Evaluating Social Networks in Public Diplomacy
|Author:||S. Thorson with H. Seo|
|Publication:||C. G. Reddick (Ed.) Citizens and E-Government: Evaluating Policy and Management, IGI Global Publishing. (Refereed Book Chapter) (in press)|
While many e-government applications have focused on governments connecting with their citizens, recently social networking tools have begun to transform the practice of public diplomacy by permitting governments to build and maintain direct relationships with citizens of other countries. In this chapter, we describe several such initiatives undertaken by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Our particular focus is on efforts aimed at South Korea. We present results from interviews with DOS officials responsible for technology-based relationship-focused public diplomacy as well as with U.S. Embassy officials tasked with managing one of these initiatives–Café USA–and South Korean participants in Café USA. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of e-government applications that cross national boundaries for our understanding of citizenship and suggestions for further research aimed at evaluating the effects of e-government applications within public diplomacy.