Current Volume: 15
Issue 3Issue 3 at Brill.com
Jason Ho Ching Cheung
Hong Kong lacks sovereignty but possesses unique quasi-state external relations powers. This special feature enables it not only to inherit former paradiplomatic ties from its British predecessor, but also to develop a plethora of external relations. During the course of the present political turmoil and friction with Beijing, it has struggled to develop external relations with foreign states, subnational entities and international organisations. While paradiplomacy concerning quasi-states is no longer a neglected subject, and Hong Kong’s role as a prominent autonomous financial hub notwithstanding, few studies have examined the paradiplomacy of the city. This article analyses the constitutional regime and underexplored legal topics of Hong Kong’s paradiplomacy, including the legal basis and framework for such. It argues that Hong Kong can lay a solid legal framework for paradiplomacy and its paradiplomatic powers should be more widely recognised because of its potential to yield substantial impact on international law and relations.
This article argues that by using the European Union Delegation (EUD) in Sarajevo as an organisational proxy, the EU creates tools allowing it to participate in the enhancement of external administrative co-governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inspired by the organisation theory approach, this article conceives of the EUD Sarajevo as a hybrid organisation. Such organisations are defined as a product of a combination of two sovereign organisations pursuing a common interest. They recombine multiple institutional logics, stimulate institutional change and spark innovative practices. The conceptualisation of the EUD Sarajevo as a hybrid organisation offers analytical insight for understanding the EU’s role in the society of states and allows us to theorise more concretely about the impact that a non-state actor has on the transformation of the institutions of diplomacy and sovereignty, which are foundational institutions of the international system of states.
During the past decade, the ongoing progress of digitalisation has triggered so rapid a spread of cross-border e-commerce that it has required the responses of governments in their domestic and foreign policies. This article focuses on the related developments in economic diplomacy, almost neglected in the existing research. It attempts to highlight a growing need for state engagement and to trace the related shifts in the activities of governments and diplomatic representations. Drawing on the concepts of the economic diplomacy cycle and the economic diplomacy process, the newly emerging practices of countries leading in e-commerce and digitalisation are analysed. The analysis shows that the concurrence of rapid globalisation and slow international regulation has been creating favourable conditions for the upswing in e-commerce-related diplomacies. A new complex branch of economic diplomacy has been emerging, based on the adaptation of traditional economic diplomacy patterns but bringing also far-reaching change and innovation.
Local authorities have increasingly deployed instruments and practises proper of the international diplomatic repertoire—a phenomenon referred in the literature as paradiplomacy. These state-like diplomatic praxes, ranging from participating in transnational networks to signing international agreements, hint at an increased room for manoeuvre for local authorities, in that they occur without the intervention and control of the central state. While emulating states’ international behaviour, municipal paradiplomacy displays distinctive features and purposes. Drawing on the scholarship on paradiplomacy, this article provides a theoretical reflection on the teleology of municipal paradiplomatic practices. By proceeding through parallelism with state diplomacy’s objectives, this article identifies three functional equivalents that constitute the primary teloi of paradiplomacy; namely, municipal self-determination, influence and contention. By delving into the aims of municipal paradiplomacy, the article points out how municipal paradiplomacy constitutes a valuable means for municipalities to progressively free themselves from the grip of the central state.
Ramesh Ganohariti and Ernst Dijxhoorn
International relations and sport have become increasingly intertwined, with sport and sports events being used for various diplomatic and political goals. Yet, membership of FIFA and the IOC is largely organised along lines of sovereign statehood. Like other fora of diplomacy, this excludes contested territories that wish to engage in diplomacy for various political, economic, and cultural reasons. Yet, these entities can engage in international sports (diplomacy) through membership of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA). This paper finds that while the participating entities often make a political statement, there is little evidence that participation in CONIFA has positively impacted their foreign policy goals. Furthermore, beyond CONIFA, contested territories have been unable to advance their sporting sovereignty or engage in diplomatic relations with recognised states. However, CONIFA aids in nation branding through hosting rights and media attention, and contributes to strengthening the ‘national’ identity of the participants.
