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2023 | Book

The Palgrave Handbook of Diplomatic Reform and Innovation

Editors: Paul Webster Hare, Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez, Kenneth Weisbrode

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations


About this book

In this handbook, a group of 40 scholars and practitioners from some 30 countries takes a critical look at the contemporary practice of diplomacy. Many assume diplomacy evolves naturally, and that state- and non-state actors are powerless to make significant changes. But Diplomacy’s methods, its key institutions and conventions were agreed more than six decades ago. None take account of the opportunities and vulnerabilities presented by the Internet. Diplomacy is now a neglected global issue.The COVID pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine have highlighted some of the problems of diplomatic dysfunction. Beyond identifying current problems diplomacy is facing, the book also seeks to identify some practical options for reform and innovation. How might a process of reform be agreed and implemented? What role might the United Nations, regional organizations and Big Tech play? How can new norms of diplomatic behavior and methods be established in a multipolar, digital world where diplomacy is seen as less and less effective?

Table of Contents



1. Diplomacy the Neglected Global Issue: Why Diplomacy Needs to Catch Up with the World

The origins of this book project began with a team of authors from academia and practitioners. All agree that core features of the practice of diplomacy need readdressing, which begins by identifying some of the current challenges to the diplomacy of all countries. In the past diplomacy was considered a global issue where non-state interest in its methods was considerable. Such interest has waned. Key treaties like the United Nations Charter and the Vienna Conventions are seriously outdated with little immediate prospect of any updating. The Internet receives no mention in any of these documents despite its revolutionary impact on the practice.

Paul Webster Hare

State of Diplomacy

2. The Closing of the Diplomatic Mind

Why does today’s diplomatic imagination appear so limited? When, how, and why did it begin to shrink? To understand the current state of diplomacy and how it may be renewed and reformed, one must go back at least 30 years to trace the evolution of the international system when diplomats sought after the demise of the Soviet Union to redefine what had been depicted simplistically as a bipolar world. For many optimists of that generation, today’s polarized and contentious international system may appear disappointing. Disappointment need not last. Diplomatic theory and practice have been renewed many times before in order to adapt to changes in technology, society, and politics, which today go by the name of globalization. Now may be the time for another “new diplomacy.” It could begin by reinvigorating the diplomatic imagination.

Kenneth Weisbrode
3. A Diplomatic Taxonomy for the New World Disorder

Relationships embody and define the mutual expectations and obligations that are the bedrock of international relations. These expectations and obligations guide any state’s interactions with another. As the international system returns to complexity, nations find themselves cooperating with each other in some dimensions (e.g., economic, technological, political, military) even as they compete in others. The artless vocabulary of the Cold War cannot describe the complexities of a world in which broad mutual commitments (“alliances”) are ever rarer and contingent commitments (“ententes”) and ad hoc coalitions are increasingly the norm. Cold War-derived terminology impedes rather than facilitates reasoning about a world in which relationships express and justify unilateral strategic protection, the provision or withholding of favors, or purely transaction-based interactions between states. It cannot distinguish between different forms of competition (e.g., rivalry, adversarial antagonism, enmity) that span the spectrum between peace and war. Diplomacy requires a taxonomy of international relations that analyzes and guides national management of the multidimensional, multipolar world orders now upon us. This chapter develops and proposes such a taxonomy.

Chas W. Freeman Jr.
4. Knowledge Diplomacy: A Conceptual Analysis

The contemporary role of international higher education, research, and innovation (IHERI) in international relations is an increasingly important but understudied phenomenon. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the concept of knowledge diplomacy, including the role of state and non-state actors. Given the complexity and confusion among the growing number of terms related to diplomacy, the similarities and differences between knowledge diplomacy and science, cultural, public, and education diplomacy are explored. Using the tool of a conceptual framework the rationales, actors, principles, modes, or operation and activities of using IHERI in a knowledge diplomacy approach versus a soft power approach are discussed and compared. Academics, experts, and policymakers from the fields of international relations, as well as higher education, will benefit from an interdisciplinary analysis of the contributions of IHERI to international relations as demonstrated by the application of the knowledge diplomacy framework to the Pan-African University.

