Monday, March 19, 2007

Public Diplomacy: Propaganda or Reaching the Masses?

Public diplomacy is a concept that is intensely debated between politicians. It refers to a form of diplomacy to another country in which the government is not catered to, but rather the citizens of the country. It is not considered propaganda since the truth is not twisted in any way. It is merely a way to get the word out to the people of a different country, and let them know what is going on. It would seem that this would be unnecessary if two countries were getting along. But after looking at a few examples, you will see why public diplomacy can be a helpful thing, not only in examples from many years ago, but also in modern times.

In history, there have been many different occasions when countries have been under a virtual deluge of propaganda. The citizens hear so much negativity about the good guys and so many positive things about the bad guys that most of them are extremely misinformed when it comes to what is going on. One example is Nazi Germany. The Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda released many different posters that were meant to incite nationalism and a general anti-American sentimentalism. This not only gave Germans a skewed view, but also inspired many of the young men to join the army. Public diplomacy came in rather handy when the USA began to dispel some of the myths about brutality and poor leadership.

A more modern example would be the war in Iraq. The Iraqi Information Minister became infamous after he skewed many different facts, causing all of the Iraqi people to not only believe that Iraq was winning the war, but also that the USA was invading for many different reasons than the ones that were factual. This caused wide public confusion when Iraq was actually defeated, even when the Iraqi people were convinced that they were on the verge of victory the entire time. Many believe this caused a heightened level of animosity towards Americans. Public diplomacy was used to cool this situation down. Essentially, the Iraqi people were told that their information minister had been lying the whole time, and that the USA was not present to hurt anyone. It may not have gotten rid of all the anti-American feelings, but it certainly dispelled some hurtful lies.

Understanding the Concept of Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is often regarded as a boring concept that is hard to understand and bears no relevance to current events. On the contrary, foreign policy makes up some of the most important and word-changing decisions made today. The term refers to one country’s goals that it wishes to achieve when interacting with another country. These keep the goals set on the country’s national interest and goals in the global economy. When interacting with other countries, the conversation is played like a game of chess, with each country lobbying for its own best interests. It is quite interesting to hear of what goes on with foreign policy.

One of the most common aspects of foreign policy that you will hear about the most in America is anything involving the USA giving financial aid to other countries. The USA helps out many different countries with the development of infrastructure and economy. All of this money has to be strictly regulated so that it is most effective. If the money is used 100% effectively, the resulting prosperity will end up coming back and helping the whole world economy by adding another player that countries can sell to and buy from. So those in charge of foreign policy essentially make sure that they are making a good investment that will pay off in the long run.

Foreign policy also comes in handy during wartime. Whether the United States is directly involved or not, it will still end up having discussions with all of the parties involved. Since war is a thing that generally hurts the whole world, the USA usually tries to steer clear of it if possible, even if that means mediating between two countries in order to work out a fair compromise. Foreign polices also prevent countries from grabbing power or being too aggressive (in order to prevent something like Germany before World War 2 from happening).

Foreign policy is a very deep and many-layered subject, and if you are interested in it you will find that there are countless texts written to educate you further. You would be surprised at how many different things policies exist for. So check out a book and learn all there is to know about the topic. It is a very valuable subject to learn about, and could have a number of future job prospects.

Understanding the Concept of Diplomatic Immunity

When one country sends a diplomat to another, he or she is granted something called diplomatic immunity in the country. There are many misconceptions surrounding this, and it is not something that is widely understood by the public. So read on for a description of what exactly diplomatic immunity is, and what it does for the diplomats in question. You will learn something you didn’t know before, and probably end up being a more informed person. You may even get a chance to show off your knowledge when someone brings up the subject.

Even during times of war, it is very important that countries keep the lines of communication open so that they can continue to attempt to work towards a more peaceful state of existence. With diplomatic immunity, diplomats can continue their correspondences without interruption. It is definitely a good idea for diplomats to have this, but some don’t understand what exactly it is. Does it mean that a diplomat can get away with murder? Well, when you understand that the diplomat is able to be held accountable by his home country, you will begin to understand why it works.

