Information and Communications Technologies, Online Activism, and Implications for Vietnam’s Public Diplomacy

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    Abstract

    Under the authoritarian regime, earlier iterations of Vietnam’s public diplomacy (PD), especially during wartime, reassembled propaganda and psychological warfare. But thanks to Doi Moi (i.e. “renovation”) in 1986, new understandings of PD were made possible with a revamped foreign policy of multi-lateralisation and diversification. This article argues that information and communications technologies (ICTs), especially the internet and social media, have further transformed the practice of Vietnamese PD. Focusing on the period from 1997 when the internet was introduced in Vietnam, this article first provides a general analysis of the influence of ICTs on Vietnam’s politics. It then delves into how ICTs have transformed Vietnam’s PD. The key takeaway is that the internet and social media have significantly empowered public opinion in foreign policy, giving rise to cross-border cyber communities that can play the roles of both recipient and practitioner of PD.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs
    Volume41
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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