Book Launch: The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy

In recent years, digital technologies have substantially impacted the world of diplomacy. From social media platforms and artificial intelligence to smartphone applications and virtual meetings, digital technologies have proven disruptive impacting the norms, practices and logics of diplomats, states, and diplomatic institutions. Although the term ‘digital diplomacy’ is commonly used by academics and diplomats, few works to date have clearly defined this term or offered a comprehensive analysis of its evolution. This handbook investigates digital diplomacy as a practice, as a process and as a form of disruption. Written by leading experts in the field, this comprehensive volume delves into the ways in which digital technologies are being used to achieve foreign policy goals, and how diplomats are adapting to the digital age.

‘The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy’ explores the shifting power dynamics in diplomacy, exploring the establishment of embassies in technology hubs, the challenges faced by foreign affairs departments in adapting to digital technologies, and the utilization of digital tools as a means of exerting influence. The handbook also addresses contemporary issues such as combating disinformation, waging networked war, how states can manage ties with Big Tech companies, the foreign policy of Silicon Valley and the emergence of hybrid and digital warfare. By examining cases from Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and North America, the Handbook offers a global perspective of this dynamic field. Through case studies and in-depth analysis, readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of the term “digital diplomacy” and the many ways in which diplomacy has evolved in the digital age.

Corneliu Bjola is Associate Professor of Diplomatic Studies at the University of Oxford and Head of the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group, as well as a Faculty Fellow at the Center on Public Diplomacy at USC and a Professorial Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. His research and publications focus on the impact of digital technology, including Artificial Intelligence on diplomacy, with a current emphasis on public diplomacy, crisis management, international negotiations, and countering digital propaganda. He has authored or edited nine books and over 50 academic articles and chapters on various aspects of diplomacy, technology, and international relations.

Ilan Manor received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2020 and is Senior Lecturer at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He is Vice Chair of the Public Diplomacy Interest Group at the International Communication Association and on the editorial board of two academic journals. His academic work has focused on the topic of digital diplomacy, and he has published more than 20 academic articles and three books focusing on digital diplomacy.

The event will be moderated by Tom Fletcher CMG, Principal of Hertford College and former UK Ambassador to Lebanon.

Corneliu Bjola and Ilan Manor will be joined by Dr. Pawel Surowiec-Cappell and Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, who will contribute to the discussion about new trends in digital diplomacy.