Diplomatic Representation and Online/Offline Interactions: EU Coordination and Digital Sociability

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European Union (EU) diplomatic representation in third countries is performed by both the Member States and by the EU Delegation—a hybrid system of representation that functions through EU coordination. As social media have become essential channels of state representation, coordination also occurs in digital diplomacy. This article analyses how the EU Member State embassies and the EU Delegation coordinate EU representation through online and offline interactions. It investigates the practices of coordination and maps routines of digital sociability. The United States' capital, Washington DC, provides a context of strong bilateral relations and a history of shared EU interests. The study draws on observations on Twitter (later renamed X) between 2019 and 2021 and reflections from diplomats who coordinate EU representation, collected through an online survey and interviews. By examining the reciprocity between online and offline interactions, the study illuminates how relationships are cultivated, a sense of collective belonging is fostered, and social order is negotiated. The findings enhance our understanding of how digital diplomacy becomes deeply embedded within diplomatic contexts and their distinctive practices. They contribute to advancing knowledge about the interplay of digital diplomacy, multilateral representation, and the dynamics that shape diplomatic engagements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Apr 9

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
  • Political Science

Free keywords

  • EU coordination
  • digital diplomacy
  • diplomatic representation
  • digital ethnography


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