Public Diplomacy, Counterpublics, and the Asia Pacific


Date and Time

April 19, 2007 12:00 AM
April 20, 2007 12:00 AM


By Invitation Only.


Philippines Conference Room and the Okimoto Conference Room in Encina Hall. Some sessions will be held at the University of San Francisco.

FSI Contact

Chiho Sawada

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, in cooperation with the Center for the Pacific Rim and its Kiriyama Chair for Pacific Rim Studies at University of San Francisco, is pleased to present an international conference on "Public Diplomacy, Counterpublics, and the Asia Pacific."

The conference challenges the dominance of U.S.-centric and state-centered conceptions of "public diplomacy" to better understand and practice this resurgent component of world affairs. The complex, shifting contours of our globalizing world demand a broader -- comparative, multi-track, and ethical -- perspective on public diplomacy and its importance today.

A new perspective must take into account public diplomacy initiatives emanating from various places throughout the world. (We begin by "mapping" public diplomacy initiatives originating in the Asia Pacific.)

It must capture the significance of not only state-sponsored programs tightly linked to foreign policy, but also private activities involving a wide range of actors and arenas (i.e., NGOs, international business, media old and new, pop culture) that perhaps more subtly but no less profoundly impact national interests and world affairs.

Ultimately, a new perspective must comprehend that public diplomacy can be more than an instrumental quest for "soft power." A pathway toward robust people-to-people interactions, public diplomacy in its myriad forms can help achieve reconciliation -- the overcoming of historical injustices and other troubling conflicts in our post-9/11 world.

A primary objective of the conference is to discuss and refine papers for a book manuscript (to be considered for publication via a new series of Stanford University Press and the Brookings Institution). The conference/book will cover the following four issue areas: (1) historical and conceptual perspectives; (2) country/region surveys examining significant public diplomacy institutions and initiatives throughout the Asia Pacific; (3) case studies of transnational, multi-track diplomatic efforts driven by civil societies; and (4) case studies of public diplomacy by marginalized groups and in emerging public spheres (e.g. "the blogosphere.")

Conference panels -- at Stanford the morning of April 19 and at USF all day April 20 -- will be in colloquium format for presenters to discuss their research. Limited spaces will be available for observers, and a reservation is required.

The first public talk is on April 18 (5:45-7:00 p.m.) at the University of San Francisco. Shorenstein APARC's Michael Armacost will be speaking on "Japanese Power and Its Public Faces." You can find more details about this event on the USF Center for the Pacific Rim website.

The second public talk is on April 19 (12:15-1:55 p.m.) at Shorenstein APARC. Stephen Linton, Ph.D. (Chairman, Eugene Bell Foundation; Associate, Korea Institute, Harvard University) will give a talk titled "Treating Tuberculosis in North Korea: Toward US-DPRK Reconciliation." Lunch will be served so an RSVP is required. You may reserve a seat by clicking the link to Dr. Linton's lecture.

The conference keynote address is on April (5:45-7:00 p.m.) at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Stephen Linton will deliver a talk titled "Treating Tuberculosis in North Korea: NGO Humanitarian Assistance as Public Diplomacy." The keynote address is free and open to the public. RSVP recommended. Please call the USF Center for the Pacific Rim Events RSVP Line at (415) 422-6828.

More information about this conference and the panel sessions can be found on the website for the USF Center for the Pacific Rim.

This conference is co-sponsored by The Asia Society Northern California; The Japan Society of Northern California; Business for Diplomatic Action; Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University; and the Taiwan Democracy Program in the Center on Democracy Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

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