Hutongs and Smart Cities: paradigmatic shifts in the way of life

beijing-2Water, the indispensable element for human existence, has been and continues to be the organizing principle of human living arrangements. Communities evolved around the source of the water. Water wells naturally drew people around them. These wells compelled communities to negotiate among themselves how they would live harmoniously and how they would responsibly consume this indispensable resource – water. Hydraulic despotism (Karl Wittfogel) is very much part of the human experience, then when societies were evolving along the rivers and now when the “powers to be” build water dams. Continue reading “Hutongs and Smart Cities: paradigmatic shifts in the way of life”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 3: Different Thinking Styles Reflecting Prominent Philosophies

sanya_2017_small-134A concluding learning from all these explorations is that, just as on the personal level, on the diplomatic level it is equally important to learn about the history and language of the other culture when facing negotiators from differing cultures. One should not assume that the other side will always interpret things in the same way that he or she would do. Definitions and perceptions of concepts such as happiness differ in accordance with different cultural backgrounds. Negotiators need to be patient and sensitive towards nonverbal or indirect communication, build warm personal relationships and finally, another important aspect is to always show respect and maintain face of others, in the sense of not offending or surprising the other side (Glaser, 2005). Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 3: Different Thinking Styles Reflecting Prominent Philosophies”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 2: Indications of Different Cultural Backgrounds for Effectiveness of Diplomatic Negotiations

sanya-20170113-27Since I am sure that failure to understand and appreciate the other culture can lead to conflicts or misunderstandings when people with collectivist and individualistic cultural backgrounds socially interact, I can further assume that these cultural differences also have a significant impact on public diplomacy. Consequently, the next question I asked myself was what role these differences play in the context of diplomatic negotiations between Western and Asian countries. I think, just as on the personal level, it is important to develop mutual understanding for each other’s cultural differences to avoid conflict resulting from not being aware of these differences. Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 2: Indications of Different Cultural Backgrounds for Effectiveness of Diplomatic Negotiations”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 1: Effects of Individualistic and Collectivistic Perceptions of Happiness on Social Relationships

sanya_2017_small-204What is happiness? This is a question I asked myself several times during and after our study trip to China. Whether we were visiting ancient temples in Beijing or the world’s fourth largest statue Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, lighting incense sticks for prayers I always found myself somehow silently wishing for happiness. Besides this, we had the opportunity to visit the End of the Earth, the Edge of the Sky and the Rim of the Sea – a meaningful spot at the Southern coast of Hainan where couples go to have a very happy married life. To me, coming from the West, aspects of happiness are love, self-fulfillment and health, for example. But what does happiness mean to the many others, mainly Chinese, who were internally praying around me? Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 1: Effects of Individualistic and Collectivistic Perceptions of Happiness on Social Relationships”

Cities in Global Economy: How China does it.

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What is the role of communication technology in the development of global cities and what is the significance of metropolises in global economy? These were overarching questions we – a group of eleven students of the Graduate Program International Communication and Dr. Basilio Monteiro – explored during our two-week study trip to the People’s Republic of China. Right after New Year’s, on January 2, we took off to China’s capital Beijing where we spent our first week exploring ancient as well as modern sites, which were and are integral for the development of the city. For the second week, we travelled to warmer climates, to study at Sanya University on the tropical island of Hainan, the most southern province of China. Continue reading “Cities in Global Economy: How China does it.”

Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists: Impressions of the NYC Joint Session

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Written by Julia Theilen, a student of the M.S. International Communication at St. John’s University, New York. 

The U.S. Department of State’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists is an annual three-week exchange that brings more than 75 journalists from around the world to the United States to explore the ideal of freedom of expression and U.S. efforts to maintain and encourage this ideal. The participants – emerging professionals in print, broadcast, and digital media – examine the role of independent media in fostering and protecting freedom of expression and democracy. Continue reading “Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists: Impressions of the NYC Joint Session”

Careers in Think Tanks and Policy Institutes

pc-1207686_640A graduate degree in International Communication is not only for those interested in the corporate world, the government, the United Nations, or the academic world. Many expert organizations are seeking talent with international outlook, analytical expertise, critical thinking abilities, and superb, versatile communication skills.

 

Dr. Minna Aslama Horowitz attended the ASEEES conference in Washington DC, 17-18 November 2016. This blog post is a summary of the wise advise by the following esteemed Think Tank scholars: Continue reading “Careers in Think Tanks and Policy Institutes”