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Book Review: Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age

Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age

Diplomacy is one of the questions that have been frequently tabled by many people for discussion. This is because it is a matter of the utmost importance and it ought to be looked at with close attention. Owing to its popularity, most people had the possibility to prepare different writings on the idea of diplomacy and its impacts or rather effects on a given region. Tom Fletcher, who was a French diplomat, aired the issue of the activities that are conducted by the press and the ignorance of a community that insists on having to be told everything. According to Fletcher, such an act by the members of the press would imply hostile atmosphere or rather conditions for the prosecution of the political designs that were in existence (Fletcher, 2016). It was particularly relevant in 1931, when there emerged a hostile atmosphere for the purposes of prosecution of the existing political designs (Owen, 2015). The idea that the community and the media should not have truth been told them is seen to be contrasting to the expectation of democracy. It creates a sense of deceit amongst the people, and this is not caused by the policies of democracy. According to Tom Fletcher, similar social tensions are described as the decline in faith and self-assurance amongst the political call (Fletcher, 2016). Despite all that, in his book Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age, the author does not view this as a catastrophe, but rather as something that can still be addressed (Fletcher, 2016). This paper seeks to conduct a comprehensive review of the book in question. Additionally, this book review will try to see the interconnections between naked diplomacy and UAE diplomacy.

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Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age comprises three parts. In the leading two portions of the book, Fletcher’s experiences while he was at the remote office have been analyzed in detail. The first part, however, provides a general idea of diplomacy and how it was treated in early China. The author also dares to mention how the diplomats from France and their Spanish counterparts despised each other, and all this is seen to be caused by the 19th century’s great powers that have left the world divided into regions of power. Presumably, all this is the effect of supremacy and abuse from certain parties. The first part of the book has been concluded by Fletcher who clearly distinguished some of the basic characteristics of a virtuous diplomat such as tact as well as curiosity. One element that most people would expect to find on the list, but it is actually not there, is honesty. The second part, on the other hand, discusses the effects with regards to the transformation of the technology and its immediate impact on diplomacy as well as the government. In the last section of his book, the author states that naked diplomacy is more of a call for each and every one of us to consider the idea of our niche in the society and, on the larger part, the interconnected world (Fletcher, 2016). He claims that the idea of naked diplomacy is not an argument but rather a responsibility or a task that is entrusted with each one of us. With this in mind, the idea urges or rather propagates creativity within us and brevity as well as connectivity and involvement (Fletcher, 2016). Moreover, he presupposes that diplomacy is one of the most important things to be left in the hands of diplomats, and he pleads with citizens to neglect the idea of diplomacy in a bid to deprive it of the power it currently wields.

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First, to have a better understanding of the interrelation or rather connection that exists between the UAE diplomacy and the ideas agitated for in the book, it is crucial to examine the issue more closely. Ideally, the components or the elements of the UAE policy comprise understanding, good neighborliness, non-interference in internal affairs of other states, and finally effective resolution of disputes. Naked diplomacy is seemingly tackling the issue of diplomacy amongst the people and the effects of the developing technology on the diplomatic movements. Fletcher explores the principles that govern or rather regulate the progress of the 21st century, and he also analyzes possible ways to balance the issue of intervening into other countries’ issues or matters of their national interest (Fletcher, 2016). In addition to this, the author has also elucidated the use of global governance to ensure people achieve their national aims and goals as well as are able to set an agenda for the compatriots. Similarly, the UAE diplomacy has also been seen to address the same matter (Fletcher, 2016). The policies governing the diplomacy look forward to having a peaceful correlation maintained between the countries that subscribe to it. Apart from the issues such as intervention, there are the issues that are still discouraged by the policy.


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Fletcher has viewed all things with great regard to the technology that is seen to be engulfing the entire world. He has said that it is the role of the diplomats to ensure that they are adapting accordingly to the revolutions that are happening in the world today. The author of the book in question has provided numerous examples from the real life in order to prove how the idea of diplomacy can have positive impact on our lives. He has managed to do this in terms of the wisdom obtained from some of the world’s most influential leaders and diplomats as, for instance, Mandela. Furthermore, the author has used such vivid examples to show and analyze the smart and soft power as well as new interventionism. Ideally, the book should be regarded as a source of answers to the queries that revolve around the idea of diplomacy in the digital age. From the above-stated text, it is more than evident that there exists a correlation between the book written by Tom Fletcher and the UAE diplomatic policies, which has also been proven in the article.

Keeping this idea or rather perspective in mind, we can assert that diplomacy is indeed undergoing rapid changes. Nevertheless, the notion has been mistaken for a communication vocation from the very beginning, whereas the proliferation of media outlets occurred in more pluralistic societies, and this has necessitated intense engagement from the diplomats. The idea of naked diplomacy can be defined as public diplomacy; therefore, the idea that the citizens stand to be the face of the nations they represent is true. Instead of having one-way communication, the diplomats can have their communications successfully conducted through the social media. Having been a diplomat in Lebanon, Fletcher has presented his argument from the perspective of his own experience, which is a direct diplomacy. Therefore, he is seen to be arguing for more of a direct diplomatic engagement, and this can be made possible only through the diplomat’s active engagement in the social media.

