Title page for ETD etd-11062012-130718

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Naidoo, Dayanand
URN etd-11062012-130718
Document Title The role of information communication technology in strengthening South African diplomatic practice
Degree MDIPS
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Dr Y K Spies Supervisor
  • ICT
  • South African diplomatic practice
Date 2012-04-23
Availability restricted
This study will depart from the primary research assumption that contemporary developments and innovations in information and communications technology (ICT) impact substantially on the work of diplomats and the functioning of the foreign ministries. The practice of diplomacy including its legal framework as codified by the Vienna Convention of 1961 has always hinged on the importance of both communication and information in the global arena. Over the past decades, however, the medium, speed and frequency of communication have changed as a result of an unprecedented explosion in the use of technology. Global communication and the flow of information are no longer limited by vast distances and geo-political borders, and the ability to control and disseminate information no longer exclusively belongs to the state. The developmental schism between the industrialised global North and the developing global South is also impacted, as economic and political power increasingly depends on access to and management of information and knowledge. The challenge to their pre-eminence in the diplomatic domain, on the one hand, and on the other hand the realisation that ICT can add value to the core work of foreign ministries, have prompted various states to utilise new technologies to strategic effect in their diplomatic practice. The innovations applied by the foreign ministries of inter alia Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and in the non-Western World, India and China, offer valuable benchmarking opportunities for South Africa. The nexus between ICT and diplomacy is an area of investigation that is under-researched within the field of IR and specifically within the realm of South African diplomacy, hence the foreseen contribution of this study. By applying selected international best practice examples, it will be argued that South African diplomacy can be capacitated to a more comparative advantage if the opportunities offered by ICT are utilised in areas such as diplomatic training, consular work and public diplomacy.

Copyright 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Naidoo, D 2011, The role of information communication technology in strengthening South African diplomatic practice, MDIPS dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11062012-130718 / >


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