Since the other country is not able to pass judgment on the diplomat in the event of a crime, it is up to his home country to decide whether to bring him back for trial. If a diplomat committed murder, this would certainly be the case. But if he got a ticket for jaywalking, this would be one of those things that probably would be ignored. Since he is in a foreign country that is unfamiliar to him, he cannot be expected to know the laws just like a local would. Therefore you can think of diplomatic immunity as giving the diplomat the benefit of the doubt. If it appears that his intentions were malicious after all, then he will probably end up seeing repercussions.

The policies on diplomatic immunity vary from country to country. For example, in some countries, diplomats are able to receive tickets for traffic or parking violations. In others, they aren’t. If you are interested in finding out the specific polices on every situation in every country, you can find huge books and lists dedicated to bringing all of the information together.

The Job and Duties of a Diplomat

Diplomats do a very important job for their countries. Almost every country in existence has at least a few diplomats who are sent out to various other countries for the purposes of negotiating and mediating relations between the two governments. The main meeting place for diplomats between the USA and other countries is at the United Nations building in New York City, but they occur in embassies all over the world, and between most nations. The duties of a diplomat include many things, which will be outlined here. It is good for people to understand foreign policy, because very often it can play an important role in the news.

A diplomat lives in the country that he is trying to communicate with. He will usually live in the embassy of his country. For example, if the USA wants to send a diplomat to China, the diplomat will most likely reside in the American embassy. They are placed in strategic locations that are close to many local government buildings, allowing all of the American diplomats to quickly establish contact and begin their jobs of speaking with the foreign rulers. They are also granted something called diplomatic immunity to protect them while in a foreign country, and to allow them to do their job well.

Usually a diplomat’s main goal is to simply maintain good relations with the country in question. By speaking with the leaders and establishing a friendly relationship, a diplomat not only establishes himself as a trustworthy person, but also builds trust in his own country. This could even be for the ultimate goal of establishing a treaty or becoming allies. Usually much of the communications will cover issues such as foreign aid, and what exactly watch country expects of the other. If done correctly, diplomacy is a great way for countries to get every single issue out on the table and establish a great relationship.

If all of this sounds intriguing to you, you should take a class on foreign policy. Some people find this boring, but if you are interested in how countries interact with each other then you will surely find the classes on foreign policy to be intriguing. With the proper education, you could probably become a diplomat yourself and get involved with one of the most important aspects of the government.

The Job of an Ambassador

An ambassador is a person from a particular country who is meant to represent his country. This representation can occur either in international meetings, or in one-on-one government settings. The ambassador usually has a great deal of knowledge about foreign policy, and is hand-picked by his or her nation in order to provide a good representation and maintain solid relations with the other country. Their duties include many different aspects of foreign policy. Here are some of the things that an ambassador is responsible (more specifically, an ambassador from the USA to another country).

An ambassador is much like a diplomat (which there are quite a few of in a given country), only he is in a much more distinguished position. There are frequently meetings between representatives from many different countries. An ambassador is the single person that the country has chosen to represent them in these meetings. They are chosen very carefully since they have to have a full grasp on what the best interests of the country are, and what their goals should be when engaging in discussion with ambassadors from other countries.

There is one of these ambassadors to each of the countries in the world. They usually reside at the American embassy, and in their day to day work, oversee all of the other diplomats. Since they have such superior knowledge about foreign policy and the best interests of their own country, they are able to effectively get everything done that needs to be done. Whenever a meeting is called involving multiple countries meeting in the country of their work, they are flown out to discuss the topic at hand. This includes not just international news, but events that happen locally as well.

There are many different terms that you will hear frequently in the news, and ambassador is one of them. Now that you know more about what they do, you will be able to tune in better to the news and get a better idea of what they are talking about. You can be a more informed person. Anyone who knows what is going on in the world automatically has an advantage over someone who doesn’t. Therefore you shouldn’t just stop at learning about ambassadors. Continue on and learn about all kinds of foreign policy.