Jane Knight
5. Why Reforms Are Needed in Bilateral Diplomacy: A Global South Perspective

This chapter examines the current limitations, especially in relation to bilateral and regional diplomacy, with examples drawn from large and small states: Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and other countries. It covers foreign ministry-embassy relations; hierarchies and internal communications; innovation and how to shift it from a slogan to reality; the wiki method of collective learning; knowledge management; a “benefit of doubt” doctrine; improved management of the four pillars: political, economic, public, and consular diplomacy; the special role of advancing the country’s external economic objectives, especially in trade and FDI. Often reform falters at the stage of detailing the requirements, the role of the key players, and especially at implementation stage. Instead it needs to create a consensus in favor of reform, as well as public communication of objectives, which is part of a wider challenge that diplomatic systems face in gaining recognition for their role in national affairs.

Kishan S. Rana

Politicization of Diplomacy

6. Diplomats and Politicization

The aim of this chapter is to examine the “politicization of diplomacy” proposition and its impact, if any, on the effectiveness of contemporary diplomacy. Questions about the effectiveness of contemporary diplomacy and diplomats are challenging and are major themes in this edited volume, the assumption being that diplomatic reform is needed and urgently. In this chapter one approach is to consider if the “politicization of diplomacy” proposition, including if and how it might be valid, impacts the core functions and institutions of diplomacy, or whether indeed these constituting fundamentals are themselves wanting. And if they are, are claims of politicization part of the problem and furthermore what changes or reforms to these fundamentals might positively impact the “politicization of diplomacy” process. In this study, the “politicization of diplomacy” proposition is explored by researching how diplomats respond to politicization. Despite there being very few sources on the topic, the study’s turn toward public policy research on public servants’ experiences with politicization in the domestic context provides both a framework for studying diplomats’ responses in several countries including Australia, as well as hypotheses for further work.

Pauline Kerr
7. Digital Diplomacy and International Society in the Age of Populism

In recent decades, states have extended their diplomatic efforts to engage with the international community and their domestic audiences as a tool of legitimization. With the advent of the internet, this trend has culminated in regularized public interactions over social media. While the internet presents yet another avenue for diplomatic agents to communicate benign messages consistent with the aims and scope of traditional diplomacy, social media also offers populist democracies and authoritarian states the opportunity to broadcast politicized, divisive, propagandistic, and personalistic messages aimed at domestic consumption that are incompatible with the purposes of diplomacy. The main goal of this chapter is to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the potential adverse effects of diplomatic agents’ internet and social media usage by exploring the Turkish government’s social media practices. Turkey offers an opportune case study as a state that has exhibited elements of populism, authoritarianism, and personalization of politics, while also showcasing abundant examples of negative diplomatic interactions on social media, stemming from the vicissitudes of its relations with major powers and allies alike.

Onur Erpul
8. Withering Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Evidence from China

The institution of the Chinese MFA spokesperson system is used as an example to showcase the evolution and challenges of diplomacy in a globalizing world. While the answers given and the news released by the MFA spokesperson at regular press conference are the official views on China’s foreign policy and diplomacy, the cases that MFA spokesperson’s failure to offer answer to questions from the media have been on the rise. Content analysis of the transcripts of Chinese MFA spokesperson’s answers at its regular press conference reveals the challenges to the Chinese MFA mainly come from such fields as economic affairs, military affairs, DPRK-related affairs, consular affairs, summit diplomacy, and so on. The challenges facing the Chinese MFA share features in common with its counterparts around the globe, but the measures taken by the Chinese government to address them demonstrate more “Chinese characteristics,” that is, enhancing the Chinese Communist Party’s centralized, unified, and absolute leadership over China’s diplomacy.

Qingmin Zhang, Lize Yang
9. South Africa and Its Foreign Alignment and Practice: From Hope to Dashed Expectations

This chapter discusses from the personal perspective of a political appointee the changes in South African diplomacy during the past couple of decades as the country moved from a rather idealistic post-Apartheid ideological position to perhaps that of a more cynical middle power. In particular, it demonstrates the blurred lines between domestic politics, state ideology, and diplomacy, as well as the difficulties non-professional diplomats sometimes have in navigating all three at once.

