Wednesday, October 26, 2011

State Power vs. Social Movements

I came across this piece on Foreign Policy a couple of days ago and thought I'd repost it here, especially since I've been so silent lately. Again. After all, the state vs. non-state seems to be one of the new "major" debates not just in International Relations, but also in many other aspects of world as well as domestic affairs. More importantly, it directly affects public diplomacy and attempts to mobilize and organize individuals, groups, and movements, so as to bring about desired and concrete policy outcomes.

Anne-Marie Slaughter makes very strong points, and although Dan Drezner has a few good counter-arguments, her emphasis on networks (whether real or virtual) and their ability to organize and amplify their impact does merit attention. After all, in the increasingly complex structure of world politics, non-state actors are operating alongside states, with communication playing a key enabling role. It is here that public diplomacy and strategic communication can capitalize on the existing connections to strengthen and improve their achievements, whether directly or indirectly.

This is, of course, nothing new. Just interesting to see this debate in such a format. Long live social media!

If curious, here's the whole thing:

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