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.
E. Potter‘Web 2.0 and the New Public Diplomacy: Impact and Opportunities’ in Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World(London: Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2008) pp. 121-133 available online at http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-the-fco/publications/publications/pd-publication/.
E. Gilboa‘Public Diplomacy: The Missing Component in Israel’s Foreign Policy’Israel Affairsvol. 12 no. 4 2006 pp. 715-747 reprinted in E. Inbar (ed.) Israel’s Strategic Agenda (London: Routledge 2007) pp. 102-134.