EU diplomacy 2.0: The European Union’s exercise in soft power in the Philippines through Facebook
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Assistant Professor of European Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines
Publication date: 2020-06-15
Studia Politologiczne 2020;56
Digital diplomacy, also referred to as e-Diplomacy or Diplomacy 2.0, is a form of public diplomacy that entails the pursuance of foreign policy objectives using the Internet and social media. It is one of the ways that actors in contemporary global politics can exert soft power, thereby shaping a host country’s perceptions, agendas, and policies. The increasing use of digital diplomacy exemplifies a shift in diplomatic from purely government-to-government (G2G) relations, to one in which communication is directed towards publics (G2P), and can even encourage citizens to interact with one another (P2P). One actor that has become increasingly active in this area is the European Union (EU). However, unlike a country, the regional bloc is a coalition of twenty-eight member states. Consequently, the challenge for EU digital diplomacy specialists is to represent a group of countries to local audiences. There is minimal literature on this subject, and this paper hopes to contribute to it by presenting a case study of the EU’s digital diplomacy initiatives towards Philippines, which are communicated through the popular social networking website, Facebook. This paper argues that the EU exercises its soft power through its social media transmissions it creates. The individuals featured in its online content, the way that the European Union represents itself, and the issues it highlights in its posts are all geared towards shaping the perceptions of Philippine audiences.
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