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CHAPTER I - Introduction: Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology

The revolution will not only be televised, it will be instantly transmitted. When dictators fall, the world watches in real time; when complex negotiations take place, global public opinion has a seat at the table; and in crisis situations, immediately is not soon enough. Widespread access to information and communication technology (ICT) has permanently changed the face of international relations. In particular, it has transformed the conceptualization and practice of diplomacy. As non-state actors become increasingly empowered, diplomacy has come to encompass not only state-state relations, but various forms of state-citizen and citizen-citizen relations as well, all enacted in full view of the public. Diplomatic actors, institutions and processes are in the process of adapting—some faster than others—to these new realities.

At the second annual Aspen Institute Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology, or ADDTech, held in Aspen, Colorado from July 24 to 26, 2013, participants explored the ramifications of these issues, focusing in particular on the ways in which ICTs are affecting diplomacy, power relations, networks and publics in Southeast Asia. The group used a role-playing simulation to gain new insights into the intersection of social media and diplomacy in Southeast Asia, concluding with a set of general observations and recommendations.

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