Since this vocabulary began to circulate in the first years of the new millennium, science diplomacy has been describing the various practices that bridge science, technology and foreign affairs. It is both a set of tools available to nation states to exercise their diplomatic action, and a process to address major threats which challenge the world order and have a science-intensive nature. In line with the traditional state-centred approach to diplomacy, science diplomacy is driven by national interests and needs. But it aims also at solving global issues such as the preservation of the environment, of biodiversity and of human health — the last of which is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. With its twofold rationale, being at the same time state centric and global governance oriented, science diplomacy is an instrument of choice for managing tensions between national interests and common interests.
For almost twenty years, the concept of science diplomacy has gained momentum in a public discourse that brings together science policy and international affairs. While some policy actions were newly established and others got into the stride of science diplomacy, the public discourse kept proliferating and has greatly enlarged the concept’s meaning. Reviewing one of its most common definitions, this contribution critically reflects on the sensational promises made by advocates and endorsers of science diplomacy. Their framing bears on a popular and romantic image of science that would hold salutary capacities to solve problems no matter how complex and that goes into rhapsodies about scientists as cosmopolitans who would eagerly collaborate with kindred spirits regardless of national and cultural contexts. Apart from the fact that science tends to get instrumentalised for particularistic purposes, these reveries are problematic, as they overbook expectations about science and foreign politics that can hardly be fulfilled.
From an attentive reading of the practitioner-driven literature, this essay questions the reasons why the dominant discourse on science diplomacy highlights practices based on international co-operation and the pursuit of shared interests but pays little attention to practices which are inspired by a spirit of competition. It advances hypotheses related to the professional profiles of those who built the definitions and shaped this discourse, and who are scientists. It underlines the need to provide a broader definition of science diplomacy, by recognising its double nature, both collaborative and competitive.
This essay questions the concept of innovation diplomacy to determine its true perimeter and its different dimensions. To this end, it quickly addresses the strong points of an argument that appeared in the second half of the 2000s and which establishes in a very general way a filiation, or even a succession, between science diplomacy and innovation diplomacy. A historical approach shows that what is called innovation diplomacy encompasses ancient practices at the crossroads of science, technology, economy and culture. It finds that innovation diplomacy can be understood only as a hybrid concept reflecting organisations and strategies rooted in older practices articulated to the challenges of the present time.
The 1958 Lacy-Zarubin agreement on cultural, educational and scientific exchanges marked decades of people-to-people exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union. Despite the Cold War tensions and mutually propagated adversarial images, the exchanges had never been interrupted and remained unbroken until the Soviet Union dissolved. This essay argues that due to the 1958 general agreement and a number of co-operative agreements that had the status of treaties and international acts issued under the authority of the US State Department and the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exchanges could not proceed without diplomatic supervision. This peculiarity puts academic and technical exchanges specifically into the framework of science diplomacy, which is considered a diplomatic tool for implementing a nation state’s foreign policy goals determined by political power.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how countries initially responded to a global challenge on their own, instead of relying on a multilateral science diplomacy — based response. Although, science diplomacy has received great attention for the past decade, its meaning and the nature of the diverse practitioners involved remain elusive. Science diplomacy is a transboundary field sitting across national borders, policy frameworks and stakeholders of all natures and professional backgrounds. But what is a science diplomat? What science diplomacy roles formally exist? Who can become a science diplomat? What knowledge and skills are required? This practitioner’s essay proposes a typology of science diplomacy practitioners who bring science, technology, innovation, foreign policy and the international political system altogether closer in either institutionalised or non-institutionalised roles, and it also provides guidance for pursuing a career in science diplomacy. These science diplomats may promote national competitiveness but also facilitate multilateral responses to global challenges.
Meredith L. Gore, Elizabeth S. Nichols and Karen R. Lips
Differences between the outputs of academic science and those of science policy contribute to a critical science-policy challenge — the inability of academia to sufficiently value either the outputs of the policy process as comparable to academic outputs, or the expertise required to maintain and develop policy. Few colleges and universities in the United States adequately prepare students to become scientists with expertise operating in science-policy spaces. Consequently, most academic scientists lack sufficient training in the policy process, exposure to science diplomacy and capacity to deliver science advice. Science-policy relationships are more than the dichotomised paradox of politicisation of science and the scientisation of politics. Adjustments in how scientists teach, research and engage with policy and policy-makers are necessary to better prepare future generations to address global problems. This article describes currency variances used in these two ecosystems and identifies opportunities to better support science-policy collaborations for more effective research, teaching and service.
