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Self-evaluation

It is with great regret that I must admit to the fact that I have not been an active part of this
semesters Public Diplomacy courses and seminars. Due to my often hectic work schedule and
conflicting engagements, I was not able to participate as often as I had wished, though I had sincerely
been looking forward to taking this class since I signed up for this Masters program. It is for this reason
why I the mark I should give myself is not a very high one.
The classes and seminars I did participate in, however, have sparked my interest in the subject
even further and, tentatively, I have tried to share my opinion on certain matters, whenever the occasion
called for it. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the SIA model which was applied to the
situation of the conflict in Ukraine cases: EU, France, Germany, USA, Russia, Ukraine, as part of the
US team. Together with my colleagues, we took part in discussions regarding to the difficulties and
obstacles encountered within the specified situation, which derived from the clash of strategies. Using
the information found on
(http://www.defenseone.com/,

http://www.publicdiplomacycouncil.org/, as
www.state.gov

and

articles

well as other sites


found

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2015_national_security_strategy.pdf

on

:
,

http://toinformistoinfluence.com/2015/03/18/ukraine-us-eu-fight-russian-propaganda/,
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/235159.pdf, etc., I have sought to find out the answer to
the questions: What is the adversarys communication strategy in terms of goals, targets, and means and
operations (especially message, tactics, and media channels), and What influence tactics are
consistently used by your adversary? while, at the same time, being very much aware of the diplomatic
tactics employed by the country I was a representative of.
On the 27th of April I also participated in the US Public Diplomacy course, in which we
discussed several other countries PD: China, UK and Germany, which was followed by the Howarth
Discourse Analysis and discussion about Communism in Romanian Politics presented by my colleagues.
In the Public Diplomacy exercise: exploring the PD potential of the 70th Anniversary of the
end of the Second World War in 2015, I assumed the role of Croatia and discussed a strategy for the
organization of such an event with my colleagues, managing to come up with the motto ,,Divided in the
past, United in the future.

An evaluation of Timothy Snyders speech

In his discourse, Snyder brings into discussion the fact that due to the fact that several European
civilizations have influenced Ukraine, the state is it thought of a being an integral part of Europe as a
whole by European institutions, rather than a part of Russias sphere of interest.
However, by the way in which Snyder organizes his arguments, one cannot help but wonder if he
did not make some omissions in order for certain facts to better fits his arguments, while pushing aside,
and probably, misinterpreting a number of historical facts. The presence of not verifiable assumptions
also gives off the feeling of unreliability. While he didn't talk about why the president Yanukovych didn't
sign up the agreement with European Union and he didn't point out all bad sides of the agreement, he

mentioned some speculation about some kind of "scary talks" between Russia and Ukraine presidents.
Both sides has employed the use of propaganda, with Russia having more success in this aspect, as the
Ukrainian propaganda, he believes, is conventional and ham-fisted. The reasons for this are:
- Russia has committed far greater resources to propaganda than Ukraine.
- Russian propaganda addresses various types of audiences, addressing many concerns that
resonate with these audiences, and instilling suspicion towards the western forces
- Uncertainty over the EUs future
Most Ukrainian journalists are so emotionally involved in the conflict, they don't seem to notice
how much of their writing is rhetoric and propaganda, and how little of it provides information that
could be used to counter Kremlin's. They have nothing substantial to show internationally to counter

RT declarations.
Snyder believes that Russias threat to Ukraine is just a small part a larger strategy aimed towards
destabilizing the European order, but doesnt rest much on the interest the western forces have in the

region.
On Russian propaganda: it manipulates our understanding of European history by distancing itself from
the crimes of the Soviet Union; it uses contradiction and cacophony to confuse, divert, and hamper with
processing thoughts (pro-fascist anti-fascist ideology, supporting the right wing while claiming to be
left, Putins rehabilitating of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) Contradiction is part of the point. () is
meant to be contradictory. It is meant to make it impossible to think.

