Volume 9 (2014)
Issue 1Issue 1 at Brill.com
Gad Yair and Sharona Odom-Weiss
Israeli politicians are diplomatic agents provocateurs. Presidents, prime ministers and foreign office executives craft diplomatic scenes that betray diplomatic protocol. This article exposes the deep cultural codes that explain the unique behaviour of Israeli diplomacy. It documents different occasions of Israeli exceptional diplomacy and suggests that they reflect the cultural traumas that underlie Israeli culture. The analyses apply a new theoretical framework that dwells on the cultural codes of ‘Israeliness’ while suggesting that the unique style of Israeli diplomacy reflects four such codes: existential anxiety; upright defiance; a dugri (frank) speech culture and a fear of seeming to be a sucker (‘fraier’). By interpreting prominent cases with a cultural lens, the authors provide new insights into Israeli unilateralism, its seeming ‘paranoid’ character, and the reason for Israeli ignorance of international diplomatic codes. Essentially, they suggest that: (a) there is a cultural mismatch between diplomatic protocol and the Israeli national habitus; (b) the more that Israel’s strategic interests are threatened, the more locked it becomes to its post-traumatic habitus and the further its politicians move away from protocol. Israel’s persistent cultural trauma is thus likely to maintain the deviation of Israeli diplomacy from diplomatic protocol.
This article analyses public–private partnerships in Belgium’s economic diplomacy from the perspective of multinational companies (MNCs). The concept of corporate political activity (CPA) is therefore introduced. CPA is seen as a part of business diplomacy (BD), which companies use in order to defend their interests. Eight stock-listed Belgian multinationals (BMNCs) were interviewed using single, semi-structured interviews. This exploratory study focused on whether or not companies contact public officials, which strategies they use and how these strategies are organized in order to defend their interests abroad. The empirical data revealed that BMNCs enter into relationships with national and supranational actors. Information-sharing is the central aim of these relationships, because of the mutual realization that these contacts are important. This was less so, however, at the international level. In short, BMNCs will, depending on the subject and/or the institutional context, rely on the services offered by Belgian economic diplomacy. They will initially, however, also include diplomatic functions of their own.
John W. Young
The subject of recognition is basic to the way in which relations are conducted between states: they cannot easily communicate if they do not recognize one another’s existence. The question is also a difficult one in international law because, in practice, governments often adopt a pragmatic approach when specific instances of recognition arise. One important difference in practice was between countries — including Britain until 1980 — that extended recognition to particular governments and those that focused simply on the recognition of states. However, in April 1980, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, announced a change in practice, so that London would ‘recognize States in accordance with common international doctrine’. This announcement followed years of discussion within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a discussion that was influenced by complex legal considerations over recognition and by membership of the European Community. This article investigates how and why such a change in British practice on recognition came about, showing that the British also gave consideration to a compromise solution, which would have involved tacit recognition of new governments, short of dispensing with such recognition altogether.
Many calls have been made since 2001 for a ‘new public diplomacy’ of the information age that utilizes the internet to reach public opinion. They have been especially forthcoming from the Obama administration, although they have been just as popular with the political classes in the United States and elsewhere. However, such recent calls form only the latest instalment of a rhetorical tradition of public diplomacy that stretches back to Woodrow Wilson and beyond to the 1790s. There is a thematic recurrence in the rhetoric of public diplomacy, as there is in the rhetoric of democracy, and for the same reason: representative democracy has always involved a complex tension between, on the one hand, the political class of politicians and diplomats and, on the other, public opinion, which needs to be appeased since it confers legitimacy on representatives. This results in a recurring pattern of language involving suspicions of the political class, declarations of a new era of diplomacy and claims to credibility. There are hence frequent bouts of anti-politics politics and anti-diplomacy politics, sometimes utilizing a discourse of technological optimism, which politicians and diplomats attempt to assuage with similar calls for new political dawns.
A survey on equal opportunities in the Slovene diplomatic service was conducted during 2009. A thorough empirical research, where the sample included 630 persons employed in the Slovene diplomatic service, of whom 235 (37.3 per cent) responded to the questionnaire, indicated five main determinants of inequality: political affiliation; personal grudges; personal preference; age/generation grouping; and gender. The determinants that affect employees and are based on their gender include a combination of professional and private life, working abroad, and time spent working. The project produced a number of policy recommendations, which were gradually taken into account within the Slovene diplomatic system.
Iver Neumann, At Home with the Diplomats: Inside a European Foreign Ministry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012.
- Huub Ruël (ed.), Commercial Diplomacy and International Business: A Conceptual and Empirical Exploration. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012.
Publication date: 1 January 2014
Issue 2Issue 2 at Brill.com
Paradiplomacy, or the international relations of sub-national governments, has been a feature of South Africa’s international relations since 1995. However, despite a general recognition across all three spheres of government of the developmental value of the practice, aligning the paradiplomacy of most provincial and local governments to South Africa’s development and foreign policy priorities has remained an elusive goal.
