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The Development of Network Diplomacy: A comparative analysis--Israel, the U.S., and Russia. Open Access

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The research examines what are the main factors that shape state's policy toward social networks and new media technologies as an instrument to reach diplomatic goals. This comparative analysis of 3 countries--Israel, Russia, and the U.S.--suggests that ability to develop network diplomacy depends on the openness of the state's system to bottom-up innovation processes and the system's ability to cooperate with external actors. To make the networked model successful, the bottom-up impact should be followed by a top-down response that supports organizational and conceptual innovations. The thesis examines the factors that shape the design of political system and suggests three models for innovation on the diplomacy field: (1) Interrelated bottom up and top down processes (U.S.); (2)Only bottom up processes (Israel); (3) Only top down processes (Russia). The research demonstrates that the Israeli system is open to bottom-up effects; however, the design of political system makes it difficult to reach the decision-making level and to have a follow-up response from the top down. Bottom-up effects are possible in the U.S. system, and they create top-down responses. Moreover, in the U.S. case, the bottom-up and top-down effects are interrelated and independent at the same time. In the Russian case, the political system does not provide opportunities for a bottom-up effect due to political instability and framing of the network issue within security and political but not diplomatic contexts. The high level of corruption makes the Russian system to hostile to transparency and, consequently, bottom-up based innovation. Consequently, Russia has not yet developed any type of network diplomacy.In the broader context, this research suggests that the ability of the state to adapt to a new information environment depends on its ability to be open to innovations within bottom-up processes as well as making the innovation part of organizational and conceptual dimensions. It also suggests that countries with a high level of corruption and domestic instability are weakened by the development of new informational technologies because they are not able to open up the political system to bottom-up effects.

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