“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tech World: Welcome to the Digital Revolution By Kevin Drum

Foreign Affairs - July/August 2018 Issue
Predicting the future is hard, so let’s start by explaining the past. What’s the best lens for evaluating the arc of world history during the nineteenth century? For starters, it’s the dawn of liberal democracy. The French have already guillotined their king, and a handful of John Locke enthusiasts across the Atlantic have established a nascent republic. In the United Kingdom, the philosopher John Stuart Mill is ably defending liberal democracy and human dignity. It’s starting to look like monarchy has had its day. Then there’s the laissez-faire capitalist revolution, starring such economists as Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. Karl Marx is bringing economics to the proletariat.

READ MORE.......

Liberal World: The Resilient Order By Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry

Foreign Affairs - July/August 2018 Issue

Decades after they were supposedly banished from the West, the dark forces of world politics—illiberalism, autocracy, nationalism, protectionism, spheres of influence, territorial revisionism—have reasserted themselves. China and Russia have dashed all hopes that they would quickly transition to democracy and support the liberal world order. To the contrary, they have strengthened their authoritarian systems at home and flouted norms abroad. Even more stunning, with the United Kingdom having voted for Brexit and the United States having elected Donald Trump as president, the leading patrons of the liberal world order have chosen to undermine their own system. Across the world, a new nationalist mindset has emerged, one that views international institutions and globalization as threats to national sovereignty and identity rather than opportunities.

Our Infant Information Revolution by Joseph S. Nye

Jun 15, 2018

In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that advances in computers and communications would lead to the type of centralized control depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. Today, billions of people have eagerly put Big Brother in their pockets.

CAMBRIDGE – It is frequently said that we are experiencing an information revolution. But what does that mean, and where is the revolution taking us?
Information revolutions are not new. In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press launched the era of mass communication. Our current revolution, which began in Silicon Valley in the 1960s, is bound up with Moore’s Law: the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every couple of years.
By the beginning of the twenty-first century, computing power cost one-thousandth of what it did in the early 1970s. Now the Internet connects almost everything. In mid-1993, there were about 130 websites in the world; by 2000, that number had surpassed 15 million. Today, more than 3.5 billion people are online; experts project that, by 2020, the “Internet of Things” will connect 20 billion devices. Our information revolution is still in its infancy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

China's Soft Power Diplomacy

China’s Soft Power Initiative

Is China’s soft power strategy working?

Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Chinese Soft Power
Yiwei Wang The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 616, Public Diplomacy in a Changing World (Mar., 2008), pp. 257-273

The Limits of China’s So ft Power in Europe  Beijing’s Public Diplomacy Puzzle

The Rise of China's Soft Power
Joseph S. Nye   | December 29, 2005

China’s Big Bet on Soft Power

Sources and limits of Chinese ‘soft power’
Bates Gill & Yanzhong Huang
 Survival Global Politics and Strategy Volume 48, 2006 - Issue 2 

China Flexes Its Soft Power - Brookings Institution

China - Soft Power

China’s soft power and its Lunar New Year’s Culture
By Liu Hui
February 18, 2018

China's Soft Power: A Comparative Failure or Secret Success | USC

China’s Soft Power Surge
By Dustin Roasa
Foreign Policy | November 19, 2012

Does China Have the Soft Power Necessary to Become the Global Hegemon?
By Karen Du
Australian Institute of International Affairs - 23 Oct 2017

China's Soft Power Campign
Wilson Center

Chinese soft power in Africa
The Economist Intelligence Unit

China and Taiwan in Central America Engaging Foreign Publics in Diplomacy by Alexander, C.

Palgrave, 2014

Public diplomacy has become one of the most discussed phrases in political science. This book examines the use of public diplomacy by China and Taiwan in Central America, where Taiwan continues to hold the majority of diplomatic relationships. Using Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala as case studies, and drawing on other examples from across the Caribbean basin, Alexander examines public diplomacy beginning with its point of reception in target countries. He asks: To what extent is public diplomacy designed to engage foreign publics? To what extent is it instead designed to engage broader international audiences and the source country's own domestic pubic? He presents a framework for considering the diplomatic truce currently in place between China and Taiwan, the modern histories of both countries, and the significance of diplomatic recognition as a weapon within international relations.