This article provides a rare insight into the paradiplomacy of South African provinces and explains why successive efforts at both the national and provincial levels to coordinate and rationalize paradiplomacy have been met with minimal success. It argues that although publicly acknowledging the potential benefits of paradiplomacy, national officials continue to harbour an attitude of ambivalence towards the international agency of provincial and local governments, which explains the half-hearted nature of most of the unsuccessful efforts to align paradiplomacy with South Africa’s foreign policy and national priorities. At the provincial level, efforts to manage paradiplomacy have largely been stymied by structural constraints that are embedded in South Africa’s constitutional framework, as well as an adverse political culture in the provinces.
This article aims to assess which subjects could offer diplomatic protection in third countries to European citizens and/or European Union legal persons on the basis of EU law. The absence of a common standard of assistance and the lack of specific agreements with third states has de facto excluded the diplomatic protection ex Article 23 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU, formerly the TEC or Treaty establishing the European Community). Yet the practice shows cases in which the European Commission claimed the infringement of the rights of EU citizens and EU corporations in cases of violation of an international agreement concluded by the Union, or in cases of a breach of general international law in a matter of EU exclusive competence. These evidences indicate that the EU could play an effective role in ensuring the protection of European citizens in third countries in situations in which the EU member states have transferred their competences to the European Union. However, these actions remain discretional, since the ‘duty to protect’ is far from achieved both in EU and in international law.
In October 1988, an ordinance of the Finnish government created the Committee for International Information (Kansainvälisen tiedottamisen neuvottelukunta, or Kantine). Kantine came as the last of a series of Cold War efforts to centrally define an image of Finland fit for foreign consumption, and to establish the communication methods through which state authorities and their partners could use this image as an economic and political asset. Established under the coordination of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kantine acts as a window into the evolution of Finnish national image management and its state at the end of the Cold War. However, the context of the late 1980s and the desire of Kantine’s members to use the committee as the platform for a ‘wide societal debate on Finland in the twenty-first century’ gave it a broader scope than other ‘national image committees’ that had preceded it since 1945. This article will place Kantine in the evolution of Finland’s national image management and image policy, and will summarize its work and consequences.
- Nout van Woudenberg, State Immunity and Cultural Objects on Loan. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2012.
- Lisette Odgaard, China and Coexistence: Beijing’s National Security Strategy for the Twenty-First Century. Baltimore, md: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2012.
- Ernest Petrič, Foreign Policy: From Conception to Diplomatic Practice. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2013.
Publication date: 31 March 2014
Issue 3Issue 3 at Brill.com
During the period of Germany’s reunification in the early 1990s, disagreement between Germany and Vietnam over the return of Vietnamese individuals to Vietnam escalated into a diplomatic dispute that also spilled over into Vietnam’s negotiations with the European Union over a major eu–Vietnam treaty. In mid-1995, however, the German and Vietnamese governments finally agreed on a repatriation arrangement that allowed Germany to begin deporting about 40,000 Vietnamese who were living in Germany illegally.
This article explores the episode in the wider context of diplomatic dispute resolution. While Germany was demanding full cooperation from Vietnam on the issue of returning Vietnamese nationals, the Vietnamese government initially resisted large-scale repatriation for economic and social reasons. Hanoi attempted to frame the discussion within bilateral negotiations, economic costs and human rights, whereas Bonn argued from the perspective of customary international law and applied increasingly coercive diplomacy. German authorities escalated the disagreement and made economic threats with the aim of changing Hanoi’s behaviour.
In order to frame this approach analytically, this article uses a modified form of coercive diplomacy. The analysis proceeds in three stages: first, the article analyses the origins of the dispute, which had its roots in German reunification; second, it evaluates the legal arguments advanced by each side; and third, it investigates Germany’s ‘soft’ coercive diplomacy and Vietnam’s response. The article concludes with an evaluation of Germany’s approach, benchmarking 1995’s diplomatic outcome against results on the ground, namely the number of returnees to Vietnam.
Practitioners and scholars are increasingly aware that an array of new actors, communication technologies, agendas and expectations are changing the institution of diplomacy. How diplomatic actors are known and experienced through their representation assumes an increasingly important, and uncertain, role. This article argues that these changes to the field should be considered in terms of the shifting ontological and epistemological conditions for representing and experiencing diplomatic identities. In support of this, the article investigates the influence of mediated communication upon the production of knowledge and the ability to experience others through use of the term ‘mediatization’. Mediatization refers to the ways in which communication technologies have become so integrated into everyday activities that our knowledge and experience of the world is significantly altered, often in ways that appear banal and taken for granted. In the diplomatic context, mediatization involves placing pressure on actors to negotiate issues and identity salience in new ways; to coordinate and negotiate over codes and norms for representation within different mediated environments; and to strategically manage identities, messages and representational modalities within objective-led campaigns. This analysis is used to question further the relationship linking communication, diplomacy and public diplomacy, with the conclusion that public diplomacy can no longer be considered as entirely external communicative activities attached to the diplomatic world, since these are — in an age of mediatization — necessarily part of diplomacy proper. Rather, public diplomacy makes most sense in that coordinating role, as a form of semiotic and normative coalition-building within organizations and among connected stakeholders.
