Benjamin T. Jones; Eleonora Mattiacci, 2017, "A Manifesto, in 140 Characters or Fewer: Social Media as a Tool of Rebel Diplomacy in the Libyan Civil War."
Can rebel organizations in a civil conflict use social media to garner international support? We argue that the use of social media is a unique form of public diplomacy through which rebels project a favorable image to gain that support. We analyze the Libyan civil war, where rebels invested considerable resources in diplomatic efforts to gain the US support. Collecting original data, we find that rebel public diplomacy via Twitter increases cooperation toward the rebels when the rebels’ message clarifies the type of regime they intend to create and when it emphasizes the atrocities perpetrated by the government. Providing rebels with an important tool of image projection, social media can affect dynamics in an ever more connected international arena.
social media; rebel diplomacy; civil war; Libya; military intervention
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."