Diplomatie : reframing secrecy in the age of digital diplomacy
The increasing importance of media, especially digital media in society has been studied widely, from identity formation to activist movements. In international relations, digital media studies have focused considerably on public digital diplomacy and social networks, sometimes neglecting a crucial step: the making, the processing and the transmission of the sacrosanct and secret diplomatic data. This study aims to explore how digital revolutions impact on the way diplomats communicate and share information. The dependent question will revolve around the notion of secrecy; the independent question will analyse secrecy in the era of digital diplomacy. A statistical database was built and semi-structured interviews with American, French and South African diplomats have been conducted. It aims to highlight three thematic fields. The first one looks into organization, legitimacy, sovereignty and governance issues raised by the emergence of new technologies. The second one looks into the redefinition of secrecy in our digital era. The third part is a case study that will investigate how software, open platforms and processing of computerized data redefine, modernize and legitimize the way diplomats work, share information and engage with the general public for the greater good. The main assumption is that public action will only be legitimate in society if – and only if – society recognizes the state as a true network actor.