Anthony James Leon

Reforming Institutions

10. From Great Expectations to Dwindling Status: Brazilian Diplomacy’s Response to Post-Cold War Upheavals

Brazilian professional diplomacy is one of the oldest and most traditional of the Global South and is internationally recognized. To a large extent, the stability of Brazilian Foreign Policy is associated with the image of the diplomatic corporation, known as Itamaraty (a reference to the historic palace that housed the diplomatic bureaucracy in Rio de Janeiro, at the time it was still the capital of Brazil). The literature focused on the analysis of Brazilian foreign policy points out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is recognized as a structure strongly associated with a tradition of elitism, bureaucratic isolation, and corporatism. This image serves to reiterate among professional diplomats a sense of monopoly on the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Professional diplomats in Brazil, however, have faced challenges after the Cold War that are like those of other countries. This chapter presents a set of crucial themes about how the interconnection between domestic and international variables affected Itamaraty. Underpinning this narrative is the argument that despite the severe rejuvenation of the Brazilian diplomatic corps, Itamaraty has been slow to update its working methods, governance structure, and mission.

Rogério de Souza Farias, Antônio Carlos Lessa
11. Crisis Prevention and Stabilization Made in Germany: Meeting the Demands of Modern Diplomacy?

For a range of policy fields from climate to health internationalize, the tasks of anticipating, preventing, and managing crises of global governance and state authority remain the core business of diplomacy. Looking at reforms of the German Federal Foreign Office since 2014 through a relational lens, this chapter discusses how diplomatic institutions adapt to the challenge of governing a global system and manage crises of state authority and governance with modern tools of crisis diplomacy, and the challenges they face in the process. Original research of how data-driven and scenario-based foresight methods are applied in diplomatic services shows that the integration of traditional modes of doing diplomacy with modern ways of evidence-based, structured analytical and managerial tasks remains a challenge.

Sarah Bressan
12. Integrated Statecraft and Australia’s Diplomacy

In Australia, as in many countries, the practice of diplomacy has lost prestige. This has spurred an interesting example of diplomatic innovation bringing together diplomacy, development, and defense. This chapter will look at what has changed in Australia’s circumstances and the impact this has had on diplomacy. It will then look at a modest innovation trying to push against this tide.

Tom Barber, Melissa Conley Tyler
13. African Union Reform: Challenges and Opportunities

This chapter considers institutional reform of the African Union (AU). There are three causes that limit the progress of institutional reform in the AU: first, are the internal political factors that impact leader’s ability to manage their positions in the region (clout); inconsistency in how AU leaders prioritize certain issues (commitment); and inconsistency in the application of AU rules and norms (credibility). Considering these “3Cs,” this chapter considers how issues of institutional design, informality, and a lack of civic involvement condition the progress toward institutional reform. This chapter examines two pathways to overcome reform challenges: (1) improved institutional synergy and a clear division of labor between the African Union Assembly Heads, the African Union Commission, and Regional Economic Communities; and (2) strengthening of diplomatic ties with domestic institutions and civil society through an empowered practitioner class. These pathways create the conditions for a more inclusive regional governance structure in Africa.

Emmanuel Balogun, Anna Kapambwe Mwaba
14. What Motivates South Korea’s Diplomatic Reform and Innovation?

This chapter identifies what prompted South Korea’s diplomatic reform and innovation following the pro-democracy movement in the late 1980s. By comparing six administrations, starting with the first civilian president, Kim Young-sam (1993–97), followed by Kim Dae-jung (1998–2002), Roh Moo-hyun (2003–7), Lee Myung-bak (2008–12), Park Geun-hye (2013–16), and Moon Jae-in (2017–22), this study finds such determinant factors as globalization, democratization, information and technology advancement, national aspirations, capacity building and global competitiveness, taking risks, and the rise of people’s power. In addition, the resultant findings signify that the president’s leadership as well as administration changes need to be taken into consideration as they force changes in the context of the country’s five-year single term president system.