EU Myth- EU is the reason why countries cooperate


This is, perhaps, one of the most well-known European myths, often used to justify certain
expensive EU policies. The general consensus when it comes to integration seems to be the

following: since X is a European problem, it requires a European solution, which implies that, were
it not for EU, countries wouldnt work together. However, in the case of international phone numbers,
banking secrecy, airmail, permitted food additives, these global agreements work without requiring
Commissions or Parliaments. Or in the case of international crime: widespread international
requirements, like the Hague Convention, Interpol, extradition treaties, deals recognizing the time
spent in another countrys prison, have been existent long before.
At the same time, it is true that political myths are not likely to survive if they do not
contain at least some connection to past events or widely observable phenomena 1. It illustrates the
EUs need for a story that has the ability of ensuring a sense of solidarity and order, perhaps even to
offer collective groups a perspective of how they evolved to the present day and the principles that
make the said group different from others. Myths do not need to be ingrained in undeniable facts to
be able to create a functioning role.
Member States promoting international co-operation is based on a myth of the EU having
brought peace and prosperity to the continent. By stating that EU is the reason why countries
cooperate, the group seeks to offer itself political authority. And, in fact, that is the very reason for
which myths are used: political myths provide a narrative in order to offer a justification for the use of
political authority. While it might be a bit far-fetched, such a myth - EU is responsible for peace,
prosperity and state cooperation provide us with a reason to believe that such an organization is the
glue that keeps us together, and that, without it, the risk of such values crumbling is very high.

Howarths Discourse Analysis


Howarth argues that power and hegemony are vital for critically explaining a range of
policymaking practices. With regards to this, he makes use of the post-structuralist view of power,
which states that power consists in radical acts of decision and institution, by means of which
political frontiers (lines of inclusion and exclusion) are created, which, in turn, gives birth to
regimes. Power, he arguments, also manifests itself in the sedimentation of social relations through
several systems of political management. Hegemony is, thus, brought into discussion, keeping in

1 Archand, D. (1995) Myths, Lies and Historical Truth: A Defence of


Nationalism .Political Studies, Vol. XLIII, pp. 47281.

mind the poststructuralist concepts of politics and hegemony. In other words, what is hegemony and
what is its relationship with power?
For the purpose of this discussion, I have chosen to analyze Howarths view of hegemony
as a form of rule that explains the way in which a regime, practice or policy holds authority over a
set of subjects by winning their consent or securing their submission. When discussing hegemony,
we must bear in mind that such a coalition is formed out of dissimilar individualities, which is why it
needs to gain the active or passive consent of possible subjects. This means that it has to offer certain
benefits that will ultimately make the involved actors feel inclined to create stronger connections
between themselves, while excluding others. It is interesting to see the way in which this comes to
life, as subjects to not always quickly agree to the imposing of a new regime or policy. In fact,
Howarth argues that such a state can be achieved through two different methods:
Some policies have the role of defusing contestations over the status quo by addressing some of the
concerns of various subjects, while also deflecting attention from their longer-term implications. The
most effective way of doing this is by disguising certain aspects of the policy at hand.
Prevention of demands and complaints.
Howarth proposes an exercise of imagination: a political movement presents a set of
desirable policies that could help better the economic and political well-being of the state; at the
same time, it also mentions a series of dangerous obstacles that inhibit the accomplishment of its
policies. Because of our subjective desires, we tend to react more sternly towards the threats that
menace to hinder us, whether they are real or not.

EU PD strategy of 70th Anniversary of the WW2


For this exercise, I chose to represent Croatia and, joined by four other colleagues, discussed
what we thought of to be the best way in which to maximize the public diplomacy potential of the 70th
Anniversary of the WW2 in 2015.
We decided that we would like to address the EU and EU allies in this matter, as we wished
for it to be a more inclusive event. After that, we discussed about the motto we would like to give the
outline we would submit to President Donald Tusk. After many imaginative options presented by each
of us, it was decided that the motto I suggested Divided in the past, united in the future would be
appropriate for the message we were trying to convey.
Regarding the activities, we decided on festivals that would take place simultaneously in all
European countries, each of them employing both nationally specific and globally relevant elements.

They would be followed by various artistic manifestations, as well as free-access lectures and
presentations held by world- renowned experts.

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