The era of digital foreign policy: Comprehensive approaches to digitalisation
As the theme of this issue, ‘foreign policy for the 4th industrial revolution’, suggests, diplomats and foreign ministries are faced with tremendous changes brought about by digitalisation. The ability to respond to these changes appropriately and effectively determines the future prosperity of countries. Foreign policy is already digital in many ways - including its tools and the topics on bilateral and multilateral agendas. In this article, we introduce the idea of ‘digital foreign policy’ as a comprehensive way of responding to the challenges of digitalisation and the 4th industrial revolution.
We argue that the comprehensive approach called for by ‘digital foreign policy’ is best captured by a three-part typology consisting of: (a) digital as a tool for foreign policy, (b) digital as a topic for foreign policy, and (c) digital as impacting geopolitical environment in which foreign policy is conceived and diplomacy is practised. The article then examines five examples of comprehensive digital foreign policy strategies. We highlight key elements, best practices, and terminological and practical differences. Following this, the article adds recommendations based on DiploFoundation’s more than 20 years of experience in capacity development in this area.
You can consult all articles from the journal: International Political Review – July – December 2021
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Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
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