Glossary

This is a glossary of words relevant to the discussion of citizen diplomacy and eDiplomacy. The definitions below are the ones I use, but be aware that most of them are hotly debated. The words in Italic are also defined in the glossary.

Civil Society: Civil society is first and foremost defined negatively as non-state agents: individuals, groups and organizations that are distinct from government. Examples are NGO’s, faith-groups, revolutionary movements and bloggers (Pigman 2010:88). When I talk about civil society on this blog, I also exclude business.

Crowdfunding: The process of funding your projects by a multitude of people contributing a small amount in order to attain a certain monetary goal.

Cultural Diplomacy: The exchange of culture for diplomatic purposes, cultural diplomacy in practice is for instance when the populations of two countries exchange ideas, values and culture with the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding.

Diplomacy: A tool of Foreign Policy (Onuoha 2008:239), diplomacy is the management of International Relations (note that this is my definition: Diplomacy is a hotly debated concept). Read a more in depth definition here.

eDiplomacy: The kind of diplomacy that purposefully uses the Internet. It is important to note that the term does not specify the actors  involved. As far as I understand eDiplomacy can be undertaken by government appointed diplomats as well as civil society actors. Read More. 

Information technology (IT): Has to do with computer-based information systems. There is a discussion about weather it also includes telecommunications and tv, but most people use it to refer to computer stuff (Wikipedia).  

International: Technically this means everything that goes on between (inter-) nation states, be it trade, politics, war or something else. As opposed to the term Transnational the national borders still have influence when something is international.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO): Although this term could be interpreted to mean all organizations that aren’t made by governments/states, this is more often used to refer to the many advocacy groups/non-profits that are comprised of individuals and operate transnationally (not just in one state).

Open source: Traditionally the term was developed to describe the kinds of programs where the source code is available free to the general public for use and/or modification. It is being used to describe collaborative efforts in which more users improve upon one product and share the changes with the community (Webopedia).

Public Diplomacy: The kind of diplomacy that takes place between government appointed diplomats and the public of a foreign country as opposed to traditional diplomacy that would take place between diplomats/the government agents from different countries (Seib 2009). Read a more in depth definition here.

Soft Power: Joseph Nye is the authority on the soft power concept, which he defines as: “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments” (Nye 2004: x). It is juxtaposed to the traditional power or hard power concepts, where power is considered the ability to force your will.

Smart Power: the mix of soft and hard power strategies in a way that is mutually reinforcing (Wilson 2008:115). It is obvious from that definition that this is a loaded term that supposes the mix of hard and soft power to be “smart”, something that I problematized in my bachelor thesis on the counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan.

State: In this blog and in Political Science in general we don’t mean “State” as in “California”, but like the word “nation-State”: like “Denmark”. States are often the unit of research (like in Comparative Politics), and together the states perform International Politics like waging war and signing treaties.

Track-II Diplomacy: Unofficial, policy related, problem solving dialogue between two conflicting groups. Track-II diplomacy is contrasted with Track-I Diplomacy, which is official diplomacy or traditional diplomacy. Read more.

Transnational: It is different from International although the definitions are related; they both refer to something that takes place across national borders. “Trans”-national refers to something that transcends national boundaries, so could be cooperations between individuals or groups regardless of their country of origin.

The Internet: The connection of cables and computers that enable but is different from the World Wide Web. Read more.

The World Wide Web: The display of web pages: how information dissemination takes place. Read more. 

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Upcoming definitions: Collaborative governance, Web 2.0, Crowd sourcing, Citizen Diplomacy

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