Monday, November 23, 2009

Fisher's Public Diplomacy

The Ali Fisher article on Open Source Diplomacy provided innovative insight into the various types of diplomacy, namely cathedral and bazaar. Fisher presented the objectives of Open Source Diplomacy as creative and comprehensive, geared towards achieving cooperation and conflict resolution.

The factors for success that Fisher outlines, namely creating a genuine partnership among parties and incorporating civil society into decision making, reminds me of the radio show “Talk of the Island.” This program is based in Cyprus and acts as a forum for both Cypriot communities to discuss their grievances and future resolution plans. Like Greenpeace, this organization is successful because it offers civil society the chance to become actively involved in public diplomacy and government actions. This program reflects the idea of Bazaar diplomacy by spreading information and suggestions through technology, and challenging traditional political authority; it provides “an environment for new public diplomacy.” It seems that Bazaar Diplomacy has become the prominent form of diplomacy in our increasingly interconnected world.


  1. Hi Zoe! I was so glad to see that you had an example of bazaar diplomacy that did not include computers or the internet. While reading the Fisher piece, my main concern was that this new form of public diplomacy relied heavily on advanced ICTs and that many of the places where the US could use this new form of public diplomacy are areas of the world that do not have great access or use of the internet. I still wonder though if open source diplomacy really has the potential for influence that both Fisher and Corman, et al. foresee. Is it not just another assumption about how the audience or in this case the participants will react to this new communication style?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I had the same thoughts, Marie. All of the examples Fisher discussed were ICT based. How can you have effective open-source diplomacy when many people in the world can't access the internet? Are we now creating a new circle of "elites" and decision makers by separating between the connected and unconnected? This is an extreme idea and there are obviously other vehicles of diplomacy available to reach the unconnected but if diplomacy is moving in the open-source direction it is something to seriously consider.