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The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age

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Who will be in power in the 21st century? Governments? Big business? Internet titans? And how do we influence the future?Digital technology is changing power at a faster rate than any time in history. Distrust and inequality are fuelling political and economic uncertainty. The scaffolding built around the global order is fragile, and the checks and balances created over ce Who will be in power in the 21st century? Governments? Big business? Internet titans? And how do we influence the future?Digital technology is changing power at a faster rate than any time in history. Distrust and inequality are fuelling political and economic uncertainty. The scaffolding built around the global order is fragile, and the checks and balances created over centuries to protect liberty are being tested, maybe to destruction. Tom Fletcher, the youngest senior British ambassador for two hundred years, considers how we – as governments, businesses, individuals – can survive and thrive in the twenty first century. And how we can ensure that technology can make it easier of citizens truly to take back control.


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Who will be in power in the 21st century? Governments? Big business? Internet titans? And how do we influence the future?Digital technology is changing power at a faster rate than any time in history. Distrust and inequality are fuelling political and economic uncertainty. The scaffolding built around the global order is fragile, and the checks and balances created over ce Who will be in power in the 21st century? Governments? Big business? Internet titans? And how do we influence the future?Digital technology is changing power at a faster rate than any time in history. Distrust and inequality are fuelling political and economic uncertainty. The scaffolding built around the global order is fragile, and the checks and balances created over centuries to protect liberty are being tested, maybe to destruction. Tom Fletcher, the youngest senior British ambassador for two hundred years, considers how we – as governments, businesses, individuals – can survive and thrive in the twenty first century. And how we can ensure that technology can make it easier of citizens truly to take back control.

30 review for The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age

  1. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Lots of interesting material here, but it’s a bit shapeless and sometimes comes across as though Fletcher just wanted to throw in every thought he’s ever had about diplomacy. There’s 100 pages on the history and development of diplomacy, starting with Neanderthals (no, really). Then he moves on to the modern age and his own career. The most valuable sections deal directly with his own experiences as ambassador to Beirut, and these offer valuable, practical examples of how to use innovative metho Lots of interesting material here, but it’s a bit shapeless and sometimes comes across as though Fletcher just wanted to throw in every thought he’s ever had about diplomacy. There’s 100 pages on the history and development of diplomacy, starting with Neanderthals (no, really). Then he moves on to the modern age and his own career. The most valuable sections deal directly with his own experiences as ambassador to Beirut, and these offer valuable, practical examples of how to use innovative methods to sell the UK as a brand, using “soft power”. He's very much a digital evangelist, an idealist who believes that social media will save the world. OK, he’s not that naïve, but almost. The worst chapter describes his vision of an embassy in the year 2025, which is basically just a room full of iPads... I think I’d have preferred a more straightforward account of his experiences, as some of the ideas about how diplomacy needs to evolve in today’s connected world are a little vague and half-formed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faiza Sattar

