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Digital Diplomacy

Diplomacy is considered as one of the instruments for the state to achieve national
interests. As political and social conditions change in the global scope, which is caused
by the digital revolution, the interaction between actors in international relations is
getting easier. The existence of the internet and social media have prompted
significant changes included in the activities of diplomacy. This paper will discuss the
extent to which diplomacy has evolved, ranging from traditional diplomacy to modern
diplomacy or we know as digital diplomacy. Also, this paper would discuss more about
the digital diplomacy itself and the influence to International Relations. Digital
diplomacy is closely related to diplomatic efforts to achieve the country's goals or
national interest. Diplomacy itself is interpreted as the implementation of relations
between countries and other political entities. As for the relationship is represented by
official representatives and conducted in a peaceful manner. Diplomacy developed in
response to the global order, especially with the advent of technology and
communication.
Diplomacy no longer focuses on formal relations between countries, but leads to open
relations between state actors and non-state actors by utilizing various aspects
possessed such as economics, culture, food, including information technology. This
case raises a new concept called public diplomacy. Public diplomacy itself is an
attempt or instrument of diplomacy to spread culture, values, and also the attitude of
the state in order to build good relations with the community. Public diplomacy
ultimately places non-state actors in the efforts of the state. Related to this, digital
diplomacy is an instrument that develops in the framework of the concept of public
diplomacy. Digital diplomacy in relation to diplomacy of a country, can play a role to
help the foreign ministry and embassy representatives to achieve the interests of a
country.
In the other hand, digital diplomacy can also be a soft power instrument to make a
nation branding. For example of nation branding is our own tourism brand by ministry
of Tourism “Wonderful Indonesia”. "Wonderful Indonesia" is Indonesia's ongoing
nation branding campaign and has been used as a brand message that has been
agreed and disseminated by Indonesia. Wonderful Indonesia emphasizes Indonesia's
wealth of ethnic and local culture after Indonesia used the "Visit Indonesia" campaign
program in 2008. Wonderful Indonesia campaign has been delivered by a variety of

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communication channel, some of which are; the use of digital media via the official
website of Indonesia Travel and social media, creation and publication of creative
video, as well as overseas promotion. Wonderful Indonesia was assessed as
conducting various media campaign approaches in accordance with the target
community. The Wonderful Indonesia campaign was delivered with various
communication media / channels, namely the use of digital media through the official
website of Indonesia Travel and social media, creation and publication of creative
videos, as well as overseas promotions. The use of digital media is run through
websites and social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. In the creation and
publication of creative videos through YouTube and overseas publications, this is one
of the ways good audience engagement is carried out by the Wonderful Indonesia
team. Overseas promotions are made in various target countries, such as Singapore,
South Korea, India, Italy, Germany, the United States, and others. Digital diplomacy
emphasizes the importance of using social media, so digital diplomacy is often
associated with the internet and social media as a media of diplomacy. For example,
foreign ministries in some countries use Twitter as a social media platform for digital
diplomacy. As for the reason for the large number of Twitter users because Twitter is
considered to be able to spread official information, it can be a state promotion tool,
and can be a medium of interaction with the public. This case it is closely related to
globalization. The current of globalization will continue to be related to the life of the
state and relations between nations in the world. Globalization with all its
consequences demands a way of thinking into the competition zone, demanding a
dynamic thinking of government governance in order to be able to adapt to very rapid
changes, and global competition.
Based on history Diplomacy practices have been started for a long time and continue
to change over time as changes occur in the pattern of International Relations.
Practice of diplomacy began in mid-century BC. Armana letters written in the 14th
century BC was proof of correspondence carried out by ancient Near East with Egypt.
During the ancient Near East era, the practice of diplomacy at this time was only an
interaction that could be carried out by the gods as the highest source of power and
authority in the world. Religion has a significant impact on diplomatic relations so that
the community's political order is identical to the basic principles of religion. In addition,
diplomatic relations are also based on brotherhood so that coalitions and alliances
between countries are the main choice. War and conquest of a region is considered a

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punishment that is worthy of being accepted by a country for violating existing
agreements or regulations.

