Diplomacy in the Age of Simulacra

The age of Simulacra Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure is known for his theory of signifier and signified. A “signifier” is a verbal reference to a given object, while “signified” is the actual object being referred too. For instance, the word “chair” is the signifier for the object on which individuals sit in an office…

Ambassadors as Digital Gatekeepers

Technology has always influenced the practice of diplomacy and, subsequently, the role of Ambassadors. Until the 19th century Ambassadors were both extraordinary and plenipotentiary meaning that they had the authority to negotiate on behalf of their monarch and even sign treaties in his name. This was a result of the communication mediums that were available…

If The Cuban Missile Crisis Were Tweeted

Two weeks ago, Professor David Rothkopf broadcasted a podcast about digital diplomacy. In the podcast he wonders, like many others, how past crises might have played out differently had digital tools been invented at the time. Such is the case with Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 which often serves as an exemplar of crises management…

Is the Backstage of Diplomacy Disappearing?

20th Century Diplomacy For most of the 20th Century, diplomacy was practiced behind iron curtains. While diplomats would often pose for photo opportunities, such photographs were taken before and after their meetings. The diplomatic deliberations themselves took place within the inner sanctums of great palaces or behind the closed doors of historic halls. It was…

What is the Role of Former Ambassadors in Digital Diplomacy?

Ambassadors can serve as important digital diplomacy assets. Given their high profile, Ambassadors are often able to attract more social media followers than embassies. Additionally, given their extraordinary and plenipotentiary status as government representatives, their online comments soon find their way to media reports. Indeed, an Ambassadorial tweet can spark controversy, or add new opinions…

Open Letter to the ISA Leadership

To the leadership of the ISA, The events unravelling in the United States have led many members of the ISA to reevaluate their decision to attend this year’s conference in Baltimore. Throughout my short academic career I have adamantly opposed academic boycotts, including those against my own country, Israel. This opposition stems not from my…