    ★★★★★ (5/5) A selection of my favourite passages from the book • And on the issue of their charm depended A land laid waste with all its young men slain, Its women weeping, and its towns in terror. W. H. Auden, ‘The Embassy’ • Making peace is easier when you have shown you can make war. • Few jobs can be as exciting, and such a privilege. They give you an extraordinary insight into moments of history, and the characters who shape them. • Diplomacy is action not reportage, so diplomats will need ★★★★★ (5/5) A selection of my favourite passages from the book • And on the issue of their charm depended A land laid waste with all its young men slain, Its women weeping, and its towns in terror. W. H. Auden, ‘The Embassy’ • Making peace is easier when you have shown you can make war. • Few jobs can be as exciting, and such a privilege. They give you an extraordinary insight into moments of history, and the characters who shape them. • Diplomacy is action not reportage, so diplomats will need to show that they can use these new tools to change the world, not just describe how it looks. • Diplomacy is hard when you are competing with players with greater pioneering zeal, when your nation loses its creative edge or hunger for innovation. Diplomacy is hard when a lack of resources or confidence leads to an introspective national mindset rather than a drive to find new ideas, markets and sources of renewal. When your agenda is set by demagogues and tabloids. • Diplomats help states to surrender the bits of their authority that need to be surrendered if we are to transition to a system that has more chance of survival. That is never going to be popular, but it is as important a task as ever. Diplomats lubricate the interaction of power, ideas and change to make it as peaceful as possible. • Alphabetical orderings can often be the most diplomatic solution. At these moments, British diplomats tend to favour the use of ‘United Kingdom’ over ‘Great Britain’. It gets the leader closer to their American counterpart, and safely clear of the difficult group of countries whose names begin with ‘I’. • Much of it stands the test of the time, including his advice that ambassadors need to combine the theatre of their public role with the discretion and often secrecy of their private negotiations. • when the French demanded that American diplomats pay huge bribes in order to see their foreign minister. The Americans rejected this preposterous offer, and have been making European statesmen pay ever since. • Talleyrand opined that ‘only a fool mocks etiquette, it simplifies life’. • Ironically, leaders can now talk more easily to each other, but they lack opportunities for real discussion. • The immediacy of social media does not lend itself to the measured nature of international diplomacy… The issues with which ambassadors have to deal are better dealt with penseroso rather than allegro. • The examples of diplomatic digital disasters– inadvertent insults to former opponents, misguided attempts at humour in serious situations, disgruntled hosts– will not seem so dramatic in a few years. There is no other way to pursue digital diplomacy effectively except through loosening the reins of control. • The history of diplomacy suggests that diplomats have always been most effective when they have understood, channelled and represented real power. • There is nothing dramatic in the success of a diplomatist. His victories are made up of a series of microscopic advantages: of a judicious suggestion here, of an opportune civility there, of a wise concession at one point and far-sighted persistence at another, of sleepless tact, immovable calmness, and patience that no folly, no provocation, no blunder can shake. Lord Salisbury, 1862 • The British Foreign Office now sends ambassadors who have been away too long on recalibration tours of the UK, where they are encouraged to study populations of the regions that they might not know, so as to represent them more credibly. • The poet Robert Frost suggested that ‘A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.’ Maybe that helps. But the diplomatic archives give us plenty of other clues as to the attributes that a diplomat really needs. The consistent themes are courage, curiosity, tact and the ability to eat anything. • Many diplomats had as a result concluded that the best they could manage through ‘prudence and love of peace is the postponement of the evil day’. A pretty sobering mission statement. • He identifies as the essential diplomatic attributes an open and serious spirit, small ego, sangfroid and equal humour, and the ability to remain calm under pressure. • There is no doubt that detachment and tact matter. As Isaac Newton put it, ‘Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.’ • Sir Leslie Fielding rightly says that ‘plain dealing is best. Deviousness always backfires. Charm not coercion; good manners, not ill; persuasion not deception.’ • Foreign ministries will need to establish staff placements at technology companies rather than businesses or NGOs. • The carefully drafted minute that looks brilliant and witty in the prime minister’s red box will seem reckless to a parliamentary committee armed with hindsight and media outrage. • So how do nation states harness their magnetic power in the Digital Age? In my experience, it comes down to three ideas: having a strong national story; knowing how to tell it; and knowing how and when to mix the tools at your disposal.5 • As a result, the policy debate often became sidetracked by the need to focus on ‘deliverables’– announcements designed, more in hope than expectation, to prevent the media from writing negative alternatives. We had to think more about the visuals of any meeting with foreign leaders • The objective of a diplomatic meeting should not be to leave everyone feeling warm, but to pursue the national interest. • The rough running order for descriptions of a diplomatic encounter is: excellent, productive, constructive, practical, warm, good, businesslike, cordial, full and frank, candid and difficult. In a separate category is a ‘summons’. • My concern is that empty rhetoric and purposeless platitudes make politics even less connected to those it needs to engage. Leave that vacuum and it is filled with demagogues and extremists. • For the toughest peacemaking, you have to identify both a common vision and the leaders who have the courage to work towards it. • We made the mistake of assuming that they negotiated like us. We anticipated that a greater part of their initial position consisted of elements that could more easily be given up (‘negotiating fat’) than was actually the case. • Sir John Ure suggests that ‘the best diplomatic victories are those when everyone goes away thinking they have won. Diplomacy is the art of building ladders for other people to climb down.’ • In reality, the sweet spot for the negotiation is at the moment leaders engage. Only then do the real interests emerge. If a negotiator does not leave a nugget that only their leader can deliver, they have not done their job. • Lebanon is a prisoner of history and geography. The losers, splitters and persecuted of the twentieth century sought refuge in its mountains, not anticipating the need to coexist with at least eighteen cults even more niche than their own. • External interventions in Lebanon– in recent memory Israeli, Syrian, American, French, British, Iranian, even Italian– tend to follow a set pattern: seduction, toxification, terror, and ignominious departure. Lebanon is easy to swallow, but hard to digest. • But you can’t be defined by your followers. We need to reach out, without falling into the trap of courting popularity. We’re not comedians, journalists or politicians, and we should not pretend to be. • The best diplomacy is action not reportage, purpose not platitudes. So tweets should be about changing the world, not just describing how it looks. • It used to be said that the best diplomats are either boffin, boy scout or assassin. No longer. The 2020 envoy is a lobbyist, leader, communicator, pioneer, entrepreneur, activist, campaigner, advocate. She has learnt from the best in those fields, and has worked in several of them. She does crossover. She competes for space, attention, relevance and influence. She builds game-changing coalitions and alliances across business, civil society, borders. • We also know from history that they fall, normally when they become overstretched, lazy or corroded from within, when demagogues run amok, when they start to see the world as a source of anxiety not opportunity, or when hungrier power rivals emerge. A world where one country dominates cannot last long. Challengers always rise up to snap at the heels of the top dog of the age. Power ebbs and flows. • As power becomes less like a hierarchy and more like a spider web, new actors will fill some of the vacuum. • An optimist is a pessimist armed with facts. • Austerity has a tendency to make countries look inward, yet historical precedent suggests that times of political and economic challenge are those when it is most important to look outward. • Behind the ‘Excellencies’ and the protocol, diplomacy is not a mysterious cult. It doesn’t require years of training like medicine or law. Anyone can do it, and many people do so through small acts of resistance against apathy, division, corruption and fatalism. • The greatest danger is in fact the loss of the curiosity to learn from each other, the loss of the desire to live together. • ‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’ (Speech, ‘Citizenship in a Republic’, 23 April 1910.) • You gave me extraordinary friends, and you took some away. I loved your hopeless causes and hopeful hearts, shared your tearful depths and your breathless heights. There are eight stages of life as an ambassador here. Seduction. Frustration. Exhilaration. Exhaustion. Disaffection. Infatuation. Addiction. Resignation. I knew them all, often simultaneously. I wouldn’t have swapped it for anywhere in the world.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    If Diplomacy did not exist, we would need to invent it. But it is now much too important to be leave to Diplomats. Over to you, Your Excellencies. As an International Relations and Diplomacy/ Global development student this book was recommend to me by many many people, from actual ambassadors I was fortunate enough to meet and lecturers trying to get us to inhale as much information as we could. The wit that Tom Fletcher brings to such an important issue, one that has a grip on our lives (spoken If Diplomacy did not exist, we would need to invent it. But it is now much too important to be leave to Diplomats. Over to you, Your Excellencies. As an International Relations and Diplomacy/ Global development student this book was recommend to me by many many people, from actual ambassadors I was fortunate enough to meet and lecturers trying to get us to inhale as much information as we could. The wit that Tom Fletcher brings to such an important issue, one that has a grip on our lives (spoken from a western perspective- although other states such as Lebanon are showing their growing role in the area) is well presented in this book. For people who may be delving into the world of diplomacy for the first time, this book not only explains the importance of the internet but also of diplomacy itself and how the age that we are in at this time is the best for 'citizen diplomats', or in other words, people like you and me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wim