Paul Arthur Berkman
Science diplomacy is an international, interdisciplinary and inclusive (holistic) process, involving informed decisionmaking to balance national interests and common interests for the benefit of all on Earth across generations. Informed decisions operate across a ‘continuum of urgencies’, which extends from security to sustainability time scales for peoples, nations and our world. The COVID-19 pandemic is the ‘most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War’, as noted in March 2020 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, when survival is once again a common interest at local-global levels. This essay introduces common-interest-building strategies with science diplomacy to operate short term to long term, before-through-after the ‘inflection point’ of our global pandemic, as the next step in the evolution of our globally interconnected civilisation.
Alejandro Ramos C.
Yiwei Wang and Pengfei Zhang
Publication date: August 2020
Issue 1-2: Ministries of Foreign Affairs: Institutional Responses to Complexity Diplomacy
Special issue edited by Christian LequesneIssue 1-2 at Brill.com
The scholar who attends international conferences and reads regular publications on diplomatic studies and foreign policy analysis is confronted with one indisputable observation: If plenty of new academic research on contemporary diplomatic practices has emerged, few of those studies paradoxically focus on the comparative role of ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs). Thus, providing academic material to students on MFAs requires using chapters published in general textbooks; monographs based on single-country case studies; practitioners’ accounts, which can be rather descriptive; and, finally, research published more than fifteen years ago. The goal of this special issue is to fill this gap in the literature by devoting a complete journal issue to the contemporary role of MFAs in diplomacy. The special issue is built on three components: original research articles, theoretical accounts and practitioners’ accounts. Making a distinction between the three types of contributions is a clear choice to clarify who is speaking from where.
The aim of this study is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the gendered condi- tions under which diplomats network. We still have limited knowledge of how female diplomats network when serving abroad in strongly male-dominated contexts. To what extent do they experience token tendencies (visibility, assimilation and contrast) and how are these tendencies perceived to affect their access to important contacts? Based on 28 interviews with diplomats and civil servants from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), this study compares how female and male diplomats are expected and perceived to network. The results indicate that the greater visibility of female diplomats makes them assimilate to a stereotypical gender role that closely resembles that of diplomatic wives. Women thus legitimise their presence in the MFA and make it less intrusive. Still, they experience contrast in silent resistance and con- stant reminders of their presence in a gender-inappropriate profession.
Christian Lequesne, Gabriel Castillo, Minda Holm, Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, Halvard Leira, Kamna Tiwary and Reuben Wong
Diversity and its management have become an issue in all organisations. Ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) do not escape the issue. In the 2000s, states decided to consider more ethnic diversity in the recruitment of their diplomats. In some countries, this new goal requires affirmative action programs. This article is based on three case studies. The first case study analyses two Western countries — France and Norway — where MFAs have to reflect the diversity of immigration in their societies. The second case study analyses the case of Brazil, a country where the legacy of slavery still causes discrimination in the recruitment of diplomats. The third case study analyses ethnic diversity in the MFAs of India and Singapore, which recognise multiculturalism or multiracialism. The study draws five comparative conclusions to generalise on why MFAs in the world cannot escape the challenge of ethnic diversity in their recruitment policy.
Ilan Manor and Rhys Crilley
The proliferation of social media has had a profound impact on the practice of diplomacy; diplomats can bypass the press and communicate their messages directly to online audiences. Subsequently, ministries of foreign affairs (MFAS) are now mediatised; they produce media content, circulate content through social media and adopt media logics in their daily operations. Through a case study of the Israeli MFA during the 2014 Gaza War, this article explores the mediatisation of MFAS. It does so by analysing how the Israeli MFA crafted frames through which online audiences could understand the war and demonstrates that these frames evolved as the conflict unfolded. It then draws attention to the important way in which MFAS are now media actors through a statistical analysis, which demonstrates that the use of images in tweets increased engagement with the Israeli MFA’s frames. Finally, the article illustrates how these frames were used to legitimize Israel’s actions, and delegitimise those of Hamas.
This article uses digital research methods to explore the use of Facebook by ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) in several Asian locations. It contextualises this analysis by considering four factors that contribute to the growing complexity confronting public diplomacy: environmental factors (digitalised, networked media); institutional factors (diplomatic norms and traditions, and MFAs’ policies and practices); algorithmic factors (the programming that organises social media content); audience factors (social media users). The analysis shows most Facebook content posted by MFAs is driven by institutional factors. Yet this content is not the most appealing to digital publics, who are more likely to engage with content they find relevant and useful, or emotionally resonant. The article concludes that Facebook, and digital media generally, can provide multiple small opportunities for outreach, if due consideration is given to audiences’ needs and motivations. These audience factors may be the most important, but least considered, by MFAs.
