The origins of “public diplomacy”

If you’ve poked around our website enough, or otherwise have more than a passing familiarity with Fletcher, you’ve likely come across the term “public diplomacy” at some point. While it mostly makes intuitive sense to me, I’ve rarely stopped to think specifically what we’re talking about when we refer to public diplomacy. An interesting piece of web content recently trickled down to me by way of one of Fletcher’s longest-tenured faculty members, as well as our Dean of Admissions, which I thought worth sharing.

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Washington, DC Career Trip

There’s currently a vacation-week feel to Fletcher, with empty classrooms and strangely quiet hallways. An extension of Presidents’ Day to a week-long holiday, perhaps? Good guess, but wrong. The lull is due to the annual Washington, DC career trip administered by the Office of Career Services (OCS). OCS has something going on at pretty much all times throughout the year, but even by their busy standards it’s fair to say that the DC Career Trip is their equivalent of the Super Bowl.

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Talking books with Fletcher book talks

As a house of learned doctors, Fletcher regularly gets to celebrate the release of major books by our faculty. There’s Prof. Chris Miller’s Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia, Prof. Alex de Waal’s Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine, and Prof. Sulmaan Khan’s Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, to name a few of the more recent publications. It’s common for faculty to give “book talks” on campus in support of their latest work, and they’re among the most popular events during the academic year. Late March will see Prof. Kelly Sims Gallagher discuss her just-published Titans of the Climate: Explaining Policy Process in the United States and China.

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Fletcher gets a digital facelift

If you’re a regular visitor to our website, you’ll notice something different today, namely EVERYTHING. We’re live with our new site! My guess is that many readers have some experience with large-scale web migrations, and so appreciate the immensity of this type of project. I knew in the abstract that a full site rebuild was a big undertaking, but even in my tangentially-involved capacity I’ve been regularly awed at the scope of this effort. It’s a process that’s covered nearly two years from the earliest planning stages, and we’re grateful for the tireless efforts of many of our Fletcher and Tufts colleagues, particularly our friends at Fletcher’s Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing office who have managed every step of the migration (and politely listened to endless “suggestions” from our team).

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Catching up with The Fletcher Forum

My hope is that many blog readers already have some familiarity with The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, our student-managed foreign policy journal. It’s been around since 1975, after all, and has really upped its digital presence in recent years, in addition to its biannual print editions. The Forum is a go-to resource for analytical essays, interviews, and podcasts from leading scholars and practitioners, covering a wide variety of international affairs topics around the world.

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Career planning and the Master of International Business (MIB) program

Longtime readers will know Lucas from past blog contributions. Over the past few years, Lucas has become our primary in-house application process and information systems expert (and we continue to turn to him to teach us things we may have forgotten, whether he likes it or not). He’s also taken on a new role working with our international business degree program. Lucas will drop in on the blog periodically to highlight the various goings-on within the program, as well as with the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC), the Fletcher research center that houses it.

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SIMULEX 2018

One of the highlights of the academic year is taking place this weekend at Fletcher. SIMULEX, the annual crisis management exercise hosted by the International Security Studies Program (ISSP), will take over the building on Friday and Saturday. While my mental image of SIMULEX sometimes resembles a game of Nukem!, or involves tense standoffs and commands of “turn your key, sir,” in reality it’s a major learning and professional networking opportunity for the Fletcher community, and not limited only to students formally focusing on security studies.

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Decolonizing International Relations

It’s been a busy week at Fletcher, which means a busy week for this blog, as well. There are so many events that take place throughout the year here that it’s impossible to highlight them all on this platform, but one happening today particularly caught my attention. The inaugural “Decolonizing International Relations” conference is currently in progress, and it’s an impressive event. Organized by the student-run Fletcher Students of Color and Allies (FSCA), the conference will apply critical theory to a variety of subject areas, highlight non-Western contributions and perspectives in academia and the field, and explore the role of power and access in the study and practice of international relations.

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Happy National Coming Out Day from Pride at Fletcher!

In celebration of National Coming Out Day, Pride at Fletcher, a student organization for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ as well as allies, is offering cookies and support to passers-by in the Hall of Flags. I was lucky enough to happen upon the display when it was still relatively full, which I don’t expect will last (to my friends at Pride, you make great cookies!).

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