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date: 25 June 2022

Introduction: The Challenges of 21st-Century Diplomacy

Abstract and Keywords

This introductory article first sets out the book’s main purpose, which is to display the importance of diplomacy along with its attendant capacity for adaptation. It then discusses the nature and meaning of diplomacy, its emerging patterns of practice, and its relevance for not only policy-makers but also a wider cast of actors and set of social interaction. The subject matter of diplomacy has expanded, from the high politics of war and peace to health, environment, development, science and technology, education, law, and the arts. Diplomats are engaged in an expanding range of functions, from negotiation, communication, consular, representation, and reporting to observation, merchandise trade and services promotion, cultural exchange, and public relations. At the same time, with more work has come a greater amount of ‘bureaucratization’, where routine, precedent, and standard operating procedures dominate the daily administrative tasks.

Keywords: diplomacy, adaptation, diplomatic practice, social interaction

‘Can it be that in wading through the plethora of business plans, capability reviews . . . and other excrescences of the management age, we have indeed forgotten what diplomacy is all about?’—Sir Ivor Roberts, the departing British ambassador to Italy.1

The essence of diplomacy has never disappeared. Yet amid the complexities of the 21st century, the manner by which these core ingredients express themselves can be overshadowed by a myriad of contextual factors both structural and situational. The aim of The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (OHMD) is to display the importance of diplomacy along with its attendant capacity—albeit with many constraints and frustrations—for adaptation. Modern diplomacy in terms of practice may have lost some of its image of exceptionalism, in the sense that it has to compete and interact with a much wider dynamic of agency, conduct itself in a more time-sensitive manner, and be applied with a greater technical orientation. Furthermore, to a far greater extent than in the past, diplomacy is wrapped up with domestic policy-making and political/societal demands about governance across an extended spectrum of issue areas. Such a template, if inculcating some considerable anxieties about the current and future performance of diplomacy, however, confirms both the salience of diplomacy in terms of the form, scope, and intensity of operational activity and the necessary focus of an extended and conceptually informed mode of analysis.

What underpins the OHMD is the ambitious and exciting scale of the project. Diplomacy today takes place among multiple sites of authority, power, and influence: (p. 2) mainly states, but also including religious organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations, and even individuals, whether they be celebrities, philanthropists, or terrorists. With over fifty contributions, the OHMD covers the repertoire of diplomacy in comprehensive fashion with respect to objectives, interfaces, norms, tools, sites, and impact. Richness of detail is meshed with a consistency of thematic approach: the interplay between what is termed the club and network models of diplomacy.

Before delving deeper into this core typology, nonetheless, there is a need to go back to some of the basic if textured questions about the nature and meaning of diplomacy, its emerging patterns of practice, and relevance for not only policy-makers but a wider cast of actors and set of social interaction.

Diplomacy at its essence is the conduct of relationships, using peaceful means, by and among international actors, at least one of whom is usually governmental.2 The typical international actors are states and the bulk of diplomacy involves relations between states directly, or between states, international organizations, and other international actors.

There is, it must be acknowledged, some confusion between foreign policy and diplomacy. Books on the diplomacy and diplomatic history of many countries are often treatises on those countries’ foreign policy and the history of their foreign relations. Policy is the provenance of governments. The civil service may shape and influence policy, but is not normally considered to be a policy-maker: that is the domain of the political heads of civil service departments, namely heads of government and cabinet ministers individually and the legislature and political executive collectively.

While the formulation and adoption of policy is the responsibility of leaders and ministers, its implementation or execution is the job description of public servants and, in the case of foreign policy, diplomats. Such delivery relies on a mix-and-match set of techniques and tools of persuasion-cum-negotiation and pressure-cum-coercion that draw on soft and hard power assets in various combinations. A nation's diplomat, required to function as his or her country's eyes, ears, and voice abroad, must be aware of national interests and values while being able to understand foreign politics and cultures. The skills required of professional diplomats include intelligence, tact, discretion, circumspection, patience, self-control, teamwork, adaptability, creative imagination, the ability to signal and communicate messages precisely to the target audience while being able to point to plausible alternative meanings to other audiences, and the intellectual facility and linguistic agility to present necessary compromises and accommodation resulting from intense bargaining as win-win outcomes. Matters of state call for delicacy as well as soundness of judgement and failures of either can lead to catastrophic consequences. The diplomat steps aside and the soldier takes over when the government concludes that the goals being pursued can best be achieved through the use of military force—or when the diplomat has bungled. While the threat of use of force, whether explicit or implicit, is still part of the diplomat's arsenal, the actual use of force is required because diplomacy has failed and must be substituted by other instruments of statecraft.

(p. 3) 0.1 Antecedents

The word ‘diplomacy’ is of surprisingly recent vintage. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, defining it as ‘the art of conducting the intercourse of nations with each other’, noted that ‘It is singular that a term of so much practical importance in politics and history should be so recent in its adoption that it is not to be found in Johnson's dictionary.’3 The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as ‘The management of international relations by negotiation; the method by which these relations are adjusted and managed by ambassadors and envoys.’4 It is derived from a Greek word—a diploma—meaning an official document or state paper. Trained archivists who organized such documents were the first to be called diplomats or ‘those who dealt with diplomas or archives’.5 By the end of the 17th century, words like ‘diplomaticus’ and ‘diplomatique’ were applied more restrictively to treaties or state papers dealing with international relations; diplomats were officials dealing with such matters; ‘diplomatic body’6 referred collectively to ambassadors, envoys, and officials attached to foreign missions; and ‘diplomatic service’ denoted the part of the career public service from which were drawn the personnel working in the permanent missions in other countries.

The term ambassador, on the other hand, has been in common usage throughout recorded history. The Oxford English Dictionary provides three definitions:7

  1. 1. a. An official messenger sent . . . by or to a sovereign or public body; an envoy, commissioner, or representative. esp b. A minister of high rank sent by one sovereign or state on a mission to another.

  2. 2. A minister at a foreign court, of the highest rank, who there permanently represents his sovereign or country.

  3. 3. An appointed or official messenger generally.

The practice of sending official envoys to foreign political jurisdictions to represent a sovereign political entity is very ancient. Rulers in Greece, Persia, India, and China exchanged messages and gifts, negotiated treaties and alliances (often through marriage), signed peace agreements, and sometimes mediated disputes between neighbouring sovereigns. Thus diplomats and the profession of diplomacy existed well before the word was invented to refer to them collectively as a class. Some of the more famous ones from European history include Machiavelli (1469–1527), Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642), Talleyrand (1754–1838), Metternich (1773–1859), and Bismarck (1815–1898). Sir Thomas Roe was the British ‘lord ambassador’ at the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir (1615–1618). The office or institution of ambassador therefore has a long lineage. Many rituals, conventions, and etiquettes have accumulated over centuries to endow the office with distinction, mystique, and glamour.

According to Satow's Diplomatic Practice, the earliest known ‘diplomatic document’ is a copy of a letter from the Mesopotamian Kingdom of Ebla to that of Amazi (about 1000 km away) that was inscribed on a 2500 bc cuneiform tablet.8 In the 4th–5th centuries bc, (p. 4) the Greek city-states exchanged duly accredited ambassadors who presented their case to rulers and citizens’ assemblies and enjoyed a measure of immunity that went beyond the prevailing standards of local hospitality towards foreigners.9 Being a good public speaker was a key requirement of ambassadors at the time, since they were expected to address the citizens of the city-state they were accredited to at the ‘agora’, or public square. Customs, ceremonies, and rules of procedure were established and institutionalized. The Greeks began the practice of selecting a local citizen in a foreign state as a resident consul who served the interests of a foreign state and yet was held in high esteem. The Greek city-states also struggled with the tension between efficient negotiation that rests on confidential discussions and the openness and transparency demanded by the citizens of a democracy or a republic. The first diplomatic conference as such was the celebrated Sparta Conference of 432 bc to debate whether or not to declare war on Athens. Thus the Greeks ‘developed an elaborate apparatus of foreign relations together with a substantial body of diplomatic practice which . . . endured for several centuries’.10

The Romans refined the role of emissaries to include trained observation and interpretation of conditions and opinions in the host country and negotiation in pursuit of the empire's interests. Important innovations included the extension of diplomatic immunity, and the practice of international arbitration through commissions. On the other side of the world, in India, the Arthashastra,11 a treatise on statecraft, military strategy, and economic policy by Kautilya (ca. 350–283 bc, prime minister of India's first great emperor Chandragupta Maurya), classified diplomatic representatives into plenipotentiaries (fully empowered to represent the king), envoys with limited negotiating authority, and simple messengers. All were to be accorded special international protection. Kautilya also anticipated Machiavelli in the amoral and ruthless nature of his advice on statecraft to the prince.

