“Mutualism on Information Technology and Diplomacy”

All through history of International relations, the flow of information has always been the essence of Diplomacy. Now, after the informational society has replaced the industrial society and when the internet penetrates every sphere of human activity, diplomacy is undergoing a process of drastic transition to a new, higher level of informational operations. The development of information technology has drastically changed the nature of diplomatic activities at the end of 20th Century, Internet diplomacy has emerged as one of the major branches of foreign services’ activities. (Petrosyan, Petrosyan: Diplomacy in the Light of Information Technology Development in the Caucasus, 2001)

The writer, Jovan Kurbalija points out different views and angles regarding the effects of Information Technology in Diplomacy. In a general overview of the article, it points out some of the advantages and disadvantages of Information technology in Diplomacy. It argues that the fast developments occurring in the age of information technology provides advancement in diplomatic practices of foreign countries from each other.

The changes that occur in Diplomatic practices which occurs through development in Information technology range from upgrading telecommunications and computer systems to rethinking completely the nature of enterprises and entire industries. The changes which occur range from immediate enhancements of training new staffs / people engage in diplomatic practices with the use of technology for long term challenges / development plans within countries involved in foreign relations.

In a view of individual, structural and societal levels, information technology will change the nature of diplomatic practice as well as those who are engaged with it who at the same time carry out the functions and responsibilities of diplomatic practice. According to Thomas Friedman, in many respects, these new forms of communications increase interpersonal collaboration, particularly in the business and academic communities. It is also stated in the article that if technology is use properly, new information technologies can provide the public affairs of governments meddle with diplomatic practices with new and effective tools of characterizing or describing the current status of their governments’ foreign relations.

However, the article relates the challenges in a State towards their sovereignty. It is argued in the article that the entry of globalization to a state through information technology is one way of lessening a government’s power over its territory (sovereignty). Consequently, the writer stated that “one of the paradoxes that needs to be managed by diplomats is that of protecting sovereignty and at the same time promoting state participation in the process of global and regional integration.” This statement from the last part of that articles’ section explains how people fro the government can cope up with the challenges faced by the government in terms of its sovereignty as affected by the development of its technological advancement.

*note this articles is purposely done for Asst. Prof. Jennifer Aquino's class Diplomatic Practice*


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