Direct diplomacy

This project is the result of a collaboration with Ben Rowswell, Canadian diplomat and Fellow at CERIUM.

The purpose of the project is to explore contemporary use of digital tools by professional diplomats in order to better understand the growing phenomenon of “digital diplomacy.” The term refers to the set of activities by which governments engage directly in interactive communication with a very large number of interlocutors and in a fully transparent manner, for the purpose of advancing diplomatic objectives such as the strengthening of bilateral relations. It is an adaptation of the basic functions of diplomacy (listening, understanding, advancing interests and building relationships) from the hierarchical structures to network structures that are increasingly prevalent in the digital age.

Official website: 


1. To inform current diplomats and students of diplomacy of these practices from the perspective of a practitioner. This blog will review the methods, tools and websites that diplomats use, and inform readers of their impact.


2. To understand the potential of “direct diplomacy”, i.e. how newly-empowered individuals involving in global affairs use the web and its social media tools to involve in global affairs. The purpose of this research is to produce an analysis on the tools used for this purpose, to measure their impact, successes and problems or deficiencies encountered.
To complete this aim, six students from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, joined by a student of the CÉRIUM, have launched a Capstone project led by Mr. Ben Rowswell to explore how digital tools are allowing individuals to transform global affairs.


Matthieu John (BBA - HEC Montréal), master Student in Political Science.

Past Collaborations

2014-2015 : Thibaut Temmerman, master Student in Public and International Affairs.