Digital Diplomacy: India’s Increasing Digital Footprints
Social media has revolutionized the world from the lowest to the highest strata of the society. Diplomacy is one such aspect of the globalized world that social media has transformed. The foreign policy of any state can only be achieved through the practice of diplomacy. When states practice diplomacy with the help of social media to achieve facets of their foreign policy, it is known as Digital diplomacy. This paper tries to examine the use of social media in the domain of diplomacy and trace its roots in history by focusing on how the concept of digital diplomacy has evolved and accustomed to 20th century trends. It also explores the various components of digital diplomacy that are persistent in today’s world. Additionally, this paper tries to differentiate between the term(s) cyber diplomacy and digital diplomacy, which are used interchangeably quite often. It also tries to analyse how and why digital diplomacy is an emerging component of foreign policy. This paper also attempts to identify and understand the changes, practices and challenges that conventional diplomacy is experiencing with the changing times and how it is overcoming these problems. This paper also discusses the Indian view point on digital diplomacy, along with the achievements and advancements made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over the past few years. It highlights the factors that are responsible for MEA being able to perform extraordinarily well in the online space.