Volume 12 (2017)
Issue 1Issue 1 at Brill.com
Kinanti Kusumawardani Taufik
Indonesia’s environmental diplomacy during Yudhoyono’s administration gained positive international recognition, yet Indonesia’s high-profile diplomatic initiatives took place amid a continued path of environmental decline. Broadly defining environmental diplomacy as a mediating institution between universalism and particularism through the co-constitutive processes of environmental regimes, this article employs a critical–institutionalist–constructivist framework to explain the gap between Indonesia’s commitments to universal norms of environmental preservation and the corresponding local practices. Using both primary and secondary data, the research offers a boundary analysis of diplomacy as the hub between universal norms and local values concerning human–nature relations. Findings suggest that however assertive Indonesia may be in its external diplomatic initiatives, the benefits that it expects to gain from a ‘green reputation’ will only go as far as its efforts to strengthen the foundational local institutions that are required to adapt and localize its global environmental diplomacy strategies.
The increasing deployment of foreign service officials in fragile and post-conflict environments has enormously magnified the need to protect diplomatic premises and personnel. Consequently, several states have resorted to private security companies (pscs) as providers of diplomatic protection. As epitomised by the scandals surrounding the United States government’s use of armed contractors, however, the privatisation of diplomatic security has often proved problematic. This article analyses the scope, causes and implications of outsourcing diplomatic protection, assessing the extent to which the use of pscs by the us State Department offers an appropriate response to the need to secure diplomatic personnel in dangerous locations, and providing some policy recommendation on how to improve the effectiveness and accountability of privatised diplomatic protection.
The article discusses the outreach practices of Russian universities in former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus as a part of Russia’s public diplomacy effort. Perceiving the competitive environment of international education in the Commonwealth of Independent States in terms of geopolitical rivalry, the Russian government encourages state-owned universities to recruit more students and establish partnerships in this strategic region. As a result, focusing on Central Asia and the Caucasus for international student recruitment, Russian higher educational institutions not only pursue higher reputation and tuition revenues, but also perform as public diplomacy actors, supplementing and sometimes substituting the activities of official institutions.
Todd H. Hall, Emotional Diplomacy: Official Emotion on the International Stage. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015.
- Taylor Owen, Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015.
- B. Senem Çevik and Philip Seib, Turkey’s Public Diplomacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Publication date: 23 December 2017
Issue 2-3: The Multilateral Politics of UN Diplomacy
Special issue edited by Katie Verlin Laatikainen and Karen E. SmithIssues 2-3 at Brill.com
Katie Verlin Laatikainen and Karen E. Smith
Katie Verlin Laatikainen
Political groups permeate the diplomatic process across the United Nations (UN) system, from conference diplomacy to annual sessions of the deliberative bodies, yet they remain poorly understood and under-appreciated. This article approaches groups from a conceptual and theoretical perspective, providing a typology to differentiate clearly the various groups that are active in UN processes, from electoral groups to regional organizations and single-issue coalitions. The article also examines how theories of multilateralism, global governance and international negotiation largely exclude group and inter-group dynamics. Theories of global governance and multilateralism operate at the systemic level of analysis, while theories of negotiation and coalitions reflect assumptions of individual agency; both levels of analysis obscure the operation of political groups and group politics in UN multilateralism. The emerging theories of diplomatic practice provide a meso-level approach that reveals the pervasive practice of group politics and politicized diplomacy in un multilateralism.
Karen E. Smith
This article assesses the impact of ‘group politics’ in the particularly contentious debates of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly regarding gender equality and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The article identifies those groups that have been most active in the debates, and then analyses how and why they have shaped debates and norms in this area, how they interact with each other, and whether groups help to facilitate consensus or foster polarization in debates. The article examines the extent to which these groups are cohesive, and identifies the norms that each group puts forward in debates (through statements and resolutions). It then assesses and explains their impact on outcomes, the creation of shared norms and the potential for collective action. It further explores the implications of increasing cross-regional group activity in the Human Rights Council.
The elimination of nuclear weapons has been an objective of the United Nations (UN) since 1946. Although addressed through multiple forums, including the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, Conference on Disarmament and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the possession and renunciation of nuclear weapons nevertheless remains a topic beset by multilateral stalemate and frustration over the entrenchment of positions between nuclear- and non-nuclear weapon states. Yet within these forums, disarmament politics are taking a new turn, with the emergence of new, cross-regional, cross-factional political groups working alongside more established blocs. Focusing on these group dynamics, this article argues that the emergence of new political groups, and their interplay with others, is critical to the effective functioning of disarmament negotiations. Through cooperative information exchange, encouraging policy entrepreneurship and by challenging the rigidity of entrenched bloc positioning, these new group dynamics may make an important contribution in the search for consensus within the UN.
