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[liberationtech] Direct Diplomacy in Iran: the Internet as a Platform for Foreign Policy - Program on Liberation Technology

Yosem Companys companys at
Thu Sep 19 16:43:25 PDT 2013

CDDRL Seminar Series

Direct Diplomacy in Iran: the Internet as a Platform for Foreign Policy

September 26, 2013
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Open to the public
No RSVP required

Ben Rowswell - Director for Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula at
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in Canada

Digital technologies have brought disruption to political systems
throughout the world, it is disrupting the practice of diplomacy.
State-to-state communication continues, but foreign ministries
struggle to understand and engage with the new actors that
self-organized citizen movements represent.  Since Canada closed its
embassy in Tehran in 2012, its foreign ministry has explored ways to
use the internet to engage the people of Iran directly.  Its "Direct
Diplomacy" campaign has engaged half a million Iranians in a two-way
dialogue, offering Canada the opportunity to better understand
dynamics in this crucial country, and giving Iranians another
opportunity to bypass their government and share their views with the
international community.  This presentation will outline the
objectives, tools and lessons learned from this innovation in
diplomacy and offer perspectives on the conduct of international
relations in a digital age.

Ben Rowswell is Director for Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula at
Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.  From
2010 to 2011 he was Visiting Scholar in the Center on Democracy,
Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, conducting research on
the use of technology by democracy activists in the Egyptian
revolution.  His diplomatic career includes stints as the
Representative of Canada in Kandahar, Afghanistan; as Deputy Head of
Mission in Kabul; as Chargé d'Affaires in Baghdad, Iraq; and in the
political section of Canada's embassy to Egypt.  He is the founder of
the Democracy Unit at DFATD, an alumnus of the National Democratic
Institute and a former Visiting Scholar at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies in Washington DC.  In 2007 he edited the
volume "Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of Conflict."

Wallenberg Theater
Wallenberg Hall
450 Serra Mall, Building 160
Stanford, Ca 94305-2055

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