    Great book by British diplomat Tom Fletcher on how to use new technologies and social media in order to safeguard the power and relevance of diplomacy for a better world. Fletcher’s writing and work in Lebanon is very inspiring: I feel pushed to participate and fully use the potential of social media to interact and raise issues the way he did. But it is also very delicate: Ministries of Foreign Affairs are very closed entities, putting severe restrictions on interactions of diplomats with media Great book by British diplomat Tom Fletcher on how to use new technologies and social media in order to safeguard the power and relevance of diplomacy for a better world. Fletcher’s writing and work in Lebanon is very inspiring: I feel pushed to participate and fully use the potential of social media to interact and raise issues the way he did. But it is also very delicate: Ministries of Foreign Affairs are very closed entities, putting severe restrictions on interactions of diplomats with media and the outside world, carefully preparing every communication in order to avoid controversy… I especially like how Fletcher stresses the importance of diplomacy to advance peace and coexistence as ultimate goal.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karim

    One of the best books I have ever read on Diplomacy. Tom Fletcher vision on the impact of digital world on diplomacy in the future. The book is discussing if diplomats will be threatened by the existence of social media and how they should interact with the new technologies that appear everyday. We are all born as diplomats, it is an innate trait within us through the evolutionary process. I hugely recommend this book for people who would like to know how technology and social media will be affe One of the best books I have ever read on Diplomacy. Tom Fletcher vision on the impact of digital world on diplomacy in the future. The book is discussing if diplomats will be threatened by the existence of social media and how they should interact with the new technologies that appear everyday. We are all born as diplomats, it is an innate trait within us through the evolutionary process. I hugely recommend this book for people who would like to know how technology and social media will be affecting diplomacy in the future. It is funny and well-written book and into the point.

  6. 4 out of 5

    رجاء Rajaâ

    Interesting read. I think it could have been more valuable if focused on the present and future, with an overview of other countries practices regarding digital diplomacy. The chapters directly dealing with Fletcher as Ambassador of his country to Lebanon are in my point of view the best.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josh Kemp

    Interesting book which raises some genuine and useful challenge about how we conduct diplomacy in the 21st century. Good potted history too and insights from the heart of government. But this book occasionally strays into a stream of consciousness which buys its own hype, beating the reader about the head with the same points two or three times over. It could be 25% shorter and lose nothing from its substance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Raph

    Tom Argues that the digital age brings with it more possibilities than challenges in diplomacy. He takes you on historical journey of diplomacy and compares with the present. His focus was more on Lebanon and Britain, exactly how much of that experience applies to the rest of the world remains unclear.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Shine on you crazy diamond! Tom's overview of diplomacy as a profession really is much more than just that. It's a preamble to a manifesto for future global coexistence. A fantastic book which is relevant to all of us, not just those working formally in diplomacy. Shine on you crazy diamond! Tom's overview of diplomacy as a profession really is much more than just that. It's a preamble to a manifesto for future global coexistence. A fantastic book which is relevant to all of us, not just those working formally in diplomacy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie B

    Let me start with what this book is not, it is not a 'kiss and tell' memoir recounting all Fletcher's advice to ministers over the years; it is not a dull, monotonous recollection of centuries of historical diplomacy; it is not, in short, what I expected. Rather, this is a masterful account of how diplomacy has changed since the days of Ug, Castlereagh and Churchill. Whilst in places it may seem pessimistic, it is merely honest and the overall tone of the book is hugely optimistic for what the fu Let me start with what this book is not, it is not a 'kiss and tell' memoir recounting all Fletcher's advice to ministers over the years; it is not a dull, monotonous recollection of centuries of historical diplomacy; it is not, in short, what I expected. Rather, this is a masterful account of how diplomacy has changed since the days of Ug, Castlereagh and Churchill. Whilst in places it may seem pessimistic, it is merely honest and the overall tone of the book is hugely optimistic for what the future holds for our increasingly globalised society - provided we act now. For the keen mandarins amongst us, every looking for the next titbit of insight into the World of Whitehall, worry not: there are plenty of anecdotes of Fletcher's own time in the FCO to keep us reading, but you will not need them - the main content and analysis is enthralling enough, and any anecdote Fletcher includes only adds to the analysis by contextualising the information! A masterpiece by a modern day Castlereagh.

