[WebDebate #48] Virtual and hybrid diplomacy: What have we learned?


Event description

[WebDebate #48] Virtual and hybrid diplomacy: What have we learned? 

Tuesday, 1st June, 12:00 UTC (08:00 EDT | 14:00 CEST | 20:00 CST)

In light of social distancing and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, diplomatic practice had to adapt. Overall, diplomacy has proven remarkably resilient. Videoconferencing and other means of digital communication have ensured continuity of diplomatic practice and negotiations. Hybrid (blended) forms of diplomacy that combine in-situ and virtual attendance at meetings have emerged as another adaptation. Given the advantages, this form of hybrid diplomacy is here to stay. Diplomatic practice has always existed at the interplay of continuity and change, and the present moment is a crucial turning point which might determine the future of diplomatic practice. 

Join us on Tuesday, 1st June, at 12:00 UTC (08:00 EDT | 14:00 CEST | 20:00 CST).


In October 2020, Diplo provided initial research on this topic at its conference and in its research report. Now, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, we need to ask: Where are we now? What have we learned? And how will the future of diplomatic practice be influenced? In order to shed light on these topics, we are joined by two scholars from the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group.


Prof. Corneliu Bjola is associate professor of Diplomacy at the University of Oxford. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto (2007), and previously taught and conducted research at McMaster University and the University of Toronto. He was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a visiting fellow at the Australian Defense Force Academy (2012) and the China Foreign Affairs University (2016). His current research interests relate to the impact of digital technology on the conduct of diplomacy with a focus on strategic communication and digital influence, as well as on theories and methods for countering disinformation and propaganda. He is co-editor of the book series New Diplomatic Studies with Routledge, and editor-in-chief of the new journal Diplomacy and Foreign Policy.

Dr Ilan Manor is a digital diplomacy scholar at Tel Aviv University and a member of the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group. His book, The Digitalization of Public Diplomacy, was published in 2019. His co-edited volume, Public Diplomacy and the Politics of Uncertainty, was published in 2020.


About our WebDebates

Our WebDebates on the future of diplomacy are live-streamed on the first Tuesday of every month. They are organised by Diplo within the framework of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT). Learn more about our series of WebDebates here.