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…

The New Network Gatekeepers

Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing Anne Marie Slaughter’s recent book ‘The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World’. Slaughter’s book encourages academics and policymakers to view the world through two metaphors- that of the chessboard and that of the web. The chessboard metaphor has long since inspired diplomats…

2017: A Year of Digital Uncertainty

In many respects, 2017 was a year of digital uncertainty. It was a year in which digital platforms were used to weaponize uncertainty. It was a year in which the societal role of digital platforms became uncertain. It was a year in which the relationship between states and tech gaits became uncertain. And it was…

Do MFAs Really Attract Journalists on Social Media?

Some have traced the origins of digital diplomacy to America’s need to counter Al-Qaeda’s online narrative and recruitment efforts. As Ellen Hallams has written, already in 2008 it was estimated that the internet was responsible of 80% of recruitment of Jihadi movements. In an attempt to stem the tide of recruitment, and counter Al-Qaeda’s narrative…

The Social Media Scare

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, angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of…