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Crave List

    A highly recommended, brilliant read which urges every citizen to act upon crucial transnational issues. A diplomat's main job is to pursue national interest, whereas the 'Naked' diplomat, as Tom eloquently puts it, is a citizen diplomat who steers away from traditional diplomacy to better the world altogether. It's well-written, humorous and witty with important underlying messages. It was both an honour and a privilege to have met Tom Fletcher in person. An insightful context of International A highly recommended, brilliant read which urges every citizen to act upon crucial transnational issues. A diplomat's main job is to pursue national interest, whereas the 'Naked' diplomat, as Tom eloquently puts it, is a citizen diplomat who steers away from traditional diplomacy to better the world altogether. It's well-written, humorous and witty with important underlying messages. It was both an honour and a privilege to have met Tom Fletcher in person. An insightful context of International Relations, with a key theme of politics in the digital age. This book was written for everyone to read, not just public servants. I am especially in awe of his love and dedication to a better Lebanon, having served as the UK's ambassador in Beirut from 2011-2015 amidst the "Arab Spring". A political super-hero who has excellent writing skills. Thank you for this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kora

    The title of the book is self-explinatory, Fletcher reflects on technology and the different aspects it’s affected policy and, most importantly, communication. I found it to be an enjoyable read and a very modern perspective on diplomacy and its role today. Fletcher’s comments on the art of diplomacy are often very tongue in cheek, his tone manages to be critical, yet reflectory and not irreverent. All in all, I’d recommend it to anyone who is curious about how statescraft could evolve in the Di The title of the book is self-explinatory, Fletcher reflects on technology and the different aspects it’s affected policy and, most importantly, communication. I found it to be an enjoyable read and a very modern perspective on diplomacy and its role today. Fletcher’s comments on the art of diplomacy are often very tongue in cheek, his tone manages to be critical, yet reflectory and not irreverent. All in all, I’d recommend it to anyone who is curious about how statescraft could evolve in the Digital age.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ghassan Samaha

    His excellency brings Me closer to a point in which I acknowledge that he acknowledges his imperial baggage though carrying a superb diplomatic “case”! Soft power compliments hard power and it is not a mere substitution for it: boots on the ground and ebooks in device....keeping peace!! Yet, the book in hand is a handbook for future Diplomats, state-men and public servants. p.s.: A question his excellency can think the answer for....why does UK have two embassies????

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Doquesa

    At first, I was expecting a lot of personal experiences to come up in this book. What I got instead was a compilation of platitudes. If you've read a lot of diplomacy/IR books before, this book offers nothing new. I hope the author just focused on his personal experiences and from their offer valuable insights. Also, there were quite a few grammatical and typo errors. Hoped the editor did a better job. At first, I was expecting a lot of personal experiences to come up in this book. What I got instead was a compilation of platitudes. If you've read a lot of diplomacy/IR books before, this book offers nothing new. I hope the author just focused on his personal experiences and from their offer valuable insights. Also, there were quite a few grammatical and typo errors. Hoped the editor did a better job.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Edward Zeinoun

    I loved this book. It gives some (false?) hope about Lebanon's future in some parts, which was very refreshing. Tom's love for this country is both confusing and amusing. It's very well written and entertaining to read, and really clarifies the connection between tech, politics, and diplomacy. I suggest that anyone with the smallest interest in diplomacy and politics read this book. I loved this book. It gives some (false?) hope about Lebanon's future in some parts, which was very refreshing. Tom's love for this country is both confusing and amusing. It's very well written and entertaining to read, and really clarifies the connection between tech, politics, and diplomacy. I suggest that anyone with the smallest interest in diplomacy and politics read this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Franc

    An easy read for a hopeful future of digital diplomacy. Tom’s premise is basically that everyone can perform their diplomatic duty through the powerful combination of curiosity and digitalization. It is a fresh read from an ex-ambassador’s modern minds and not the old and dry takes from the usual public servants’ accounts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eman Alyousuf

