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Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era [Paperback]

by Philip Seib
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 24, 2012 0230339433 978-0230339439 2/14/12
The 2011 uprisings in the Middle East proved that democracy retains its appeal, even to people who have long lived without it. They also illustrated how, in a high-speed, media-centric world, conventional diplomacy has become an anachronism. Not only do events move quickly, but so too does public reaction to those events. The cushion of time that enabled policymakers to judiciously gather information and weigh alternatives is gone. Real-Time Diplomacy analyzes the essential, but often unhappy, marriage between diplomacy and new media, evaluating media's reach and influence, and determining how policy makers might take advantage of media's real-time capabilities rather than being driven by them.

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Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era + The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Carefully researched and written, this is a valuable study of the role of the changing global media environment on political behavior, including a discussion of the 2011 Arab world uprisings and the diplomatic challenges that both popular movements and media developments present to many governments, including ours. At a time when pundits and commentators offer differing theories on these events, the author gives us a balanced, sober and insightful account that provides specialists with new ways of thinking, and general audiences with a valuable overview. This book will be assigned reading for my students." - William A. Rugh, former US ambassador, visiting professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and author of Arab Mass Media

"Real-Time Diplomacy not only draws readers into the compelling narratives of personal sacrifice and collective risk during the Arab Spring, but it provides the broader context needed to really understand the political impact and implications of technology diffusion. Seib is an authority on public diplomacy, and his latest book is real-time social science at its best. Most important, for the policy makers, journalists, and interested public who don't want to just be spectators to current events, this book offers insight into the long-term digital media trends that will shape international relations in the years ahead." - Philip N. Howard, professor of Communication, University of Washington

"Real-Time Diplomacy is far more than an authoritative guide to understanding the role of social media in the Arab Awakening of 2011. It is about why and how new communication technologies have forever changed the relationship between politicians and publics. This book is simply unmissable reading for policy makers, informed citizens, and political activists to navigating the global networked politics of the 21st century." - Cristina Archetti, lecturer in Politics and Media, University of Salford

About the Author

Philip Seib is a professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and a professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California, as well as the director of USC's Center on Public Diplomacy. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Headline Diplomacy: How News Coverage Affects Foreign Policy; The Global Journalist: News and Conscience in a World of Conflict; Beyond the Front Lines: How the News Media Cover a World Shaped by War; Broadcasts from the Blitz: How Edward R. Murrow Helped Lead America into War; New Media and the New Middle East; The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics; Toward A New Public Diplomacy: Redirecting U.S. Foreign Policy; Global Terrorism and New Media: The Post-Al Qaeda Generation; and Al Jazeera English. He is editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Series in International Political Communication, co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy, and co-editor of the journal Media, War, and Conflict.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2/14/12 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230339433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230339439
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format:Paperback
Diplomacy is a third-rate practice at this time, largely because the governments representated by diplomats lack intelligence with integrity and are also not held accountable for making grand mistakes with consequencies measured in trillions over time. The diplomats are messengers, nothing more. Indeed, I question the author's assumption that diplomacy has even been carried out with methodical deliberation -- rather I believe that great power "diplomacy" has been imperial in nature, and is best represented today by Henry Kissinger and his immortal quotes:

Henry Kissinger: Military men are `dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy.

Henry Kissinger: "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."

What is most interesting about this book is its recognition that social media makes possible real-time intelligence (thinking, understanding, decision-support) and that social media now also makes possible real-time counterintelligence -- the rapid detection of lies by the mandarins and their media submissives.

Alvin Toffler started this conversation with Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century. An entire literature has been created in the past decade centered on collective intelligence, with low-brow titles focusing on wisdom of the crowds and armies of davids.

In the real world the possibilites are represented by CrisisMappers and their utilization of open source humanitarian technologies (affordable, inter-operable, and scalable, not attributes of any government information system today).
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