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Antonio Donini

Abstract

Some 400,000 unskilled and prevalently male Nepali labourers work in Qatar as per an agreement between the governments of the two countries. They are the lowest level of the genetically engineered pyramid of some two million migrant workers that represent some 90 per cent of the resident population in Qatar. The pyramid and the myriad forms of exploitation and discrimination that go with it are functional to Qatar’s development agenda and in particular preparations for the 2022 football World Cup. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal and Qatar, this chapter analyses social transformations in rural Nepal, the exploitative regulation of migration and the human condition of Nepali migrants in Qatar as well as the meanings ascribed to it. We look at the pressure exerted by international organisations, namely the International Labour Organization (ilo) and international trade unions, that led to reforms recently introduced by Qatar and reflect on the longer-term implications, if and when the ‘brave new world’ of Qatar no longer requires an extensive migrant presence.

Series:

Marieke Louis

Abstract

The study of international organisations most often consists of an analysis of the implementation and effectiveness of their policies. This chapter takes a different approach, and discusses the processes that prevail within the International Labour Organization (ilo), upstream of the programmes it implements; it focuses on the participants who decide what the ilo does, what it cannot do and how its mandate is fulfilled. Building on the work of Robert Cox and Harold Jacobson (The Anatomy of Influence: Decision Making in International Organizations, 1973), the author will attempt to understand how this institution has developed its process of representation and decision-making since its creation. While the tripartite dynamics of the ilo and the unique role of the trade unions and employers active within it are often underlined, it will be seen that its decision-making process also responds to other logics underpinned by the political and economic balance of power (East/West, North/South, industrialised countries/developing countries), by organisational dynamics (the relative autonomy and expertise of its secretariat and director general) and by external pressures (non-governmental organisations). Based on an analysis of representation in the ilo, this chapter reveals the complexity of its decision-making process. It shows that this institution does not fundamentally upset the traditional balance of power between states, but that its influence also arises from certain structural arrangements and ways of making representation work.

Series:

Filipe Calvão and Kaveri Thara

Abstract

With access to data communication networks and the prevalence of informal work, workers in the global South are rapidly inching closer to confronting the impact of automated or digitally enabled non-standard employment. What are the social and political responses required to face this shifting engagement with the means of automated production and the experience of digital work mediated through privately owned global technology platforms? By examining India’s job market, with a focus on the country’s information technology (IT) industry, this chapter assesses whether the International Labour Organization’s (ilo) focus on labour rights and social protection is suited to addressing the potential for capital–labour substitution and the new ecosystem of software-mediated work. The chapter suggests a new engagement with digital labour, closer scrutiny of unregulated working conditions, and democratic control over tech-enabled digital platforms.

Andrew F. Cooper

Summary

Public diplomacy has been externally directed via a strategy of assertive reputation-building. In an era of insurgent populism, this model faces strong backlash, driven by the image of public diplomacy being disconnected from domestic publics. Under these conditions, an opportunistic set of ascendant political leaders — even those located at the international system’s core — have considerable incentive to diminish ‘their’ own diplomats as part of a wider campaign to stigmatize the traditional establishment. While more attention needs to be directed to the causes of this disconnection between diplomats and public, this article highlights a number of key ingredients in a menu of adaptation to the populist challenge. Above all, the focus of engagement in public diplomacy should be broadened to include domestic as well as foreign audiences. Disruption, it must be emphasized, does not mean the end of public diplomacy. Rather, public diplomacy must take a domestic turn.

Kejin Zhao

Summary

Since 2012, China’s top leadership has argued that China’s public diplomacy should integrate with the ‘New Model of Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics’. Among this series of initiatives, China formulates a public diplomacy model that is different from those of other countries. China’s model of public diplomacy falls under the unified leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), but coordinates various public diplomacy players culturally rather than institutionally. The current trends of China’s public diplomacy include to evolve from listening to telling, and to be more confident, positive and active. Based on empirical studies, this article concludes that China’s public diplomacy since 2012 has created a unique model that emphasises cultural and other informal norms under the CPC’s leadership. Moreover, public diplomacy will be regarded as a necessary wisdom to understand how China has integrated with the world harmoniously.

R.S. Zaharna

Summary

In contemporary public diplomacy, the idea of culture and nation-state are so intertwined that notions such as ‘national culture’ that fuel populism or culture as a soft-power resource often go unquestioned. This article critically revisits assumptions of state-centric diplomacy that tie culture to the state. Culture as a domain of the state, which helped carve up the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has become limiting in a twenty-first-century milieu that is both culturally diverse and interconnected. The article probes the communication dynamics that are untethering culture from the state and giving prominence to forces of increased separation as well as global collaboration, including the phenomenon of humanity-centred diplomacies. Humanity-centred diplomacies’ distinguishing features — global consciousness, holistic perspective, cultural diversity and process-orientation — suggest advantages over state-centric diplomacy for leveraging cultural diversity and tackling complex global problems.

Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff

Summary

Diaspora diplomacy encompasses diasporas as: agents in their own right; instruments of other’s diplomatic agendas; and/or intentional or accidental partners with other actors pursuing shared interests. Diaspora diplomacy is not territorially bound, and agendas are fluid. Three important features of diaspora diplomacy distinguish it from public diplomacy more generally. First, the diaspora identity results in specific applications of diplomacy for which diasporans may play a unique role. Second, diasporans’ responses to global crises of identity and inequity yield particular motivations and targets of engagement. Third, diasporans may have an in-between advantage for public diplomacy. The complexity of diaspora diplomacy is likely to increase because of circular migration, layered identities, and continued improvements and access to telecommunications. Researchers and policy-makers should focus attention on how to integrate diasporas into existing efforts to account for the complexity of transnational relations.

Constance Duncombe

Summary

Public diplomacy is increasingly facilitated through social media. Government leaders and diplomats are using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to communicate with foreign publics, changing the dynamics of interaction between broadcaster and audience. The key to understanding the power of social media in public diplomacy is the role of emotion in digital diplomacy strategies: social media statements relating to state identity can incite strong emotions that have the potential to undermine heretofore positive diplomatic relations, or provide communicative openings that move towards ameliorating crises. Examining the interaction of social media, emotion and identity provides insight into the increasing importance of digital diplomacy and the future challenges relating to digital disinformation that lie ahead.

Jan Melissen and Jian Wang

Caitlin Byrne

Summary

Public diplomacy practice is intensifying across the Indo-Pacific as global actors compete to keep pace with the emerging geopolitical realities of a contested world order. China’s rise is the dominant feature. It comes as the United States retreats from global leadership, further heightening the sense of uncertainty in the region. Amid this strategic re-ordering, competition to influence narratives, set political agendas and frame the rules of a changing order is intense. The stakes for public diplomacy could not be higher and the implications for political leaders are significant. This article examines the role of Indo-Pacific political leaders through the lens of public diplomacy. While there are significant differences in approach, findings suggest that the imperative for political leaders to inform, engage and influence public audiences increasingly lies in the desire to shape the narrative and thus the nature of a regional order that will be favourable for their national interests.