Cyber-Diplomacy: Managing Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century


208 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-2451-7
DDC 327.71




Edited by Evan H. Potter
Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, and Chile and the Nazis, and the coauthor of Invisible and
Inaudible in Washington: American Policies To


Authors of seven different articles discuss the importance of the
Internet, satellites, worldwide television (specifically CNN), and
mobile telephones to modern diplomacy. They note that these phenomena
render diplomats less important than they once were and give
decision-makers less time for to think. The contributors are professors
or diplomats with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade.

Ronald J. Deibert provides a reminder that the erasure of national
boundaries and the advent of globalization can have negative
consequences: “chronic unemployment, lost social safety nets,
crumbling educational and health infrastructures,” the removal of NHL
franchises from Quebec City and Winnipeg to the U.S. sunbelt. Yet,
Amnesty International and Greenpeace have greater impact because of

Elizabeth Smythe and Peter J. Smith review the campaign against the
Multilateral Agreement on Investment. Internet users in Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Austria, and much of Latin America participated
in unanticipated numbers.

Eytan Gilboa examines CNN and notes that officials of the first Bush
and Clinton administrations often received their information from CNN.
UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called CNN “the sixteenth
member of the Security Council.” CNN has even altered the U.S.
government’s agenda. Steven Livingston discusses the high cost of
covering foreign wars.

Closer to home, Andrew F. Cooper thinks that Greenpeace used
information technology more effectively against French nuclear tests in
the Pacific than could the Spanish Embassy in Ottawa against Canadian
government policy during the 1996 turbot war. Gordon Smith and Allen
Sutherland observe that modern technology allows a new embassy—like
Canada’s in Zagreb during the Bosnian War—to be fully functional
within hours of its opening. Evan H. Potter tells the story of Radio
Canada International and offers suggestions for its future. What the
world knows or thinks about Canada does matter, he argues.


“Cyber-Diplomacy: Managing Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,