Friday, February 7, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I'll have to study this more closely...
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
The publics are coming! The publics are here! The corporations are coming! The corporations are here!
A variation on the 1966 film "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming" speaks to a steady pattern in international relations whose origins could be arguably be dated to the emergence of the nation-state but certainly is vivid today. Global publics are increasingly powerful, and we know that private firms are, too. This piece in The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/10/the-real-reason-saudi-arabia-doesn-t-want-friendlier-us-iran-relations/281013/?utm_source=feedburner&&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher#When:01:52:20Z (hat tip to the USC Public Diplomacy Center RSS) is only my most recent reminder of the commercial drive for profit in nascent or re-emerging markets, whether or not governments are ready for it. Where do the meanings of "public" and "governmental" and "private" begin and end? Ever boundary-spanning diplomats have to navigate and mediate between and across the overlapping interests and identities of civil society ethnic groups, co-religionists, unions and political activists (to mention just a few), their budget- and turf-conscious embassy and home ministry colleagues as well kick-start entrepreneurs and corporate giants. How? Public-private partnership -- a proliferating organizational patchwork with which scholars and government actors can barely keep up -- at our peril. In spite of the rise of independence-through-information and de- and self-regulation, these three dimensions of global society are interdependent and people still crave the rule of law and credible institutions. PPPs are coming! PPPs are here!
Monday, October 21, 2013
I hold this Marine and his family in my heart, as I do others who suffered or perished in Beirut in 1983, and I continue to hope that we listen and learn together to emphasize inclusive listening, dialogue, and non-violent collaboration in our international relations.
Beirut 30 years later: James Island family remembers lost Marine father
Saturday, October 12, 2013
This story by Public Radio International -- http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-11/building-peace-and-security-one-lego-brick-time?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WhatsNewInPd+%28What%27s+New+in+Public+Diplomacy%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher#When:21:30:51Z -- hits home for me. I need to go back through my files for a photo where, as a Fulbright program manager for the U.S. Information Agency, conducting outreach and recruitment, I used some of my son's Legos to demonstrate how individual fellowships, international visitor exchanges, speaker programs, American studies, and institutional partnerships can be coupled to build strong international relationships among global publics and private firms. As my study and teaching of public diplomacy become more oriented toward cross-sector, participatory peacebuilding, I have continued to use the Lego analogy, most recently this week, working with a community college expand their global humanities programs. The new UN Lego set is on my list for holiday gifts and a donation to my congregation's social justice and education programs!
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Kudos to dear friend and colleague, Khaldoun AbouAssi:
New Research on NGO-Donor Relations Wins Prestigious Award
October 1, 2013
Research by a professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University on relations between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their donors will be recognized by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) with the prestigious Gabriel G. Rudney Memorial Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action for 2013. Dr. Khaldoun AbouAssi will receive the award at ARNOVA’s annual meeting in November.
“Hands in the Pockets of Mercurial Donors: How Three Theories Explain NGO Responses to Shifting Funding Priorities” demonstrates how volatile relationships between NGOs in developing countries and international donors can affect the missions and behaviors of NGOs. The research focuses on Dr. AbouAssi’s native country of Lebanon.
“I found that NGOs respond to changes in funding in a variety of ways. I studied the response of four environmental NGOs to shifts in the funding decisions of two common donors,” said AbouAssi. “The responses from the NGOs to the changing donor priorities ranged from suspending the relationship with the donor, to trying to reach common ground and maintain the relationship, to automatically executing the donor’s interests and adapting to the situation. I then used quantitative data to show that these responses were influenced by NGO dependence on the donor and the ties NGOs have in local donor networks. Understanding how donors think and how their priorities can affect the important work of NGOs can be a key to increasing NGO effectiveness in critical areas of the developing world,” he added.
The Rudney Award selection committee cited AbouAssi’s dissertation for its attention to theory, contributions to the field of research, and relevance to both nonprofit organizations and the broader environment in which voluntary organizations participate. The committee also noted the research’s innovative approach and challenging field work and that it moved theory forward in a non-Western context.
“We’re delighted to see Dr. AbouAssi’s excellent work recognized with this prestigious award,” said Bush School Dean Ryan Crocker. “It is yet another indication of the high quality of our faculty and the impact their research has on public policy around the world.”
AbouAssi holds a PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He publishes extensively on NGOs and international development issues, and has trained civil servants and NGO executives on citizen participation, fund development, volunteerism, and collaboration.