Alexei Tsinovoi defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science – University of Copenhagen

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Alexei Tsinovoi defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science

Alexei TsinovoiCandidate

Alexei Tsinovoi

Title

"Social Media and the Remediation of Diplomacy. Images and International Politics in the Digital Age". 
The thesis will be available for reading at the Faculty Library of Social Science, Gothersgade 140, 1353 Copenhagen K.

Time and venue

Tuesday 23 October, 2018 at 14:00 at the University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Department of Political Science, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., room 4.2.26. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at 14:00.

Assessment committee

  • Professor Lene Hansen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (chair)
     
  • Professor Paul Sharp, University of Minnesota Doluth, USA
     
  • Professor Jef Huysmans, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Abstract

Alexei’s thesis explores the role of social media in contemporary diplomacy. It argues that if we are to understand international relations today, and diplomacy in particular, we need to strengthen our understanding of the medium – that is, the material specificities of the predominant communication technologies – through which international relations and diplomatic practices take place. Specifically, the thesis illustrates that with the proliferation of social media, and the abundance of messages in circulation on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, what becomes increasingly central to digitally-mediated international politics is not only the content, but its techno-social visibility – i.e. why, from all the content in circulation, some ends up on our screens while the rest does not. Understanding these developments requires an appreciation of the specificity of the medium as consisting of metadata indexing systems, interface design features, visibility algorithms, and so on, and for this purpose the thesis draws inspiration from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the affiliated Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and the digital methods approach. Moreover, the thesis illustrates that as governments and civil society organizations begin to struggle for visibility and attention on social media platforms, the conduct of diplomacy begin to change. No longer limited to the traditional chain of representation - consisting of confidential negotiations between the official representatives of sovereign entities - diplomacy in the so called digital age is turning into a seamless and ubiquitous process of remediation, continuously enacted on social media platforms through a loose and heterogeneous assemblages of citizens, diplomats, digital devices and algorithms.