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Current Volume: 17

Contents

Christina Churruca-Muguruza
Abstract

This article advances the notion of humanitarian border diplomacy, contributing to current academic discussions on humanitarian diplomacy and on the practice-theory nexus by conceptualising NGOs’ migrant accompaniment at borders as a form of everyday humanitarian diplomacy. The contention is that humanitarian diplomacy is similar to other diplomatic practices. Starting by rethinking humanitarian diplomacy, it discusses the emergence of humanitarian border diplomacy as a key component of everyday migrant accompaniment. Humanitarian border diplomacy focuses on advancing migrants’ rights, seeking to make helpful, empowering and transformational interventions in an attempt to resist and change the contemporary global governance of migration. The article presents the everyday diplomatic practices of the Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes in Melilla, on Spain’s southern border, as an example of humanitarian border diplomacy. At the border, as an alternative space for resistance, difference and otherness, the need for diplomatic culture as the symbolic mediation of estrangement is revealed.

Article available at Brill.com

William Maley and Ahmad Shuja Jamal
Abstract

On 29 February 2020 in Doha, the United States signed an ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan’ with the extremist Taliban movement. Yet on 15 August 2021, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. This article argues that the Doha Agreement did not simply precede the Taliban takeover; in significant ways it contributed to it. In its negotiation, content and implementation, it created destructive incentives for domestic and international parties, and it had effects on mass psychology in Afghanistan that its creators seemed not to have anticipated or understood. In that sense, it serves as a cautionary tale about the danger of assuming that negotiated ‘diplomatic solutions’ are necessarily superior to messy alternatives. The closest 20th-century equivalent was the Munich Agreement of September 1938.

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Novita Putri Rudiany, Silvia Dian Anggraeni, Gita Meysharoh Nurhidayah and Muhamad Firmansyah
Abstract

Energy diplomacy is usually conducted by national governments. However, the case of sister city co-operation between the cities of Surabaya, Indonesia, and Kitakyushu, Japan, shows how substate actors can perform energy diplomacy by developing technology to create public spaces that apply energy efficiency and energy-saving principles. This article offers a new angle on energy diplomacy by elaborating on the role of the city government. To future-proof our perspective, we applied qualitative methods by gaining data from in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, then triangulated the result from the literature about energy diplomacy. The article argues that energy diplomacy has expanded in the sense that it is now carried out at municipal as well as national level and yet still adheres to states’ foreign policy agendas in the energy sector. These substate actors ultimately strengthen the principle of energy utilisation that has been regulated at the national level within the framework of bilateral co-operation with other substate actors.

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Sohaela Amiri
Abstract

Whilst city diplomacy as a topic of study is gaining more attention, the practice is often approached through fields other than the study of diplomacy or international relations. A commonly accepted framework, and the governance system that supports it, is missing to shape research and scholarship. This forum outlines the key parameters of a framework for city diplomacy rooted in earlier research and validated through five essays by geographically and professionally diverse authors. The framework introduced in this introduction structured the direction of the essays that are informed by academic research and by practitioners. The essays also propose policies and strategies to make city diplomacy more systematically and officially integrated into global affairs.

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Max Bouchet
Abstract

National foreign policy actors traditionally neglect the opportunities and challenges that local actors active on the global stage create. Cities and regional authorities have become important international players, engaging in bilateral and multilateral relations outside national borders. They exemplify a style of global co-operation perceived as pragmatic and effective. Subnational diplomacy does not undercut national diplomacy; instead, it can extend it. National governments need their cities and local governments to achieve certain domestic and foreign policy goals related to national security, competitiveness and international development. National governments also need local actors to solve 21st-century challenges linked to promoting democracy and addressing climate change, violent extremism and global migration. National governments should adapt their diplomatic tools and cultivate partnerships with their local governments to leverage their international strength, support their global reach and, where useful, amplify it.

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Alexander Buhmann
Abstract

Public diplomacy efforts of nation states and cities within these states inevitably develop alongside another, giving rise to joint attributions regarding these entities as actors in global affairs, though also potentially intensifying perceptions of their independent and even contradictory roles in international diplomacy. Variations in attributions of cities and states as more or less conjoint actors can be expected to affect both the visibility of key actors and the formation of attitudes and behaviours towards these actors in international affairs. In this essay I explore how and in what dimensions such variations can be expected to occur, applying recent thinking on the constitution of social actors to this emerging debate in public and city diplomacy scholarship and proposing a conceptual framework that distinguishes joint ‘selfhood’ and ‘actorhood’ as key dimensions of joint city/state attributions. The essay includes a discussion of the implications of this conceptualisation for public and city diplomacy.

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Rosa Groen
Abstract

To understand the factors that contribute to successful city diplomacy, this essay explores the example of how city diplomacy is used to attract international organisations. As soon as an international organisation (IO) starts looking for a location, local networks are formed and candidate host cities are selected internally. Cities benefit from hosting IOs, not only in worldwide reputation but also in economic growth. However, cities face increased competition and need improved strategies that are informed by a better assessment of contextual factors that affect a city’s international affairs. The ways in which cities co-operate with ministries and regional government levels when attracting IOs take different shapes and can be crucial for a successful outcome. This essay acknowledges three categories of context and introduces them as relational, discursive and instrumental in scope.

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Antonio Alejo
Abstract

Cities are becoming critical in governing global challenges, and urban policies are not seen as purely local realities. From critical diplomatic studies, this essay states that the notion of urban diplomacy has the possibility to distinguish itself by avoiding being a mere imitation of state/traditional diplomacy, and it allows an analytical path to identify a more inclusive perspective to involve resident foreigners in the design and implementation of a city’s foreign policy. This essay discusses the role of global human mobility in urban diplomacy and the foreign policy of cities from a deterritorialised perspective. The essay argues that diaspora organisations are relevant actors in designing and implementing cities’ foreign policy as part of inclusive urban diplomacy through their trans-local dynamics. Following a qualitative approach, the essay’s empirical bases are four socio-political experiences that show how Mexico City’s diaspora feeds trans-locally the everyday relationship between Mexico City and Chicago.

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Peter Kurz
Abstract

Although the concept of city diplomacy is not new, we are seeing exciting developments in the ways that cities work together to address local and global challenges. This article explores how the global political system must evolve to harness the full potential of a city diplomacy that is well-integrated into global governance. In order for city diplomacy’s promise to be unlocked, we must take action in four central areas: facilitating knowledge exchange between local, national and international governance; embracing networks as an integral part of global governance; systematically expanding municipal development co-operation; and revitalising the idea of a world charter of local self-government.

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Lise H. Andersen

Book reviewed:

  • Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall, eds. (2021). Diplomacy and the Future of World Order. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. ISBN: 9781647120948, 376 pp., $36. 95 (paperback).

Article available at Brill.com

Ekaterina Mikhailova

Book reviewed:

  • Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi. (2020). City Diplomacy. Cities and the Global Politics of the Environment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer Nature. ISBN 978-303-060-716-6, 204 pp, $59.99 (hardbound).

Article available at Brill.com

Andre Nordensterne

Book reviewed:

  • Iver B. Neumann (2020). Diplomatic Tenses: A Social Evolutionary Perspective on Diplomacy. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-152-614-870-4, 144 pp., £80 (E-book).

Article available at Brill.com

Hanna T. Tuominen

Book reviewed:

  • Hendrik W. Ohnesorge (2020). Soft Power: The Forces of Attraction in International Relations. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-3-030-29921-7, 307 pp, € 98.09.

Article available at Brill.com

Publication date: March 2022

 

 

 

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