Kim B. Olsen
Tasked with the implementation of complex geoeconomic instruments such as trade and investment regulations, targeted economic assistance and sanctions regimes, European ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) are increasingly exposed to a field introduced as geoeconomic diplomacy. This article argues that traditional literature on states’ strategic use of economic power has underestimated how MFAs of liberal and tightly integrated market economies are challenged in their abilities to realise geoeconomic objectives. Mitigating such challenges requires diplomats to engage extensively with multiple domestic state and non-state actors relevant to the state-market nexus. Through a comparative case study of France and Germany, the article demonstrates how major European MFAs have recently streamlined their organisational approaches to the geoeconomic field in various ways, and analyses how French and German diplomats were bound to manage multifaceted, yet different, domestic agency relations in their quests to successfully implement the European Union’s sanctions regime against Russia in 2014-2016.
This short provocation argues for a diplomacy studies that is less focused on the rationality of states, with the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) as an imagined black box in which calculation occurs, and more on the idea of ‘external’ agency as the emergent effect from a range of elements within and without the state. To illustrate this idea, the essay sketches out an example of foreign policy made in the absence of an MFA entirely: Gibraltar’s 2019 intervention in the Grace 1 controversy.
Diplomacy is defined as implementation of foreign policy through communication, and the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) is the chief implementer and communicator. This article challenges the conventional definition and argues that diplomacy is relational practice in the first place. The anchoring practice of diplomacy is to make, manage and build up relations. The MFA, therefore, is the pivotal relator who, to maintain a cooperative relationship, needs to follow two principles, both inspired by ancient Chinese philosophical thinking. The first is ‘the Confucian improvement’, meaning that improvement of self-interest is possible if and only if other-interest is simultaneously improved, and the second, ‘the Mencian optimality’, holding that self-interest is best realised if and only if a community maintains optimally harmonious relations among its members. The MFA is a good implementer and communicator only if it is able to manage well complex relations in international society.
This essay argues that the work of ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) centres on three modes of articulation; namely, intersubjective, practical and material articulations. However, much research in diplomatic studies has yet to come to terms with the specific ways in which these modes of articulation coalesce to produce a distinctive foreign policy. I suggest that a field theory account of MFAs offers a reliable set of tools that enables us to understand how a foreign policy takes shape, the dynamics that sustain it and the circumstances under which it is likely to change. Because a field’s existence is often derived from its relational consequences, the essay clarifies the link between a field and its effects, using the concept of ‘affordance’. In this sense, theorising MFAs connects a philosophy of action — which focuses on the field theory’s concepts — and a philosophy of science — which emphasises relations within and between different modes of articulation.
Casper Klynge, Mikael Ekman and Nikolaj Juncher Waedegaard
As a small, open, advanced economy, Denmark has a lot at stake in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the speed of emerging technologies and massive influence of multinational tech companies challenge traditional governance structures and diplomatic services around the world, creating a ‘diplomatic deficit’. That is why Denmark became the first country to appoint a Tech Ambassador and elevate technological trends to a foreign and security policy priority in mid-2017. This practitioner’s piece lays out the underlying reasoning behind engaging with the tech industry, the first-hand experiences from the initiative and some hard-won lessons before turning to the future perspectives. TechPlomacy is a political initiative with a global mandate to represent the Danish government vis-à-vis the tech industry with offices in Copenhagen, Silicon Valley and Beijing. The authors argue for new forms of coalition building engaging industry, governments and institutions in addressing the opportunities and risks of technology.
All branches of modern governments struggle to adapt to social and political changes today, in an age when such changes follow each other with speed, and change the very fabric of society. Foreign ministries are doubly challenged as they not only are confronted with the changes of their domestic environment, but they also have to navigate the international arena which is another stage of frequent upheavals. As a consequence, the German Federal Foreign Office has ventured on a path of continuing reforms that have led to new structures in the organisation, human resources management and the use of new technologies. Compared to former ages, the German foreign ministry has turned into a complex, multifaceted bureaucratic apparatus with fluid borderlines, recognisably more of the same nature as German society as a whole.
Publication date: 25 March 2020