Profs & Pints: The History of Citizen Diplomacy
Profs and Pints presents: The History of Citizen Diplomacy, with Allen Pietrobon, assistant professor of history at Trinity Washington University.
Weve heard a lot lately in the news about informal diplomacy and shadow foreign policies being conducted by private citizens like Michael Flynn or Rudy Giuliani who are adjacent to the Trump administration.
The 1799 Logan Act declares it illegal for private citizens to attempt to influence or interfere with U.S. foreign policy. And yet, everyone from to jazz musician Louis Armstrong to Hollywood front man George Clooney to NBA star Dennis Rodman have acted unofficially as citizen diplomats in their own ways, often to the chagrin of the U.S. government.
Is this so-called citizen diplomacy wrong or, worse, illegal? Or should we be encouraging private attempts to improve international relations?
Join award-winning global affairs scholar Allen Pietrobon as he guides us through the long history of private citizens attempts to meddle in U.S. foreign relations for better or for worse.
Well explore the case of George Loganthe Logan Acts namesakewho privately negotiated with France in an attempt to avert a war. His mission ultimately failed and in doing so he made President John Adams so mad that he asked Congress to pass a law banning the practice.
Well compare Logans mission to that of prominent magazine editor Norman Cousins, who interfered in U.S.-Japanese relations after WWII to help overturn a U.S. policy he felt was immoral. The U.S. government tried to stop him but he ultimately prevailed. He later carried out bizarre private meetings with Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War and succeeded in helping to secure the passage of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Well follow globe-trotting citizens from France to Japan to Russiasome with virtuous intent, some with self-serving malice in mindas we explore how the actions of American private citizens have had a major (but maybe illegal?) impact on U.S. foreign policy over the years. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
The Bier Baron Tavern (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
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