was a US Foreign Service Officer 1964-1995 . Rugh was a US Foreign Service Officer 1964-1995, serving in Washington and at seven Middle Eastern diplomatic posts including public affairs officer in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. From 1995 until 2003 he was president and CEO of AMIDEAST and he is currently an associate of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, a trustee of the American University in Cairo and a board member at AMIDEAST.

Rugh describes the difference between public diplomacy and propaganda. He points out that public diplomacy uses open means of communication and is truthful. He is a Trustee of the American University in Cairo, a Board Member and past President of AMIDEAST, an Associate of Georgetown's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, an Adjunct Scholar of the Middle East Institute, and an Executive Committee member of the Public Diplomacy Council. Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A. .Eleven scholars and public diplomacy practitioners look at public opinion in the Arab and Muslim worlds and tools of public diplomacy. Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A Report and Action Recommendations, (Public Diplomacy Council, 2004). Contributors include William A. Rugh, Shipley Telhami, Kenton W. Keith, Barry Fulton, James L. Bullock, Alan L. Heil, J. Norman J. Pattiz, Marc Lynch, Barry Ballow, Cresencio Arcos, and Howard Cincotta.

Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy A Report and Action Recommendations

Edited by William A. Rugh

As the U.S.-led war on terror presses on, many Americans wonder why foreign public opinion has grown measurably hostile to the United States and what can be done about it. These questions cannot be adequately addressed without understanding how U.S. policies toward Arab and Muslim worlds are conveyed to these nations through our public diplomacy efforts.

Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy is the first book to tackle these issues by turning to the practitioners themselves. In this volume, eleven seasoned professionals analyze specific tools of public diplomacy—including foreign exchange programs, television broadcasting, and face-to-face dialogue—and show how a mix of new and classic methods can help us interact more successfully with people in Arab and Muslim countries.

The publisher is the Public Diplomacy Council.

The personal touch

By Sol Schindler


Edited by William A. Rugh, Public Diplomacy Council, $19.95, 181 pages.

Public diplomacy is the new phrase designating what used to be called international information and cultural affairs - that is, a country's efforts to persuade the people of other countries through mass media and other channels of its friendly, worthwhile intentions.

This collection of essays, edited by William A. Rugh - author of the book "Arab Mass Media" and former ambassador to Yemen, and later the United Arab Emirates - attempts an examination of our efforts in the Muslim world pointing out how we could do better. The title of the book, "Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds Through Public Diplomacy," encapsulates the book's thesis by the use of the word engaging. It is not enough to reach somebody, to deliver a message or, even worse, to send a signal. It is necessary to engage him in a mutual endeavor where through both intellectual and emotional exchange, true understandings can be reached.

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Kenton Keith, also a distinguished former ambassador, in his contribution emphasizes this point. He states "the reality [is] that the most effective public diplomacy tool has always been one that engaged Americans personally with citizens of a particular country."

He gives examples from his own experience in Syria, where personal relationships were of significant assistance in establishing a cultural agreement and a large educational exchange program. No one in the diplomatic establishment will deny the merit of Mr. Keith's position, but as James L. Bullock points out if one is chained to his desk answering requests from Washington or doing administrative work that the bureaucracy demands, there is little time to nurture those relationships Mr. Keith describes.

The current public affairs officer is short of both staff and funds as a result of decades of downsizing, and accordingly, cannot perform as well as his predecessors of 20 or 30 years ago. The post of undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs has been vacant for months on end, and we desperately need someone with proven experience and sufficient dynamism to give our programs the leadership they require.

From these general comments which can apply to our entire public diplomacy effort, the work becomes specific to the Arab scene by having three essays devoted to Arab radio and television. Alan Heil, former deputy director of the Voice of America, gives us a history of the VOA in Arabic, and laments its passing. Norman Patriz, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, discusses Radio Sawa, the radio channel that replaced the VOA, and Al-Hurra, the new U.S. funded TV station. Radio Sawa, he points out, can now be heard on FM, making it accessible to virtually everyone, and its programs are tailored to fit the needs of the individual countries it broadcasts to, unlike the one-size-fits-all shortwave programs it has replaced. He states that Al-Hurra, which is just finishing its first year, has gotten off to a successful start in a hostile environment and its future is promising. He offers a series of graphs and statistics illustrating its rapid expansion.

Marc Lynch, an associate professor of political science at Williams College, disagrees. He quotes different statistics on listeners and states that Radio Sawa's primary focus "remains on its quite attractive, but politically irrelevant music." He goes on to say that "unlike Radio Sawa Alhurra has not distinguished itself with a superior product." He quotes others as saying the programs are "boring, tedious, stale." Such comments, of course, have been made about virtually every TV channel in existence, but Mr. Lynch feels greater engagement with issues that Arabs are most interested in would bring surer success.

In the concluding chapter William Rugh argues that American public diplomacy has been successful in the past, in some cases remarkably so, but in this new age with new and different dangers it should be strengthened, not downgraded. He recognizes the need for security but states we cannot "conduct public diplomacy while hiding inside fortresses." He also believes that the merger of the U.S. Information Agency into the State Department has shifted assets that were already inadequate away from public diplomacy efforts.

Still, what is needed is not clever new stratagems or bureaucratic shifting (rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic) but the acknowledgment that there is a clear and present danger that we are not meeting. Funds are needed to resuscitate programs that have been proven to work in the past and to provide competent personnel to implement them. It is time to get to work. This book may help us to begin.

