Blog Archives

Examining South Korea’s Global (Psy)chology As A Mix Of High Ambition And A Sensitive Legacy


First published on 18.11.2012. In many ways the Republic of Korea (or South Korea) is on a roll in terms of its positive global image. In soft power terms, it has found an unlikely source of attraction in Psy —

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

The Presidential Race Was No Contest On The Celebrity Scorecard

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney shakes hands with musician Kid Rock at a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

First published on 10.11.2012 Nate Silver enhanced his already impressive reputation by his prediction in his FiveThirtyEight forecast that President Barack Obama had a 90.9 % chance of winning last week’s US election (NY Times, Nov. 10). In quantitative terms,

Posted in Celebrity Activism

Argo As A Lens Into Perceptions Of The Canadian Role In The World

Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Taylor says a few words after he was presented the Congressional Gold Medal by President Ronald Reagan, June, 1981. (AP Photo/ Barry Thumma)

First published on 02.11.2012. Argo’s treatment of the escape from Tehran of six US embassy staff in January 1980 offers ample psychological compensation for the image of American vulnerability. In this respect, the movie’s dealing with this episode is part

Posted in Canadian Foreign Policy, Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Where Does Individual Agency Come From In International Relations? Is Argo Reality? (part 1)

Actor Ben Affleck poses for photographers during a photocall presenting his movie "Argo" in Rome, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

First published on 24.10.2012. In the analysis of international relations, agency is back in. That is to say, instead of simply viewing the underlying structural context as dominant, space has opened up for the role of individuals. Yet this turn

Posted in Canadian Foreign Policy, Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Leader’s Tweets Offer A Distorted Tip In Assessing eDiplomacy

President Barack Obama sits with Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey in front of a screen displaying the question he tweeted during a "Twitter Town Hall". (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

First published on 17.09.2012. Publications sometime hit on an important topic that leaves more questions than answers. A good illustration is the release over the summer of a study from the PR firm Burson- Marsteller on “Twiplomacy.” How diplomats respond

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

A Long Apprenticeship Distinguishes Successful Celebrities Turned Politicians

Pakistani cricket hero-turn-politician Imran Khan addresses a crowd in Lahore, Pakistan (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary).

First published on 09.09.2012. The relationship between celebrities from the entertainment/sports world and politics is fraught with difficulty. Celebrities have been drawn repeatedly into political life on a global basis. Yet an image remains of unpredictability and under-performance. When Clint

Posted in Celebrity Activism

How Should We Mark The Brics In Terms Of Artistic Expression?

Leaders raise their arms together during the group picture for the BRICS 2012 Summit in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das).

First published on 07.08.2012. There is an ongoing debate about the logic of using acronyms for clustering ascendant or rising states. The BRICS – a concept originally formulated by Goldman Sachs as BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and translated

Posted in Brics, Celebrity Activism

London Olympics

First published on 25.07.2012. The political dimensions of the London Olympics will be far more unpredictable than in previous years. Traditionally the divisions were rigid ones, based on Cold War rivalries or some other major fault lines of importance to

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Summits, Regime Change, And The Olympics: Managing Messiness In Global Activities

The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture after its official unveiling at the Olympic Park, London. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

First published on 24.07.2012. We commonly talk about the management of order in international relations. In the Cold War era this was a natural phenomenon due to the degree of stability and rules imposed by East/West bipolarity. The US’s (surprisingly

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Celebrity Culture Rescues Obama… Again

Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, right, and Oprah Winfrey wave to the crowd at a 2007 rally in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

First published on 19.05.2012. Celebrity culture has moved beyond its winter of discontent with President Obama. Only a few months ago it seemed that Obama was losing his tight grip over the world of entertainment, and especially liberal Hollywood. Matt

Posted in Celebrity Activism