Public diplomacy is an inherently social endeavour, engaging public audiences at home and abroad to shape perceptions and influence foreign policy outcomes. Social media has a part to play in this, with sites such as Facebook and Twitter gaining visibility and traction as ‘must-have’ tools for public diplomacy 2.0. This article casts light on the less visible but pervasive social media platform of Wikipedia. Taking a case-study approach, the article posits that Wikipedia holds a dual relevance for public diplomacy 2.0: first as a medium; and second, as a model for public diplomacy’s evolving process. Exploring Wikipedia’s folksonomy, crowd-sourced through intense and organic collaboration, provides insights into the potential of collective agency and symbolic advocacy. The article’s findings highlight the limitations within current approaches towards public diplomacy 2.0, and offer new approaches for public diplomacy’s more progressive agenda.
evgeny morozov‘iran: the downside to the twitter revolution’dissent(fall 2009) pp. 10-14; golnaz esfandiari ‘the twitter devolution’ foreign policy (8 june 2010); malcolm gladwell ‘small change’ the new yorker (4 october 2010); philip seib real-time diplomacy: politics and power in the social media era (new york ny: palgrave macmillan 2012); and peter van ham ‘social power in public diplomacy’ in rhonda zaharna ali fisher and amelia arsenault (eds) connective mindshift: relational networked and collaborative approaches to public diplomacy (london: routledge 2013) pp. 17-28.
causey and howard‘delivering digital public diplomacy’ p. 150; sean aday henry farrell marc lynch john sides and deen freelon ‘blogs and bullets ii: new media and conflict after the arab spring’ peaceworks (washington dc: united states institute of peace july 2012); seib real-time diplomacy; and fergus hanson revolution at state: the spread of e-diplomacy (sydney nsw: lowy institute for international policy analysis march 2012) p. 17.
geoffrey cowan and amelia arsenault‘moving from monologue to dialogue to collaboration: the three layers of public diplomacy’the annals of the american academy of political and social scienceno. 616 (2008) p. 26.
melissa jones‘monmouthpedia could bring wikipedia to chepstow’south wales argus(24 july 2012) available online at http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/9832698.monmouthpedia_could_bring_wikipedia_effect_to_chepstow.
waleed aly‘one armenia, many wikipedia articles’australian broadcasting corporation radio national(4 august 2014) online at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/one-armenia2c-many-wikipedia-articles/5647654.
bjola and jiang‘social media and public diplomacy’ p. 73. see also stuart murray ‘evolution not revolution: the digital divide in american and australian contexts’ in corneliu bjola and marcus holmes (eds) digital diplomacy: theory and practice (new york ny: routledge 2015) pp. 127-144.
geoffrey cowan and amelia arsenault‘moving from monologue to dialogue to collaboration: the three layers of public diplomacy’annals of the american academy of political and social sciencevol. 616 no. 1 (march 2008) p. 22.
anne-marie slaughter‘a new theory for the foreign policy frontier: collaborative power’the atlantic(30 november 2011) available online at http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/a-new-theory-for-the-foreign-policy-frontier-collaborative-power/249260/.