Oxford #DigitalDiplomacy Research Group

The Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group is an academic collaborative project that aims to further the study and practice of digital diplomacy. The Group is primarily focused on narrowing knowledge gaps between scholars and practitioners of digital diplomacy.

The group is led by Prof Corneliu Bjola (University of Oxford) working together with Ilan Manor (DPhil, University of Oxford) and Jennifer Cassidy (DPhil, University of Oxford).

The Group is currently involved in several projects.

The Ambassadors’ Forum- Special Event at the Cyprus High Commission in London

On 30 March 2017, the Cyprus High Commission to London and the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group will co-host the Ambassador’s Forum.The forum will explore the manner in which Ambassadors can best utilize digital platforms to achieve their diplomatic goals, and the goals of their embassies.Presentations will focus on the role Ambassadors currently play as ‘digital gatekeepers’, tools and working procedures that may enhance utilization of digital tools and best practises showcasing how current Ambassadors utilize digital tools to the greatest effect.The presentations will be followed by a Q&A with a panel of experts in the field of digital diplomacy.

EWIS Workshop on the Use of Netowrk Analysis in IR- Cardiff University

On June 6-10 of 2017, the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group will host a worlshop on the use of network analysis in IR. The goal of this workshop is to explore the use of social network analysis (SNA) to the study of diplomacy in general, and digital diplomacy in particular. The workshop seeks papers from scholars working in diverse fields (e.g., diplomacy, data science, sociology and security studies) so as to facilitate a multi-disciplinary evaluation of the use of SNA in diplomatic studies. Papers are expected to demonstrate the manner in which this novel methodology may be employed to further the study of diplomacy. This may include questions regarding the impact of digital diplomacy, re-conceptualisations of traditional concepts in diplomacy (e.g., power, hierarchy, representation, prestige, etc. ), investigations of structural changes in diplomacy brought about by digitisation, and examinations of SNA contributions to the management of change in the international system (including strategies for countering state-sponsored propaganda and for combating violent extremism).In addition, we encourage submissions that identify both the theoretical and practical limitations of social network analysis.

Special Issue of Global Affairs

In November of 2016, Prof. Corneliu Bjola edited a special issue of Global Affairs including a variety of articles focusing on digital diplomacy. Articles explore the use of strategic digital communication during a crisis, how to best measure digital diplomacy and how MFAs can best offer citizens consular aid using digital platforms. For all articles visit here

Digital Diplomacy Event at the UN in Geneva

On the 2nd of December, the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Reserach Group will co-host an event with the Latvian mission to the UN in Geneva. The event is open to diplomats, academics, NGOs and other members of the Geneva digital community. The event will focus on evaluating Return on Investments in Digital Diplomacy activities. For more information visit the event website.

London Digital Diplomacy Lecture Series

On May of 2016 the Group launched the London digital diplomacy lecture series in collaboration with the Israeli embassy in London. The series will consist of three lectures each offering unique insight into the study and practice of digital diplomacy. Prof. Corneliu Bjola will address the ethical dilemmas arising from diplomats’ use of social media. Ilan Manor will offer best practise for embassies migrating to digital tools while Jennifer Cassidy will explore crisis communication in the age of digital diplomacy.

The talks will be attended by scholars and diplomats. This project also aims to create an online community of scholars and diplomats that may jointly address the transformative impact digital tools have had on diplomacy.

For more info on the Lecture Series, contact Ilan Manor (ilan.manor@stx.ox.ac.uk).

Strategic Use of Digital Diplomacy- Beyond the Social Media Obsession

This one day seminar brought together scholars of diplomacy to advance the research and practice of strategic digital diplomacy. For a review of the seminar’s outcomes, and other activities the group has recently organized, see the video below.


Digital Diaspora Event- May 20th, 2016

On May the 20th, the Group will host diplomats from 20 embassies to London at the University of Oxford for a one day workshop on Digital Diaspora Diplomacy. The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian MFA. This workshop will explore how embassies can best use digital tools to engage with Diasporas. Moreover, the workshop will reflect on how digital tools have transformed Diasporas from imagined communities to virtual ones and how such changes impact the practice of Diaspora diplomacy.

For more info on this event, follow the hashtag #DigDiploROx on Twitter.

Recent Publications of the Group

Digital Diplomacy- the State of the Art by Prof. Corneliu Bjola

Crafting strategic MFA communication policies during times of political crisis: a note to MFA policy makers by Jeniffer Cassidy and Ilan Manor

Evaluating Palestine’s Digital Diplomacy By Mr. Ilan Manor

Practicing Digital Diaspora Diplomacy by Prof. Corneliu Bjola

Does Diplomacy (Still) Matter? By Porf. Corneliu Bjola

Digital Diplomacy and the Bubble Effect: The NATO scenario. By Prof. Corneliu Bjola

Digitize This! Making Sense of MFAs’ Organizational Culture in the Digital Age. By Prof. Corneliu Bjola

Are We There Yet: Have MFAs Realized the Potential of Digital Diplomacy? By Mr. Ilan Manor

The NATO Bubble and the NATO Network. By Mr. Ilan Manor

Digital Diplomacy in Africa: A Research Agenda. By Mr. Ilan Manor

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