Digital Diplomacy: an Evaluation of The Means and Opportunities That Digitalization Brings to DiplomacyOğuz Göksu, Abdullah Özkan
The process of globalization has led to important paradigm shifts in the understanding of classic diplomacy. In addition to the established diplomacy of the elite, these shifts have created a new sense of diplomacy based on the understanding of civil society, which inherently aim towards social persuasiveness and are of a civilian nature. With this new sense of diplomacy, the private sector, business people, academicians, think tanks, members of the media, etc., have also participated in this process, leading to a wave of diplomacy which has acquired a more civil and democratic character. Undoubtedly, these changes have also led to other important changes in the language, style, and management of diplomacy. Developments in information technologies and the construction of a digital world have wasted no time in becoming reflected in diplomacy; diplomatic missions have begun to change in terms of structure and operation, and steps have begun to be taken in accordance with the requirements of the digital world rather than through classical methods. These new forms of relationships and communication channels, which have resulted from developments in communication, informatics, and information technologies, have helped diplomatic processes move quickly towards the use of virtual media. What is now prominent are concepts such as network diplomacy, e-diplomacy and social media diplomacy, and this has resulted in the era of digital diplomacy. This article focuses on the parameters of the digital changes and evolution in the field diplomacy, as well as the effects of these changes on the state, society, and individuals. As a case study, the article focuses on the digitalization of diplomatic activities in Turkey and the role of digital media in the ability of Turkey to adequately express itself is discussed.