Nicholas J. Cull

The choice of the topic is itself germane. In today’s turbulent world, diplomacy means that a country must take steps to achieve political goals and to promote its image in the international arena. It is becoming old fashioned for any country to rely solely on military and economic means in its relationship with other countries of the world. Countries interact with each other through diplomatic channels.

In recent years, diplomatic circles have been relying on the term “engagement” to describe various communication and public diplomacy activities with foreign publics. The term is used almost universally in government, the military, academia, corporations and think tanks to describe a range of practices designed to influence or persuade foreign audiences.

The ability to talk is not the same as the ability to communicate. That was the advice from USC’s Nicholas Cull at a public diplomacy conference here. Asked what advice he would give to the new Secretary of State, Cull said he would first ask a question: “What’s possible? Am I going to waste my time talking about projects that can never see the light of day?”

"All public diplomacy is moving away from the idea of a single voice toward an emphasis on coalitions, especially cooperation with [nongovernmental organizations]," says Nicholas Cull, a fellow at the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

Israel has allowed its enemies to frame the public debate by failing to be forthcoming or cooperative enough with outside observers, an expert on Public Diplomacy said Monday.

People-to-people diplomacy is playing an important role in international relations in the contemporary global world, adding a new dimension to international relations and redefining the way a country engages with its citizens to garner support for its foreign policy and national interests.

Last week the Shanghai Expo 2010 closed. On three sweltering days this summer I toured the vast and frenzied space that was the Expo. My objective was to see how the nations of the world were representing themselves to the Chinese public and how each responding to the Expo's official theme: 'Better City, Better Life.'