Andrea Ribeiro Hoffmann and Jana Tabak
This article explores how and why regional organizations participate in the discussion about global health within the United Nations system. It focuses on the case of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the topic of access to medicines, and argues that the creation of this organization and its activism in global health diplomacy and governance evolved in the context of the reconfiguration of multilateral cooperation in the Americas, where health has been defined as a human right and vital for regional citizenship. This process results from changing regional identities, UNASUR's mandate and capacities, and the interests of leading member states such as Brazil.
Alex J. Bellamy
This article examines the role that groups played in the rise of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) within the United Nations (UN) system. It focuses in particular on the role of informal groups of states in advancing a consensus on R2P, contrasting their role with that of formal regional and political groups, which — with the exception of the African Group — played a more marginal role. R2P has given rise to a multiplicity of informal groups of states. These informal groups operate alongside the formal regional and political groups and, with one or two exceptions, have tended to be significantly more influential, the main reason being the principle’s genesis. Arising out of fractious debates in the late 1990s about intervention and the relationship between sovereignty and fundamental human rights, R2P was from the outset a conscious attempt to bridge political divides between states in the UN — especially the ‘North–South’ theatre.
This article examines the group politics in global development policy from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). The discussion tracks the actors and forces that shaped both sets of goals, and highlights the centrality of multilateral processes in framing the background for the interplay of group politics. With the expansion in the number and diversity of actors, and the United Nations system facilitating the engagement of multiple actors, ultimately the negotiation of the sdgs reflected a new diplomacy derived from mediation of multiple interests within a multilateral context.
The overwhelming majority of the United Nations’ member states remain keen to preserve the traditional intergovernmental nature of the organization in the name of universalism, equality among states and national sovereignty. However, in most negotiating processes, delegations are increasingly content to take part through the groups or sub-groups of which they are members, rather than individually on a national basis. In this regard, the European Union (EU) sets the standards for both organization and effectiveness, especially since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s Special Observer status, granted by UNGA Resolution 65/276.
Publication date: 1 February 2017
Issue 4Issue 4 at Brill.com
Mai’a K. Davis Cross and Teresa La Porte
A resilient actor is one with the capacity to recover from setbacks and obstacles, whether stemming from endogenous or exogenous factors. Beyond actual recovery, this article argues that there is also an important perceptional dimension. Image resilience is the capacity on the part of actors to overcome and deal with the widespread negative perceptions that often follow on the heels of these setbacks. The article argues that the ability to cultivate image resilience rests significantly on the power of public diplomacy. Through establishing a strong image for an actor over the longer term, public diplomacy enables that actor to be more resilient during times of crisis. The European Union is a particularly good case study to shed light on this. Using original interview evidence, this article examines a specific example of how the European Union was ultimately able to strengthen its image resilience in the United States through public diplomacy.
Donna Marie Oglesby
Diplomacy is a neglected field in American higher education. Both practitioners and academics have repeatedly cast the seeds to grow the discipline in the United States, but with limited germination. Although diplomacy curricula are rare, courses do exist. Following a review of 75 syllabuses and lengthy interviews with many of their authors, this article’s author finds that academics and practitioners teaching the limited number of diplomacy courses make very different choices in content and pedagogy. Drawing on over 25 years of diplomatic practice followed by twenty years teaching at the college level, she evaluates why the main institutions of American society do not support diplomacy as either a profession or a field of study. The article argues that the few ‘resident gardeners’ rarely stray from their own plots to ‘fieldscape’ together in hard American ground.
Much excitement surrounds diplomatic neologisms such as e-diplomacy, digital diplomacy and even virtual diplomacy. This article reviews existing writing on the subject, with special focus on some of the ‘first movers’ in the new wave of information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled diplomacy, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. On this basis, the article suggests a rough typology of ICT-enabled diplomacy, ranging from (new) public diplomacy to more advanced forms of digital diplomacy. The article subsequently explores a number of empirical examples of advanced forms of digital diplomacy — that is, ICT-enabled diplomatic practices that are not necessarily grounded in a specific time and physical space. The article offers a few concluding thoughts on the possibilities and limits of digital diplomacy.
Halvard Leira and Iver B. Neumann
Even if beastly iconography has been pervasive in international politics, the study of diplomacy has traditionally focused solely on man as a political animal. Animals in diplomacy have been treated as a curiosity. This article stakes a claim for a more serious engagement with beastly diplomacy, arguing that animals matter through their ontic status; by representing states; as diplomatic subjects; and as objects of diplomacy. The article places particular emphasis on how animals are a special kind of diplomatic gift, with a variety of meanings and functions. Taking animals seriously implies a rethinking of both the process and the outcomes of diplomacy.
William J. Jones
- Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problem of Regional Order. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014.
Publication date: 10 March 2017