The institution of residential diplomacy—‘the most important innovation in diplomatic practice’12—has its origins in the second half of the 15th century among the Italian city-states. Envoys were soon stationed also in important capitals like Paris, Madrid, and Vienna to communicate messages and observe and interpret shifting moods and alliances and dynastic struggles for power in kingdoms most likely to intervene in the Italian Wars (1494–1559).13 Many of the standard practices associated with modern diplomacy—the use of couriers and the use of secretaries—as well as elaborate written reports on developments in the host country were refined during this period.

The age of classical European diplomacy began with the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) which marks the transition from Christendom to the modern states system. In the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), Cardinal Richelieu, by aligning France with the Protestants at the cost of the expansion of the Holy Roman Empire that would have weakened the French king, elevated state interests above the values of the religious community as the guiding principle of foreign policy. The seminal treatise on interstate relations was Emmerich de Vattel's Law of Nations (1758). The Congress of Vienna codified diplomacy as a characteristic institution of the new states system in 1815 and set out the international codes of conduct governing diplomatic discourse among sovereign states in the interests of the nation as a whole rather than of any given dynasty.

(p. 5) As indicated by the transformation of the European order after Westphalia, the content and practice of diplomacy is shaped by the changing nature of sovereign political actors. Following the Congress of Vienna, Europe enjoyed a hundred years free of major war under the Concert system. But its collapse under the weight of the First World War discredited the system of clandestine alliances and secret diplomacy. The age of democracy brought accompanying pressures for open and transparent diplomacy, negotiations, and treaties: ‘open covenants openly arrived at’, as US President Woodrow Wilson famously put it. Article 102 of the UN Charter requires member states to register all international agreements and deposit the texts with the Secretary-General. The end of the First World War also saw the first instance of summit diplomacy in the modern era: much of the Treaty of Versailles was negotiated between Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, and Lloyd George—just as many of the most important clauses of the UN Charter were negotiated between Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill in summit meetings at Tehran and Yalta, and of Harry Truman, Stalin, and Churchill (followed by Clement Attlee) at Potsdam, during and after the Second World War.

The interwar period opened new channels and modes of diplomacy. New diplomatic procedures consolidated and initiated by the League included multilateral diplomacy, public debates, international parliamentary procedures, and collective decision-making. A parallel innovation was the tripartite representation of government, labour, and business in the International Labour Organization (ILO) where labour and management could vote independently of their governments. Many of the diplomatic practices and conventions have been codified in the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (UN), the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The amount of discretion and latitude permitted to ambassadors and envoys is partly a function of the prevailing technology of transportation and communications. In ancient times, when direct consultations and back-and-forth communications were not feasible, the monarch or republic was far more dependent on the ambassador's judgement and skills on the spot. Today all important matters are referred back to the ambassador's own capital. Advances in the ease and speed of travel have allowed leaders or their designates to engage in shuttle diplomacy—over and around embassy officials. At the same time, a systematic and persistent disregard of departmental analyses and advice increases the risks of costly mistakes.

Most importantly for present purposes, the world of international relations—the ‘field’ in which diplomats operate—has changed substantially since the First World War. The business of the world has changed almost beyond recognition over the last century. We operate today in a global environment that is vastly more challenging, complex, and demanding than the world of 1914. Just consider the vocabulary and metaphors of the new age: Srebrenica, Rwanda, DRC, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, East Timor, Darfur, Libya; child soldiers, ethnic cleansing, blood diamonds, 9/11, regime change, Islamophobia, HIV/AIDS, global warming, climate change; Microsoft, Google, iPod, Blackberry, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, WikiLeaks; metrosexual, heteropolitan, localitarian—the list is endless and endlessly changing.

(p. 6) In particular, as described in Figure 0.1, there has been a fivefold change in the world of diplomacy:

  1. i. In the rapidly expanding numbers and types of actors, from governments to national private sector firms, multinational corporations (MNCs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and regional and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs).

  2. ii. In the domain and scope of the subject matter or content, expanding rapidly to a very broad array of the different sectors of public policy and government activity that extend well beyond traditional ‘high issue’ foreign policy.

  3. iii. In the levels at which diplomatic engagement and activity take place, from the local through the domestic-national to the bilateral, regional, and global, with globalization reducing the height of separation between the different layers.

  4. iv. In the apparatus and machinery of foreign relations and diplomacy.

  5. v. In the modes, types, and techniques of diplomacy.

We will shortly raise the question as to how much these changes can be encapsulated in the conceptual shift from ‘club’ to ‘network’ diplomacy. But first it is necessary to elaborate on the changes themselves.

0.1.1 Actors

Introduction The Challenges of 21st-Century Diplomacy

Figure 0.1. Complexity management in network diplomacy

Adapted from: Jorge Heine, ‘On the Manner of Practising the New Diplomacy’, CIGI Working Paper No. 11 (Waterloo, Ontario: Centre for International Governance Innovation, October 2006), 15.

The number of actors in world affairs has grown enormously, the types of actors have changed very substantially, the interactions between them have grown more dense, and the agenda of international public policy has been altered in line with the changing circumstances. Four decades ago Raymond Aron argued that ‘the ambassador and the soldier live and symbolize international relations which, insofar as they are inter-state (p. 7) relations, concern diplomacy and war’.14 Today, alongside the hordes of national diplomats and soldiers, the international lawyer, the multinational merchant, the cross-border financier, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) technocrat, the UN peacekeeper, the World Health Organization (WHO) health official, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector, ‘Eurocrats’ and officials of other regional organizations, and the humanitarian worker jostle for space on the increasingly congested stage of international diplomacy. States

States are the basic and enduring entity in international relations and their number has grown manifold in the last hundred years, producing an exponential jump in the number of diplomatic interactions between them. One of the historic phenomena of the last century was the emergence of large swathes of humanity from colonial rule to independence. The first great wave of the retreat of European colonialism from Asia and Africa (1950s–1960s) and the South Pacific (1970s) was followed by the collapse of the large land-based Soviet empire and a fresh burst of newly independent countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (1990s). The number of independent state actors has quadrupled since 1945. And there is a great diversity among states, ranging from one superpower, two billion-strong, and nine nuclear-armed states to numerous mini-states, microstates, and failing states in a system of sovereign states that has famously been described as organized hypocrisy.15

There are several resulting diplomatic challenges. For most former colonies, from Africa and the South Pacific to Southeast and South Asia, the triple challenge of national integration, state-building, and economic development remains imperative. Several are struggling to avert state collapse and failure and the resulting humanitarian emergencies. This explains the importance of goals like the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), nation- and peace-building in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti, and aid diplomacy, as major preoccupations of contemporary diplomacy. At the same time, former colonial powers and settler societies have to be sensitive to the foreign policy input of historical trauma, while former colonies must make an effort to escape the trap of viewing current events and motives from a historical prism. One of the clearest examples of the dual danger is in relation to providing international assistance to victims of atrocities inside sovereign borders.16

In addition to the number of state actors having grown, there is a military, financial, political, and moral rebalancing underway in the world's power structure. The end of the cold war terminated the US—Soviet great-power rivalry, brought victory for the liberal over a totalitarian ideology, and marked the triumph of the market over the command economy. The elimination of countervailing power to check the exercise of US power ushered in a quasi-imperial order that posed a major challenge for diplomacy: how to interact with a unipolar Washington that viewed itself as uniquely virtuous, resistant to ‘Gulliverization’,17 and exempt from restrictions that applied to all others. A second and related challenge was how to interact with one another without always routing relations through Washington in a hub-and-spoke model.

(p. 8) While the four-trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to the massive American debt load, outsourcing manufacturing to China and services to India has enfeebled US capacity to produce enough goods and services to pay its bills. The US economy, once the biggest, best balanced, and most productive and innovative, now seems saddled with debts, deficits, and distortions. If by the decade's end the US is still the world's biggest borrower, as Larry Summers mused,18 will it still be the world's biggest power?

All actors engaged in the world of diplomacy have to adjust their goals and actions to the emerging reality of the power shift from the Atlantic to Asia and the Pacific. The future economic potential of Brazil, China, and India has already translated into present political clout, as witnessed acutely in areas such as multilateral trade negotiations and climate change. The demonstration of the limits to US and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ Western power. Abusive practices in the ‘war on terror’ and the financial crisis have made them less respectful of Western values. Their own resilience in the financial emergency enhanced their self-confidence. Westerners have lost their once-dominant capacity to set standards and rules of behaviour for the whole world. Not just the process but the structures and rules of the game for conducting international negotiations must be reset. The minor adjustments in voting rights in the IMF and World Bank are harbingers of more significant changes that will be made in the foreseeable future.

