Digital diplomacy

Office of eDiplomacy Public diplomacy Diplomatic rank
Coordinator of Bureau of International Information Programs Macon Phillips (left), responds to a question during a panel discussion -- Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign -- with Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Doug Frantz (center), and Assistant Secretary for Education and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, who joined via digital video conference, on February 18, 2014. Moderated by Emily Parker, author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground and digital diplomacy advisor and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, the panel discussion is part of Social Media Week New York City.

Digital diplomacy, also referred to as Digiplomacy and eDiplomacy (see below), has been defined as the use of the Internet and new information communication technologies to help achieve diplomatic objectives.[1] However, other definitions have also been proposed.[2][3][4] The definition focuses on the interplay between internet and diplomacy, ranging from Internet driven-changes in the environment in which diplomacy is conducted to the emergence of new topics on diplomatic agendas such as cybersecurity, privacy and more, along with the use of internet tools to practice diplomacy.


The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office defines digital diplomacy as 'solving foreign policy problems using the internet',[5] a narrower definition that excludes internal electronic collaboration tools and mobile phone and tablet-based diplomacy. The US State Department uses the term 21st Century Statecraft[6] The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development[7] calls it Open Policy.[8]

Digital diplomacy can be practiced by state agencies such as Foreign Ministries, embassies and consulates, individual diplomats such as ambassadors or ambassadors-at-large, and non-state actors such as civil society and human rights groups.[9]


The first foreign ministry to establish a dedicated ediplomacy unit was the US State Department, which created the Taskforce on eDiplomacy in 2002. This Taskforce has since been renamed the Office of eDiplomacy and has approximately 80 staff members, about half of which are dedicated to ediplomacy-related work.

Other foreign ministries have also begun to embrace ediplomacy. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has an Office of Digital Diplomacy[10] that is involved in a range of ediplomacy activities.[1] Sweden has also been active in promotion of digital diplomacy, especially through the online communication strategy of its foreign minister Carl Bildt who soon became 'best connected Twitter leader'.[11]

In July 2012, global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller studied the use of Twitter by heads of state and government, referred to as Twitter diplomacy. The study on Twiplomacy [12] found that there were 264 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government and their institutions in 125 countries worldwide and that only 30 leader's tweet personally. Since then, the attention on digital diplomacy as a tool of public diplomacy has only increased. In 2013, USC Center on Public Diplomacy has named 'Facebook recognizing Kosovo as a country',[13] as one of the top moments in public diplomacy for 2013.[14][15][16][17]

See also


  1. ^ a b Fergus Hanson (November 2012). "A Digital DFAT: Joining the 21st century". Lowy Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-03-22.
  2. ^ "E-diplomacy Platform - DiploFoundation". Archived from the original on 2011-01-23.
  3. ^ Definition of eDiplomacy by Alec J. Ross - HUBFORUM 2010. YouTube. 1 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Tutt. A. (2013), E-Diplomacy Capacities within the EU-27: Small States and Social Media (e-book access for free)". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  5. ^ "What is digital diplomacy?". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original on 2012-04-20.
  6. ^ "21st Century Statecraft". US State Department.
  7. ^ "Welcome / Bienvenue".
  8. ^ "The Cadieux-Léger Fellowship". DFAIT. Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  9. ^ Tham, Davina. "Taiwan's digital diplomacy gets a kickstart". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Sweden's Carl Bildt 'best connected' Twitter leader". BBC News.
  12. ^ "Twiplomacy - Mutual Relations on Twitter". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Kosovo Attains Status (on Facebook) It Has Sought for Years: Nation". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  14. ^ "PDiN Monitor - USC Center on Public Diplomacy".
  15. ^ "TWEET THIS: STUDY FINDS LIMITS TO NEW 'TWIPLOMACY'". Associated Press. 26 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  16. ^ Miles, Tom (26 July 2012). "@tweeter-in-chief? Obama's outsourced tweets top twitocracy". Reuters. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  17. ^ Khazan, Olga (26 July 2012). "Diplomats on Twitter: Putin follows no one". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 August 2012.


External links

  1. ^ Macmillan Dictionary. Macmillan Missing or empty |title= (help)