    Some chapters were amazing. Others, didn’t present any significant change information. Wish there were more examples and stories. I read it for my master’s thesis research in cultural diplomacy. Wasn’t very helpful as I expected. However, am sure it’s great for diplomats. Would recommend it .. due to some great chapters in it

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom Bevan

    Brilliant, sweeping rhetoric with infectious optimism and enthusiasm underpinned with personal anecdotes. I love this book. Just... it felt a bit more like a philosophy book, it let me down in the 'how to' chunk of the title. Brilliant, sweeping rhetoric with infectious optimism and enthusiasm underpinned with personal anecdotes. I love this book. Just... it felt a bit more like a philosophy book, it let me down in the 'how to' chunk of the title.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kruno Stjepanović

    The feeling is that the author wrote a book while viewing the UK as the centre of the world, but that's not surprising since the author is a former British diplomat. The book offers nothing new imo, but it's a light and somewhat fun read. The feeling is that the author wrote a book while viewing the UK as the centre of the world, but that's not surprising since the author is a former British diplomat. The book offers nothing new imo, but it's a light and somewhat fun read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leela Koenig

    A riveting glimpse into the potential future of diplomacy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ramiro Breitbach

    Good read with a lot of insightful ideas, but it seems to lose a bit of rhythm on the second half

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paola

    I was inspired by him as a digital Ambassador on Twitter, and some parts of the book, at the end especially, live up to the expectation. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Vasylyuk

    Brilliant book, inspiring and thought provoking!! Calls for more to learn, inspires action. Was a timely read for me in times of turbulence in Ukraine. Thank you!

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Connolly

    Such a well-written book, full of honest appraisals and hope. Definitely worth a read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elie Baaklini

    A fun, insightful and provocative book that has a very progressive thinking towards a brighter, more dynamic and equal future

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scott Christopher

    "Too male and too pale!" I only gave one star because it showed little true understanding into the rise of popularism. You will read the same arguments you get in the Guardian or the Times i.e. that big tech allows anyone to publish what they want online and people are swayed by fake news, and not enough minorities in the foreign office- It lacks nuance. Are we really that stupid? White working class males are the biggest under achievers in British schools and the most neglected. I am not surpris "Too male and too pale!" I only gave one star because it showed little true understanding into the rise of popularism. You will read the same arguments you get in the Guardian or the Times i.e. that big tech allows anyone to publish what they want online and people are swayed by fake news, and not enough minorities in the foreign office- It lacks nuance. Are we really that stupid? White working class males are the biggest under achievers in British schools and the most neglected. I am not surprised why the British are so disappointed in establishment figures like Tom Fletcher. Their ideas and policies drive popularism.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mihai Clapaniuc

    Definitely a must read for diplomats. I think it is kind of a visionary set-out for diplomatic profession, if you wish to remain relevant as diplomat, you need to adapt to new 'modus-operandi'. Guess what? The book and author's enthusiasm and energy led to the publishing of a report on the future of the Foreign Office - British Diplomacy (it is called "Future of FCO report") Definitely a must read for diplomats. I think it is kind of a visionary set-out for diplomatic profession, if you wish to remain relevant as diplomat, you need to adapt to new 'modus-operandi'. Guess what? The book and author's enthusiasm and energy led to the publishing of a report on the future of the Foreign Office - British Diplomacy (it is called "Future of FCO report")

  28. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Milne

    A really nice overview of the history of diplomacy with some visions for the future. It failing is its failure to properly defend its relentless - and occasional infectious- optimism about both the future of technology and geopolitics. Definitely worth a read though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    Great for diplomats and for everyone that is interested in politics and communication.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nick Pokarier

    Fletcher’s book does precisely what it sets out to do: to offer relevant, accessible and deeply intelligent commentary on modern diplomacy and the challenges that face it. Fletcher eloquently and brilliantly explains the difficulties for practitioners of diplomacy in the modern age, but in doing so mounts a powerful defence of the art’s relevance in a disrupted world.

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