HwaJung Kim
15. The Transformations of French Diplomacy

This chapter provides a succinct discussion of three significant diplomatic transformations from the perspective of Paris: professionalization, Europeanization, and feminization. All three have drawbacks yet, on the whole, all three mark an important step forward in the evolution of French, and global, diplomacy.

Maxime Lefebvre

Digital Revolution and Diplomatic Reform

16. Digital Diplomacy in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Lessons and Recommendations

This chapter analyzes the digital interventions of various ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) in five broad areas which MFAs have prioritized during the pandemic: crisis management, international collaboration, foreign policy continuity, countering disinformation, and digital innovation. The pandemic has posed new questions for diplomats in each of these areas. After outlining broader themes of research in global trends of diplomatic adaptation during COVID-19, each of the areas above will be discussed in turn, drawing on illustrative examples and summarizing key lessons. This chapter will conclude with recommendations for the collective reform of diplomacy in the post-pandemic period.

Corneliu Bjola, Michaela Coplen
17. Exploring the Usefulness of Artificial Intelligence for Diplomatic Negotiations: Two Case Studies

This chapter explores some of the lessons that may be drawn from two historical cases—the German-Austrian Customs Union and the UN General Assembly Cybercrime Resolution—in which artificial intelligence might have been used during the process of diplomatic negotiation. It then discusses the possibilities of AI today as part of efforts at diplomatic reform, primarily in conflict prevention and resolution.

Volker Stanzel
18. Beyond Meeting and Tweeting: The Next Challenges for Innovation in Diplomacy

COVID-19 might become another weapon in the armory of those who believe that the answer to the twenty-first century is to build a bigger wall. A pandemic that exposes the weakness of systems for international cooperation will lead some politicians to campaign on more nationalist platforms. In the last decade, countries have realized the benefit of becoming soft power superpowers, and have spent more time and energy shifting the way the world sees them. This chapter discusses from a personal perspective how states have used digital technology to craft new messages internationally, and both the challenges and benefits they have found along the way.

Tom Fletcher
19. Disinformation and Diplomacy

Disinformation impacts three elements of diplomacy. On the political level, it weakens trust between partners by eroding credibility. In the absence of a common ethical framework, propaganda practices and disinformation further anti-diplomatic behavior. On the multilateral level, disinformation erodes consensus, freedom of expression, and the normative power of states. Finally, disinformation causes the diplomatic corps to abandon its traditional discretion and forces it to discuss matters in public and on social media. This shift from the private to the public makes diplomatic culture uncomfortable. There is no simple solution to the problem of disinformation because it operates with emotions, not facts or arguments. The challenge for diplomats is twofold. They must be able to discern the difference between noise and signals. And they must regain social trust by providing truthful information and consensus narratives.

Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez, Zhao Alexandre Huang
20. Digitalizing South American MFAs: Reform and Resistance

An important part of adapting what is sometimes referred to as “the world’s second oldest profession,” that is, diplomacy, to the twenty-first century, entails developing and applying the appropriate digital tools for the practice of statecraft. Paradoxically, the obstacles to this undertaking are often more cultural and organizational than technical. This is especially true for institutions steeped in ancient traditions like ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs), something that is very much the case in South American MFAs that have been somewhat late to the game of digital diplomacy. The purpose of this chapter is to track how MFAs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru overcame resistance to change on this front, and examine what they did right and what they did wrong in so doing. Though this digitalization is still a work in progress, diplomats in these countries have come a long way, offering lessons for other MFAs from the Global South. The essay draws on data analysis extracted from Twitter, in-depth interviews with digital diplomats, and participant observation by one of the authors.

