A Theoretical Perspective of an e-Diplomacy Maturity Framework

A Theoretical Perspective of an e-Diplomacy Maturity Framework

Hamad Al-Muftah (Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK) and Uthayasankar Sivarajah (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.2016100103
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Diplomacy forms the basis of interaction for countries throughout the globe, while propelling cordial international relations in a wide array of socio-cultural and political. This research outlines an innovative conceptual structure for examining the maturity and feasibility of e-diplomacy. The proposed e-diplomacy maturity framework is a derivative of literary analysis on e-government maturity model, ICT growth of stage theories, coupled with theoretical information and practical features of diplomacy. The e-diplomacy maturity model constitutes variables like the degree of complexity and level of interactivity. Integration of the two variables results in varying phases of the framework. Challenges implicated in the e-diplomacy maturity framework include: sensitivity hence discretionary nature of diplomatic elements, setbacks in organizational structure, and communication impediments on the part of diplomats, as well as, politico-economic concerns and socio-cultural tendencies of various parties.
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Literature Of Diplomacy

According to Sun (2008), many countries are progressively recognizing the need for precise and effective diplomatic relations in an attempt to promote and sustain economic competitiveness, political supremacy, and cultural relevance. As a result, such nations are constantly searching for novel ways to capitalize on diplomacy. In support of the preceding assertion, Armitage and Nye (2007) observe that diplomatic distinction is dependent on certain variables, key among them being utilisation of e-diplomacy. Also referred to as digital diplomacy, this modern approach to diplomatic relations involves using advanced information communication technologies (ICTs) such as integrated computer systems and the internet to execute diplomatic functions (Bollier, 2003). The subsequent discussion should provide a detailed analysis of some of the key diplomatic functions documented in literature.

Developing bilateral relation is a key function for any diplomat. Thompson and Verdier (2013) unequivocally stipulates that bilateralism encompasses economic, cultural, and political associations between two autonomous countries. Nations involved in these types of relations recognize each other’s sovereignty and agree to work together guided by defined terms and conditions. Partisan states usually swap agents, such as ambassadors, to represent their respective interests and oversee maintenance of these agreements. (Thompson and Verdier, 2013).

Promoting the home country and building its image globally is yet another key function of diplomatic relations and an indicator of diplomacy excellence. As denoted by Freeman (2007), tags associated with certain nations like terrorism, political instability, debt defaults, and human rights violations, often paint such countries in a negative light, making it virtually impossible for them to create and sustain productive links with others. These include implementation of prudent fiscal policies and practices that seek poverty eradication (Malone, 2005). In addition, they can pass laws that safeguard equity and human rights protection. This can go a long way in repairing a country’s image, increasing willingness by others to associate with it (Yucheng, 2012).

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