The research published by Mappa Mundi includes posts on a range of blogs, including the in house Humans Huddle and WandrenPD focusing on network analysis and public diplomacy respectively. Longer research pieces regularly appear in academic articles, books and pamphlets.
Trials of Engagement: The Future of US Public Diplomacy
In the last decade public diplomacy has become one of the most important concepts in the development and implementation of foreign policy. Trials of Engagement: The Future of US Public Diplomacy, with contributors from leading scholars in disciplines from international relations to communications, considers the challenges for this ‘new’ public diplomacy, especially as it is pursued by the US Government. It highlights the challenges of aligning policy and projection, overcoming bureaucratic tensions, and the language used by public diplomats. Most importantly, the volume illustrates that the issues for public diplomacy are more than those of a producer seeking to win the hearts and minds of passive ‘audiences’.
Trials of Engagement portrays public diplomacy as an increasingly public project. To overcome the trials of engagement, public diplomacy must provide more than a rhetorical nod to a “two-way” process. Ultimately, a collaborative public diplomacy must be built on a broad understanding of those involved, the recognition of stakeholders as peers, and effective interaction with networks made up of traditional and new interlocutors.
The image used for the cover of the book is an abstract representation of a network map produced by Ali Fisher. This and other images can be seen on in the Humans Huddle gallery.
Mapping the Great Beyond: Identifying Meaningful Networks in Public Diplomacy
Mapping the Great Beyond, published in the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Perspectives series, highlights the importance of mapping social networks for the field of public diplomacy.
In part one of Mapping the Great Beyond, Fisher discusses the value social media tools bring to PD practitioners and the new tools available to identify nodes of influence and alternative ways to engage publics. Providing clear examples of the utility of these new resources for PD, the second part of his paper illustrates the value of resource mapping and information coordination at strategic level. Fisher’s concluding section discusses the use of network mapping to evaluate public diplomacy and contends that mapping networks can create new information for public diplomacy practitioners and scholars to better implement and evaluate public diplomacy strategies.
Bullets with Butterfly Wings: Tweets, Protest Networks and the Iranian Election
Following the election in Iran, Twitter was used as a means for expression for both individuals in Iran and networks observing the events from around the world. This spawned many articles the ‘Twitter Revolution’ or proclaiming Twitter, “the Medium of the Movement” (Grossman, 2009) but what was the reality behind the hyperbole?
This essay published in Media, Power and Politics in the Digital Age: The 2009 Presidential Election Uprising in Iran, presents analysis based on network mapping to visualise the interactions which occurred between the members of networks using Twitter. Network analysis, contextualised by concepts of Netwar (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 1996) with previous analysis of network based protest, demonstrate interaction was predominantly characterised by a series of local conversations rather than a one global debate. On this basis the conclusion considers implications for both protestor and state of operating in an environment where high volumes of data have the potential to hamper coordination and limit coherent interaction with a wider audience.
Options for Influence: Global campaigns of persuasion in the new worlds of public diplomacy
From the UK to Australia and China to Denmark, many countries are reviewing their public diplomacy strategies in recognition of the increasing importance of engagement with foreign populations. As NGOs and supranational bodies look to exert influence alongside national governments, the competition for attention is increasing. This trend will continue as access to virtual worlds and Web 2.0 provide individuals as well as organisations with the tools to compete more successfully in the field of public diplomacy. Understanding and successfully applying these tools is crucial in such a competitive environment.
Options for Influence provides an introduction to the tools required to create an effective strategy. It forms the basis for training practitioners and provides a foundation for a common understanding of the many varied approaches to exerting influence. This book identifies three central questions that facilitate the creation of a structured programme:
- What does your product say about you?
- Where are you located on the spectrum of available approaches?
- Where in the world(s) is your product targeted?
The recent desire to emphasise persuasion rather than coercion compels us to consider the potential of public diplomacy, and its related fields, as one of the core means of influencing global events. Public diplomacy, rather than being seen as an adjunct to the business of policy-making, is a profession in its own right. As such, an awareness of the options for influence provides organisations and individuals with a noticeable advantage over their competitors.
A further list of articles and working papers available online can be found on the publications page of WandrenPD