Border Diplomacy

2018 Issue

About the Issue

As this issue of Public Diplomacy Magazine, aptly

named “Border Diplomacy,” goes to print, the

issue of immigration is lightning hot in the United

States. The Trump administration recently upped the ante by

separating children from their often-asylum-seeking migrant

mothers and fathers fleeing violent homelands. Americans

were horrified to hear wailing children and see images of

them locked in cages like animals.

Meanwhile, U.S.-Mexico relations continued to fray over

Trump’s border wall, the Trump administration drastically

cut the number of refugees admitted into the United States

each year, and the fate of the DACA kids hang in the balance

as Congress repeatedly failed to pass comprehensive immigration


In reality, illegal border crossings are at a record low. As

Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times, “There is no

immigration crisis; there is no crisis of immigrant crime. No,

the real crisis is an upsurge in hatred”—against immigrants.

As we see in this issue, public diplomacy can help heal these

border divides.

Jenna Gilbert outlines how the Trump administration is manufacturing

a crisis at the border in order to push its extreme

anti-immigrant policies. PD Magazine Managing Editor and

incoming Editor-in-Chief Brooke Adams interviews Miry

Whitehall, who created a program that helps refugee and immigrant

families transition into and then thrive in their new

lives stateside. Carolina Sheinfeld writes about her experience

in an exchange program between Germany and several

U.S. cities with the goal of creating welcoming communities

for immigrants and refugees in both countries.

Jenna Russo argues that the award-winning musical Hamilton

shows how important the immigrant story has been to

America. Dalal Mawad highlights the positive stories about

immigrants and refugees that the mainstream media too

often misses or glosses over.

PD Magazine Staff Editor Dena Taha interviews Stéphane

Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General António

Guterres, about the UN’s approach to the refugee crisis. Jonathon

Moses writes about workers migrating to and from

EU member states in an effort to paint a more nuanced

picture of Europe’s migration crisis.

But border diplomacy isn’t just about immigration and

the refugee crisis. Nicolás Albertoni Gomez discusses the

relationship between international trade and public diplomacy

and how they affect public opinion in Latin America

toward China and the United States. PD Magazine

Staff Editor SarahBelle Selig interviews USC Professor

of Public Diplomacy Philip Seib about the recent Iraqi

Kurdish independence referendum and the possibility of

a virtual state.

And finally, I close this issue with a report on Iceland’s

highly successful place branding efforts, based on discussions

with government and NGO officials during a recent

visit to Reykjavik by myself and other Master in Public

Diplomacy students at USC Annenberg.

The theme of this issue is more relevant and important

than ever. We hope the ideas explored in these pages lead

to new solutions to border crises and raise awareness

about the key role that public diplomacy can play in


Thank you to the authors for their insightful contributions,

to the experts who agreed to be interviewed about

their work, to the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, the

USC Dornsife School of International Relations, and

the USC Master of Public Diplomacy program for their

continued support of this magazine, and to the 2017-2018

Public Diplomacy Magazine editorial staff for their hard

work over the past year.

PD Mag Editor-in-Chief Justin Chapman


Jenna Gilbert

Carolina Sheinfeld

Jenna Elizabeth Russo

Dalal Mawad

Jonathon W. Moses

Nicolás Albertoni Gomez

Justin Chapman

and interviews with:

Miry Whitehall

Stéphane Dujarric

Philip Seib