China and Taiwan Relations with the Underdeveloped World     
Costa Rica: Crossing the Taiwan Strait    
El Salvador: Talking to Both Sides    
Guatemala: Still Taiwan’s Friend?  

Shaping China’s Global Imagination Branding Nations at the World Expo by Wang, J.

Palgrave, 2013

A comprehensive discussion of how countries embrace branding as a crucial element in their pursuit of soft power and why certain nation-branding efforts succeed while others fail through the example of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Soft Power, Nation Branding, and the World Expo 
Branding Nations     
The Shanghai Expo as a Site for Nation Branding      
Defining Nation Brands     
Communicating Nation Brands         
Experiencing Nation Brands     
Remembering Nation Brands   
Nation Branding as Strategic Narrative    
Nation Branding: Perspectives, Practices, and Prospects         

Soft Power in China Public Diplomacy through Communication Editors: Wang, J. (Ed.)

Palgrave, 2011

This book is about how China strives to rebuild its soft power through communication. It recounts China's efforts by examining a set of public diplomacy tactics and programs in its pursuit of a 'new' and 'improved' global image. These case studies invites the reader to a more expansive discussion on the instruments of soft power.

Introduction: China’s Search of Soft Power by Wang, Jian
The Expansion of China’ s Public Diplomacy System by d’Hooghe, Ingrid 
China’s Image Projection and Its Impact by Wang, Hongying 
China’s International Broadcasting: A Case Study of CCTV International      Zhang, Xiaoling      
The Evolving Chinese Government Spokesperson System by Chen, Ni   
Chinese Corporate Diplomacy: Huawei’s CSR Discourse in Africa by Tang, Lu     
National Image Management Begins at Home: Imagining the New Olympic Citizen by Kloet, Jeroen        
Chinese Diaspora, the Internet, and the Image of China: A Case Study of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay by Li, Hongmei  
China’s Image Management Abroad, 1920s–1940s: Origin, Justification, and Institutionalization by Volz, Yong Z.      
Itching the Scratches on Our Minds: American College Students Read and Re-evaluate China      Polumbaum, Judy

Who Paid the Piper?: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War

Frances Stonor Saunders

During the Cold War, writers and artists were faced with a huge challenge. In the Soviet world, they were expected to turn out works that glorified militancy, struggle and relentless optimism. In the West, freedom of expression was vaunted as liberal democracy's most cherished possession. But such freedom could carry a cost. This book documents the extraordinary energy of a secret campaign in which some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom in the West were instruments - whether they knew it or not, whether they liked it or not - of America's secret service.

For more information...... 

The Secret CIA Campaign to Influence Culture: Covert Cultural Operations (2000)

SELLING WAR: The British Propaganda Campaign Against American "Neutrality" in World War II


Oxford University Press, 1996

"British propaganda brought America to the brink of war, and left it to the Japanese and Hitler to finish the job." So concludes Nicholas Cull in this absorbing study of how the United States was transformed from isolationism to belligerence in the years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. From the moment it realized that all was lost without American aid, the British Government employed a host of persuasive tactics to draw the US to its rescue. With the help of talents as varied as those of matinee idol Leslie Howard, Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin and society photographer Cecil Beaton, no section of America remained untouched and no method--from Secret Service intrigue to the publication of horrifying pictures of Nazi atrocities--remained untried. The British sought and won the support of key journalists and broadcasters, including Edward R. Murrow, Dorothy Thompson and Walter Winchell; Hollywood film makers also played a willing part. Cull details these and other propaganda activities, covering the entire range of the British effort. A fascinating story of how a foreign country provoked America's involvement in its greatest war, Selling War will appeal to all those interested in the modern cultural and political history of Britain and the United States.

The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001

Cull, Nicholas J.