As the various actors attempt to recalibrate foreign policy and diplomacy to realign them with the changing world order, some stress is inevitable. For example, as Japan readjusted to the changing equation between its traditional protector the US and its traditional rival China, it generated tension in relations with Washington and provoked a debate in Washington on whether to persuade Tokyo by the diplomacy of reassurance or coerce it by the diplomacy of pressure into honouring the previous government's commitments on the positioning and relocation of US troops and bases in Okinawa.19

Historically, a systemic rebalancing among major powers is rarely accomplished without a major war. In the contemporary, highly interdependent world, the costs of going to war would far exceed any potential gains. Indeed, the costs of delinking are so high as to suggest that the major powers must not just eschew armed conflict as the default mode of adjusting their relative status; on many global problems they must also deepen collaboration. That is, the realities of interdependence, globalization, and the technology of destructiveness mark a fundamental transformation in the diplomacy of major power relations, with flow-on implications for the diplomacy of all other actors in international society. International Organizations

The role of contemporary governments in setting and implementing policy is increasingly constrained by multinational merchants, international financiers, global banks, regional, international, and supranational organizations, NGOs, and even sub-national public authorities like provincial and municipal governments in Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil, and the US, to name just a few. There was a spurt in the number and types of international organizations in the 20th century. Their number climbed from 37 in (p. 9) 1909 and 123 in 1951 to about 7,000 in 2000; the number of NGOs increased from 176 to 48,000 in the corresponding period.20 They have added greatly to the institutional complexity of international relations. Few issues today lie completely outside the purview of one international organization or another.

Napoleon Bonaparte imposed temporary order and unity on Europe through conquest. The other European powers set up an alternative Concert system in reaction and transformed the original impulse of a military alliance for the single purpose of defeating Napoleon into the longer-term political goal of preventing a similar domination of Europe by any one power in the future. The Concert of Europe was the most comprehensive attempt until then to construct new machinery for keeping the peace among and by the great powers. Although there was an ideological (anti-revolutionary) component to this process, the prime concern was the maintenance of order on a hierarchical basis.

The Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 signalled the broadening of international relations in participation and agenda. They pointed to an emergent extra-European international system. Emergent powers such as the US and Japan took their place on the world stage. Moreover, lesser powers would demand a say; and, with their emphasis upon mediation, conciliation, and enquiry, they demonstrated a rationalistic and legalistic approach to the problem of international disputes.

The two major international organizations of the 20th century were the League of Nations after the First and the United Nations after the Second World War. The League was built around Europe as the core of the international political system.21 It accepted the sovereign state as the central unit of international affairs and great powers as the dominant participants. It did not challenge any of the fundamental principles of the traditional multistate system. The closeness with which the UN was modelled upon the League was testimony to the fact that while the League had failed, people still had faith in the idea of an umbrella international organization to oversee world peace and cooperation. While many of the UN Charter provisions were borrowed directly from the League Covenant, others represented substantial codifications of League procedures or logical developments of nascent League ideas.

International organizations are not merely sites of global governance but, in some limited yet important respects and the principal—agent problem notwithstanding, actors in their own right as well.22 If the United Nations is an actor, who are the relevant policy-makers? Is ‘international’ policy made and implemented by international organizations or by national authorities meeting and interacting in international forums? To what extent has the policy paralysis over Darfur been the result of a policy gap on the part of the UN as opposed to weak political will among key member states? How well suited is the UN to determine the ends of policy, or to guide the processes by which it is made?23 The one person with some claim to be the world's top diplomat is the UN Secretary-General who symbolizes as well as represents the organization and is expected to set the collective interest of the UN above the partisan interests of member states.24

International organizations have tempered the dictum handed down to posterity by Thucydides that ‘the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must’.25 UN multilateral diplomacy differs from traditional interstate diplomacy in some important respects.26 (p. 10) Guided by Charter principles, it offsets somewhat, albeit not totally, the unfavourable position of the weaker party. It aims to establish a just peace as well as a stable balance of power. And it takes into account the interests of member states as well as the disputants, thereby broadening the support base for any solutions reached. There will be occasions also when political leaders will welcome the UN's ability to provide a ‘golden bridge’ across which national governments can retire to safety, as well as a ‘lightning rod’ for deflecting and burying the more violent political reactions at home to international events.27

The UN system also includes very many agencies, funds, and programmes, some of which collectively and in the person of their chief executives are also influential international actors: the UN high commissioners for human rights and for refugees, the IAEA and the WHO and their directors-general, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and its Administrator, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and its chief, not to mention the World Bank and the IMF and their heads.

There has also been a spurt in the number of regional organizations (for example the African Union (AU), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)), many with their own permanent secretariats and secretaries-general, as well as organizations serving historical links like the Commonwealth of Nations or a religious community like the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The European Union (EU) is unique as a supranational organization with its own president, foreign minister, foreign ministry, and overseas resident missions. In more recent times, the so-called new regionalism entails direct relations among regional organizations themselves, as for example in the summit meetings between ASEAN and the EU.28 These too add to the institutional congestion and complexity of modern diplomacy. Civil Society

‘Civil society’ refers to the social and political space where voluntary associations attempt to shape norms and policies for regulating public life in social, political, economic, and environmental dimensions.29 Like national society, international society too is becoming more plural and diverse. There has been an exponential growth in the number of civil society actors and in the volume of transnational networks in which they are embedded.30 They bridge the ‘disconnect between the political geography of the state on the one side and the new geography of economic and social relations on the other’.31 The expanding worldwide civil society networks embrace almost every level of organization, from the village community to global summits; and almost every sector of public life, from the provision of micro-credit and the delivery of paramedical assistance, to environmental and human rights norm promotion and activism.

Civil society actors can play one or more of the following roles: research; outreach education; advocacy and norm promotion; agenda-setting; lobbying governments and intergovernmental organizations to adopt and police laws, policies, and courses of action; implementing programmes and delivering services and humanitarian assistance; monitoring implementation of international commitments; and direct action. With respect to multilateralism, civil society actors have contributed in three ways: by (p. 11) advocating multilateral solutions to global problems, cultivating popular constituencies for multilateralism, and connecting local and national struggles to global norms and international institutions.32

Kofi Annan noted that NGOs are not merely ‘disseminators of information or providers of services but also . . . shapers of policy, be it in peace and security matters, in development or in humanitarian affairs’.33 More than 3,000 NGOs have been granted consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The agenda-setting capacity of NGOs—Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),34 Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)—is greater than that of many governments. The Cardoso Panel urged the UN to promote ‘networked governance’ by fostering greater interaction between governments and citizens.35 It noted that many NGOs had become frustrated at being able to speak in the United Nations but not heard, with their participation producing little impact on outcomes.36

Nevertheless, NGOs face many challenges to their legitimacy as they are often seen as unelected, unaccountable, unrepresentative, self-serving, and irresponsible. Hugo Slim writes of ‘voice accountability’: the reliability and credibility of what they say (an empirical question: can you prove it?), and the locus of their authority for saying it (a political question: from where do you get your authority to speak?).37 The engagement of governments and international organizations with unelected civil society actors can sometimes cut across and undermine the role of democratically elected representatives.38 Recipient countries, for example Afghanistan, can resent the NGO community as competitors for siphoning off aid from governments.39 ‘For all the talk of coordination and accountability, the need to maintain market share continues to trump sound humanitarian practice—at least in crises like the [December 2004] tsunami, where the Western public and Western donor governments are attentive and engaged.’40 Recognizing the validity of many of the complaints, civil society groups have begun to address the need for a system of self-regulation that rejects violence and lawlessness, and to broaden their membership to incorporate people from developing countries.

Civil society operating on the soft and well-lit side of the international street poses fewer and lesser problems than ‘uncivil’ society: non-state actors operating among the shadows on the rough and dark side of the international street who too have become increasingly globalized and interlinked in their operations, funnelling women and children, drugs, arms, hot money, and terrorists across state borders.41

The threefold challenge for diplomacy is how to counter uncivil society, give voice to civil society, but neither a vote nor a veto to them: for that would be an abdication of responsibility to govern on behalf of all citizens. NGOs usually focus on a single issue, while governments are multipurpose organizations. For some NGOs, one of their most important tasks is to hold the feet of governments to the fire of normative and legal commitments by monitoring their performance and scrutinizing their actions. Thus while in some cases they may be included in official delegations, acting as paradiplomats in harmony with governmental goals, in other cases they may have an adversarial relationship (p. 12) with their own government, for example with respect to reporting human rights violations to international agencies. In 2010, Greenpeace activists harassed Japanese whaling boats and thereby complicated official bilateral relations between Australia and Japan. Like Japan and Norway with whaling, Canada has been at the receiving end of protests by European NGO activists who object to seal hunting, and the Canadian government itself cannot but take into account NGO views in shaping its Myanmar policy. One of the best-known examples of the power of a domestic lobby over foreign policy is the role of Cuban-Americans in Florida in shaping US policy on Cuba. A more controversial example is the alleged power of the Israeli lobby in determining US policy on the Israel—Palestine conflict.42 These established groups have been joined by the transnational activities of communities such as the Armenians and Sri Lankan Tamils. Multinational Corporations (MNCs)

If some of the popular caricatures are to be believed, MNCs control and dominate world affairs. If anything, the opposite is true, that they are more severely disenfranchised in global decision-making bodies than NGOs and deserve a seat at the table and a voice in the room commensurate with their role and influence. Several multinational corporations employ agents to liaise and negotiate directly with foreign governments to obtain concessions, modify laws or taxes, permit repatriation of profits or duty-free entry of necessary parts and inputs, provide facilities or subsidies, relax labour and environmental standards and regulations, and so on. In 2009 the Australian-Chinese head of a major Australian firm was arrested by China and accused of industrial espionage and corruption, creating a diplomatic tiff between the two Asia-Pacific nations. The Global Compact was an effort led by Annan to instil civic virtue in the global marketplace by urging international business to adopt voluntary codes of conduct that incorporated human rights, environmental and labour standards into their operations.43 Where MNCs (or more accurately, MNC executives) have been ascendant are in informal clubs and networks such as the Bilderberg group, the Trilateral Commission, the World Economic Forum (Davos), and the Clinton Global Initiative which merge the worlds of politics and business.

