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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Digital Diplomacy 3.0: Personalized Diplomacy

From Digital Diplomacy 1.0 to Digital Diplomacy 2.0 When foreign ministries first migrated online, they viewed social media platforms as mass media channels. Much like the radio and television, Twitter and Facebook could be used to disseminate messages among millions of users. The conceptualization of social media as mass media was, in part, the result... Continue Reading →

Queen Rania’s Selfie

Introduction The Arab World has always had a strenuous relationship with social media. On the one hand, several countries in the Arab World monitor their citizen’s social media activity, ban social media or shut down social media during times of domestic upheaval. Such was the case when the Mubarak regime attempted to block Facebook at... Continue Reading →

The Personalization of Digital Diplomacy

In the early days of digital diplomacy, MFAs and diplomats viewed social media as linear communication tools. Diplomats believed that they could use social media to craft a message and directly disseminate it among online publics. Thus, social media was no different from other mass media such as the radio and television. Yet as the... Continue Reading →

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