COMOPS Journal

Analysis, Commentary and News Blog by CSC Staff. Send inquiries or submissions to:

Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #69

by Bruce Gregory* Hisham Aidi, “America’s Hip-Hop Foreign Policy,” The Atlantic, March 20, 2014.  Aidi (Columbia University) examines changes in the musical genre hip-hop, its political and cultural dynamics, and its use by US and European governments as an instrument of public diplomacy.  He compares the State Department’s hip-hop initiatives to the Cold War’s jazz diplomacy and discusses their perceived value over hard rock and heavy metal for deradicalization purposes.  Aidi explores hip-hop’s strengths and […] Read more »

Recent Publications from CSC

Security vs. Liberty: The Discourse on Terrorism in the United States and Morocco and Its Societal Effects by Valentina Bartolucci, CSC Visiting Fellow Pre-press open access here. Abstract: This article first analyzes some of the main features of the political discourse on terrorism interlinked with the counterterrorism discourse as first instantiated under the Bush administration. It then focuses on the appropriation of the US-led discourse by the Moroccan government as well as on some of its major effects, […] Read more »

Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #67

by Bruce Gregory* Christopher Anzalone, “The Nairobi Attack and Al-Shabab’s Media Strategy,” CTC Sentinel, October 2013, Vol. 6, Issue 10.  Anzalone (McGill University) looks at al-Shabab’s media strategy using micro-blogging on Twitter and audio statements by the group’s leaders during and after the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya.  His article compares al-Shabab’s recent campaign with past campaigns, evaluates technologies and message content, and discusses both in the context of ongoing conflict in Somalia. Daryl […] Read more »

CSC Welcomes Dr. Valentina Bartolucci

by Steven R. Corman The CSC extends a warm welcome to Dr. Valentina Bartolucci. She is a Fulbright Research Scholar resident here during the 2013-2014 academic year, studying public diplomacy as anti-terrorism.  Dr. Bartolucci is an Associate Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Science for Peace (Pisa), a Lecturer at the University of Pisa, Italy, and at the Marist college campus of Florence, Italy. Dr. Bartolucci is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of […] Read more »

Aftermath of a Buddhist Shrine Bombing in Indonesia

by Chris Lundry On Sunday evening, August 4, a small bomb detonated at the Ekayana Buddhist shrine in West Jakarta, Indonesia (story here). The blast injured three people and damaged the building, although if the second bomb found at the scene had detonated the toll likely would have been higher and the damage worse; the bombing was timed to coincide with well-attended sermon. Immediate speculation centered on the act as retaliation for the Burmese treatment […] Read more »

Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #65

by Bruce Gregory* Michele Acuto, “World Politics by Other Means? London, City Diplomacy and the Olympics,” paper delivered at the International Studies Association, San Francisco, April 2013. Acuto (Program for the Future of Cities, University of Oxford) looks at how global cities participate in world politics as political and “(para)diplomatic” actors. His case study of London’s activities in securing, planning, and managing the 2012 Summer Olympic Games explores the evolving role of cities as diplomatic […] Read more »

Return of a King: A Cautionary Narrative for Afghanistan

by Steven R. Corman Here is a quiz:  In what South Asian war did a country invade to pursue its own interests, overthrow an existing government and establish a client regime, encounter effective resistance by local insurgents despite the superiority of its army, fight to a stalemate, and withdraw when resources and interest waned back home?  If your answer did not include the British East India Company (EIC) invasion of Afghanistan in the 19th century, […] Read more »

Boston Bombings: Rumor, Conspiracy, Denial

By Chris Lundry It has been over a week since the grisly bombing at the Boston Marathon, and with one perpetrator killed and another captured, analysts are now searching for the “why” and “how” answers. How did a seemingly well-adjusted young man fall under the influence of his brother and deign to commit such an act? Are others involved? Are there ties to a larger group in the US or abroad? Although some of these […] Read more »

Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #64

by Bruce Gregory* Christina Archetti, Understanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media: A Communication Approach, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).  In a book that challenges conventional approaches to understanding the role of the media in terrorism studies, Archetti (University of Salford, UK) offers a new framework to explain ways “in which terrorism is socially constructed through communication.”  Her book includes four areas of inquiry: (1) the role of communication, “more or less mediated by technologies,” in […] Read more »