Palgrave, 2012

Using newly declassified archives and interviews with practitioners, Nicholas J. Cull has pieced together the story of the final decade in the life of the United States Information Agency, revealing the decisions and actions that brought the United States' apparatus for public diplomacy into disarray.

Table of contents:
Beyond the Cold War: The Presidency of George H. W. Bush  Cull, Nicholas J.  Pages 15-64  Downsizing: Bill Clinton’s First Term  Cull, Nicholas J.  Pages 65-119 
End Games: Bill Clinton’s Second Term  Cull, Nicholas J.  Pages 121-178 
Conclusion  Cull, Nicholas J.

Selling the American Way: U.S. Propaganda and the Cold War by Laura A. Belmonte

Laura A. Belmonte is Associate Professor of History at Oklahoma State University.

UPEN Press - 2010

In 1955, the United States Information Agency published a lavishly illustrated booklet called My America. Assembled ostensibly to document "the basic elements of a free dynamic society," the booklet emphasized cultural diversity, political freedom, and social mobility and made no mention of McCarthyism or the Cold War. Though hyperbolic, My America was, as Laura A. Belmonte shows, merely one of hundreds of pamphlets from this era written and distributed in an organized attempt to forge a collective defense of the "American way of life."
Selling the American Way examines the context, content, and reception of U.S. propaganda during the early Cold War. Determined to protect democratic capitalism and undercut communism, U.S. information experts defined the national interest not only in geopolitical, economic, and military terms. Through radio shows, films, and publications, they also propagated a carefully constructed cultural narrative of freedom, progress, and abundance as a means of protecting national security. Not simply a one-way look at propaganda as it is produced, the book is a subtle investigation of how U.S. propaganda was received abroad and at home and how criticism of it by Congress and successive presidential administrations contributed to its modification.

Chapter 1: The Truman Years
Chapter 2: The Eisenhower Years
Chapter 3: Defining Democracy: Images of the American Political System
Chapter 4: Selling Capitalism: Images of the Economy, Labor, and Consumerism
Chapter 5: "The Red Target Is Your Home": Images of Gender and the Family
Chapter 6: "A Lynching Should Be Reported Without Comment": Images of Race Relations
Conclusion: The Costs and Limits of Selling "America"

The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989

Nicholas J. Cull, University of Southern California

Cambridge University Press, 2009

Published at a time when the US government's public diplomacy has been in crisis, this book provides an exhaustive account of how it used to be done. The United States Information Agency was created, in 1953, to 'tell America's story to the world' and, by engaging with the world through international information, broadcasting, culture, and exchange programs, became an essential element of American foreign policy during the Cold War. Based on newly declassified archives and more than 100 interviews with veterans of public diplomacy, from the Truman administration to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicholas J. Cull relates both the achievements and the endemic flaws of American public diplomacy in this period. Major topics include the process by which the Truman and Eisenhower administrations built a massive overseas propaganda operation; the struggle of the Voice of America to base its output on journalistic truth; the challenge of presenting civil rights, the Vietnam War, and Watergate to the world; and the climactic confrontation with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. This study offers remarkable and new insights into the Cold War era.

Prologue: the foundations of US information overseas
1. Getting the sheep to speak: the Truman years, 1945–53
2. Mobilizing 'the P-Factor': Eisenhower and the birth of the USIA, 1953–6
3. In the shadow of Sputnik: the second Eisenhower administration, 1957–61
4. Inventing truth: the Kennedy administration, 1961–3
5. Maintaining confidence: the early Johnson years, 1963–5
6. 'My radio station': the Johnson administration, 1965–9
7. Surviving détente: the Nixon years, 1969–74
8. A new beginning: the Ford administration, 1974–7
9. From the 'two-way' mandate to the second Cold War: the Carter administration, 1977–81
10. 'Project Truth': the first Reagan administration, 1981–4
11. Showdown: the second Reagan administration, 1985–9
Epilogue: victory and the strange death of the USIA, 1989–99 Conclusion: trajectories, maps, and lessons from the past of US public diplomacy.

