Domenico Fracchiolla

La cyber diplomacy, la nuova frontiera delle relazioni internazionali



Cyber-diplomacy is conceived as the use of diplomatic tools and initiatives to achieve a state’s national interest in cyberspace. As French Prime minister Clemenceau once argued that war was too serious to leave to soldiers, by the same token, cyberspace is too serious to leave to technicians. For that reason, cyber-diplomacy is the new frontier of International Relations arising from the need to politicize and internationalize the cyberspace. In the last decade, starting from the Us Strategy for Cyberspace governments are starting to develop cyber diplomatic strategies for defining and protecting their national interest in the cyberspace, appointing cyber ambassadors at international fora. However, still in 2013, only few nations had cyber diplomats and were able to speak with one voice in international negotiations, according to the Eu external cyber coordinator. The Ir literature on the subject is even more at its early stage of development. Since its first introduction, cyber-diplomacy as a term needed fundamental conceptual clarification to avoid confusion and overlapping meaning with e-diplomacy, digital diplomacy and cybersecurity. In the last years, while a number of studies defined the term cyber-diplomacy associating it to diplomatic activities, there are still fundamental points to be clarified and analysed. The aim of this paper is to present a systematic literature review to exemplify the fundamental variables of the accepted definition of cyber-diplomacy, investigated by the scientific community. Moreover, to discuss the results, to complete the conceptualization of the main lines of development of cyber-diplomacy and to underline the aspects of cyber-diplomacy on which the international community is focusing, other relevant documents will be analysed, like the reports of international research centers and the main official strategies on cyber-diplomacy adopted by national governments and international institutions (Eu, Japan, Australia). The most accredited definition of cyber-diplomacy, considering the citations and the different applications, is elaborated by Barrinha and Renard and it will be used as a reference benchmark for the operationalization of the concept. The main issues considered are cybersecurity, cybercrime, confidence-building, Internet freedom and Internet governance


  • Cyber-diplomacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Confidence Building
  • Cyber Norms
  • Internet Governance


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