foreign policy

The ruling by the tribunal in the Philippines vs. Chinaarbitration case is no doubt a major setback to Chinese diplomacy. No matter how people evaluate the quality and impartiality of the ruling, [...] it will not only damage China’s image and soft power, but will greatly inhibit China’s claims to territory and maritime rights in the South China Sea, and the consequences will be far reaching. 

The “soft power” of shows such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock can help the UK bounce back globally from the shock of Brexit and help Britain remain a cultural international powerhouse, according to a former ambassador and foreign policy adviser to David Cameron. [...] he is “pretty confident” that “there will be a group set up specifically” to promote Britain and its creative industries around the world.

It will take much more than “xenophobia, irresponsibility and total disregard for facts” to derail the neighbors’ relationship, the former Mexican ambassador to Washington writes.

Public opinion matters more than ever, even in authoritarian states. Prosperity, better education, urbanization, mass communication, and social media increase awareness of how government actions can affect the interests of groups and individuals, even beyond the domestic arena. 

New Zealand diplomats remain "sceptical of megaphone diplomacy'' but are increasingly making use of social media, although not in an "indiscriminate'' way. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief executive Dr Brook Barrington made that point in Dunedin yesterday in an opening address to more than 100 people, at the University of Otago's 51st annual foreign policy school. Dr Barrington's address was devoted to "The Art of Diplomacy in a Digital World''.

Daya Kishan Thussu’s Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood (Sage, 2016) is a rare resource on the subject of the country’s ‘soft power’. As the author himself claims, “on the soft power of China itself there are at least half a dozen books published in English – many more in Mandarin – while in the case of India the terrain is blank, despite its large array of soft power elements”. 

Foreign policy was once the bastion of the elites. In military, diplomatic and humanitarian affairs, nation-states and the small group of individuals and institutions that governed their actions used primarily kinetic and broadcast channels to influence the actions of others. Control was largely exerted through hierarchical structures, and collective action through industrial organizations. Digital technology has radically shifted this reality by flattening the operating environment in which global affairs is conducted.

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