The turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia provides a stark illustration of how the digital revolution can empower individuals on a grand scale — but some members of the world's elite at Davos say it also can stifle diplomacy and give radicals the loudest voice.
During the street demonstrations in Tunis, amidst the signs demanding “Ben Ali Out” were placards saying “Thank you, Al Jazeera.” The Qatar-based pan-Arab television network has never been allowed to open a bureau in Tunisia – a prescient if ultimately unsuccessful tactic by Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s government...
During the street demonstrations in Tunis, amidst the signs demanding “Ben Ali Out” were placards saying “Thank you, Al Jazeera.”
The digital revolution is finally starting to penetrate that most traditional of organizations: the foreign ministry. Not surprisingly, given the pace of change in the digital world as a whole, the conduct of diplomacy is set to undergo a major evolution as these technologies shake up the status quo.
Wikileaks may be a shock to the system, but it also might bring certain public diplomacy benefits.