We are “securitizing” yet another topic to increase its importance: communication. And here is my short rant on the topic after reading about the protests in Hong Kong.
Category: Public Diplomacy
Where is the Under Secretary? 2019 Edition
I had previously looked at the vacancy data for the Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy. In that particular blog post, I had an estimate about when Richard Stengel would step down. Stengel had outperformed outlasted all my expectations and was in office for a total of
1,035 1,030 days and currently has the longest tenure record.
Yet, it still was not good enough. Even when we account for two acting under secretaries, we marked 1,992 days as vacant – a 296-day increase since 2014. Given the fact that the position has been vacant since last October, the number is likely to go up. Below, there is a timeline visual showing who held the title since it was created in 1999.
I will update the visual and the data when a new under secretary is appointed.
Call for Chapters: Book Project on Internationalization of Cities
I will be co-editing a book, tentatively entitled From Branding to Diplomacy: Cities in the International Arena, with Sohaela Amiri of Pardee RAND Graduate School on the internationalization of cities.
One of the areas I wanted to expand on as part of my research on cities and communication has been how cities – our homes – have been spending time and resources to be active in the ‘outside’ world. Let that be through city diplomacy or city diplomacy, our hometowns now have new identities. We are looking for chapters that investigates these new identities, the new roles and functions undertaking by cities, and the ways to study them.
Below, you can find a more formal call (or download the call in PDF format here).
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Deadline for abstract submission is November 1st.
Convergence and Hyphenated Diplomacy (or a New Hyphenated Diplomacy)
I have a “teaching affects my research” moment! After a few months of discussing transmedia storytelling with my senior students, my take on diplomacy and public diplomacy is changing. I surely am not the first person to come up with this idea of taking a transmedia approach to public diplomacy. James Pamment of Lund University had a similar article published in 2015. Building on his work and my teaching experience, I argue that a transmedia approach that acknowledges media convergence might help different hyphenated diplomacy terms to converge (or might create Transmedia Diplomacy)
My book on Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy
My book, Public Diplomacy and the Implementation of Foreign Policy in the US, Sweden and Turkey, is finally out! Here is the link from the publisher and Amazon.com.
That is not how soft power works: A rant and an ad
With the proposed budget cuts for the U.S. State Department – and USAID -, we once again started seeing soft power discussions on mainstream news outlets. For a scholar, seeing his/her research topic on news outlets is an interesting experience. On one hand, it is a validation of one’s research and academic expertise. If people are talking about your research topic, you are not irrelevant. On the other hand, after hearing the arguments made, all you want to do is to yell “YOU ARE ALL WRONG”. Well, thanks to internet, it is a lot easier to yell that!
You are all wrong, your understanding of soft power is incomplete and flawed. Here is why:
Turkish Public Diplomacy: Study and Practice
Recently, I was invited to be a panelist at a public diplomacy panel at Galatasaray University. Together with Phil Seib of USC, Asli Sancar and Dilruba Catalbas Urper of Galatarasay University, we discussed the state of Turkish public diplomacy. My talk focused on the gap between the study and practice of public diplomacy in the country. Below you can find a summary of my talk.
Traditional Meets Digital (Diplomacy)
Currently, I am working on a research project on “digital” diplomacy. I will keep using my beloved quotation marks until I find a better concept to describe what I am doing without resorting to another instance of neologism.
Basically, I am still arguing that any kind of hyphenated diplomacy is still diplomacy. Let it be public diplomacy or nation branding or digital diplomacy, at the end of the day, we are looking at the same old traditional diplomatic processes such as recognition and signaling. In Traditional Meets Digital, I am exploring how these processes might take place within the digital media landscape. In more concrete things, I am trying to find the equivalents of diplomatic practices – such as alliance formation and power projection – on Twitter. Why Twitter? Well, because (i) everybody is on Twitter, (ii) Twitter is a ‘directed’ social network (i.e. I can follow you without you following me, whereas in most other social networks, we need to mutually be “friends”), and (iii) Twitter gives us great data!
Here are some preliminary visuals and a dynamic graph from the research:
International students and public diplomacy
International students and student exchanges are topics that I personally feel close to. Coincidentally, I was exposed to the studiy of public diplomacy (and nation branding) when I was (not knowingly) part of the Foreign Fulbright Program – the flagship exchange project of the US. Thus, I feel almost upset if I don’t get to write about the 2014 Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education.
I basically want to talk about on two points: (i) What do these new numbers mean? (ii) Can we international students as an agent/actor in public diplomacy.
Back to blogging
During the last couple of months (well last year), I wasn’t able to blog as regularly as I would like to. As a good doctoral student, I spent all of my time on my dissertation. I finally managed to finish my dissertation and get my degree over the summer. I am currently a faculty member at the Kadir Has University, Department of Public Relations and Information in Istanbul, Turkey.
Below you can find the executive summary of my dissertation. The table of contents can be seen on my Academia page. As I am currently on the market looking for a publisher, I will not be sharing the full text online.