Trade and Globalisation

Reports and papers

The case for critical digital diplomacy

22 Feb 2017 - 15:13
Source: slgckgc/flickr

A debate on the impact of digitisation on diplomatic practice is currently taking place in most of the world's diplomatic services. In this working paper the authors look at new media studies to understand the issues related to digital diplomacy, inform the literature on diplomacy, and make policy recommendations for foreign ministries.

It is important to articulate the politics behind digital diplomacy rather than just applying digital tools to existing practices, and to confront the emerging reality of diplomatic engagement in a digitised world. No one can afford to ignore the underlying infrastructures of digital technologies and a critical attitude towards real-life actors behind the software and their intentions is paramount, since these actors control popular platforms with a powerful political impact and an exceptional mediatory capacity.

This working paper is written within the context of the project 'Diplomacy in the 21st Century' of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.