The Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Diplomacy and Diplomatic Service

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Radunovic, Vladimir
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
Rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICT) has lead to significant changes in social, economical and political relations of the modern society. Access to information and control over it contribute to the prevalence of soft power in politics of digital age, and empower the non-state actors in international relations. Contemporary diplomatic service, besides being faced with enhanced roles, requests for extended outreach and accountability, yet shrinking resources, is also challenged with multistakeholder and multidisciplinary international arena. The profoundly planned and well organised use of ICT can empower diplomatic service, especially of small and developing countries, and help it cope with the emerging challenges and deliver its maximum. The paper provides comprehensive link between trends of the information society and the challenges of contemporary diplomacy. It analyses the potentials of ICT, as well as the related limits and possible risks, in key areas of diplomatic service: bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, consular work, negotiations, public diplomacy and the organisation of MFA. The paper suggests the apprehension of ICT with the implementation of necessary shifts in diplomatic practice, as respond to global challenges in international relations.