The Age of E-diplomacy - Reviewing and Rethinking Australia's Efforts in China [article]

Xiying Lei, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
Since the beginning of the 19th century, new technologies have continued to redefine the ways in which diplomacy is conducted, and importantly, the role of individuals in diplomacy. Like telegraph, radio and television before it, the universalisation of access to the Internet has dramatically transformed the form of diplomacy in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Where broadcast technologies allowed the state to transmit information to the public of their own as well as foreign states for
more » ... tic purposes, the medium of the Internet affords individuals the tools and platform to directly partake in the diplomatic process, and achieve a real, instantaneous effect in state to state relations, for better or worse. The prevalence of social media, such as Twitter internationally and Sina Weibo in the PRC, have in the first two decades of the 21st century further blurred the bounds of influence for individuals, media and government, and contributed to an internationally expedited news cycle, in which any of the aforementioned actors can have a profound impact on. As a constantly developing and changing concept, this new stage of Ediplomacy presents challenges and opportunities that are not, as this thesis will argue, easily placed within current conceptual frameworks of diplomacy. As a result, many actors are not properly equipped to either fully utilise its potential, or manage the risks posed by this new era of diplomacy.This thesis provides a definition for this new stage, Ediplomacy 3.0, with respect to the history of Ediplomacy and diplomacy more broadly, and through a case-study of Australian use of Ediplomacy on Sina Weibo on China, provides an overview of the ways in which this technology changes the diplomatic landscape and how individuals interact with each other and state relations; the challenges and opportunities this presents for states; and, on the basis of these findings, makes suggestions for the optimisation of Ediplomatic practices.
doi:10.25911/5ee359f881fef fatcat:ql6uumpgfzdwthyqgfgm2x2w7y