Africa, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and digital diplomacy: (Re)negotiating the international knowledge structure

Journal article


Masters, Lesley 2021. Africa, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and digital diplomacy: (Re)negotiating the international knowledge structure. South African Journal of International Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/10220461.2021.1961605
AuthorsMasters, Lesley
Abstract

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) builds on the exponential growth of digital capacities, blurring the lines between the physical and digital spheres. Following its recognition as a phenomenon at the 2016 World Economic Forum, analysis has mainly focused on assessing the socio-economic challenges and benefits that advancements in science, technology and innovation hold. Yet there remains a shortfall in understanding the impact of these digital technologies from the perspective of international relations and diplomacy, particularly on questions of equality, governance, and emerging transnational relations. For Africa, participation in negotiating the international governance of digital technologies is critical in mitigating a peripheral role in the international knowledge structure, ensuring transformational rather than transactional relations when it comes to the 4IR. This article argues that analysis of digital diplomacy as diplomacy for digital technology – ie, negotiating the governance of digital technologies – provides a useful lens for critically assessing Africa vis-à-vis the 4IR .

KeywordsFourth Industrial Revolution; digital diplomacy; Africa; international knowledge structure; negotiations
Year2021
JournalSouth African Journal of International Affairs
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1938-0275
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10220461.2021.1961605
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625962
hdl:10545/625962
Publication dates20 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Aug 2021, 14:46
Accepted26 Jul 2021
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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File Access Level
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