0.1.2 Issues

The issues and preoccupations of the new millennium present new and different types of challenges from those that faced the world in 1918 and again in 1945. With the new realities and challenges have come corresponding new expectations for action and new standards of conduct in national and international affairs.

Until the Second World War, war was an institution of the states system, with distinctive rules, etiquette, norms, and stable patterns of practices.44 The number of armed conflicts rose steadily until the end of the cold war, peaked in the early 1990s, and has declined since then. The nature of armed conflict itself has changed, with most being internal struggles for power, dominance, and resources rather than militarized (p. 13) interstate confrontations.45 Battle lines, if they exist at all, are fluid and shifting rather than territorially demarcated and static. The line between war as a political act and organized criminality has become increasingly blurred. Even most ‘internal’ conflicts have regional and transnational elements. Because they merge seamlessly with sectarian divides, contemporary conflicts are often rooted in, reproduce, and replicate past intergroup atrocities, thereby perpetuating hard-edged cleavages that are perceived as zero-sum games by all parties. Thus all sides are trapped in a never-ending cycle of suspicions, atrocities, and recriminations. The net result is that non-combatants are now on the frontline of modern battles. The need to help and protect civilians at risk of death and displacement caused by armed conflict is paramount. Diplomats will be judged on how well they discharge or dishonour their international responsibility to protect.

The multiplication of internal conflicts was accompanied by a worsening of the abuses of the human rights of millions of people. Conscious of the atrocities committed by the Nazis while the world looked silently away, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The two covenants in 1966 added force and specificity, affirming both civil-political and social-economic-cultural rights without privileging either set. The United Nations has also adopted scores of other legal instruments on human rights and in his major reform report in 2005 Annan elevated human rights alongside security and development as the three great normative mandates of the organization.46 The parallel expansion of the reach and scope of international humanitarian law, and the rise of domestic, regional, international, and non-governmental institutions championing, monitoring, and enforcing human rights and international humanitarian law, has generated additional tasks and challenges for diplomacy.

The rise of environmental consciousness, the need to husband resources more frugally and nurture our fragile ecosystems more tenderly as our common legacy for future generations, was another great social movement of the last century that contributed greatly to the greening of the agenda of international affairs. The concept of ‘sustainable development’ was one of the major norm shifts, with the Bruntland Commission being the midwife.47 How best to operationalize the concept in concrete policy and actual practice remains intensely contentious and thus a major diplomatic challenge.

Nothing illustrates this better than climate change. There is substantial agreement among scientists that the rate of climate change driven by human activity dwarfs the natural rates of change. The speed and amount of global warming will be determined by the increase in greenhouse gases and will in turn determine the rise in sea levels. But there is disagreement about the exact role and relative potency of different natural, cyclical, and human causes of global warming; about the costs, scale, timing, and distribution of the harmful consequences; about the urgency, costs, and benefits of the different mitigation and adaptation courses of action; and about the relative net costs and benefits of different courses of action for tackling different problems confronting human beings today. How much should rich and poor nations sacrifice their present and future lifestyles for the sake of the other? Or the present generation for the sake of future generations? Having entered the world of public health policy, how relevant is the precautionary principle to the world of international environmental diplomacy?

(p. 14) In 2007, the foreign ministers of seven countries—Norway, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa, and Thailand—issued the Oslo Ministerial Declaration calling for more attention to health as a foreign policy issue. They noted that ‘Health is deeply interconnected with the environment, trade, economic growth, social development, national security, and human rights and dignity.’ They linked health to human security: ‘While national security focuses on the defence of the state from external attack, national health security relates to defence against internal and external public-health risks and threats’, adding that ‘These are risks and threats that by their very nature do not respect borders, as people, animals, and goods travel around the world faster than ever before.’48 Among their concerns were a recognition that investment in health was fundamental to economic growth, development, and poverty eradication; imbalances in the global health workforce market (the persistent lack of skilled health workers and their uneven distribution within and among countries); and the protection of peoples’ health in situations of crises. More frequent travel and contact among people from different countries and continents have been accompanied by the risk of major global pandemics like HIV/AIDS, avian flu, SARS, and so on, creating pressures for governments to harmonize national and cross-border surveillance mechanisms and emergency responses. This also requires international data collection and standardization of measures.

Brink Lindsey described the 1990s as the age of abundance with rising incomes, growing capital markets, and accelerating flows of money and investment.49 Untroubled by want and scarcity, Americans fought over values both domestically, leading to culture wars, and internationally, leading to expanding interest in human rights and the international protection agenda. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the age of scarcity seemed to have made a stunning comeback with alarmist scenarios of food, fuel, and water scarcity, fragile financial and banking systems and vulnerable ecosystems.

Financial crises of the 1990s in Asia, Latin America, and Russia and of 2008–2012 in the US and Europe showed how much, and how quickly, regional crises take on systemic character through rapid contagion. They also highlighted the unequal distribution of costs among the victims of financial crises. Hence the claim by Michel Camdessus, the former managing director of the IMF (1987–2000), that to the duty of domestic excellence and rectitude we must add the ethic of global responsibility in the management of national economies. He goes on to describe the widening inequality within and among nations as ‘morally outrageous, economically wasteful, and socially explosive’.50 A considerable portion of national and international diplomacy in 2007–2012 was devoted to grappling with the financial crisis.

The movement of people in large numbers, whether seeking fresh opportunities in new lands through migration or escaping cycles of violence, famine, persecution, natural disasters, or poverty, has been a major political problem domestically in many countries and a major diplomatic challenge internationally. Diasporas represent both a domestic element in the changing demographic composition of the citizens of a country, and a foreign policy complication if troubles from home country are imported. Examples of this abound: Tamils in Canada and Sri Lanka, Sikhs in Canada, Jews in (p. 15) most Western countries and the Middle East conflict, Iraqi exiles in the lead-up to the 2003 invasions of Iraq, and Cubans in Florida.

0.1.3 Globalization

National frontiers are becoming less relevant in determining the flow of ideas, information, goods, services, capital, labour, and technology. The speed of modern communications makes borders increasingly permeable, while the volume of cross-border flows threatens to overwhelm the capacity of states to manage them. Far from diminishing, complex interdependence and globalization have increased the scope and volume of negotiations, especially in multilateral forums. The growth in the number of participants taking part in the negotiations, the number of issues that are now the subject of international negotiations, the diversity of negotiating styles of officials coming from vastly different political cultures and levels of development, and the technical complexity of the subject matters up for negotiation have combined to make the process of negotiation more elaborate, highly technical, and more protracted. This has been obvious in this century already with respect to climate change in the effort to move beyond the Kyoto Protocol at major international conferences in Bali (2008), Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010), and Durban (2011); in the drawn out and immobilized Doha Round of trade talks; in the failures of the NPT Review conference in 2005 and of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; and in the largely failed, if with a few rosebuds of consolation prizes, effort of the UN reform summit in 2005.

0.1.4 The Apparatus of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy

Civil servants are the permanent custodians of permanent interests and permanent problems. A foreign service officer represents a depth of judgement based on experience accumulated over time and aggregated across the different parts and functions of the department. Generalist and specialist skills are often combined.

Reflecting the growing importance of trade promotion in diplomacy, in the 1980s Australia, Canada, and New Zealand reorganized their foreign ministries by integrating trade with classical foreign policy. Somewhat paradoxically, New Zealand concluded a far-reaching free trade agreement with Australia in the 1980s more to avoid foreign policy damage to its most important bilateral relationship resulting from endless bickering over relatively trivial trade disputes, than for calculations of trade benefits.51

Not all foreign ministries have adapted equally well to the changing requirements of modern diplomacy. An internal report on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) concluded that the FCO was excessively risk-averse and timid, incapable of defending itself within the British bureaucracy, and prone to promote mediocrity over talent so that the route to career success was in never making any mistakes.52 (p. 16) At about the same time, coincidentally, an independent high-powered panel scrutinized Australia's foreign ministry and came to equally unflattering conclusions. The number of foreign service officers had fallen by one-fifth since 1996 and their language skills were deteriorating. The budget of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was just one-twentieth the size of the Department of Defence, pointing to an imbalance in the distribution of resources between the two primary tools of foreign and defence policy for the pursuit of Australian interests in a world made more complex and demanding by the forces of globalization.53

Using modern travel and communications, not only can presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers go over the ambassador's head directly to their counterparts in other countries; often so can business executives, trade union leaders, journalists, and NGOs. The bigger departments from the home country's bureaucracy, better staffed and resourced, often place their own personnel in overseas embassies: not just defence, but also agriculture, education, and so on. Not only is diplomacy no longer the exclusive preserve of foreign ministries; it is no longer the exclusive preserve of foreign ministers. The crowded international diplomatic calendar includes meetings of non-foreign ministers, for example the G7 finance ministers or the various environment ministers. If the tasks of modern diplomacy cut across swathes of governmental business spread among many different departments, there is the risk that lots of small solutions will be produced to big problems.