Jorge Heine, Daniel Aguirre

Multilateral Diplomacy and Innovation

21. Toward a More Credible Multilateralism at the United Nations: A Few Practical Steps

The discrepancy between the multilateral commitments made by states and the lack of urgency and political will in pursuing their implementation undermines the credibility of the global multilateral system, and more specifically in the United Nations. Many factors lie at the heart of this unsatisfactory state of affairs. This chapter is about dysfunctional multilateralism and about some very practical changes in diplomatic practice that might contribute to mitigating this situation. It suggests, from the viewpoint of a practitioner, some modest but important reforms in thinking and in action at the UN in order to make it a more viable and effective institution.

Bénédicte Frankinet
22. A New Logic of Multilateralism on Demand

In the twenty-first century, against the background of changing geopolitics, multilateralism has been emphasized even during the U.S. Donald Trump administration, which asserted “America first” and turned his back on alliances and partnerships. Denial of multilateralism by some has been rescued by other willing powers. This chapter reflects on a logic of multilateralism developed over the years, examines what multilateralism can cater to, and analyzes new trends. Beyond the immediate crisis, this chapter also examines a new logic of multilateralism on demand that will be effective for peace, stability, and prosperity in the twenty-first century, responding to the demands of today.

Akiko Fukushima
23. About Spheres of Influence

Spheres of influence are assertions of an exclusive right to supervise or participate in deciding the alignments and affairs of another nation or nations in relation to still others either in general or in specific domains. They are instruments of statecraft and diplomacy in rivalry between great powers. Designed to distance, deter, and counter prospective adversaries by measures short of war, they can lead to war as well as prevent it. This chapter explores the purposes, origins, historical evolution, and contemporary manifestations of spheres of influence.

Chas W. Freeman Jr.
24. Regional Diplomacy and Its Variations: Change and Innovation

Regional diplomacy, as distinct from multilateralism and conventional management of bilateral relations, focuses on the interaction among states through regional organizations (ROs). A significant trend, regionalism gained salience after the Second World War, gathering much momentum in recent decades. Impulses driving regional cooperation and integration are varied, ranging from geographic contiguity to perceived economic and security benefits, and to geopolitics. This chapter presents case studies that present the diversity and nuances of experiences, achievements, and shortcomings of regionalism as practiced in different continents. ROs’ typologies are dissected, as well as their efforts at innovation and adaptation. The concluding section offers takeaways for policymakers, including the need for better coordination and “whole of government” approach, the scope for mutual earnings among groupings, and the importance of “political targeting” as a device to spur solidarity and integration. Regionalism, an active force in international affairs today, holds rich potential for further development in the coming decade.

Rajiv Bhatia, Kishan S. Rana
25. Why Collective Diplomacy Needs to Embrace Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways promoted and accelerated new approaches to diplomacy, including the use of new technologies, digital dialogues, and other innovation. Multilateral affairs have increasingly adapted to the era of digital transformation, including the omnipresence of social media for public diplomacy, artificial intelligence and big data for strategic decision-making, and other advancements. Likewise, global governance fora of the international community such as the United Nations have paid more attention to the dark side of cyber issues, the challenges of digital cooperation, and global digital disparities. This chapter looks at the changing landscape of international diplomacy in the context of new technologies and innovation at large, taking stock of recent developments and capturing emerging trends. This chapter focuses on the recent experience in the United Nations from a practitioner’s perspective, including new evidence-driven approaches to international relations, creative forms of diplomatic communication and conversations, and non-tech approaches such as cognitive and behavioral science in diplomatic practice. It argues that diplomacy needs to embrace innovation as an opportunity to co-create new solutions, nurture collective progress, and expand the greater common good of the international community.

Martin Wählisch
26. Innovating International Cooperation for Development: A New Model for Partnerships Between Developed and Middle-Income Countries

Official development assistance (ODA) has experienced profound changes during the past two decades. These factors are signs that the traditional development assistance model is reaching its limits. The increasing number of middle-income countries is undoubtedly the result of their relative success and advances in their own development processes, but at the same time, it makes competition among them to obtain scarce ODA and other resources much more intense. This chapter analyzes how middle-income country diplomacy needs to be sufficiently creative and persuasive so as to attract interest in the projects of potential partners without their perceiving it either as a traditional aid request or as a mere business opportunity to sell technology. In this task, diplomats’ understanding of their own country’s strengths and resources, as well as being able to relay the shortcomings that potential partnerships may help to solve, is essential.

