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In: Group Politics in UN Multilateralism
In: Group Politics in UN Multilateralism

Summary

The aim of this study is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the gendered condi- tions under which diplomats network. We still have limited knowledge of how female diplomats network when serving abroad in strongly male-dominated contexts. To what extent do they experience token tendencies (visibility, assimilation and contrast) and how are these tendencies perceived to affect their access to important contacts? Based on 28 interviews with diplomats and civil servants from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), this study compares how female and male diplomats are expected and perceived to network. The results indicate that the greater visibility of female diplomats makes them assimilate to a stereotypical gender role that closely resembles that of diplomatic wives. Women thus legitimise their presence in the MFA and make it less intrusive. Still, they experience contrast in silent resistance and con- stant reminders of their presence in a gender-inappropriate profession.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

This essay argues that the work of ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) centres on three modes of articulation; namely, intersubjective, practical and material articulations. However, much research in diplomatic studies has yet to come to terms with the specific ways in which these modes of articulation coalesce to produce a distinctive foreign policy. I suggest that a field theory account of MFAs offers a reliable set of tools that enables us to understand how a foreign policy takes shape, the dynamics that sustain it and the circumstances under which it is likely to change. Because a field’s existence is often derived from its relational consequences, the essay clarifies the link between a field and its effects, using the concept of ‘affordance’. In this sense, theorising MFAs connects a philosophy of action — which focuses on the field theory’s concepts — and a philosophy of science — which emphasises relations within and between different modes of articulation.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

Diplomacy is defined as implementation of foreign policy through communication, and the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) is the chief implementer and communicator. This article challenges the conventional definition and argues that diplomacy is relational practice in the first place. The anchoring practice of diplomacy is to make, manage and build up relations. The MFA, therefore, is the pivotal relator who, to maintain a cooperative relationship, needs to follow two principles, both inspired by ancient Chinese philosophical thinking. The first is ‘the Confucian improvement’, meaning that improvement of self-interest is possible if and only if other-interest is simultaneously improved, and the second, ‘the Mencian optimality’, holding that self-interest is best realised if and only if a community maintains optimally harmonious relations among its members. The MFA is a good implementer and communicator only if it is able to manage well complex relations in international society.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

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: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
No Country for Migrants? Critical Perspectives on Asylum, Immigration, and Integration in Germany aims to critically contribute to ongoing debates about immigration, integration, and xenophobia in Germany. Set against the backdrop of Germany’s controversial political decision to open its borders to refugees in 2015, the book realigns this watershed with the broader historical narratives of migration to explain its exceptionality both as an event and transformative force on the migration/integration discourse. The book further uses critical theories to make sense of the shifting socio-political coordinates of Germany. It addresses the history of Germany’s migration policies, its soft and hard power in migration control, language and societal integration, immigration and the revival of right-wing extremism, as well as religion and immigration.

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.

In: Diplomatica
In: Diplomatica