Digital diplomacy

Panel Discussion

Digital diplomacy in the 21st century: to Tweet or not to Tweet in foreign affairs?


Never before in the history of foreign affairs or diplomacy have heads of state had a method of such immediate and uncensored communication at their disposal as they have today with social media tools such as Twitter.

We saw social media play an important part in the Arab Spring, and recently in Turkey during an attempted coup. However, political leaders nowadays bypass traditional forms of communication and conduct foreign policy in 140 characters or less via Twitter, without reflecting on their action or its consequences.

Some argue that foreign policy should not be conducted via Twitter, while others feel that Twitter and the vast array of social media tools available today could launch a new form of public diplomacy, called Public Diplomacy 2.0. To Tweet or not to Tweet in foreign affairs, that is the question.

This panel discussion will be held in cooperation with the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL), an initiative by the German Federal Foreign Office and several private foundations and an international cross-sectoral platform for exploring a more inclusive diplomacy which goes beyond traditional politics.