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If you want to better understand not only international but also social diplomacy, then this book is for you. If you are a practitioner in traditional diplomacy or a person who want to apply diplomatic ideas and methods in social life, you can find many useful insights in this original work. A scholar and experienced diplomat, the author argues that international and social diplomacy can learn from each other. He explores genuine diplomacy as a goodwill mission, constructive engagement, and dialogical interaction that can help states, non-state organizations, companies, groups, individuals, and their aggregations to create public goods and make positive social changes.
Author: Katrin Buchmann
Buchmann analyses the work of UK, German, Danish and Swedish embassies in the USA and China on climate change in the late 2000s and early 2010s. She relates which coalitions and narratives embassies sought to develop to convince China and the United States that a more progressive climate policy was possible, to achieve gains supporting an agreement under the UNFCCC. This book shows that a key interpretation of climate diplomacy was selling/trade: Europe selling technology “solutions” to solve climate change. In this narrative, Europe has already done what needs to be done and outsourcing of production to China e.g. is ignored. In the USA, embassies entered coalitions with states, faith groups and the military, arguing that a more progressive climate policy was mandated by either God or security concerns. State politicians, including Democrats, often actually didn’t implement any climate policies. Any gains were reversed through climate denial lobbying funded by corporations. Embassies did not address this.
Networked Practices and Sanctions Implementation
Author: Kim B. Olsen
When policy-makers opt for sanctions or other economic power instruments in response to geostrategic challenges, the stage is set for geoeconomic diplomacy. Challenging traditional conceptions about the interplay between governments and markets, this book sheds a new light on the diplomatic actors and processes that shape successful geoeconomic foreign and security policy-making. Unpacking the ‘networked practices’ through which diplomats advanced the early implementation of the European Union’s far-reaching sanctions regimes against Russia and Syria, the book demonstrates how geoeconomic diplomats depend on their abilities to navigate in complex actor-networks in the interfaces between the public, private, and non-governmental realm.
Volume Editor: Christian Lequesne
Ministries of foreign affairs are prominent institutions at the heart of state diplomacy. Although they have lost their monopoly on the making of national foreign policies, they still are the operators of key practices associated with diplomacy: communication, representation and negotiation. Often studied in a monographic way, ministries of foreign affairs are undergoing an adaptation of their practices that require a global approach. This book fills a gap in the literature by approaching ministries of foreign affairs in a comparative and comprehensive way. The best international specialists in the field provide methodological and theoretical insights into how best to study institutions that remain crucial for the world diplomacy.

Contributors are: Thierry Balzacq, Guillaume Beaud, Gabriel Castillo, Andrew Cooper, Rhys Crilley, Jason Dittmer, Mikael Ekman, Bruno Figueroa, Karla Gobo, Minda Holm, Marcus Holmes, Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, Nikolaj Juncher Waedegaard, Casper Klynge, Halvard Leira, Christian Lequesne, Ilan Manor, Jan Melissen, Iver B. Neumann, Birgitta Niklasson, Kim B. Olsen, Pierre-Bruno Ruffini, Claudia Santos, Jorge A. Schiavon, Damien Spry, Kamna Tiwary, Geoffrey Wiseman, and Reuben Wong.
Author: Iver B. Neumann

Abstract

This chapter looks at one method to study ministries of foreign affairs (MFA s), namely ethnography. Ethnography can be combined with other methods. It consists in watching and observing what diplomats do, and wondering about why they do it, the way they do it and what effects stem from whether they do it this way or not. The chapter discusses how a researcher may get to study MFA s (field access), what they have to know about the field and themselves in order to do this in an optimal way (situatedness) and how they transform observations into notes and notes into text (techniques). In conclusion, the chapter offers some reflections on the ethics of being an ethnographer of MFAs.

In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World
Author: Jan Melissen

Abstract

This analysis discusses the first hurdle for consular diplomacy in the digital age: the communicative challenge. Providing information and assistance to nationals abroad is a major challenge, and governments are well advised to go about this activity in a more citizen-centric fashion. It is therefore important for ministries of foreign affairs (MFA s) to acquire a deeper understanding of their nationals’ communicative behaviour. Greater control in a fragmented, digital communication environment is required and implies the co-ordination of offline and online channels. Framing consular services in market terms and identifying citizens as customers, however, would go against government interests. MFA s would do well to view consular assistance as part of their growing diplomatic engagement with domestic society. This analysis of policy and practice suggests that there are good reasons to articulate existing links between consular assistance and wider foreign and security policy, rather than seeing ‘consular’ work as a self-contained activity.

In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World

Abstract

As a small, open, advanced economy, Denmark has a lot at stake in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the speed of emerging technologies and massive influence of multinational tech companies challenge traditional governance structures and diplomatic services around the world, creating a ‘diplomatic deficit’. That is why Denmark became the first country to appoint a Tech Ambassador and elevate technological trends to a foreign and security policy priority in mid-2017. This practitioner’s piece lays out the underlying reasoning behind engaging with the tech industry, the first-hand experiences from the initiative and some hard-won lessons before turning to the future perspectives. TechPlomacy is a political initiative with a global mandate to represent the Danish government vis-à-vis the tech industry with offices in Copenhagen, Silicon Valley and Beijing. The authors argue for new forms of coalition building engaging industry, governments and institutions in addressing the opportunities and risks of technology.

In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World
Author: Marcus Holmes

Abstract

As the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic came into focus in early 2020, diplomats in MFA s worldwide were faced with the prospect of a significant disruption to one of the more ubiquitous rituals of their jobs: the face-to-face meeting. This chapter critically analyses what is lost, and what is gained, when diplomats are deprived of a crucial habitualised practice that is, for many, the foundational activity that describes what it is to be a diplomat, and forced to conduct their interactions virtually through digital technology. Drawing upon anthropology, sociology and political science, this chapter situates face-to-face diplomacy as a ritualised behaviour that allows diplomats to build trust and, in the most successful cases, transform identities. It then turns to the prospects of replicating this process online and analyses the extent to which virtual interaction may serve as a sufficient proxy for physical co-present interaction. It concludes with reflections on the ramifications of the continued pervasiveness of digital technology in diplomacy, with recommendations for MFA s as they navigate the promises and drawbacks of these technologies.

In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World
Author: Jason Dittmer

Abstract

This short provocation argues for a diplomacy studies that is less focused on the rationality of states, with the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) as an imagined black box in which calculation occurs, and more on the idea of ‘external’ agency as the emergent effect from a range of elements within and without the state. To illustrate this idea, the essay sketches out an example of foreign policy made in the absence of an MFA entirely: Gibraltar’s 2019 intervention in the Grace 1 controversy.

Open Access
In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World

Abstract

Diversity and its management have become an issue in all organisations. Ministries of foreign affairs (MFA s) do not escape the issue. In the 2000s, states decided to consider more ethnic diversity in the recruitment of their diplomats. In some countries, this new goal requires affirmative action programs. This article is based on three case studies. The first case study analyses two Western countries — France and Norway — where MFA s have to reflect the diversity of immigration in their societies. The second case study analyses the case of Brazil, a country where the legacy of slavery still causes discrimination in the recruitment of diplomats. The third case study analyses ethnic diversity in the MFA s of India and Singapore, which recognise multiculturalism or multiracialism. The study draws five comparative conclusions to generalise on why MFA s in the world cannot escape the challenge of ethnic diversity in their recruitment policy.

In: Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the World