The Banality of Soft Power

In the autumn of 1990, Joseph Nye sought to re-imagine what American power would like in the 21st century. Writing near the end of the Cold War, Nye offered scholars and policy makers a new conceptual framework through which they could understand power dynamics in a changing world. The Cold War would soon be over,... 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 →

America’s Selfie in the Age of Trump

Note: This post first appeared on the Global Policy website For over a decade the State Department has relied on social media sites to counter extremist narratives, engage in conversation with foreign publics and shape the global diplomatic agenda. Importantly, the State Department also uses social media to manage America's global image. The need to... Continue Reading →

Between National Brands and Leaders’ Brands

Last week British consultancy firm Portland Communications published its yearly Soft Power Index. The Index soon garnered global media attention as France ranked first trouncing America which had to settle for third place. According to Jonathan McClory, author of the Soft Power 30 report, France advanced to the first place thanks, in part, to the... Continue Reading →

Can Brand Trudeau Help Shape Brand Canada?

In September of 2009, John A. Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz penned an article titled “Can Brand Obama Rescue Brand America?” In this article, the authors postulate that the traits associated with brand Obama may help bolster the international image of America which, following the Bush presidency, was that of a polluting, greedy militaristic empire.... Continue Reading →

A Missed Opportunity: China’s Use of Digital Diplomacy during the G20 Summit

Earlier this month, China hosted the leaders of the G20 countries for their annual summit. International summits have traditionally played an important role in diplomacy. On the one hand, summits hold ceremonial or dramatic importance as they demonstrate one of diplomacy’s function in international relations- ensuring stability and peace. On the other hand, summits also... Continue Reading →

Is Digital Diplomacy Really Domestic Diplomacy?

On the 30-31 of March of 2016, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the University of Tel Aviv co-hosted Israel's first digital diplomacy conference. Alongside representatives from 20 foreign ministries, and leading academics from the fields of communication, international relations and diplomacy, we endeavored to further investigate the term "digital diplomacy". Over the next few weeks,... Continue Reading →

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