The foreign ministry and minister have lost influence to other government departments, to centralizing prime ministers who assert direct control over affairs of state, and to international and non-governmental organizations. Another potential difficulty is that the close involvement of prime ministers and their offices can mean that calculations of politics override the demands of government. The US presidential system of government has hollowed out its own foreign policy capacity by outsourcing development, security, and diplomatic tasks to private contractors.54 In what respects have alternate roles and influence accreted to them?

The resident mission abroad in foreign capitals remains a vital cog in the diplomatic machinery, but often a large proportion of its work can be devoted to multilateral diplomacy. For example, the search for the elusive second resolution authorizing war on Saddam Hussein was conducted in national capitals; only the outcome would be determined in the UN Security Council. The failure to get the resolution was the failure of bilateral diplomacy in parallel in countries who were members of the Security Council in 2003, albeit in a multilateral context and for a multilateral enterprise. Conversely, lacking the resources to establish resident embassies in all the world's countries, many smaller and poorer countries take advantage of permanent missions to the major international organizations, especially the United Nations, to engage in bilateral diplomacy with the counterpart heads of other missions to the UN.

Diplomats posted abroad must learn as much—and as quickly as possible—about the host country's culture, politics, policies, and personalities. They must cultivate friends and interlocutors and earn their respect, trust, and confidence. They must do so while avoiding falling prey to the dreaded disease of ‘localitis’ where their understanding of and sympathy for the host country's policy overrides or undermines their own country's (p. 17) interests and policies. Foreign postings are necessary to understand foreign countries. Postings back to one's own capital are just as necessary so as not to lose touch with one's own nation, society, and government.

When, under what circumstances, and to whom, may and should a diplomat speak out or reveal internal information? Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, was replaced in 2004 when he complained about torture committed in that country. Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin wrote several anxious memoranda while serving in the embassy in Kabul expressing concern about the possibility that prisoners being handed over by Canadian forces to Afghan authorities could face torture. When the Parliament of Canada began investigating possible Canadian complicity in torture, Colvin agreed to testify. Although the government mounted a PR attack on him, legal experts argued that according to the country's highest court, Canada's civil servants owe loyalty to the Crown, not to any governing party.55 The difficult element in this case is that international law imposes an obligation on Canada to have made sure that the transferred prisoners would not be subjected to torture. The incident recalled the insistence by Britain's Chief of Defence Staff that, to avoid his soldiers being charged with war crimes, he needed unequivocal advice from the Attorney General on the legality of the 2003 Iraq war before he would agree to send any troops there. That is, advances in international humanitarian law are starting to affect relations between diplomats and home governments.

Some diplomatic services have had a tradition of ambassadors sending a valedictory despatch at the end of their overseas tours to their home capital, in which they offered candid personal assessments of the country in which they had been living. Such letters written by British ambassadors, disclosed to the BBC under Freedom of Information laws, show that some of them thought Canadians easily impressed by mediocrity; Nicaraguans to be dishonest, unreliable, violent, and alcoholic; Nigerians to be maddeningly prone to choose self-damaging courses of action; Africans in general to regard cutting off their nose to spite their face as a triumph of cosmetic surgery; and Thais to be generally licentious.56

The boundary between domestic and foreign policy is often blurred, for example in the issue area of terrorism. Often, even those acts of terrorism rooted solely in domestic causes and issues, such as with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will have an international dimension in the flow of arms and funds. Just as often, terrorist groups have substantial cross-border links and agendas. The close, mirror relationship between foreign policy and defence is captured in the familiar dictum by Clausewitz that war is the continuation of foreign policy by other means. The phenomenon of international terrorism introduced an additional dimension to this dictum via the requirement for intelligence and the involvement of intelligence agencies. Western countries typically separate foreign and domestic intelligence agencies and agendas. The latter is properly part of the domestic law enforcement machinery. Foreign intelligence agencies, on the other hand, operate in the shadowy world between foreign and defence ministries. The role of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) in setting or sabotaging the country's official foreign policy is especially notorious. The US Secretary for Homeland Security bridges the domestic-foreign divide, but the US National Security (p. 18) Adviser concentrates almost solely on the foreign policy side of the ledger. But in India the same position straddles the domestic-external responsibilities.57

0.1.5 Modes, Types, and Techniques of Diplomacy

In the Middle Ages diplomacy was typically engaged in by kings and princes of neighbouring states directly at summit level.58 The practice fell out of favour partly because of the inherent risk to the personal safety and security of the royals, and partly owing to the paucity of results. The ease and speed of international travel, combined with an explosion in the range of issues that diplomacy now covers, is responsible for a proliferation of diplomatic summits with a resulting convergence between foreign policy-makers and the practice of diplomacy. The international calendar of summit meetings is surprisingly crowded for the leaders of most countries who are expected to attend the regularly scheduled gatherings of the United Nations, regional and sub-regional organizations like the AU, the Arab League, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Council, ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), APEC, and the OAS; organizations like the Nonaligned Movement (NAM), the Commonwealth of Nations, the Francophonie, the OIC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); the G8 and the new G20; etc. There are also the irregular ad hoc summits, for example the famous meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong in Beijing in 1972 which recalibrated the cold war world order. While some leaders like these summits for the photo-opportunities, others shy away from them because they offer little else beyond photo-ops. Some summits offer little beyond symbolism, some can make genuine progress on shared global challenges and problems, but in any case summits with their alphabet soup of acronyms are an inescapable feature of the contemporary diplomatic topography.

Shuttle diplomacy, which would not be possible without modern travel, will always be associated most closely with Henry Kissinger, as first President Nixon's National Security Adviser and later his Secretary of State. His conceptual approach to diplomacy was traditional, if not classical, European balance of power. But, guided in part by an abiding distrust of the bureaucracy, he engaged in intensive back-channel diplomacy that saw him shuttling back and forth between Washington and other capitals. Secrecy was maintained not just for the intrinsic confidentiality of highly sensitive discussions, but also to minimize the chances of being sabotaged by the almost guaranteed resistance to radical initiatives that reside in large bureaus with their own institutional memories and standard operating procedures.

The practice of Track Two diplomacy has also grown in intensity and influence in recent times. Track One refers to the standard form of diplomacy involving negotiations between officials of two or more countries. Track Two diplomacy involves unofficial and generally informal interaction between non-governmental actors including NGOs, scholars, humanitarian organizations, and former government officials. The involvement of sub-national units like provincial governments in international affairs directly (p. 19) instead of through national authorities—for example delegations from Quebec in France or visits by Australian and Canadian provincial leaders to China and India in search of trade opportunities, votes (from immigrant communities back home) or to reaffirm cultural links—is described as ‘paradiplomacy’.59 Other examples of paradiplomacy include the use of private actors by states, for example personal representatives or envoys, and the engagement in what would normally be termed diplomacy by stateless nations—or, more accurately, nations in search of statehood—like the African National Congress (ANC), the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) before they succeeded in their political ambitions, or the Kurds even today. When the interactions and negotiations are in support of and complement official Track One diplomacy, they too can be described as paradiplomacy or, more commonly, twin-track diplomacy. At other times, Track Two diplomacy can compete with, and even undermine, official diplomacy.

Mark Malloch-Brown, the former UN Deputy Secretary-General and then a Foreign Office Minister in the UK, has written that ‘Diplomacy has been multilateralised’: Britain's power to influence events depends ‘on our ability to orchestrate action in Washington, the UN, the European Union or corporate boards’.60 Multilateral diplomacy has also brought in its wake new forms of diplomatic activity like public debates, extensive committee work, parliamentary procedures that back in the home country are the provenance of politicians, diplomatic caucusing akin to political caucusing in national parliaments, and forging coalitions and alliances. Many so-called international civil servants are in reality national diplomats seconded to international organizations. Yet while on international duty, they are required to act neutrally and not as agents of their governments or in the interests of their country of nationality. When the newly appointed American UN Under-Secretary-General for Management, Christopher B. Burnham, openly declared that his primary loyalty was to the US,61 Secretary-General Annan had a quiet word to set him right. Many UN agencies, especially in the human rights, humanitarian, and development fields, prefer to work directly with NGOs than governments in service delivery. That is, the conceptual boundaries of diplomacy are expanding ever outwards in an interdependent and globalizing world.

