Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Techplomacy: Innovative Diplomatic Practice or Highest Stage of Neoliberalism in Global Digital Governance?

Abstract : In merely a decade, what is now known as the major internet companies – from social networks to online platforms operating in almost all sectors of the economy to providers of main technical software, hardware and communication equipments – are setting global industry standards, developing proprietary algorithms, and processing enormous amounts of data to train deep machine learning and other non deterministic computing processes. Like other multinational firms, these companies operate at a global scale, but their virtual nature makes these markets even more difficult to control. Indeed, they not only drive the global economy, but have reached such a power that they are challenging national regulation and policy making, and even sovereignty and self determination, to the extent that the global digital geopolitical order is becoming increasingly privately ordered. In this context, where in addition internet giants are mainly US and Chinese companies, some states, especially though not only from Europe, have attempted to address these numerous challenges through new diplomatic practices. In particular, Denmark and France have been pionners in 2017 in nominating a “Tech Ambassador” to the digital giants for the former and an “Ambassador for Cyber-Diplomacy and the Digital Economy” for the latter. This paper empirically explores these two case studies and their interactions with other related national, European or global initiatives. Its central question is whether this so-called “technology diplomacy” or “techplomacy” – a portmanteau word coined by Denmark – is simply yet another innovative diplomatic practice, as those already analyzed in the literature on the changing nature of diplomacy, or is the latest avatar of neoliberalism in global digital governance and international relations, where big digital platforms are acknowledged as states in their own right, with all their power and sovereignty instruments, maybe even their own citizenry. Ultimately, the objective is to understand whether, how and to which extent democratic values are at stake as a consequence of such mutations.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Meryem Marzouki Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 9:28:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:23:15 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-03098852, version 1


Meryem Marzouki. Techplomacy: Innovative Diplomatic Practice or Highest Stage of Neoliberalism in Global Digital Governance?. 2021 IPSA World Congress, International Political Science Association, Jul 2021, Lisbon, Portugal. ⟨halshs-03098852⟩



Les métriques sont temporairement indisponibles