Current Volume: 16
Issue 1Issue 1 at Brill.com
Hae Won Jeong
What are the public diplomacy strategies for legitimising a pro-Islamist foreign policy? This research unveils how Turkey, which has been a vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates across the Middle East since the Arab Spring, draws on pan-Islamic soft power, neo-Ottoman myth-making and public diplomacy strategies embedded in the precepts of the strategic depth doctrine to rationalise its pro-Hamas foreign policy position under the Justice and Development Party (AKP). By employing critical discourse analysis to the political speeches delivered by the Turkish government officials in domestic and international fora, this article suggests that Turkey has sought to legitimise its pro-Islamist foreign policy and subvert the terrorist designation of Hamas internationally through the humanitarian, Islamic and neo-Ottoman framings of the Palestinian issue. It is argued that Turkey’s public diplomacy of Hamas constitutes part and parcel of the AKP’s grand strategy to project Islamic soft power.
Ann-Marie Ekengren and Ulrika Möller
Competition for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council is getting tougher, not the least between candidates within the Western European and Others Group. This empirical study compares the campaigns carried out by Sweden and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in order to explain the Swedish victory in the first round of the elections in 2016. A theoretical framework identifies three logics of campaigning: contributions, commitment and competence. The study maps out the features of the campaigns, including organisation, key participants, activities and message. It includes interviews with diplomats and public officials involved in the campaigns, as well as available campaign documentation and concluding reports. A main difference detected between the candidatures is the more active political involvement in the Swedish campaign, which shows the Swedish commitment and competence to serve on the Council. Further use of this theoretical framework on additional cases of international campaigning is encouraged.
Baldur Thorhallsson and Anna Margrét Eggertsdóttir
This article offers a case study on why small states seek membership on the UN Security Council (UNSC). It examines the intension of a small state, Austria, to seek membership on the Council for the 2009-2010 term, the campaign strategy and the domestic debate on the candidacy. The analysis indicates that Austria’s former status as an empire and successful transformation in the post-war period influenced its candidacy and campaign strategy. Also, Austria’s ideational commitment to the UN cause was the foundation for its successful UNSC campaign. Austria’s small size was not a hindrance in its campaign: on the contrary, as a small state Austria gained prestige for its competence and contributions to the UN. A UNSC seat for Austria was not a question of a small state seeking status; rather, it was a quest for remaining relevant and maintaining status in a changing world system.
This study examines the confluence of sport and soft power within public diplomacy. It analyses professional baseball player Ichiro Suzuki’s role in the United States as a sporting ambassador from Japan — potentially catalysing goodwill, cultural interest, perceptions of national personality traits and even views of policy issues such as international trade and country relations. In doing so, this research draws from non-state public diplomacy, which considers the transnational impacts of non-traditional communication vehicles such as cultural and sporting exchanges. It measures US public sentiment towards Japan through quantitative analysis of survey responses collected by Pew Research Center in conjunction with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. The success of Japan’s cultural and sporting exports highlights their potential and realised role in binding national ties. Furthermore, Tokyo’s hosting of the Summer Olympiad emphasises the role of sport not only as a vehicle for competition and entertainment but also its utility in global engagement.
Politicisation has characterised diplomatic gift-giving to the United Nations since its early years. Donations of decor and furnishings in some instances can be an equaliser, and in others can accentuate inequalities. Member States’ motives range from altruistic to self-seeking, but larger purposes are served, including increased cross-cultural understanding and community building.
Costas M. Constantinou
The Broken Chair, a colossal sculpture positioned in the Place de Nations outside the main entrance to the Palais de Nations — the UN Office at Geneva — provides a site and a micro-geography of diplomacy. This essay examines this transgressive gift to the UN, challenging customary norms of gift-giving, and its energetic use by liminal diplomatic subjects pursuing diverse causes. It explores the social life and agential competences of this diplomatic object, its ability to recontextualise ‘the square of nations’ and to affect and empower those connected to it. Overall, it surveys its vibrant materiality that supports alternative diplomatic presence and possibility.
