, ,

Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains – daisy chains – of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridiculous, always strange. And in a way, every social action is a negotiation, a compromise between ‘his,’ ‘her’ or ‘their’ wish and yours. Andy Warhol


Image source: Flickr – Giuseppe Calsamiglia (CC BY ND 2.0)



Smart power + Diplomacy = Smart Diplomacy?


, , , , ,

During the last decade, Professor Joseph S. Nye introduced and developed the concept of Smart Power as a combination of coercive and soft power to achieve goals in international relations, arguing that neither soft nor hard power alone could produce effective foreign policy.

A few years later, under the Obama administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton popularized smart power and defined it as choosing the right combination of tools – diplomatic, economic, political, legal, and cultural – for a particular situation.

In this article, Younes El Ghazi advocates for the concept of Smart Diplomacy as the practice of smart power beyond traditional diplomacy, identifying as well the three critical pillars that could grant effectiveness to this new paradigm: Digital Capabilities, Multi-Stakeholder Diplomacy and Feminist Diplomacy.


Image source: Pixabay – geralt (Public domain)





Why we need strangeness


, ,

“People aren’t close or distant: they are a combination of the two”. Without even realizing it, we’re barricading ourselves against strangeness — people and ideas that don’t fit the patterns of who we already know, what we already like and where we’ve already been. In this TED Maria Bezaitis makes a call for technology to deliver us to what and who we need, even if it’s unfamiliar and strange. Actually in her opinion the digital era is changing the meaning of “stranger”; in fact, in the context of digital relations we are stil doing things with people we don’t know, with strangers. Hence, in the context of the broad range of digital relations safely seeking strangeness could be a new basis of innovation.


Click here to watch the TED