CDDRL Working Papers
The internet is enabling new approaches to public diplomacy. The Digital Outreach Team at the US Department of State is one such initiative, aiming to engage directly with citizens in the Middle East through posting messages about US foreign policy on popular Arabic, Urdu, and Persian language internet forums. This permits them to present the US administration's views on issues related to American foreign policy in a transparent manner. This case study assesses the process and reach of this new method of internet diplomacy. Does this method provide a promising new conception of public diplomacy for the USA and other nations to move from a more one-way information flow to a more interactive, and individualized, approach to connecting with the Middle East? Is this a useful complement to more traditional forms of public diplomacy? What are the strategic challenges faced by public diplomacy 2.0?