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Linde Lindkvist

This article explores the diplomatic contestations over children’s rights in connection to the International Year of the Child (iyc) of 1979. At the time, the Year was celebrated as an outstanding success, an event which helped to heighten social and political awareness of the status of children in both developing and industrialized countries, and which brought to light a plethora of new global issues, including street children, children with disabilities and children in armed conflict. Today, the iyc is frequently reduced to a plotting point in histories charting the rise of an international discourse of children’s rights, a discourse that is intimately linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. This article shows how the concept of children’s rights was of peripheral importance to the overarching purposes of the iyc, which instead revolved around a notion of child welfare as integral to wider projects of social and economic development, either in the form of economic sovereignty or basic needs. The article then revisits the 1978–1979 UN debates on a human rights treaty for children, showing how this project initially garnered minimal support among states, international agencies and non-state actors. The article thus takes issue with teleological accounts that see the iyc primarily as a first step toward the subsequent breakthrough of children’s human rights. It also showcases how historical case studies of UN observances can be fruitful for scholars interested in the clashes and amalgamations of competing concepts and projects at an international level.

Francesco Morini


This article provides a comparative overview of the main features of special envoys/representatives dispatched by major foreign-policy players. It underlines the relevance of this instrument within a fast-changing diplomatic environment, characterized by increasingly numerous actors, evolving practices and complex processes that require a flexible approach. The analysis draws on nearly 650 cases of special envoys appointed by national administrations and international organizations over the span of 25 years, exposing commonalities and differences in the use of a long-standing diplomatic tool. The article argues that the incremental employment of ad-hoc envoys, mandated to deal with issues of a geographical or thematic nature, signals the ambition of individual actors to achieve specific policy objectives on a crowded global stage. In this perspective, and in keeping with their role of precursors in diplomatic practice, special envoys constitute a versatile resource with boundless potential in terms of adaptation to an ever-expanding diplomatic agenda.

Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

The Case of UN Police – Recommendations

Ai Kihara-Hunt

Addressing the issue of sexual crimes committed by Peace Operations personnel has long been on the UN’s agenda. The complaint mechanisms have been improved, from ad hoc reactions in the 1990s to appointing a Special Coordinator on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) issues in 2016. This paper makes recommendations to tackle persisting SEA problems, based on the author’s research into over 600 alleged cases and on the UN accountability mechanisms. The personal scope is limited to UN Police personnel. The UN’s approach in conflating sexual crimes and misconduct fail to reflect the severity of crimes. The UN is also ineffective in generating information fit for use in criminal proceedings. However, the laws on jurisdiction and immunity do not constitute legal barriers to accountability, if they are applied correctly. Other recommendations are made with regard to the way of investigation, steps in ensuring prosecution, and follow-up procedures with States concerned.

Benjamin Leffel


This article explores the nature of city diplomacy using newly available archives chronicling the ‘municipal foreign policy movement’ of the 1980s, in which US city governments intervened directly in late Cold War foreign affairs issues. Cases covered include US city governments’ involvement in the nuclear free zone movement, the Central American crisis and the anti-Apartheid movement throughout the 1980s. A theoretical synthesis of literature in world society theory, diplomatic studies and social movement theory is used to explain the normative, macro-sociological, legal, democratic and sociopolitical dynamics of contentious city-government intervention in foreign affairs. Emphasizing the normative processes at play, this article argues through a world society theoretical interpretation that ‘municipal foreign policy’ efforts represent local-level codification of universal norms that the US federal government either neglected to enforce or directly violated.

Olga Krasnyak


The article explores the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) of 1975, the first joint USUSSR space flight, which was embedded in the wider political, ideological and cultural contexts of the Cold War. The ASTP can be viewed through the lens of science diplomacy (SD). The data, drawn from available sources and memoirs, highlights the phenomenological approach in people-to-people interaction to analyse paths, processes and timeline dependence in such cooperation. The Weberian model of generalization and the path dependency theory of constructing an ideal type were used as the study’s theoretical frameworks. An ideal type of SD is viewed not as universal, but as a heuristic device that can be contrasted and compared with other recognized cases of SD. The significance of utilizing an ideal type of SD is to maintain mechanisms and networks effectively between countries through science and technology-related joint projects when political relations are strained or limited.

Anne Deighton

The British decision to leave the European Union has created a number of challenges in the security and defense realms. The difficulties with implementing the decision are compounded by the unusual apparatus and haphazard manner by which the so-called Brexit negotiations have been handled on the uk side.

Klaus Larres

The much-praised “special relationship” between the US and the UK has had little, if any, relevance for President Donald Trump. After the Brexit referendum of June 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May and many of the “Brexiteers” in the Conservative Party hoped that a rejuvenation of relations with the U.S., perhaps by means of free trade treaty, would counter-balance any loss of political and economic influence due to the UK’s departure from the European Union. Some of Trump’s rhetoric seemed to indicate this. He repeatedly praised the country for its desire to get back “its sovereignty” and “control over its borders.” In reality Trump was so focused on the realization of his “America First” policy that it was unlikely that he would be inclined to grant any special favors or generous trade terms to the UK, “special relationship” or not.

Yadira Ixchel Martínez Pantoja


Business diplomacy emphasizes engagement with stakeholders to shape the environment to favour business interests. This article recognizes that multinational corporations (MNCs) play a relevant role in the international arena, dealing with governments and other non-state actors by means of business diplomacy. Biotechnology companies, in particular, bargain with government representatives for commercialization, deregulation or intellectual property enforcement. In order to advance their economic and business goals, biotechnology companies have implemented reactive, proactive and relationship-building strategies and instruments. These MNCs have applied reactive instruments to respond to evolving problems and proactive instruments to address more complex issues. MNCs have also employed long-term relationship-building instruments, such as awards and research centres, to establish stronger relationships with multiple stakeholders. This article contributes to the discussion of what business diplomacy is and presents an analysis of strategies and instruments that is scarce in the business diplomacy literature.

Can You Pay for Peace?

The Role of Financing Frameworks in Effective Peace Operations

Lila Wade

Financing mechanisms are central to the operational efficacy of peace operations, yet current analysis of peacebuilding finance is atomistic, focusing on one domain, such as coordination or financing. To address the need for deeper understanding of how financing modalities affect peacebuilding outcomes, this paper identifies the trade-offs and opportunities of different financing schema across the lifespan of a peace operation. In order to parse the linkages between financing and outcomes, this paper examines: (1) control of donor funds within a transitional state; (2) budgeting for coordination and alignment; (3) promoting partnerships and participation through funding modalities; and (4) funding ‘quick impact’ projects to bridge the periods of immediate relief and long-term development. With reference to peacebuilding operations in Liberia after the 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement, this analysis highlights numerous innovations and experiments in the financing of peace operations, examining the advantages and disadvantages inherent in different approaches.

Halvard Leira


This article deals with the duty of care that states hold in relation to their citizens abroad — more specifically, the double role of diplomatic personnel, as both providers and recipients of care. The focus of discussion is states’ duty of care for diplomatic personnel, raising questions of how this care can be balanced with the duty of care for citizens and how far this duty stretches. The article first emphasizes the threats, before focusing on the means of protection: evacuation; physical structures; and psychological care. A tension remains, for as states fulfil their duty of care towards personnel through increasing security, they might at the same time reduce their personnel’s capacity to provide care for citizens. One solution for this tension — outsourcing and local personnel — tests the limits of care.