Multilateral diplomacy also expanded the toolkit of both peaceful and coercive instruments to resolve conflicts and punish rule-breaking or norm-deviating states. These are spelt out in Chapters 6 and 7 of the UN Charter and include mediation, negotiation, arbitration, adjudication, diplomatic pressures, economic sanctions, and, as the ultimate resort, military force as against North Korean and Iraqi aggressions in 1950 and 1990.

The atomic age ushered in its own brand of nuclear diplomacy dealing with questions of deterrence, compellence, non-proliferation, and arms control and disarmament—unilaterally, bilaterally, and multilaterally. The sub-discipline spawned its own highly technical and esoteric literature and vocabulary. ‘Smart power’ seeks to harness the best of hard and soft power to get other actors to do what one wants.62 Thus in this conception, soft power is not a substitute for hard power but a complement to it.

Several UN agencies, for example UNICEF and UNHCR, have taken to appointing Hollywood and other celebrities as ‘goodwill ambassadors’. This is but one example of a growing trend of celebrity diplomacy, with several others joining to do good deeds like (p. 20) alleviate famine suffering and highlight the harsh humanitarian consequences of antipersonnel landmines.

While celebrities exploit the media-fanned oxygen of publicity, diplomats have to operate much more in the glare of global media scrutiny than was ever the case before. This has heightened the requirement for public diplomacy skills, including live debates with opponents and constant press conferences under the unforgiving lights of television where a gaffe will quickly find its way to YouTube. At the same time, skilful diplomacy will make use of media connections and networks to promote one's own message aggressively. The importance of public diplomacy has grown in the global village and in the age of reality TV. The media can be used to float trial balloons, to mobilize public support, to sustain momentum in negotiations, or to sabotage negotiations by leaking details of concessions contrary to individual preferences.

Conference diplomacy has its antecedents in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 4th century bc, when the Greek city-states and Persia convened eight international political congresses and established a mutually guaranteed territorial status quo along with agreed rules of conduct for regulating international affairs.63 Universal membership and international legitimacy give today's United Nations an unmatched convening and mobilizing power that has been used to organize a large number of global conferences on a diverse range of topics from women to human rights, from population to social development, and from economic development to environmental conservation. Typically, the conferences have involved all the actors of global governance—states, civil society organizations, and, if to a lesser degree, private sector firms. Where the intergovernmental conferences are the sites for the growth of treaty law, the global conferences have been prime sites for the evolution of norms and ‘soft law’ which over time begins to exert a binding effect in the form of customary international law. As two scholars of the UN note, generally these conferences ‘have been important for articulating new international norms, expanding international law, creating new structures, setting agendas . . . and promoting linkages among the UN, the specialized agencies, NGOs, and governments’.64 Any large global conference is accompanied by extensive diplomatic activity, sometimes stretching over several years, as countries try to ascertain who the like-minded and therefore likely coalition partners are, to harmonize strategies to advance their own and defeat competing interests and efforts, to mobilize NGO support or blunt NGO dissent, and so on.

Another popular technique in the last half-century or so has been to convene blue-ribbon commissions as the means to transmit ideas for improving global governance to the national and international policy community.65

0.2 Beyond the National Interest?

In a globalizing and highly interdependent world, the traditional power-maximizing pursuit of competitive foreign policies may not just be anachronistic, but acutely counterproductive. Instead, what is needed is identification of problems that are common to (p. 21) many if not all actors and the adoption of solutions that require collaboration. A joint Brookings Institution/Center on International Cooperation (New York University) study concluded that governments need to change their frame of analysis, embracing responsible sovereignty, reducing risk, promoting foresight, and strengthening resilience, perhaps with the help of institutions like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that use technical expertise to mobilize consciousness of mutual interests and of consequences of failure.66

In the classic formulation, the overriding goal of foreign policy was the promotion, pursuit, and defence of the national interest. Hans Morgenthau defined diplomacy as ‘the art of bringing the different elements of national power to bear with maximum effect upon those points in the international situation which concern the national interest most directly’.67 But if our analysis of the changing number and types of actors, as well as of the changing content and agenda of diplomacy, is correct, then using the national interest as the dominant analytical framework is not just overly simplistic for comprehending and explaining an increasingly complex set and pattern of diplomatic interactions. It is also misleading, if not false. Even states pursue multiple goals and interests, not just one interest. Different groups and participants who make up the collective entity known as the state have different interests based on their professional occupations, sectarian identities, and individual world views. There are non-state actors who by definition cannot be said to have ‘national’ interests. There is competition, tension, and even outright conflict between the various clusters of values, goals, and interests being pursued by the diverse actors.

Decision-makers therefore have to strike a balance among the different interests and actors, between domestic demands and international imperatives, between principle and pragmatism, between idealistic values and material interests, between what is the expedient and what is the right thing to do, between the national constituency and the international community, and between the immediate, medium, and long terms. Substituting the word ‘a’ in ‘A balance of interests’ for ‘the’ in ‘the national interest’ has a triple significance. It indicates that one particular balance is struck from among several possible options; it indicates human agency; and therefore it includes the possibility of human fallibility and the prospect of course corrections. Climate change is one of the best current examples of where the analytical framework of the national interest just does not cut it and is singularly unhelpful, perhaps even an obstacle to diplomacy. Effective programmes for tackling one of the gravest challenges confronting humanity require active partnerships among governments, scientists, economists, NGOs, and industry. The traditional, national value-maximizing paradigm of the national interest is simply irrelevant.

0.3 From Club to Network Diplomacy

Shortly before she moved across from Princeton University to take up the post of Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, Anne-Marie Slaughter penned an article in Foreign Affairs in which she argued that the key to successful foreign policy is (p. 22) networked diplomacy and that the US enjoys a competitive edge in this type of new diplomacy. War, business, media, society, even religion are all networked. So is diplomacy: ‘managing international crises . . . requires mobilizing international networks of public and private actors’.68 NGOs too network to multiply their effectiveness.69 After her shift to the State department, Slaughter repeated that:

We envision getting not just a new group of states around a table, but also building networks, coalitions and partnerships of states and nonstate actors to tackle specific problems . . . To do that, our diplomats are going to need to have skills that are closer to community organizing than traditional reporting and analysis. New connecting technologies will be vital tools in this kind of diplomacy.70

Conversely, Daniel Markey of the Council on Foreign Relations, himself a former State Department official, argues that India's soft power infrastructure of its diplomatic service, universities, and think tanks is inadequate to the task of managing the agenda of a major power.71 The institutions charged with conducting analytical research, formulating, debating, and implementing India's foreign policy are underdeveloped, in decay, or chronically short of resources. The 600-strong Indian Foreign Service is too small (appropriate for a country of Malaysia's size, not for a power with global aspirations, according to an unnamed US diplomat),72  hobbled by an antiquated selection process, and fails to provide mid-career training. India's universities, poorly funded and overly regulated, do not provide world-class education in subjects dealing with diplomacy. Its think tanks lack access to information and resources necessary for conducting policy-relevant scholarship of the highest quality. And its media and private sector firms are leaders in debating foreign policy issues but are not structured to undertake sustained foreign policy research and training. The net result is that India has a stunted capacity to engage in simultaneous and parallel negotiations on multiple subjects. That is, adapting Markey's critique to our conceptual vocabulary, Indian diplomacy is the less effective for being stuck in the club mode instead of shifting to network diplomacy.

Far from being in danger of becoming an endangered activity—rendered increasingly irrelevant by technological progress—diplomacy has become a critical instrument in an age of complex interdependence and of globalization. This empowerment of diplomacy, however, has meant radical changes to the context, tools, actors, and domain of the trade. These changes spring from the very nature of globalization, from the shifting conceptions of national sovereignty, from the realization that emerging transnational challenges in many areas can only be dealt through collective action, and from the growing interpenetration and interdependence of national societies.

One way of describing how diplomacy is coping with these massive changes is to say that we are witnessing a shift from ‘club’ to ‘network diplomacy’. The former is based on a small number of players, a highly hierarchical structure, based largely on written communication and on low transparency; the latter is based on a much larger number of players (particularly of civil society), a flatter structure, a more significant oral component, and greater transparency.

Introduction The Challenges of 21st-Century Diplomacy

Figure 0.2. Club and network diplomacy

Source: Heine, ‘On the Manner of Practising the New Diplomacy’, 6.

(p. 23) As Figure 0.2 shows, the nature of diplomacy in the 21st century revolves around complexity management. Given the involvement of an increasingly diverse cast of actors, diplomats must reach out beyond their peers and tap into civil society. The 21st century diplomat must begin to operate in two different spheres—the traditional ‘club’, dominated by hierarchy and strict gatekeepers, and the emerging ‘network’, made up of actors that traditionally were kept out of the inner circles of diplomacy and policy negotiation. This interaction between the club and network defines how diplomats operate today—formal negotiations are often conducted through the club although they are ultimately influenced by various members of the networks. To effectively operate under these circumstances, it is essential to have a grasp of the various factors that come into play.

