Israel’s New Peer-to-Peer Diplomacy

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author: Shay Attias1
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  • 1 Public Diplomacy Department, Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

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The new Israeli public diplomacy approach seeks to empower Israeli citizens to utilize their position both as information consumers and producers in order to participate in grass-roots public diplomacy efforts. So-called ‘peer-to-peer diplomacy’ reflects the shift from ‘old public diplomacy’, where the nation-state has since 1960 been the sole actor in international relations, to today’s reality where average citizens play an increasingly important role. The notion of ‘peer-to-peer’ (P2P) describes the latest development in diplomatic practice, wherein civilians — by virtue of social media — are not only consumers of government information, but also information producers, with the potential to bypass existing official government bodies. Today’s public diplomacy is about more than governments employing ‘soft and smart power’. It is increasingly about dealing and collaborating with a public that can obtain and produce the information themselves.

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