This essay presents the findings of empirical research on gift exchange in contemporary Chinese diplomacy (2003-2019). Two patterns emerged that can be structurally explained by the type of relationship in which the diplomatic practice is mobilised: ceremonial gift exchange in more hierarchical relations and convivial gift exchange in more egalitarian relations. Additionally, this case study allows us to observe the impact of the ‘mediatisation and societisation of diplomacy’ on what is — presumably — a universal, transhistorical practice.
Gifts to US Presidents from foreign leaders between 2001 and 2016 are analysed in this essay, to assess the motivation behind the choice of gift against the background of the regulated character of the transaction through the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act. Seven strategies are identified: showcasing the culture of the gifting country; highlighting the bilateral relationship; praising US culture and values; praising or appealing to the interests of the President; offering a nice gift; impressing through a lavish gift and supporting the luxury exports of the gifting country. The first three strategies acknowledge the regulated character of the gift exchange, the next three try to mask it in a focus on the personal and the seventh combines elements of both. Prior co-ordination with the US side sometimes influences the choice of gift.
Gift exchange was an integral and crucial part of Byzantine diplomacy. The practice of Byzantine gift-giving varied with diplomatic context. The main division is that between Byzantine diplomacy with Muslim rulers and Byzantine diplomacy with (Christian) rulers to the North and West. While the former happened on a more egalitarian footing, the latter was structured in more explicitly hierarchical terms. This difference was reflected in the practice of gift exchange: in who participated, how they comported themselves and the nature of the objects being exchanged. Even so, in both contexts, the function of diplomatic gift-giving was to claim and justify authority, be that the authority of the One (Byzantine Emperor) over the Many (Christian rulers, people of the Roman lands), or the authority of the Few (Byzantine Emperor and Muslim Caliph) over the Many (their respective subordinates).
In recent decades the interdisciplinary study of elite gift exchange in various geographical and temporal contexts has transformed historians’ understanding of colonial diplomacy. By combining analysis of textual, visual and material sources with theoretical approaches to material culture and gift exchange from anthropology, scholars have increasingly come to examine colonial diplomacy not only through the high-politics and text-based operations of bureaucrats in imperial metropoles, but also as a material and cultural project operating through the local and personal. This essay uses the published account of John Hanning Speke (1863) and his descriptions of ‘gift exchanges’ in present-day Uganda to understand the materiality of early British diplomacy there. As Speke was the first Briton to reach Uganda, it examines how gift exchanges impacted the logistics and outcomes of his visit. Re-examining his text this way reveals the importance of material knowledge, performance and exchange in early cross-cultural encounters in the region.
Diplomatic gifts are deeply paradoxical: they signal ‘peace’ between polities constituted by ‘power’ (peace-and-power paradox); they are exchanged between rulers of contiguous territories so as to momentarily signal a merger of separate entities (paradox of overlapping sovereignties). This essay uses a systems-theoretical approach to uncover this paradox in national laws of state awards. The analysis culminates in a conjectural legal norm prohibiting states to use diplomatic gifts or, to the extreme, a paradoxical norm containing the self-negation and self-prohibition of diplomacy. The essay finally discusses how the peace-and-power paradox and its invisibilisation permeates the whole system of diplomacy.
Iver B. Neumann
This conclusion to the forum on diplomatic gifts goes on to note two historical types of such gifts. They are, first, fostering of a royal child at another royal court and, second, royal and noble marriage exchanges. Using these examples as a stepping stone, this essay goes on to formulate a co-ordination system of giver and receiver assessments of gift value, ranging from low to high. This yields four types of gifts: personalised gifts (low value to giver, high value to receiver); unique gifts (high value to both parties); culturally irrelevant gifts (high value to giver, low value to receiver) and fluff (low value to both parties). The essay hypothesises that polities that approach one another in a situation of contacts with low density will tend to aim for unique gifts, while polities whose relations are dense will aim for gifts that are of equal value to both parties.
Publication date: February 2021