Empire of Ideas: The Origins of Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of U. S. Foreign Policy by Justin Hart

Oxford University Press, 2008

Examines how the FDR administration decided to promote America's image in the world to project the U.S. empire.    
Traces the emergence of "soft power" in US foreign policy to pre-World War II period, rather than the Cold War era.    
Addresses continuities between period covered and the full-scale propaganda war to combat negative perceptions of the United States in the Arab and/or Muslim world.    
Shows how communications technologies (newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, TV) were essential to public diplomacy.    
Contains fine-grained biographies of key figures, including Henry Luce, Archibald MacLeish, and others.

Covering the period from 1936 to 1953, Empire of Ideas reveals how and why image first became a component of foreign policy, prompting policymakers to embrace such techniques as propaganda, educational exchanges, cultural exhibits, overseas libraries, and domestic public relations. Drawing upon exhaustive research in official government records and the private papers of top officials in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, including newly declassified material, Justin Hart takes the reader back to the dawn of what Time-Life publisher Henry Luce would famously call the "American century," when U.S. policymakers first began to think of the nation's image as a foreign policy issue. Beginning with the Buenos Aires Conference in 1936--which grew out of FDR's Good Neighbor Policy toward Latin America--Hart traces the dramatic growth of public diplomacy in the war years and beyond. The book describes how the State Department established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Affairs in 1944, with Archibald MacLeish--the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Librarian of Congress--the first to fill the post. Hart shows that the ideas of MacLeish became central to the evolution of public diplomacy, and his influence would be felt long after his tenure in government service ended. The book examines a wide variety of propaganda programs, including the Voice of America, and concludes with the creation of the United States Information Agency in 1953, bringing an end to the first phase of U. S. public diplomacy. Empire of Ideas remains highly relevant today, when U. S. officials have launched full-scale propaganda to combat negative perceptions in the Arab world and elsewhere. Hart's study illuminates the similar efforts of a previous generation of policymakers, explaining why our ability to shape our image is, in the end, quite limited.

Introduction: The Origins of U.S. Public Diplomacy
1. "Down with Imperialism": The Latin American Origins of U.S. Cultural Diplomacy
2. "The Drift of History": War, Culture, and Hegemony
3. Propaganda as Foreign Policy: The Office of War Information
4. "Foreign Relations, Domestic Affairs": The Consolidation of U.S. Public Diplomacy
5. "The Flat White Light": Revolutionary Nationalism in Asia and Beyond
6. "An Unfavorable Projection of American Unity": McCarthyism and Public Diplomacy
Epilogue The Creation of the USIA and the Fate of U.S. Public Diplomacy

Friday, June 8, 2018

Artificial Intelligence and International Relations - Graduate Class Shanghai University

Instructor: Tugrul Keskin              
Office:   College of Liberal Arts    
E-mail: mailto:tugrulk (at) vt.edu or Wechat: tugrulkeskin

If the government regulates against use of drones or stem cells or artificial intelligence, all that means is that the work and the research leave the borders of that country and go someplace else.
Peter Diamandis

I believe this artificial intelligence is going to be our partner. If we misuse it, it will be a risk. If we use it right, it can be our partner.
Masayoshi Son

Course Description and Objective

The focus of this course is Artificial Intelligence and International Relations. As a result of the modern economic system, a modern state was created with modern institutions, such as state bureaucracy, modern military, foreign ministries, intelligence services, police, etc. However, the modern economic system also produced modern private institutions, such as companies, think tanks, NGOs, international organizations, foundations, etc. Hence society and the individual have changed over time, becoming more educated, traveling more, working more, and becoming more selfish and more consumption oriented. On the other hand, in this process of transformation from traditional work to more automated dehumanized work, everything we do is recorded, watched, and observed by state or private institutions for security or consumption purposes. In the late 18th century, the invention of the steamship engine changed the basic dynamics of social and political structures; therefore, we started to see the new society based in the urban areas. The emergence of the modern state or nation-state was generated from this process of the new economy..............

American Top Secret Killer Terminator Robots for Future US Military Army (Full Documentary)