Mass communications and advances in communications technology pose fundamental challenges to the traditional conduct of diplomacy by reducing hierarchy, promoting transparency, crowding out secrecy, mobilizing global social movements, and increasing the importance of public diplomacy in international relations. But the primary source of change, the force that acts as a common denominator and accelerates other changes, is communications and information technology (CIT). Where nations were once connected through foreign ministries and traders, they are now linked to millions of individuals by fibre optics, satellite, wireless, and cable in a complex network without central control. These trends have resulted in considerable speculation about the future of diplomacy. Contributors include Andrew F. Cooper (University of Waterloo), Ronald J. Deibert (University of Toronto), Eytan Gilboa (Holon Institute of Technology and Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Steven Livingston (George Washington University), Evan H. Potter (Universty of Ottawa), Gordon Smith (University of Victoria), Peter J. Smith (Athabasca University), Elizabeth Smythe (Concordia University College of Alberta), and Allen Sutherland (Government of Canada).
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Evan H. Potter is assistant professor in the Department of Communication, University of Ottawa. He is the founding editor of the Canadian Foreign Policy journal and a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School located at the University of Southern California. He is also a former senior strategist in the Communications Bureau at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the author of Cyberdiplomacy: Foreign Policy in the 21st Century.Review:
"A significant contribution. This is an excellent attempt to clarify in a balanced way how to adapt traditional approaches to diplomacy to the new Information Technology (IT). Its analysis of the complexities of the confluence of ITs, transparency/democratization, and the notion of soft power is first rate. It clarifies the logic of Canadian diplomacy in a comparative context in the era of globalization and of soft power. It does so in a very balanced manner and points to future prospects in the use of Information and Communications Technology by DFAIT." Joseph Masciulli, Department of Political Science, St Thomas University "A significant contribution to research on the impact of changes in information technology on the formulation of foreign policy and the conduct of diplomacy." Paul Sharp, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota
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