Europe

A recap of the third Wilton Park conference on public diplomacy in the UK.

October 1, 2008

It's been great to get such thoughtful comments on our International Relations Spectrum. One way for me to understand other perspectives would be to take a piece of our work at the British Council and look at how we could frame it.

At the British Council – the UK’s international cultural and educational body – we’ve been thinking about what we call the International Relations Positioning Spectrum. It draws on work by Nick Cull and work done by Ali Fisher and Counterpoint, our cultural relations think tank on ‘'Options for Influence’.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of a nice lunch in West Los Angeles with a team from the British Council out from Washington, D.C. The team was led by Ms. Sarah Frankland, Arts Manager, from the British Council.

The topic was theater and public diplomacy. The Council was trying something new in their programming -- bringing what could be a controversial play to the United States. Not only controversial, but a play that addressed one of the most volatile subjects in the U.S. and the world today: The U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Theater in Britain and America tackles topics like war, racism, and consumerism.

On July 19th Avaaz.org and Chatham House hosted Britain's new Foreign Secretary, David Miliband as he gave his first speech on "A New Diplomacy." Mr. Miliband is one of the youngest ministers in Britain's history. He is the first to keep a blog, and he has an avatar in Second Life.

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