Dan Caldwell and William G. Hocking
The observations and anecdotes of diplomats and policy-makers in memoirs and interviews clearly document their experience with jet lag and raise important questions: what are the physical and mental effects of jet lag; what impact does jet lag have on leaders and diplomatic negotiations; and finally, what can be done to ameliorate these effects? This article addresses these central questions.
- R.S. Zaharna, Amelia Arsenault and Ali Fisher, Relational, Networked and Collaborative Approaches to Public Diplomacy: The Connective Mindshift. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.
- Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Diplomacy and the UN Security Council. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.
Publication date: 29 August 2014
Issue 4: Business Diplomacy
Special issue edited by Jennifer Kesteleyn, Shaun Riordan and Huub RuëlIssue 4 at Brill.com
Jennifer Kesteleyn, Shaun Riordan and Huub Ruël
Raymond Saner and Lichia Yiu
Faced with pressures from governments and civil society, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have increasingly committed themselves to signing codes, charters and guidelines of good conduct developed, for instance, by the United Nations (the UN Global Compact), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises), or multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Kimberly Process (a joint governmental, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds). The issue of how to implement such commitments requires abilities to engage external counterparts constructively and — equally important — the ability to convince actors within a MNE to agree to implement such codes of conduct. This article discusses the challenges of implementing the OECD Guidelines and proposes that MNEs consider appointing business diplomats, who the authors consider are best qualified to meet these complex but also increasingly important business challenges. Business diplomats are best qualified to nurture such a business culture that supports, leads and cajoles a MNE to orient its business activities towards an overall balance of diverse objectives and respect for obligations. These objectives and obligations are at times in opposition with each other, and at other times coalesce towards achieving a sustained business that is based on publically agreed criteria of good conduct.
Sarah Myers West
This article develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the international activities of internet companies. It focuses specifically on the question of whether internet companies’ activities are examples of business diplomacy, by examining cases of conflict between corporate actors and the Chinese government and their negotiations under a divided set of loyalties. In so doing, the article seeks to re-examine notions of sovereignty as applied to cyberspace, and to engage in a conceptual discussion of critical issues on the role of business diplomacy in the internet governance debate. Ultimately, it argues that while their activities are more commercial than diplomatic on the whole, internet companies cannot be neutral actors outside of international politics. The article thus makes a case for greater engagement by companies in business diplomacy on a country-to-country basis.
This article illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of the field of corporate business diplomacy using examples from academic disciplines, such as economics and political science, which can contribute to the understanding of corporate business diplomacy. Examples also show that corporate business diplomacy can complement business theories such as stakeholder theory and agency theory. Examples from practice show that in a broad sense, corporate business diplomacy is concerned with managing external stakeholders, while in a narrow sense, it is concerned with managing internal stakeholders. The usefulness of an analytical research triangulation is illustrated.
James M. Small
This practitioner’s perspective focuses on how to combine the efforts of a company, home and supportive governments, and key stakeholders to address, and hopefully to overcome, an issue caused by the harmful actions of a host government against a company. It begins with a suggested definition for what constitutes business diplomacy based on the author’s experience of working with companies that have used this approach in the Balkans, Central Asia, West Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as commenting on how the practice of business diplomacy should be viewed as distinct from other forms of high-level advocacy that a company may wish to undertake in addressing issues in a foreign country. It then looks at the importance of aligning a company’s private interests with the national interests of a home and supportive government and, ideally, with essential allies. This section also looks at the reasons why a company would want to turn to diplomacy for assistance, the issues at stake when a supportive government agrees to take on the company’s cause, and the importance of maintaining that alignment throughout the business diplomacy effort. The article then looks at the elements that need to be understood in order to advance those aligned interests towards a common objective and a measurable result. Finally, the article concludes with some practical recommendations, both for companies operating in foreign countries and their home governments.
Global corporations operate in an environment of increasing complexity. While they have in the past been able to rely on the modern state to manage much of the complexity in the external environment, as globalization proceeds they are constrained to engage in that function ever more directly. This practitioner’s piece seeks to discuss the evolving challenges for global corporations in the public realm and proposes certain approaches for the conduct of their diplomacy in managing them.
- Maaike Okano-Heijmans, Economic Diplomacy: Japan and the Balance of National Interests. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2013.
- Jörn Keck, Dimitri Vanoverbeke and Franz Waldenberger, EU–Japan Relations, 1970-2012: From Confrontation to Global Partnership. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Melissa Conley Tyler and Kelly Sullivan
- Andrew F. Cooper, Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Publication date: 23 September 2014