CDS Faculty Interview: Arthur Spirling

Communications between embassies, government entities, and diplomats take the form of classified diplomatic cables.  In 2010, over 150,000 of these cables were released by Wikileaks, a nonprofit organization that publishes classified government documents.  The effect of the leak was twofold; not only did previously secret information become readily available, but now, the general population could glimpse into the inter-workings of diplomacy.  Last year, Arthur Spirling, an Associate Professor of Politics and Data Science at New York University, co-authored a paper titled, “Dimensions of Diplomacy,” regarding his research on these Wikileaks cables.  We got the chance to ask him a few questions about his research, his findings, and the nature of governmental secrecy. Can you give us a bit of background on why you choose to look into the Wikileaks cables? …

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