Countries are increasingly conscious that their diaspora is a powerful asset in their pursuit of external objectives. Several factors have contributed. Everywhere the diplomatic process is more open than before; foreign ministries routinely network with a wide array of official and non-state partners. Thanks to rising migration, and growth in foreign employment opportunities, many countries have expanding overseas communities. A number of small and medium-sized countries find that such communities are even larger than the home population. We also observe that in many states, these groups, whether they have taken up the citizenship of the country of residence or whether they remain citizens of their home countries, find it easier than in the past to participate actively in social, economic and political activities in their adopted homes. Finally, the example of Israel — that is, the support that it mobilizes from the global Jewish community — resonates with many countries that would like to develop their own links with their overseas communities, as feasible.
Singapore is a practitioner of focused, innovative diplomacy, constantly in search of the political space for itself that would overcome its sense of vulnerability resulting from its geopolitical location. This has entailed involving other states in its well-being, constantly searching for ways to make itself relevant to the international community, through niche diplomacy and a proactive style.It has been creative in its use of regional diplomacy. It runs a relatively small network of embassies, with strong centralized control through its foreign ministry; it has economized on its scarce resource — skilled manpower — through extensive use of 'non-resident ambassadors'. Poor accountability to publics, attrition of talent and gender inequality are among its few weaknesses. Some, but not all, of its methods are relevant to other small states.