As time goes by, the practice of diplomacy also changed. In the ancient Chinese period
which was marked by increasing trade activities between countries. At that time China
emphasized the principle of “countervailing mechanisms of balance of power”. China
think if there are no eternal friends or opponents, including when forming alliances with
other countries. Instead of emphasizing negotiations, at this time, the strategy game
and warfare dominated in relations between countries who were equally eager to have
power. Diplomacy at the time of ancient china, identical to the bilateral relations,
bribery, secret alliances, and effort that can be used to maximize the power of the
state. Alliances and cooperation are not a priority because for China to increase the
power of their own country so that being superior is more important than having
dependence on other countries.
As same as ancient China, in ancient India the practice of diplomacy had the same
views and ways of relations between countries. Diplomacy is “a subtle act of war, a
series of actions, taken to weaken an enemy to gain advantage for oneself, all with an
eye towards eventual conquest”. Therefore each country competes to conquer other
countries in order to achieve their respective national interests. Warfare is still the main
choice while negotiations are seen as a sign of weakness in a country that has not
been able to survive in competition with other countries.
Entering the year 1815, various diplomatic activities such as the recruitment of
diplomatic representatives, the preparation of diplomatic procedures, the formation of
foreign ministries, until the emergence of interstate meetings, one of which was the
Wina congress. The congress was attended by strong countries in Europe, namely
Austria, France, Britain, Russia and Prussia. In this congress, every representative
seeks to resolve the political and territorial problems that are happening in Europe.
For the first time a peaceful conference between countries with the aim of solving
problems together. Then, the practice of diplomacy expanded to other countries until
modern diplomacy continued. Since that time the old diplomacy era began.
Then old diplomacy leads to new diplomacy where diplomacy activities are not only
focused on formal relations between countries, but involve non-state actors, such as
non-governmental organizations, transnational companies, media, public, etc.
Diplomatic activities are not only the responsibility of diplomatic representatives,

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foreign ministers or heads of government, but can also be supported by non-state
actors so that the results can be achieved maximally. Diplomacy no longer moves
between government to government but to many tracks or multi-tracks. Because it
involves many actors who are considered to have strong roles to support the
achievement of the national interests of the country. With increasing actors in
diplomacy, the instruments used also varied. In the old diplomacy, the instruments
used by the state in diplomacy were the country's own strengths such as the economy,
the military, and other resources they had to become a force in diplomacy. During the
new diplomacy, not only were they all used. One of the instruments used by countries
is technology and information, especially the internet and social media. Both can be
used as instruments because through social media, users can communicate, socialize,
and share information quickly and unlimited. The widespread use of social media can
be used by the state to carry out diplomatic activities which are often shown by other
countries. Other words, social media used by other countries to pursue their interests,
especially in the approach to the foreign community. Diplomatic activities through
social media are increasingly easy to do because almost all people use
communication devices equipped with the internet so that information about diplomatic
activities of any country can be accessed by anyone, anytime and anywhere. This
activity is what we call digital diplomacy.
Diplomacy in Digital Age, one of the source that explain about the modern diplomacy
just review a bit about the concept of Online and Offline perspective. The more
fundamental parallel debate is about diplomatic transformations that precede the
advent of digital media, which is drowned out by the buzz about the social media.
These debates about the ‘offline’ environment in which diplomacy functions have been
going on for some time, and are now interacting with discussions on diplomacy in an
‘online’ world.

Trust and communication, each of these issues involves diplomacy in its most basic
sense – namely the management of change in international relations by means of
institutionalized communication. However, each of the three instances demonstrates
just how difficult it is to manage communication in a highly fragmented information
environment. Central to all these cases is: The importance of public trust: these
events highlight the problem that official actors – national governments and
international organizations – confront in an environment where public trust is lacking.

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The problem of appropriate response: none of the three cases demonstrated a high
level of capacity to manage the situation. The hybrid nature of the policy
environment: each set of events demonstrated differing degrees of ‘hybridity’ in terms
of the actors involved and the strategies that the various actors pursued – whether
consciously or unconsciously. Everybody sees change now. With social media, when
you say something to one person, a thousand people hear it. So of course there’s no
such thing anymore as effective diplomacy that doesn’t put a sophisticated use of
technology at the center of all we’re doing to help advance our foreign policy
objectives, bridge gaps between people across the globe, and engage with people
around the world and right here at home.

The development of social media brought the goal of diplomacy to be far more
complex. The scope of the target is no longer only the international community but
also the domestic public and the society of a country living abroad. Conversation on
social media becomes an important source for the government in digging up
information and then processing it into government policies or actions. Social media
also change the secretive world of diplomacy to become more open and transparent.
Digital diplomacy is an easy and inexpensive tool for sharing goals such as responding
to disasters, gathering information and managing relationships. From all these
transition models of diplomacy, there are several challenges and opportunities that
might occur in this activity.

The opportunities that are actually strategic for Indonesia are:

Encourage information disclosure. The revolution in information technology and


communication in the social environment has changed dramatically, especially after
the emergence of social media. This allows each social media user to interact with
each other. Obviously this is very different from traditional one-way media, social
media is two-way and involves many users interactively. Every social media user
exchanges information with each other. It can even make valuable information and
answer every problem and challenge that is being faced by the country. In terms of
diplomacy, it is also able to capture input and perspective related to certain issues.
This interaction between many people becomes information disclosure. Information
disclosure in democracy is not new. It's been a long time since the openness aspect

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is available like open government, open source that used by many countries. The use
of social media is an opportunity for Indonesia to show the position of Indonesia as a
democratic country in terms of information disclosure.

