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The EU’s Policy towards Russia after Crimea
As the EU’s relations with Russia remain at an all-time low and continue to be in a state of paralysis, marked by de-institutionalisation, inertia and estrangement, the EU’s policy towards Russia seems up for review. By taking stock of the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy and the five principles that are guiding EU-Russia relations, this volume provides a forward-looking angle and contributes to a better understanding of the current EU-Russia relationship and the prospects for overcoming the existing deadlock. By bringing together European and Russian scholars and adopting an interdisciplinary perspective that combines insights from EU studies, international relations, and European and international law, the book provides a comprehensive and holistic view on the state of affairs in EU-Russia relations.
Views of the Cuban Communist Party on the Collapse of Soviet and Eastern European Socialism
In Cuba Was Different, Even Sandvik Underlid explores the views of Cuban authorities, official press, and Party members as they reflect back on the collapse of Soviet and Eastern European socialism. In so doing, he contributes to a better understanding as to why the Cuban system – often associated with Fidel Castro’s leadership – did not itself collapse. Despite the loss of its most important allies, key ideological referents, and even most of its foreign trade, Cuba did not embrace capitalism.

The author critically examines and analyzes the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe as reported in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma, both as they unfolded and subsequently through the lens of additional interviews with individual Party members. This focus on Cuba’s Communist Party provides new perspectives on how these events were seen from Cuba and on the notable resilience of many party members.

Summary

As the 75th anniversary of the United Nations occurs during one of the worst health and economic crises in modern history, multilateralism is weakened by the renewed unilateralism of major powers. International co-operation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has been limited. This mirrors similar gridlock in collective responses to migration, climate change and humanitarian situations. Meanwhile, cities have been filling gaps in leadership. In responding to the pandemic, cities have been leveraging global co-operation to ensure a successful immediate response and shape the economic recovery. Yet as cities have attempted to insert an urban voice into the traditional multilateral system on global challenges, they have struggled to influence global policy-making. This essay examines how the COVID-19 crisis exposes the implications for the multilateral system of the growing role of cities, and how cities and their networks can adjust their current activities to maximise progress in addressing transnational challenges.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

This article contributes to the theorisation of collaborative public diplomacy by introducing a perceptual approach. Engaging with the collaborative diplomacy paradigm developed to conceptualise public diplomacy in the context of non-traditional security threats and conflicts, as well as nation building, the article explores and compares perceptions of the European Union (EU) as a public diplomacy actor in Ukraine (tracked in 50 elite interviews) and in Brussels (13 interviews with EU practitioners). The article engages with a concept of a ‘perception gap’ hypothesising a gap between the Others’ perception of the EU and the EU’s self-perception. It furthers the conceptualisation of a perception gap by suggesting to consider it at cognitive, normative and emotive levels in the image structure and arguing variation between the levels. The article contends that a perception gap is a critical factor in preventing genuine dialogue, engagement and listening — key concepts proposed by the collaborative diplomacy paradigm.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author: Javier Solana

Summary

Apocalyptic predictions on the world’s future after COVID-19 are unfounded. Structures of global governance can be reinforced through greater subsidiarity; that is, by enhancing the participation of local authorities, by the involvement of civil society and the private sector and by regionalising initiatives, where appropriate. Furthermore, globalisation’s scope should be extended to comprise the shared governance of all global public goods and elements affecting human security. This essay outlines how this transformation could work for the four policy areas of global trade, food security, public health and climate change.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

The ‘corona crisis’ has transformed a generalized and long-standing concern for foreign service reform into an urgent necessity. The reform of the Mexican Foreign Service Law in 2018 offers a valuable example of a recent, comprehensive attempt to prepare a diplomatic apparatus for a context of accelerated change and uncertainty. The authors of this essay, who directly participated in this reform, explain how some of its main features provided them with useful tools to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic from their new posting in Norway. After discussing the lessons from their experiences, they propose an agenda for discussion among practitioners and academics on subjects that must be addressed if diplomacy is to fulfil its urgent role in the construction of a new, post-pandemic world order.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

This essay focuses on three ways the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic influenced arms control and non-proliferation diplomacy. The pandemic affected the way diplomats were able to communicate with each other to negotiate on the arms control and disarmament issues. The initial response — postponing events or hosting them on makeshift platforms — was acceptable as a temporary solution but dedicated channels of communication will be needed to prepare for similar disruptions in the future. COVID-19 also had an impact on the implementation of the agreed arms control and non-proliferation accords. As on-site verification activities became impossible, remote monitoring proved its resilience, which could make it a more prominent arms control tool. Finally, the pandemic raised the profile of global health issues and led to their securitisation. This revived a discussion over international regulation of biological security through existing and new mechanisms.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

The purpose of this essay is to discuss the ramifications of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic on the future of the World Health Organization (WHO). In particular, the WHO has come under fire for its initial response and reporting of the pandemic, its acceptance of Chinese self-reporting and management of the crisis and dubious claims that it failed to acknowledge and respond to data from Taiwan that indicated human–to-human transmission was occurring. These alleged missteps have brought unwanted and intense international scrutiny on the organisation and have, perhaps, left its future uncertain. This essay examines the history and mandate of the WHO, its vulnerability to national and regional political movements and some likely outcomes for the near- and long-term future. Additionally, it briefly addresses how the WHO is used as a diplomatic surrogate for the UN, especially in matters relating to Taiwan.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

The corona crisis is also a disinformation crisis for the global community in general, and for the European Union (EU) in particular. What is less clear is how adequate the EU’s response to the ‘infodemic’ has been. This essay exposes the dangers of disinformation for the EU, which have intensified in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reviews relevant EU responses. It then zooms in on two challenges exacerbated by the corona crisis: one internal, revolving around the toxic effect of conspiracy theories, particularly the corona-5G hoax; and one external, relating to the public diplomacy campaigns of competing geopolitical actors, especially China. The essay argues that the future of European stability will rest not only on ensuring societal resilience to disinformation and conspiracy theories but also on designing ethically guided pre-emptive mechanisms and confronting external sources of disinformation which jeopardise European health provisions, economic recovery and geoeconomic strength.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy