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

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

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

Euro 2012 Moves Beyond Football With Boycott Challenge On Ukraine

The 'Tango 12' official match ball is seen in Kiev's Olympic stadium (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

First published on 14.05.2012. Campaigns to boycott major international sporting events have a very mixed record. Most athletes see themselves as the first victims during such occurrences, as their opportunity for reward suffers. Certainly athletes were the big losers during

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Celebrities ‘crossing The Line’ On Global Issues: Silly Behavior Or Saying The Unsaid?

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Sean Penn, actor and Co-Founder of the Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization, March 2010 (UN Photo/Sophia Paris).

First published on 19.04.2012. The intense controversy over the praise accorded to Fidel Castro by Ozzie Guillen, manager of baseball’s Miami Marlins (in an interview with Time magazine) illustrates the wide-spectrum of reactions to the intrusion of figures from the

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Celebrity Activism And Spectacle: Between ‘Stop Kony’ And George Clooney

January 2008, George Clooney, appointed UN Messenger for Peace, shakes hands with a member of the Indian Battalion of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during his tour of the UN Peacekeeping Missions in Africa. (UN Photo/Marie Frechon)

First published on 20.03.2012. The “Stop Kony” video phenomenon and George Clooney’s ramping up of his activities on South Sudan appear at first glance to have some significant commonalities. In both cases a US-activist initiative grabbed attention with respect to

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy

Youssou N’dour For President: Is Celebrity Enough To Win The Election In Senegal?

Yossou N’Dour at a concert. (Photo: Thesupermat)

First published on 11.01.2012. The announcement by Yossou N’Dour that he intends to run for the presidency of Senegal has received a huge amount of well-deserved attention. By any standards N’Dour is a major hybrid musical/activist celebrity. Not only is

Posted in Celebrity Activism, Diplomacy