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The ODID blog brings together commentary and analysis by staff, students, alumni and friends of the department on the issues we research.

The views expressed in posts do not necessarily reflect the views of ODID or of the University of Oxford. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

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01 Dec, 2017
By Ilan Manor

Do MFAs really attract journalists on social media?

Some have traced the origins of digital diplomacy to America’s need to counter Al-Qaeda’s online narrative and recruitment efforts. As Ellen Hallams has written, already in 2008 it was estimated that the internet was responsible for 80% of the recruitment of Jihadi movements. In an attempt to stem the tide of recruitment, and counter Al-Qaeda’s narrative of holy Jihad against Western Imperialism, the State Department migrated online and began conversing with Muslim netiznes.

Yet nowadays, MFAs, embassies and diplomats are especially keen on attracting journalists, editors, news organizations and media outlets to their digital diplomacy accounts. Some hope to attract journalists as a means of increasing their online reach.

By
Corneliu Bjola
08 Aug, 2016

The diplomatic implications of the DNC hack

Revelations about the 19,252 emails leaked by WikiLeaks on the eve of the Democratic National Conventions (DNC) in Philadelphia almost derailed the Convention and threatened to undermine the campaign of the...

By
Paul Dornan
30 Jun, 2016

First thoughts on this year’s State of the World’s Children

Two big reports are out this week – first, UNICEFs ‘State of the World’s Children’ report, and second (given I write from the UK), the UK’s own annual official statistical report on low incomes within the...

By
Padmini Iyer
01 Jun, 2016

Mind the gender gap(s): Young Lives evidence on gender and education

The new Young Lives research and policy findings on early marriage and teenage pregnancy launched in India recently have important implications for education, particularly for girls and their access to...

By
Corneliu Bjola
25 May, 2016

Does diplomacy (still) matter?

“States receive so much benefit from uninterrupted foreign negotiations,” Cardinal Richelieu, the founder of the first-ever professional diplomatic service, once argued, but the nature of the much praised “...

By
Paul Dornan
30 Mar, 2016

Making research more ‘impactful’ for policy and programming

How social science research contributes to solving real world problems has always been a concern for researchers. Few people study social ills like poverty without wishing to contribute to policies and...

By
Corneliu Bjola
21 Mar, 2016

Digital diplomacy and the bubble effect: the NATO scenario

Measuring the impact of digital diplomacy using quantitative metrics (number of followers, retweets, shares, likes and so on) has become general practice among Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs), and for...

By
Gina Crivello
08 Mar, 2016

International Women’s Day 2016: ‘Pledging for Parity’ needs to start with childhood

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day campaign is ‘pledging for parity’. The ‘pledging’ part of the slogan draws attention to individual commitment and to action. ‘Parity’, on the other hand,...

By
Simukai Chigudu
03 Mar, 2016

In defence of Rhodes Must Fall and the struggle for recognition at Oxford

In 1993, Edward Said – the celebrated Palestinian literary theoretician and professor of comparative literature at Columbia University – gave the Reith lectures for the BBC. A quote from this series of...

By
Jörg Friedrichs
24 Feb, 2016

Rhodes Must Fall: from dignity to honour values

How many of those called racist or sexist are actually guilty of racism or sexism? Some are, but what about the others? Why is calling someone a racist or sexist different from calling them a liar or a...

By
Corneliu Bjola
04 Feb, 2016

Is resistance futile? Maximising the impact of public diplomacy on social media

One of the most sought-after metrics in social network analysis is influence. Finding out who the most important users are in the network and how they leverage their influence online is of great value for...

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