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Virtual Diplomacy as a New Frontier of International Dialogue


The role and practices of diplomacy have changed profoundly over the centuries. During the last decades, this transformation has also accelerated further due to the emergence of certain factors – first and foremost, the use of new information technologies. This analysis aims to understand the internet's impact on diplomacy and how technological innovations transform negotiation practices. The analysis intends to address the proposed topic by focusing on some issues: lack of scientific literature, terminology that agrees with the level of readings and analysis, and contingency of some phenomena (as in the case of the coronavirus pandemic). To do so, the chapter will analyse the different meanings of diplomacy that have emerged over the last 30 years (and primarily those of digital diplomacy and eDiplomacy), highlighting differences and concrete applications. The impact of technology will be investigated through a progressive and historical digression. Finally, a concrete case will be discussed, with particular attention to the work of the United Nations General Assembly, in which international diplomacy has encountered technology, and the latter has modified practices and negotiations.