The club model reflects the traditional model of diplomatic practice. Diplomats restrict their interactions and deal solely with other members of an exclusive club, comprised of governmental officials, fellow diplomats, and, occasionally, members of the business community. In certain cases, diplomats also give occasional speeches to members of the community of their host country. The club model is a closed community of individuals who represent the interests of their respective groups. Yet, particularly in the realm of bilateral diplomacy, but also in other diplomatic modes, the club model has become anachronistic. There has been a severe disconnect between diplomats in many parts of the world and the realities that they are faced with. While it remains integral for the process of international negotiations, it does not take into account a host of important actors and interest groups. In a world where information and communication are becoming increasingly democratized, the club model fails to engage adequately with groups that are ultimately affected by the decisions that are made. The diplomat of the 21st century must manage the complex relationship of the club while also tending this ever-expanding network.

The democratization of information has resulted in a push towards greater accountability and transparency for government officials, including diplomats. Foreign policy decisions command greater attention in a world where short news-cycles and the Internet make discussion of events increasingly available. The club model runs into (p. 24) opposition from proponents of transparency, as decisions are made by small, insulated groups that often appear to be unaccountable. Diplomats now find themselves having to reach beyond their circle of peers towards a much more diversified group of players. In doing so, they take advantage of their position as the representative of their country and communicate the social, cultural, and economic values of their countries while abroad.

The club and network models of diplomacy represent different forms of the same practice. Whereas the club focuses upon relations between the ultimate decision-makers, the network builds on links bringing together various actors with different levels of engagement and interest. Both are essential for forging productive relationships. In isolation, neither fully captures the increasingly complex game of modern diplomacy. Clubs seem to have a permanent position in international relations, though no longer an exclusive one, and even so their ‘exclusivity’ is under considerable pressure to be more open and relaxed in the admission of new members. In turn, the network notion highlights the myriad factors and actors at play in international interactions, and the need for a very different mindset on the part of the diplomatic practitioner.

While there has been a rediscovery and affirmation of the need for diplomacy, there has also been, in many cases, a dramatic decrease in the resources provided to foreign ministries. Some of the reasons for this relate to the perceived diminished significance of traditional instruments like the mission in an age of summitry and ministerial diplomacy, let alone of instant communications. Yet, this betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what is happening in the diplomatic field. New modes of diplomatic interaction are part and parcel of the exponential growth of international interactions that we are witnessing as a result of the Third Industrial Revolution. Whereas the US Secretary of State would undertake some twenty yearly official visits abroad in the 1960s, this figure had tripled to some sixty a year in the 1990s. From a few a year in the pre-World War Two years, the United States today signs some 160 treaties and some 3,500 international agreements. Top-level meetings are becoming not just widespread, but routine. However, diplomats and their staff remain a vital resource for ensuring their success. Cutting staff and resources from these missions is counterproductive.

Enfeebling the capacity to maintain these networks deprives government officials of the valuable cultural and social resources provided by diplomatic engagement. Global governance and diplomacy have been treated as two worlds apart. In reality they are intertwined with one another.73 By bridging the gaps between the club and network models of diplomacy, these perceptions can be overcome.

In the global South, the challenges presented by the changing nature of diplomacy are pressing. Falling behind in the practice of diplomacy can lead to diminishing returns in the field of international negotiations. A traditional diplomatic perspective is insufficient in a world that is becoming increasingly networked. Various networks and constellations of players from the developed and developing world are interacting more frequently. The emergence of the G20 is positive proof of the rise of the global South.74 In a world where China and India are engaging in new forms of post-imperialist diplomacy and Brazil is asserting its new confidence on the global stage, old verities on the handling of international affairs based on established transatlantic mores and practices no longer hold sway.

(p. 25) The financial crisis has accentuated the rise of emerging powers in club settings. However, the crisis has also demonstrated the salience of networks through the greater prominence of institutions such as the reconfigured Financial Stability Board. This body has expanded not only in terms of its membership in terms of state representation, but also in participation by technical experts of prudential authorities, market regulators, and a variety of other international organizations.

0.4 Conclusion

Proclaiming the end of history proved a tad premature. Over the course of human history, human beings have organized themselves into a great variety of political communities. From ancient times through the present to the distant future, independent political actors will engage in interactions with one another that shift and turn in volume, intensity, rituals, etiquette, and conventions. But the fact of contact and interaction is a constant feature of history. Hence therefore the need for institutions, protocols, and codes of behaviour to provide order, stability, and predictability to international political intercourse. That is the essence of diplomacy. The antecedents and lineage of some diplomatic practices and forms can be traced back several millennia; others are of very recent vintage. Thus there are significant elements of continuity alongside major elements of adaptation and innovation. While some traditional forms of diplomacy retain relevance, newer forms are also gaining prominence.

The marketplace of diplomacy has become increasingly congested with a mutually reinforcing explosion in the number of types of actors and an exponential growth in the number and density of interactions between them; the number of personnel engaged in the interactions; the number and types of issues that are covered; and the levels at which they are engaged. For example, consular officials have always looked after the welfare and interests of fellow-citizens who encounter problems while visiting the countries in which the officials are stationed. But the plummeting costs and growing ease of travel has generated a manifold increase in the numbers of people travelling across borders for tourism, cultural and sports recreation, and migrant workers, and so the sheer volume of consular work has mushroomed even proportionately, not just in aggregate. So this is an example of the same type of diplomatic activity expanding in volume.

Examples of newer types of issues that must be addressed by contemporary diplomats include nuclear proliferation and disarmament and global warming, neither of which would have been in the lexicon of diplomats a century ago. Similarly, the number of state actors has jumped fourfold since the end of the Second World War, starting with the demise of the European colonial empires and the most recent being due to the collapse of the Soviet empire. In addition, though, there are newer types of actors like intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations like the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace, as well as epistemic networks like the IPCC, which too have become actors in international affairs as advocates, lobbyists, and participants.

(p. 26) The subject matter of diplomacy has expanded, from the high politics of war and peace to health, environment, development, science and technology, education, law, the arts. Diplomats are engaged in an expanding range of functions, from negotiation, communication, consular, representation, and reporting to observation, merchandise trade and services promotion, cultural exchange, and public relations. At the same time, with more work has come a greater amount of ‘bureaucratization’ where routine, precedent, and standard operating procedures dominate the daily administrative tasks. Ambassadors are the chief administrative officer as well as the top resident diplomat of their country and require the corresponding managerial skills to run their large offices.

The growing number and diversity of actors engaged in diplomacy, the proliferating number and variety of issues covered by diplomacy, the expanding range of functions served by diplomacy, and the increasingly specialized and technical nature of the discussions and negotiations in turn mean that (1) more personnel are needed to staff foreign ministries; (2) diplomats need to be highly versatile; (3) even the most able and versatile diplomats cannot possess the required expertise to handle all the issues and so experts from outside government must often be brought in as technical advisers and consultants; (4) diplomacy has increasingly become a whole-of-government enterprise with a broad range of government departments involved in and often staffing overseas resident missions—in some cases, officials from outside the foreign ministry, for example from the departments of education, finance, immigration, agriculture, defence, etc., can outnumber the total pool of resident ‘diplomats’ as such.75 At the same time, private sector, cultural and educational, etc., diplomacy can supplement but not supplant the traditional state-to-state diplomacy.

The OHMD will serve various audiences including diplomatic academies, new to mid-level diplomats, as well as students and academics interested in the study of diplomacy. By including discussion and analysis of both the theory and practice of modern diplomacy this Handbook will be of use to both academics and practitioners. Diplomats and foreign ministries in the global South will be a main beneficiary of this project as it will fill in the existing gaps between the current practice of diplomacy and how this is evolving elsewhere.

With chapters written by contributors from across the world, this volume is intended for a global audience. It underlines the global scope and multilateral nature and solutions for today's most pressing problems. The contributors to this volume include both scholars and practitioners of diplomacy. The various sections highlight the many complex areas at play in modern diplomacy. Chapters are designed to show how the theory and practice of diplomacy is attempting to deal with each specific issue area and to identify changes in the field in relation to the intersection of club and network diplomacy. Through the use of pertinent case studies, it highlights the complex challenges facing the modern practitioner of this ancient profession.

The questions that will be addressed in this volume include the following. (These are not the only questions to be investigated by individual authors in their chapters. Nor is every author expected to respond to all these questions.) (p. 27)

  • What is the role and nature of diplomacy in the 21st century?

  • What are the key features that have remained constant? What has changed, why, and with what consequences and implications for the theory, practice, and organization of diplomacy?

  • How do the increased number of actors involved in diplomacy interact and get things done?

  • What are the implications for diplomacy of the dynamic nature of the interactions between bilateral, regional, and multilateral diplomacy, and of the linkages across issue areas?

