economic diplomacy

Successful public diplomacy is based on providing foreign publics what they need, be it information, a vaccination program, or help in securing economic well-being. A good example of working toward the latter can be found in a speech delivered by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson in Jordan on February 25, during which she outlined some of the steps the United States is taking to "enhance regional trade and investment that will spur growth and jobs."

The deteriorating security situation throughout much of the Arab world underscores the need to urgently search for nonviolent methods of achieving stability. At the heart of the current unrest are not only political issues but also economic failures that are wiping out the vestiges of hope that remain after the region’s recent revolutions. In conflict situations, public diplomacy must be employed carefully. Sometimes the swirl of violence becomes so pervasive that it sucks up the oxygen needed for peaceful enterprise to survive.

The deteriorating security situation throughout much of the Arab world underscores the need to urgently search for nonviolent methods of achieving stability. At the heart of the current unrest are not only political issues but also economic failures that are wiping out the vestiges of hope that remain after the region’s recent revolutions.

At some point, the post-revolutionary Arab states will emerge from the self-destructive madness that has them so tightly in its grip. While Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia deal with varying degrees of instability, the future should be kept in sight. The key to an improved future in the region is less political than it is economic. Democracy is a worthy goal, but it will be reached only slowly.

World Economic Forum, Creative Commons

At some point, the post-revolutionary Arab states will emerge from the self-destructive madness that has them so tightly in its grip. While Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia deal with varying degrees of instability, the future should be kept in sight.

July 17, 2013

On July 15th a triumvirate of politicians declared their support for Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU). Peter Mandelson, a former Labour Party minister, Ken Clarke, a Conservative Party minister and former chancellor, and Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, unveiled the manifesto of “British Influence”, a new campaign group. “Far from leaving Europe, Britain should be leading Europe,” it proclaimed.

Beijing has unveiled a basket of initiatives to deepen economic, cultural and social exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, following a high-profile meeting last week between President Xi Jinping and Wu Poh-hsiung, the honorary chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang.

The realm of social media and the power of the Internet lies in the hands of the people. Together they are a tool that allow greater access to information, global connectivity, a platform for speeches, advocacy and political statements, tools for video and photo dissemination and much more. The Internet, in many parts of the world, is free and open to the public, which allows for the rapid growth of people-to-people diplomacy across national borders, and has a democratizing effect on information. It has also created the space for the tech boom in which the giants of Silicon Valley thrive.

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