Preparing for the #Digital Future

Prof. Corenliu Bjola of the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group recently concluded that the first stage of digital diplomacy has been a resounding success. Although MFAs are risk averse organizations who value discretion and shun from the limelight, they have successfully migrated to social media and adopted new communication practices that centre on information sharing,…

The Woman in Purple- An Address At Warwick University

(The following is an address made at the 2018 Warwick Student Congress) American poet Allen Ginsburg opens his masterpiece Howl with the lines I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly…

How to Re-integrate #Digital into Diplomacy

The Challenge of Digital Diplomacy I often say that like Woody Allen, I was born into the Hebrew faith but later in life converted to pessimism. And indeed, I often have a pessimistic view of digital diplomacy. Yet I recently attended a conference in The Hague that filled me with optimism as more and more…

The Evolution of WhatsApp as a Diplomatic Tool

In December of 2014, I conducted a series of interviews with Geneva based Ambassadors hoping to understand how smartphones had influenced the conduct of diplomacy. Through these interviews I learned that  Ambassadors were increasingly using the messaging application WhatsApp to communicate with their peers. Such communication influenced diplomacy in three ways. First, the Ambassadors stated…

Should Diplomats Dump Social Media?

During World War 2, the US 101st Airborne Division took part in what would be known as the Battle of the Bulge. Encircled by the German Military, pounded by German artillery and freezing in the winter’s snow, members of 101st were told to hold their positions near the municipality of Bastogne at all costs. By…

The Digital Disruption of the Two Level Game

In 1988 Robert Putnam conceptualized diplomacy as a two level game. At the first level lies the world of domestic or national politics. At the second level lies the world of international politics. Putnam argued that these two levels continuously collide with one another. For instance, a government’s ability to negotiate treaties is limited given…