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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
Internationalizing Social Media: The Case of ‘Twiplomacy’ in India and Russia
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The borderless social media spheres have challenged the conventional concepts of national media systems and international communication theories. Unlike the traditional media outlets, social media could blur the intra/international boundaries across the world including India and Russia. Among a host of social media platforms, the 140-character based ‘Twitter’ has become the popular microblogging space among social and political spheres in these countries. While the common man to statesmen are now part of the so-called ‘twitterati’, this paper tries to explore how ‘Twitter’ is now widely used for political communications within and without national boundaries. Given the conceptual void in theorizing the national/international/global structure and style of social media, this paper compares the case of political/diplomatic use of ‘Twitter’ by two major countries from the so-called ‘Global South’ like India and Russia.

 
 
 

The pivotal role of social media in mediating the globalizing world order can be theorized through exploring the concepts and theories that defined the nature and practice of conventional media in national/international and global contexts. Though the globalizing impact of media was noted by numerous authors during the period of the early growth of mass circulation newspapers, globalization theorists like Giddens1 have acknowledged Marshal McLuhan for proposing the seminal concept of ‘global village’. Appadurai’s2 conceptualization of mediascapes pointed to the role of the media in globalizing the national and international mediascapes. Similarly, Thompson3 elaborated the concept of globalization of communication by pointing out that one of the salient features of communication in the modern world is that it takes place on a scale that is increasingly global.

Stressing the centrality of the media in globalization, Rantanen4 questioned the theoretical bias towards media and communication, while most globalization theorists agree that there is practically no globalization without media and communications. Rantanen proposed the concept of mediated globalization suggesting that “one of the salient features of globalization in the modern world is that it takes place increasingly through media and communications.” Rantanen further argued that “the role of media and communication in globalization theories remained vague and unspecified while media studies missed the ‘big picture’ of globalization contributing little to theoretical discussions on globalization”. More than the conventional media’s role in mediating in the globalizing process, the social media has revolutionized the concept of ‘networking’ and made the world really interconnected beyond national boundaries.

 
 
 

International Relations Journal, Conventional concepts of national media systems, Media Debate: International vs. Global , Challenging Nation-State Centric Media Theories, Economic and strategic dimensions, maximal stage of cooperation.