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Digital diplomacy

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Digital diplomacy

Coordinator of Bureau of International Information Programs Macon Phillips (left), responds to a question during a panel discussion -- Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign -- with Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Doug Frantz (center), and Assistant Secretary for Education and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, who joined via digital video conference, on February 18, 2014. Moderated by Emily Parker, author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground and digital diplomacy advisor and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, the panel discussion is part of Social Media Week New York City.

Digital diplomacy, also referred to as eDiplomacy (see below), has been defined as the use of the Internet and new information communication technologies to help achieve diplomatic objectives.[1] However, other definitions have also been proposed.[2][3][4]

In common usage the term digital diplomacy is often used as a synonym, but the meanings are distinct. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office defines digital diplomacy as 'solving foreign policy problems using the internet',[5] a narrower definition that excludes internal electronic collaboration tools and mobile phone and tablet-based diplomacy. The US State Department uses the term 21st Century Statecraft[6] The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development[7] calls it Open Policy.[8]

History

The first foreign ministry to establish a dedicated ediplomacy unit was the US State Department, which created the Taskforce on eDiplomacy in 2002. This Taskforce has since been renamed the Office of eDiplomacy and has approximately 80 staff members, about half of which are dedicated to ediplomacy-related work.

Other foreign ministries have also begun to embrace ediplomacy. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has an Office of Digital Diplomacy[9] that is involved in a range of ediplomacy activities.[1] Sweden has also been active in promotion of digital diplomacy, especially through the online communication strategy of its foreign minister Carl Bildt who soon became 'best connected Twitter leader'.[10]

In July 2012, global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller studied the use of Twitter by heads of state and government, referred to as Twitter diplomacy. The study on Twiplomacy [11] found that there were 264 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government and their institutions in 125 countries world-wide and that only 30 leaders tweet personally. Since then, the attention on digital diplomacy as a tool of public diplomacy has only increased. In 2013, USC Center on Public Diplomacy has named 'Facebook recognizing Kosovo as a country',[12] as one of the top moments in public diplomacy for 2013.[13][14][15][16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b
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  9. ^ http://digitaldiplomacy.fco.gov.uk/en/about/
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External links

  • Twiplomacy - Mutual Relations on Twitter
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