The European Union (EU) has become a key player in space, second only to that of the USA. This article discusses what type of diplomatic actor the EU is in space by exploring whether it contributes to peaceful co-operation or if the EU — due to increasing geopolitical competition on Earth — is developing into a traditional realist actor. For this purpose, it applies three analytically distinct models of EU space policies, applicable also to other Global Commons areas. It finds that the EU does not treat space as an area of geopolitical competition. Instead, it contributes to space diplomacy through its focus on regulating and institutionalising space activities. However, rather than being driven by ‘the space flight idea’, the EU is committed to the peaceful development of space mainly for economic, strategic and societal purposes, in line with what one would expect of a liberal institutionalist actor.
This article explores the role of materiality in space diplomacy through the example of orbital docking technology by tracing its evolution from the early days of the space age to the International Space Station — and beyond. Drawing on the use of assemblage theory in political geography, this article argues for a ‘more-than-human’ approach to space diplomacy to supplement and provide an alternative to conventional approaches to diplomacy studies. By conceptualising the International Space Station as a diplomatic assemblage with which the multinational partners become enmeshed, we investigate how materials, specifically androgynous orbital docking technology, fostered co-operation and peace in the wake of the Cold War and which continues today.
The Vessantara jātaka (also called the Sudāna jātaka in its Chinese versions) is one of the most highly renowned and widely circulated jātakas, or birth stories of the Buddha, in the Buddhist world. During the fifth and sixth centuries CE, the story was frequently depicted in Chinese murals and reliefs. Among a few sixth-century reliefs, scenes showing Prince Sudāna in exile appear to have been selected to crystallise the whole story, replacing the focus on Sudāna’s gifting of his children in the previous tradition. This study integrates early Indian sources with other relevant scholarship to explore the reason why Sudāna’s exile was selected. I argue that the choice of depicting Sudāna’s exile was shaped by two historical contexts. The first relates to a specific rhetorical strategy of integrating indigenous Chinese accounts of immortals into the story’s textual tradition in the third century. The second refers to the underlying religious mentality that focused on the quest for transcendence in the mountains, an idea that grew more popular during the flourishing of Buddhist meditation practice in the early sixth century. This article provides further methodological reflections on the study of Chinese Buddhist art, focusing on how important it is to incorporate more Indian sources and scholarship. It therefore engages with ongoing methodological reflections on China-India studies.
As China and India have begun to rapidly integrate into the world economy, they have generated scholarly interest in the processes of their economic transformations and consequences of their international economic engagements across a range of domains such as trade, finance, development, global economic governance, etc. However, research in these areas is primarily comparative, exploring the apparent variations with little focus on how they relate to each other in their response to “circulatory global forces”. This article discusses the challenges of understanding China-India interactions in the field of global economic governance in general and in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular, and examines how they have responded, adapted, or innovated, both individually and as part of a collective or coalition, at similar points in time. In contrast to the other international economic institutions, the WTO has emerged as a site of struggle between ideas, actors, and norms, replete with instances of solidarity, failed solidarity, etc.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the British Royal Society’s science diplomacy taxonomy has received much criticism. Some argue that there is a lack of empirical evidence to underpin the taxonomy’s three science diplomacy dimensions. This particularly applies to the third dimension, science for diplomacy, and its effectiveness. Others criticise the taxonomy for painting the picture of compliant scientists who would discard their academic ideals to support foreign policy objectives. Against the backdrop of these two points of criticism, this study investigates if scientists are willing to support political objectives through science collaborations. It also examines under which conditions science for diplomacy is effective. Using the epistemic community approach, expert interviews and a case study, the study argues that science for diplomacy is effective if it is promoted by a close-knit epistemic community and shows that scientists oppose the instrumentalisation of scientific collaboration for political purposes.
Social imaginaries carried by the entertainment industry matter for understanding how the general public makes sense of complex social phenomena. Mass culture is a representation of pre-existing ideas on international politics, rooted in space and time, and a constitutive element of the social and political world. Mass entertainment, as well as massively popular forms of popular culture such as video games, are only now entering the field of vision of scholars interested in cultural representations of international relations. This article contributes to this trend by looking at visions of diplomacy present in a global mass entertainment franchise: Hasbro’s My Little Pony. Behind the lighter aspects of a show created for young children lies a fictional universe with elements of diplomacy and international relations. The article insists on the importance of visions of early 21st-century American unipolar order and a liberal view of international politics in the show’s world.
Nigeria has a significant body of diasporic nationals. While studies abound on the economic and developmental roles of the diaspora, there is a paucity of research on the sociopolitical mobilisation interfaces of diasporas with their countries of origin. This article contributes to an understanding of the complexities and multiplicities of the roles of the diaspora in their countries of origin, using the case of Nigeria. It also provides alternative interpretations of what forced migration and fake news connote, through the real experiences of diasporic Nigerians. A qualitative study was conducted among sixteen diasporic Nigerians, interviewed in 2021–2022, in the United States of America (USA), Namibia, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom (UK), Botswana and Republic of Ireland. Primary data was triangulated with autoethnography and secondary data to sufficiently understand the reasons for migration, the constructs of forced migration, roles in national development, the sharing of fake news and sociopolitical mobilisations and protests.
Migrants have played a crucial role in shaping the history of Australian society and its development, particularly after 1975, when Australia formally dismantled its White Australia Policy and welcomed immigrants from around the world. Since then, millions of immigrants from non-English-speaking backgrounds have settled in Australia. This review aims to critically discuss the main challenges that many of these immigrants face as part of their integration process in Australia. For this research, various large and relevant databases were considered and searched. And by applying ‘inclusion and exclusion criteria’, fifty-six major articles published between 1975 to 2021 were selected for critical review and analysis. The findings of this research indicate that, while there have been changes to streamline the process of integration and improve services, five clusters of major challenges have confronted immigrants since 1975: the labour market, racism and discrimination, the language barrier, social connections and housing and accommodation.
Currently, diasporas are perceived as important non-state actors in international relations and essential partners of the country of origin. The article focuses on this topic using the example of Czechia and Slovakia as two small Central European states that once shared a common past and are now independently developing a relationship with their diaspora. The article explores these interactions in the two countries, looking for commonalities, differences and possibilities for future development. To do so, it uses the methods of documentary analysis and comparison. A relationship with the diaspora is vital for both countries, but the level of cooperation still has room for further development. The differences between the two are mainly in the aspects of the relationship between the state and the diaspora. In the case of Czechia, the opportunity for development lies mainly at the administrative and political levels. In comparison, in Slovakia, this space is found mainly at the level of economic cooperation.