José Antonio Zabalgoitia, Antonio Tenorio
27. The UAE’s Innovative Diplomacy: How the Abraham Accords Changed (or Did Not Change) Emirati Foreign Policy

What is the meaning of the Abraham Accords signed in 2020? Are they a turning point in Emirati diplomacy or the culmination of an evolution which began in the wake of the Arab Spring? More the former than the latter because major changes already occurred. Over time, the Emirati leadership has wanted to turn the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into the Switzerland of the Middle East. Strong on economic development and cooperation, the Federation has tried to pacify relations with all countries. Its ability to assimilate good practices and ideas from beyond the Western world is probably the main reason for its success, yet, the UAE has not hesitated to put into practice Western variations of soft power, with a focus on the organization of international events such as Expo 2020 or the COP 28. Such international cooperation, which encompasses fields such as humanitarianism, development, foreign aid, and assistance, is perhaps not innovative per se, but it does mark a new trend in Emirati foreign policy, with which the Abraham Accords are consistent.

William Guéraiche
28. Small States: From Intuitive to Smart Diplomacy

Multilateralism opens avenues for small states in the global arena, but to play a relatively significant role, they must develop a new type of diplomacy. Taking the example of small countries from the Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro (WB5)—this chapter argues that if the smalls want to adapt to new global trends, they need to create professional, cost-effective, non-orthodox diplomacy—also known as “smart” diplomacy. Although all the five countries have made several diplomatic successes, they are often the result of “intuitive diplomacy” that relies on the expertise, skills, and knowledge of several professionals rather than a well-thought-out strategy. Hence, from a small countries’ perspective, the creation of a “smart” diplomatic service is a necessity rather than a policy luxury.

Vesko Garčević
29. Urban Diplomacy: How Cities Will Leverage Multilateralism

Cities and urbanized regions have become part of globalization regardless of size or geographic location. Every city is now a global city aspiring to develop diplomatic, political, and communicative action. The phenomenon contributes to the expansion of the theoretical and practical framework of diplomacy. However, cities innovate in diplomatic practice with their own routines, formats, and models. As a result, urban diplomacy provides new sources of legitimacy (political power close to the citizenry), facilitates the fulfillment of political agendas (local power with the capacity to solve real, local problems), and broadens the range of actors involved in foreign policy. Urban diplomacy can also serve to recover spaces of trust by bringing international issues closer to public opinion and by facilitating cooperation between public and private actors who wish to improve global governance.

Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez
30. Reforming Global Health Diplomacy in the Wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted critical shortcomings of global health diplomacy. Previously negotiated surveillance and detection systems proved inadequate in ensuring timely notice of the outbreak of a disease that has already killed an estimated 15 million people worldwide and erased trillions of dollars in lost economic activity, with particularly harmful effects in least developed countries. While nations have negotiated health issues for centuries, the definition and objectives of health diplomacy have never been clearly established. This chapter addresses how nations can reform their own preparation to engage in health diplomacy and poses the following questions: is diplomacy a tool to advance global health or is global health an instrument diplomacy can use to advance national interests? How can health diplomacy be reformed to serve both these approaches better? How should governments seek scientific advice to support their international engagements on global health? What are best practices for staffing international health negotiations that can best serve the interests of both large and small states?

Mark C. Storella
31. The Reform of Humanitarian Diplomacy

With globalization, humanitarian ties between various actors are rapidly developing. At the same time, there is an ideologization of the problems in the humanitarian sphere and, consequently, a distortion of actual political relations and processes in this sphere. Furthermore, there is an overestimation of the conflict potential from the contradictions arising with different approaches and different understandings of humanitarian diplomacy. Today, diplomats should adapt their benchmarks for measuring negotiation and cooperation success, moving them away from trade balances and profit maximization and bringing them to human beings’ shared fate. Humanitarian diplomacy is on the forefront of this process, as it tackles complex global problems, affecting the whole of humankind.

Gregory Simons, Anna A. Velikaya
32. Geoeconomic Diplomacy: Reforming the Instrumentalization of Economic Interdependencies and Power

In a global economy marked by accelerating processes of both economic integration and decoupling, policymakers of wealthy states, including those in the European Union (EU), are showing an increasing willingness to weaponize their economic power capabilities as integral parts of foreign and security policy-making. Yet, such growing geoeconomic ambitions are rarely accompanied by adequate reforms of the diplomatic structures underpinning them. In analyzing deficiencies of EU geoeconomic diplomacy through case studies pertaining to the EU’s of sanctions against Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 as well the development of a new EU anti-coercion instrument to counter coercive trade practice by its geoeconomic rivals such as China, this chapter proposes a number of reform initiatives to be considered at the domestic, European, and international levels: (i) a stronger cross-integration of EU member states’ ministries of foreign affairs and ministries of economics; (ii) the creation of EU-level “geoeconomic committees” integrating private actors in geoeconomic deliberations and decision-making; and (iii) a critical assessment by EU policymakers whether the looming disintegration of solidified global cooperation platforms, such as the G20, into Western and non-Western camps should be actively countered or not.

Kim B. Olsen
33. Science Diplomacy with Diplomatic Relations to Facilitate Common-Interest Building

The world is experiencing exponential change, as reflected most immediately by the COVID-19 pandemic over months-years, but also over decades-centuries with Earth’s climate and human population growth. We also are living in a globally interconnected civilization, as revealed without ambiguity by the world wars of the twentieth century. Perspectives about the diplomatic environment that were urgent to address after the Second World War, as reflected by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, underscore diplomatic transformations that are necessary for humanity in the twenty-first century and beyond. The local-global challenge forever is to balance national interests and common interests on a planetary scale, recognizing nations will always consider their national interests first and foremost. This chapter reflects on the holistic (international, interdisciplinary, and inclusive) dynamics of science diplomacy as a language of hope with informed decision-making capacities to build common interests “for the benefit of all on Earth across generations.”

Paul Arthur Berkman
34. Climate Diplomacy for a 1.5 Degree World

The climate landscape is complex and varied. Climate diplomacy has an important role to play, but it must do so in a manner that frames climate as more than an environmental concern and embraces it across all sectors of intergovernmental relations. Partnerships between foreign policy stakeholders, such as humanitarian, trade, economic, development, and security communities, are critical to facilitating synergies and revitalizing multilateral and plurilateral approaches to climate action. The UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, while central, are no longer the locus of climate decision making. If the trends of the past few years are anything to go by, it is within the G7 and G20 meetings, the World Economic Forum, the IMF, the WTO, voluntary initiatives in the financial sector, and within key bilateral meetings that climate policy is being forged. This has implications for global trade, innovation, technology transformation, and the development of carbon clubs.

Olivia Rumble, Andrew Gilder
35. Global Diplomacy and Multi-stakeholderism: Does the Promise of the 2030 Agenda Hold?

The inclusion of non-state actors such as civil society, businesses, and research institutes as well as the establishment of partnerships as implementation mechanisms have become an integral part of global governance and intergovernmental diplomacy for sustainable development. This chapter assesses in how far the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have held their promises for introducing innovative reforms in global diplomatic practices related to multi-stakeholderism, by making it more inclusive, integrative, and accountable. A mixed picture emerges, which is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This chapter also discusses the voluminous literature about multi-stakeholderism, and offers recommendations on strengthening the role of diplomats and international bureaucrats, and for making the UN system more fit for this purpose. Global diplomacy has a crucial role to play in leveraging innovative forms of multi-stakeholderism, and substantive shifts are needed.

Felicitas Fritzsche, Karin Bäckstrand
36. Conclusions

This book has aimed to go beyond a critique of modern practices of diplomacy. Diplomacy, its methods and status, needs re-addressing by states and citizens if it is to confront the challenges they face.

Paul Webster Hare
The Palgrave Handbook of Diplomatic Reform and Innovation
Paul Webster Hare
Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez
Kenneth Weisbrode
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