Participation and Engagement (especially the Young Generation)


Information disclosure driven by digital technology in the form of social media allows
each actor to participate and participate in the process of information exchange.
Opportunities for Indonesia can take advantage of the younger generation because
social media users are dominated by young people who are still productive.
Opportunities for Indonesia to improve the country's image even show the world how
Indonesia's capabilities are like in the fields of economy and tourism. When economic
and tourism capabilities are discussed on social media and supported by young people
to be disseminated to the public, and the public responds positively to even
cooperation between government and actors, this is the success of digital diplomacy.
Community participation in the process of state and diplomacy is also important in the
process.

Solution and Innovation


Social media provides a great opportunity for actors to participate in the information
exchange process. Various problems that are being faced by the government related
to issues of political, ideological, social, cultural, defense and security issues both in
domestic and international spheres. This can be discussed in digital space. from this
digital space solutions and innovations can be created to resolve and behave towards
certain issues.

Besides the opportunities, in digital diplomacy there are also challenges that must be
faced are:

Commitment and Continuity of Vision, Policy and Organizational Structure


There is a strategic change in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2017, which
includes Digital Diplomacy as part of the vision, mission and government policies and
organizational structure. For example, the foreign ministry added an organization
called the Digital Command Center, which was under the Directorate of Information
and Media and the Directorate General of Diplomacy and Public Information to

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facilitate the use of digital diplomacy. The challenge is how is the commitment to the
continuity of implementation of digital diplomacy by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. Another important thing is how it is achieved. such as how the percentage of
positive responses on online mass media and social media towards RI's foreign
relations policies, the percentage of impressions and interactions on certain social
media, and the percentage of how public information is open and run smoothly.

Infrastructure and Budget


The government must continue to be committed to increasing the country's cyber
capacity. Infrastructure development is the key so that digital diplomacy can run well.
The infrastructure here is not only hardware but also software. This hardware and
software needs to be studied in a broader context, for example by placing
organizational structures and social values in which there is an individual role in
collecting, processing, and exchanging information with each other. In the complex of
digital diplomacy, the role of the foreign ministry in collecting, processing and
exchanging information with other ministries or other non-state actors including the
public is the creation of a technological ecosystem that indirectly and indirectly creates
a sense of interdependence and mutual influence between actors in the presence of
devices technology. Besides of infrastructure, budget factors are also things that need
attention. Government commitment can be seen in the budget so that the
implementation of digital diplomacy can be more effective.

Language
It looks trivial but this includes challenges in digital diplomacy. The challenge is the
use of language in information dissemination. It can be said that the Indonesian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in each of its activities on social media, uses more
Indonesian as the language of instruction than using English. Of course this has an
effect on the targets or targets of diplomacy carried out, whether this is for Indonesian
society or for foreigners.

Human Resources
The use of ICT devices is not yet the basic or core competency of everyone who works
in the foreign ministry. Hence of the technology is needed for workers in the ministry
so that diplomatic capability through digital media diplomacy can be carried out and

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directs Indonesia to achieve national interests. Through various capacity building
programs, some diplomats already have digital awareness, but not yet as a whole. In
addition, there is no structured monitoring and evaluation system for individual
performance in the use of social media.
The benefits of digital diplomacy itself can be seen from the ease of getting
information. Many internet users and sharing information with one another clearly
make it easier for diplomats to get information in a short time, we do not need to wait
long to find out information about other countries or non-state actors. Every users are
interact with each other so it's easy to process a case. Because each of the users
expressed their opinion on social media and that could be taken into consideration at
a formal forum. It also easily for each actors to communicate with each other’s as they
can connect by the social media. They can easily communicate borderless and
limitless. The society also can participate in the digital diplomacy as the main media
is the social media. Hashtag in twitter also can be a big data if it's further. Because it
is public opinion which is summarized in one tag. With this, it can also be easier to find
solutions to any problems that exist.
Diplomacy is directed at diplomatic excellence targets. Such as promotion and
development of the country's image internationally. An example of the country's image
is that Indonesia is a peace-loving country and is represented by posts which
represent if Indonesia is peaceful. From social culture it can be shown that Indonesian
culture is very diverse, and the uniqueness of local culture such as angklung, batik,
saman dance, etc. Tourism sector we can show our tourism place and Indonesia's
natural beauty to attract foreign tourists and make a nation branding for Indonesia in
the International world.
Indonesia through the foreign ministry policy has fulfilled several points of digital
diplomacy. Just to be able to meet the target of becoming diplomatic excellence such
as cooperation between institutions in promoting and developing the country's image
internationally, public diplomacy that can help social involvement, in terms of human
resources, diplomats have gained increased capacity support in ICT utilization, and a
number of embassy has been used as a media of social communication. The
implementation of digital diplomacy, the ministry still has to face the challenges
described earlier. Hereby, it is hoped that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can find
solutions and engage other actors in overcoming possible obstacles.

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