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Ranch State and CitizenSpace: Digital Democracy and Web Strategies for the United States and the United Kingdom
Unformatted Document Text:  21 the use of IT and related skills. The standoff between the US and China over a downed spy-plane provides an example, “…the State Department’s Office of International Information Programs carried every text and transcript of remarks by administration officials and prominent members of Congress on all electronic platforms. During this time the Chinese language site had over 135,000 hits” (Kurata, 2001). While it is obvious that both the UK and the United States foreign policy establishments have embraced ICTs as part of their perceived necessary functionality – how ICTs promote their goals may be entering a new phase of definition. We have seen that the UK is exploring the participatory capacity of online presence – by expanding the access that citizens have to communicate with each other and with public officials regarding foreign policy. The NetDiplomacy2001 conference signaled a different direction for the deployment of internet-based ICTs for the United States. It appears, based on the remarks of the conference, that the shift is not to more participation – but to more marketing of a centrally determined government message to foreign publics. The keynote address to NetDiplomacy 2001 was titled “Brand Stewardship in the Global Marketplace”, and was given by Steven Hayden, an advertising consultant famous for rescuing the image of IBM during a 1994 ad campaign. Rather than advocating a more inclusive model for the utilization of web technology – Hayden argued for a concern over image and branding. The concern over branding could be construed as fitting the model of entrepreneurial web presence, as in the Musso, Weare and Hale study of local governments. What Hayden’s perspective does not include, however, is a concern for service delivery to United States citizens concerned with foreign policy construction. Service delivery is rather understood as “image delivery”. Hayden derives much of his arguments from the Belgian scholar Peter van Ham, whose article, “The Rise of the Brand State: The Postmodern Politics of Image and Reputation” (van Ham, 2001) claims that branding will gradually replace nationalism. Van Ham claims that

Authors: Hayden, Craig.
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the use of IT and related skills. The standoff between the US and China over a downed spy-plane
provides an example, “…the State Department’s Office of International Information Programs
carried every text and transcript of remarks by administration officials and prominent members of
Congress on all electronic platforms. During this time the Chinese language site had over 135,000
hits” (Kurata, 2001).
While it is obvious that both the UK and the United States foreign policy establishments
have embraced ICTs as part of their perceived necessary functionality – how ICTs promote their
goals may be entering a new phase of definition. We have seen that the UK is exploring the
participatory capacity of online presence – by expanding the access that citizens have to
communicate with each other and with public officials regarding foreign policy. The
NetDiplomacy2001 conference signaled a different direction for the deployment of internet-based
ICTs for the United States. It appears, based on the remarks of the conference, that the shift is not
to more participation – but to more marketing of a centrally determined government message to
foreign publics.
The keynote address to NetDiplomacy 2001 was titled “Brand Stewardship in the Global
Marketplace”, and was given by Steven Hayden, an advertising consultant famous for rescuing
the image of IBM during a 1994 ad campaign. Rather than advocating a more inclusive model for
the utilization of web technology – Hayden argued for a concern over image and branding.
The concern over branding could be construed as fitting the model of entrepreneurial web
presence, as in the Musso, Weare and Hale study of local governments. What Hayden’s
perspective does not include, however, is a concern for service delivery to United States citizens
concerned with foreign policy construction. Service delivery is rather understood as “image
delivery”.
Hayden derives much of his arguments from the Belgian scholar Peter van Ham, whose
article, “The Rise of the Brand State: The Postmodern Politics of Image and Reputation” (van
Ham, 2001) claims that branding will gradually replace nationalism. Van Ham claims that


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