Digital Diplomacy: between promises and reality. A case study of the Swedish Foreign Service
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Foreign ministries around the world encourage their diplomats to use social media within their traditional communication practices. However, despite the many advantages of social media usage, it seems like there is a gap between the possibilities and actual use of social media by embassies. This thesis aims to trace the factors that determines the social media use of embassies, and thereby come up with practical recommendations for improvement. This thesis takes a neo-institutionalist approach and argues that individuals act according to a certain set of institutional and organizational factors when they are incorporated in a political institution. It employs a qualitative methodology to examine whether theoretically specified micro-level foundations can serve as an explanation for a macro level phenomenon. The findings contribute both to theory and practice as it found that institutional arrangements and organizational factors shape the way embassy staff uses social media. It therefore suggests that Foreign Ministries including its Foreign Representation need to develop better strategies for dealing with institutional constrains by adjusting the organizational practices.