Sol Schindler is a retired Foreign Service Officer.
Perhaps no aspect of American diplomacy has received more attention in the period since 9/11 than public diplomacy, conducted by the Department of State since the 1999 demise of the U.S. Information Agency. There is widespread agreement that the state of our public diplomacy is seriously inadequate in all respects. The congressionally created Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World, chaired by retired Ambassador Edward Djerejian, issued a scathing critique, including detailed recommendations, in October 2003. Like the 9/11 Commission, the study called for significantly greater funding, but also recommended structural changes and greatly increased, trained human resources.

Now another group of public diplomacy experts, comprised largely

of retired USIA officers, has joined the debate. The Public Diplomacy Council, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 and with close ties to the USIA Alumni Association, adds in this report a professional analysis of the means to conduct successful public diplomacy and an action plan to implement such a program. The study is edited by former ambassador and USIA officer Dr. William A. Rugh, who has written extensively on the subject.

Leading off the six-part report, Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat

Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, sets the political stage, noting, as have others,

the collapse of Arab trust in the United States, particularly in the first term of President George W. Bush. He identifies the Arab-Israeli issue as the "prism of pain" through which Arab audiences judge the United States, even though the region has many other problems. He makes the telling point that much resentment aimed at the U.S. is based on the perception that the U.S. does not care about the views and concerns of others. Telhami also adds support for authoritarian governments and the information revolution as other significant factors in the growth of Arab resentment. He judges that public opinion in the region is playing an increasingly relevant role and is increasingly independent of Middle East governments.

In the study's second part, three public affairs officers (Kenton Keith and Barry Fulton, retired; James Bullock, active-duty) give the reader a hands-on analysis of the daily demands of the job, stressing respectively the indispensable use of personal contact, the need to make effective use of rapidly changing technology, and the day-to-day challenges facing public diplomacy in the field. One thread running through these contributions is the muddled lines of control and the new bureaucratic burdens created by the USIA merger into the Department of State, a merger many observers now consider ill-advised.

The report's third section, with much less consensus, deals with U.S. international broadcasting, directed by the presidentially appointed, nonpartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors. Broadcasting to the Arab World and Iran has been completely

reorganized in recent years. The Arabic Service of the Voice of

America has been replaced by the new, largely music/entertainment oriented Radio Sawa and by TV Alhurra; Radio Free Iraq (part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) has been gutted; and the entertainment-oriented Radio Farda has replaced the Iranian Service of RFE/RL.

In the first of three contributions, Alan Heil, former VOA deputy director, recalls the rich history of VOA Arabic, which operated at much less cost than Radio Sawa, and calls for its revival. Norm Pattiz, the BBG member most responsible for the creation of the new broadcast media and himself a very successful commercial

broadcaster, argues in contrast that a new market research-based approach reaching a much larger audience is needed, and cites BBG studies that claim large audiences for both Radio Sawa and TV Alhurra. But Mark Lynch, a professor at Williams College who has written widely about Arab public opinion and media, cites other data to argue that TV Alhurra has only a small share of a highly competitive market and will prove to be a costly white elephant. He judges that Radio Sawa, despite its large audience created by clear FM signals and first-rate music, has had only mixed success, since its primary focus remains on its "quite attractive, but politically irrelevant, music."

In the fourth section Barry Ballow, former director of academic exchanges at USIA and State, outlines the achievements of international visitor programs, many of whose participants have gone on to important responsibilities (including 32 Nobel laureates). He deplores the program's woeful underfunding and the impact of new, post-9/11 security procedures. Former ambassador Crescencio Arcos, now directing international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, explains the department's efforts to balance security with facilitating visitors. In the fifth part, Howard Cincotta, a former USIA and State expert, analyzes the State Department's print media, including the daily Washington File, magazines, e-journals and book translations.

The study closes with Dr. Rugh's conclusions and action plan. He identifies three causes for public diplomacy's decline: increased security measures, decreased funding and the merger of USIA into State - all factors that preceded 9/11. As other analysts before him have done, he urges a broad-gauged expansion of public diplomacy in the region: more staff with greater training; more use of local media channels; revival of American centers, English language programs and libraries overseas; expanded and reinvigorated exchange programs; revival of VOA Arabic; and, perhaps most fundamental, consolidation of clear lines of authority for public diplomacy at the Department of State. He calls for funding to be quadrupled to at least $4 billion annually.

The Council's report could not be timelier, for the necessary consensus to improve exists. I agree with the report's action plan, with the exception of simply restoring VOA Arabic: I would prefer a country-specific approach targeted at key Arab states, as Radio Free Iraq was created to do. A new public diplomacy team, headed by Karen Hughes, is taking over (though not until the fall, regrettably). After four discouraging years, there appears to be a chance for a fresh start on Israeli-Palestinian peace, however long the odds; the situation in Iraq may still be salvageable; and democratic trends are stirring tentatively in the region. Taking advantage of new developments, however, will involve more than increased resources or better marketing. It will require, in my view, acknowledgement of the resentment Arabs feel over U.S. policies affecting the Palestinians and a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" - aspects of the problem all recent public diplomacy studies have addressed only lightly.
At long last there is a book by public diplomacy practicioners and Middle East experts who really understand how and why the United States must engage with the Arab and Islamic worlds. Ambassador Rugh, the editor, and 10 essayists, most of whom have lived and worked in the region and who have a first person understanding of the importance of public diplomacy, have produced a first rate book that any student of the either the Arab and Islamic worlds or of public diplomacy/strategic communication would find invaluable.
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