Digital diplomacy: success at your fingertips

Abstract

It is claimed that digital diplomacy will radically change how diplomats engage with the populace in the countries to which they are stationed. Facebook in particular is seen as a means by which embassies can speak to sections of the local population that have previously been difficult to engage. The European Union has signalled its intent to embrace social media more purposefully and meaningfully as part of its diplomatic effort. This article examines those claims made for digital diplomacy relying on data that show the patterns of use of Facebook by European embassies in Kazakhstan. The results show that, primarily, Facebook’s features are used for one-way communication of banal and routine information. However, little policy dialogue is evident.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Federica Mogherini, cited in “11th EU–Central Asia Ministerial Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan”, European Union—External Action, 21 December 2015. Available at https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/1773/11th%20EU-Central%20Asia%20Ministerial%20Meeting%20in%20Astana,%20Kazakhstan, accessed 14 August 2017.

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Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 693799.

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Correspondence to Neil Collins.

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Collins, N., Bekenova, K. Digital diplomacy: success at your fingertips. Place Brand Public Dipl 15, 1–11 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41254-017-0087-1

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Keywords

  • Digital diplomacy
  • European embassies
  • Kazakhstan
  • Facebook
  • Social media
  • Political conversation