Book Review: Philip Seib. 2016. The Future of Diplomacy

AuthorErin Zimmerman
Published date01 December 2017
Date01 December 2017
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 355
a century. It, thus, provides an excellent comprehensive overview of the compet-
ing ideas of regionalisms and suggests a blueprint of where we can go from here.
It is, by no means, an easy task to connect the different visions for regionalisms,
considering the diversity of culture and norms that exist across Asia. Hence,
it is refreshingly convincing when the author makes a bold suggestion that region-
alism is a new type of ideology which poses new challenges to conventional
ideologies, such as individualism, communitarianism, nationalism, Marxism and
liberalism (p. 10).
As Asia faces turbulent times through various global challenges and regional
competitions, any interested observers will appreciate the intuition which
Contested Ideas of Regionalism in Asia has to offer. For readers seeking an
extensive introduction to the competing proposals for regionalism in Asia, this
book will be highly satisfying. It also is recommended to those who are interested
in regionalism, constructivism, competing powers and international relations
in general.
Sohyun Zoe Lee
London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
Philip Seib. 2016. The Future of Diplomacy. Cambridge, UK: Polity
Press. 154 pp. ISBN: 9781509507207
DOI: 10.1177/2347797017730158
Philip Seib’s book, The Future of Diplomacy, is a rare treat in that it is enter-
taining, concise and informative. Coming in at under 150 pages, this brief book
engagingly addresses the impacts and opportunities created by new media plat-
forms on traditional processes of diplomacy. Seib is a leading expert on media
and diplomacy and currently a Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and
Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California.
The book’s premise that ‘the future of diplomacy is inexorably tied to the future of
media’ is timely given the increasing role of social media in organizing political
participation, growing concerns about cyber security and ever-accelerating develop-
ments in forms of communication.
What makes this book stand out is its attention to both technological and
demographic changes in media usage, its clear-eyed assessment of the potential
benefits and drawbacks of changing forms of diplomacy and its practical approach
to how diplomacy can and should function in the future. The practical tone and
suggested steps make this book, in essence, a how-to manual for the training of
the diplomats of tomorrow. While its scope precludes it from any in-depth analysis,
this book does an excellent job of highlighting where diplomacy has been most
impacted and offers an insightful glimpse into the increasing complicated world
of the modern-day diplomat.

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