Communication Power In Israeli Digital Diplomacy: Towards A Networked Theory Of Geopolitics
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This study introduces an innovative approach to the study of digital diplomacy by extending Castells’ theory of communication power into a framework that can be applied to assess digital diplomacy efforts for state actors. Using the core constructs of communication power, the study develops a testable framework by which digital diplomacy strategy and networking practices can be assessed using both interviews with practitioners and network analysis of their practice. These two types of data enable exploration of mental models of networked logics as well as actual practice in the networked environment. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was used as a case study for this project; however the framework can be applied to assess efforts of other states. The results indicate that the framework generated to assess power in state digital diplomacy efforts does provide a means to define and measure influence in state-driven Web 2.0 activities. The framework was useful for assessing communication behaviors across a variety of Web 2.0 platforms, but also utilized specific network analysis measures to assess influence on Twitter. In the case of Israeli digital diplomacy, the degree to which network logics guide both strategy and practice was dependent on position within the organizational bureaucracy. Embassies had networked logics guiding both strategy and practice in the digital environment; however, the majority of consulates defaulted to mass-mediated uses of Web 2.0 platforms. Network analysis indicated that despite being connected to a variety of sub-networks and key nodes in the digital environment, the MFA was not a frequently referenced node in in those subnetworks, particularly by influential nodes in those sub-communities. These trends indicate that they are operating from a position of counterpower on Twitter.
Chinn, Jacquelyn N (2015). Communication Power In Israeli Digital Diplomacy: Towards A Networked Theory Of Geopolitics. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from