In addition to the ideas mentioned above, the UAE diplomacy has urged the countries to ensure that they maintain peace and that there are no cases of interference with other nations’ issues. This can only be possible if the citizens of a country who are referred to as diplomats work diligently and aggressively engage themselves in the issues affecting their countries (Lairson & Skidmore, 2016). By doing so, the members can ensure that they have correlations with one another. In this way, the Fletcher’s idea and the UAE diplomacy can be considered to be closely correlated to some extent. If nations are capable of realizing this, then the division that is seen to be created due to dominance and exploitation ought not to be witnessed amongst people, since this runs contrary to the objectives or rather the expectations of the UAE diplomacy (Lairson & Skidmore, 2016). The diplomacy agitates for unity, and this is only possible if people decide and support this aim wholeheartedly. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of people to ensure that this aim will be realized.

Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age has also provided a well-observed honest and abnormally upbeat account of the state of diplomacy. The book presents entertaining and smart ideas full of or rather condensed with valuable pieces of advice. The paramount idea is also presented, and that is digital diplomacy (Owen, 2015). People in the modern world are in favor of the social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and with the help of this avenue, they propagate for peace among people as well as non-interfering relations among the countries. Apart from this, Fletcher has just shown the way these social media platforms could be used to the advantage of the people.

In addition to this, many influential people, especially politicians and diplomats, must have a tendency to quickly adjust to the globalization that has recently emerged as well as the digital revolution. The rapid pace of these changes is accelerating even further with every passing day. Very few issues today remain private or, it is better to say, beyond other people’s knowledge, and all this happens owing to numerous technological advancements that have now become quite widespread (Saunders, 2015). The current state of affairs implies that the messages of peace and spreading of the policies of diplomacy can be done through these avenues. For this reason, the diplomats can be certain that the message they wish to pass to their people is effectively conveyed. Hence, the pieces of information mentioned above have been explained by the author in Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age as he says that whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay, and if used wisely, it could grow into a force with positive significance.

Another reason why the ideas of the book appear to be in close relation with the UAE policy is that the author argues that diplomats are the people that ought to promote the idea or rather the concept of digital revolution. This is because it provides means through which they could influence the people massively. This is one possible way through which many countries that relate to the UAE diplomacy could ensure that the standards of the policy are upheld. The diplomats, according to Fletcher, are the citizens that can promote this policy and ensure that this is being done in reality. Nowadays, through digital means, the message itself or rather the policies could be quickly spread to target audiences, so the people will be able to propagate or agitate for their implementation.

Undoubtedly, the book is a masterful combination of intriguing facts, arguments, as well as anecdotes with touches of simplicity in it. Interestingly, the book itself contains no jargon. What is seen to be highlighted mostly is the effort the author makes to ensure that people can easily embrace the idea of philosophy, and thus, they should tackle the repercussions of the revolution that is taking place in globalization from the digital point of view. Apart from this, the author identifies the main challenges that are faced by the diplomats in the 21st century. These challenges have been enlisted in the form of the question of when or rather how to intervene in other people’s wars, how to establish international institutions perfectly suitable for the propagation of the policies of the UAE diplomacy, and finally, how to ensure that there is a reduction in the global inequality without having many people suffer from any negative implications (Jegede, Todd, Stubbs, & Hodgson, 2016). Another problem that has also been encountered by the modern diplomats and is also addressed by the author in the book under analysis is the issue of how to tackle the increased failed states that are seen to be the main generating source of the refugees. Typically, this is done at an alarming rate, which is frequently regarded by experts as a threat to the developing world.

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Therefore, the book titled Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age is apparently aimed at tackling the issue of diplomacy amongst the people and the effects of the developing technology on the diplomatic movements. The renowned author of the work, Tom Fletcher, who has got first-hand experience in the matters he is writing about, is seen to explore the principles that govern, affect, or regulate the progress of the 21st century. What is more, he also tries to get an insight into the possible ways how to balance the issue of intervening into other countries’ issues or rather matters of their national interest. In addition to this, the author has also tackled the use of global governance to ensure that people achieve their national aims and goals as well as are able to set an agenda for other people of the country. Similarly, the UAE diplomacy has also attempted to address the same issues. Most importantly, the policies governing the diplomacy strive to be able to maintain a peaceful correlation between the countries that agree to it. Apart from the issues such as intervention, there are those that are being discouraged by the policy. That is why Fletcher has viewed all matters with great regard to the technology that is seen to be penetrating into the entire world. The author has stated that it is the diplomats who are responsible of ensuring that the people successfully manage to adapt accordingly to the revolutions that are taking place in the world today. Fletcher who was a French diplomat managed to provide examples pertinent to the issues discussed in the book, including whether the idea of diplomacy positively impacts on our lives. Nonetheless, the greatest achievement of this masterful author is presumably the fact that he has managed to adhere to the common wisdom he got from some of the world’s most influential leaders and diplomats.

In conclusion, the book is widely regarded as the source of answers to the queries that concern the idea of diplomacy in the digital age. As a matter of fact, from the issues analyzed above, it is more than evident that there exists a certain correlation between Naked Policy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age by Tom Fletcher and the UAE diplomatic policies, which has been proven in the article itself a multiple number of times. Furthermore, technology plays a significant role in the propagation of the ideas of democracy in the modern world.


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