In the case of shared history, there is no way to suggest an appropriate narrative of any historical event that would be satisfactory for all counterparts. Digital rewriting, reevaluation, or reassertion of history is inevitability problematic. The only way to eliminate such conflicts and disconnect raised on social media is to emphasize “shared understanding and mutual openness.”
Olga Krasnyak discusses how disputes over historical memory in Russia and the Baltic States have played out on social media.
Crowdsourcing support can become a process where new ideas are mined and become part of a policy package for difficult relationships. [...] It has been said again and again that this is the age of digital diplomacy. For diplomacy to be digital requires, as one ambassador has said, that “we do things differently and develop new skills – the secrecy and exclusivity of the diplomatic bag no longer applies.
The use of sport as an instrument of foreign policy is nothing new for the U.S. government. [...] The Sports Diplomacy Division of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs employs only five staffers and spends only .0001 percent of the Department budget. And yet, it has still managed to recruit some of the country's most celebrated athletes to the cause, and its programs have reached thousands of people in more than 100 countries over the past 15 years.
Recently an interesting debate arose over the fundamental meaning of branding. [...] The project's founder, Simon Anholt, is known for the concept of “nation branding,” also known as “place branding,” which seeks to enhance the images of nations much the way companies try to bolster the reputations of their products. [...] “My belief, backed up by much research (nearly 400 billion data points from 10 years of the Nation Brands Index), has long been that there’s no such thing as place “branding” and that countries are judged by what they do rather than by what they say."
A new article explores how South Africa’s soft power is undermined by domestic issues such as racial tension and poverty.
Kelsey Suemnicht on what she has learned from contributors to her Women in Diplomacy podcast and how it can help future public diplomats.
Using emojis to help shape the nation's image is a playful, but not frivolous approach to foreign policy. Finland is a highly educated country where tech is an important industry. The selection of emojis appears to be a way to highlight Finland's values and Arctic presence, while also demonstrating its tech expertise.