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Democracy, it seems, is resurgent. Yes, it is too early to tell whether the winds of change that have been blowing in the former Soviet republics and the Arab world in recent months will result in sustainable gains for freedom and liberalism. But the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, anti-Syrian protests in Lebanon, tentative steps toward a multiparty system in Egypt, municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, a revolt against authoritarianism in Kyrgyzstan — these are not insignificant events. After this dizzying succession of revolutions over the last few months, the question on many people’s minds — scholars, pundits and polemicists alike […]

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The Bush administration’s latest budget contains a significant increasein spending on ”public diplomacy” — government-sponsored programs tocommunicate with the citizens of other countries through the media andcultural and educational exchanges. The increase has been met with asigh of relief from foreign policy watchers who believe publicdiplomacy is an essential pillar of American ”soft power” and havewatched that pillar slowly crumble since the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War, the US Information Agency led America’s publicdiplomacy assault, broadcasting Radio Free Europe to Soviet Blocstates, broadcasting the Voice of America throughout the world, andsponsoring numerous alternatives to state-sponsored media […]