  • How has the growing diversity of international actors challenged the maintenance of common norms of diplomatic discourse? Is the diplomatic culture of the 21st century essentially the same as that of the previous century? If not, what are the new elements of contemporary diplomatic culture?

  • In what respects have diplomatic methods and practices adapted to the changing world realities over the last century and what are some of the more important innovations?

  • How have the rise of transnational relations among non-governmental actors and trans-governmental relations among different departments of government affected the practice of diplomacy?

  • How has the increased tempo of the digital age affected established diplomatic practices and mores?

  • How can the tension between the demands of public diplomacy and some of the more cherished values of traditional diplomacy be resolved?

  • If indeed the very nature of diplomacy is undergoing transformational changes, how can foreign affairs bureaucracies be restructured and revitalized to fit with the new vision?

  • How can information tools be best harnessed to advance national interests and promote national values?

  • When, by whom, and for which issue areas might it be better to move beyond ‘the national interest’?

  • What are the differences between ‘club’ and ‘network’ diplomacy and how are these affecting the profession? What are the critical sub-tensions that are at play because of these differences?


(1.) David Stringer, ‘Letters reveal candid views of British diplomats’, Globe and Mail (Toronto), 18 October 2009.

(2.) Standard works on diplomacy include R. P. Barston, Modern Diplomacy, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 2006); G. R. Berridge, Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); G. R. Berridge and Alan James, A Dictionary of Diplomacy, 2nd ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); Christer Jönsson and Martin Hall, Essence of Diplomacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Christer Jönsson and Richard Langhorne (eds), Diplomacy. 3 vols. 1: Theory of Diplomacy. 2: History of Diplomacy. 3: Problems and Issues in Contemporary Diplomacy (London: Sage, 2004); Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); and Adam Watson, Diplomacy: The Dialogue Between States (New York: Routledge, 2004).

(3.) Quoted in The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd ed., vol. IV (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 696.

(4.) OED, vol. IV, 696.

(5.) Ivor Roberts (ed.), Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 6th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 4.

(6.) The term ‘diplomatic body’ first emerged in Vienna around the mid-18th century; Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 5.

(7.) OED, vol. I, 382.

(8.) Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 7.

(9.) An excellent overview of the history of diplomacy in antiquity is provided in Jean-Robert Leguey-Feilleux, The Dynamics of Diplomacy (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2009), ch. 2.

(10.) Leguey-Feilleux, Dynamics of Diplomacy, 33.

(11.) Roger Boesche, The First Great Political Realist: Kautilya and His Arthashastra (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002); L.N. Rangarajan (editor, re-arranger, and translator), Kautilya: The Arthashastra (Delhi: Penguin Classics India, 1992).

(12.) Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 9.

(13.) See Matthew S. Anderson, The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 14501919 (New York: Longman, 1993), and Donald E. Queller, The Office of Ambassador in the Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967).

(14.) Raymond Aron, Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations, translated from the French by Richard Howard and Annette Baker Fox (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1967), 5; emphasis in original.

(15.) Stephen D. Krasner, Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).

(16.) See Ramesh Thakur, The Responsibility to Protect: Norms, Laws and the Use of Force in International Politics (London: Routledge, 2011).

(17.) See Stanley Hoffmann with Frederic Bozo, Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq (Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005).

(18.) Quoted in David E. Sanger, ‘Deficits may alter U.S. politics and global power’, New York Times, 2 February 2010.

(19.) See David Arase and Tsuneo Akaha (eds), The US-Japan Alliance: Balancing Soft and Hard Power in East Asia (New York: Routledge, 2009); John Pomfret, ‘U.S. concerned about new Japanese premier Hatoyama’, Washington Post, 29 December 2009; Joseph S. Nye, ‘An alliance larger than one issue’, New York Times, 7 January 2010; Daniel Dombey and Mure Dickie, ‘US-Japan relations clouded by Okinawa’, Financial Times, 19 January 2010; Ramesh Thakur, ‘Don’t count Japan out of future triangle of Asian power’, Daily Yomiuri, 3 March 3 2010; and George R. Packard, ‘The United States-Japan Security Treaty at 50’, Foreign Affairs 89:2 (March/April 2010), 92–103.

(20.) Yearbook of International Organizations: Guide to global civil society networks 20022003 Vol. 5: Statistics, visualizations and patterns (Munich: K. G. Saur, 2002), 35; Yearbook of International Organizations 1974 (Brussels: Union of International Associations, 1974), S33.

(21.) Inis L. Claude, Swords into Plowshares: The Problems and Progress of International Organization, 3rd ed. (New York: Random House, 1964), 49.

(22.) See Ramesh Thakur, ‘Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations. Global Governance: Venue or Actor?’, in James P. Muldoon, JoAnn F. Aviel, Richard Reitano, and Earl Sullivan (eds), The New Dynamics of Multilateralism: Diplomacy, International Organizations, and Global Governance (Boulder: Westview, 2010).

(23.) These questions are addressed in Ramesh Thakur and Thomas G. Weiss, ‘United Nations ‘Policy’: An Argument with Three Illustrations’, International Studies Perspectives 10:1 (January–April 2009), 18–35.

(24.) See Simon Chesterman (ed.), Secretary or General? The UN Secretary-General in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Leon Gordenker, The UN Secretary-General and Secretariat (London: Routledge, 2005); and Ramesh Thakur, The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), ch. 14.

(25.) Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, quoted in Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 7.

(26.) Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, ‘The Role of the UN Secretary-General,’ in Adam Roberts and Benedict Kingsbury (eds), United Nations, Divided World: The UN's Role in International Relations (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988), 61–79.

(27.) A good illustration of both these advantages is provided by the dispute between New Zealand and France over the sinking of the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland in July 1985. See Ramesh Thakur, ‘A Dispute of Many Colours: France, New Zealand and the ‘‘Rainbow Warrior’’ Affair’, World Today 42(12) (December 1986), 209–14.

(28.) See Ramesh Thakur and Luk van Langenhove, ‘Enhancing Global Governance Through Regional Integration’, Global Governance 12:3 (July–September 2006), 233–40.

(29.) See Michael Edwards, Civil Society (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004).

(30.) See Mary Kaldor, Global Civil Society: An Answer to War (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003), and John Keane, Global Civil Society? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

(31.) Thorsten Benner, Wolfgang H. Reinecke, and Jan Martin Witte, Shaping Globalisation: The role of global public policy networks (2002), 4; downloadable from: <>.

(32.) Jackie Smith, ‘Social Movements and Multilateralism’, in Edward Newman, Ramesh Thakur, and John Tirman (eds), Multilateralism under Challenge: Power, International Order, and Structural Change (Tokyo: UN University Press, 2006).

(33.) Kofi A. Annan, Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform. Report of the Secretary-General (New York: United Nations, A/51/950, July 14, 1997), para. 212.

(34.) The ICRC is neither a governmental organization nor an NGO, but a hybrid organization with diplomatic status in most countries where it operates. See David P. Forsythe, The Humanitarians: The International Committee of the Red Cross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

(35.) We the peoples: civil society, the United Nations and global governance. Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society Relations (New York: United Nations, document A/58/817, 2004). The chair of the panel was former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

(36.) We the peoples: civil society, the United Nations and global governance, 7.

(37.) Hugo Slim, By What Authority? The Legitimacy and Accountability of Non-governmental Organizations (Geneva: International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002), 6. Available at <>.

(38.) For an uncompromising statement of this thesis, see Gary Johns, ‘Relations with Nongovernmental Organizations: Lessons for the UN’, Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations 5:2 (Summer/Fall 2004), 51–65.

(39.) Don D’Cruz, ‘Tracking aid dollars’, Canberra Times, 31 December 2004.

(40.) David Rieff, ‘Tsunamis, accountability and the humanitarian circus’, Humanitarian Exchange No. 29 (March 2005), 50.

(41.) See Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur (eds), The Dark Side of Globalization (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2011).

(42.) See John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2008).

(43.) See John Gerard Ruggie, ‘ The Global Compact as Learning Network’, Global Governance 7:4 (2001), 371–8.

(44.) See Kalevi J. Holsti, War, the State, and the State of War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

(45.) See Andrew Mack et al., Human Security Report 2005 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

(46.) Kofi A. Annan, In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all. Report of the Secretary-General (New York: United Nations, document A/59/2005, 21 March 2005).

(47.) Gro Harlem Brundtland et al., Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).

(48.) ‘Oslo Ministerial Declaration—global health: a pressing foreign policy issue of our time’, published online April 2, 2007, <>, 1–2; published also in Lancet, Issue 369, vol. 9570 (April 21, 2007), 1373–8.

(49.) Brink Lindsey, The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture (New York: Harper, 2007).

(50.) Michel Camdessus, ‘The IMF at the beginning of the twenty-first century: Can we establish a humanized globalisation?’, Global Governance 7:4 (October–December 2001), 363–5.

(51.) See Ramesh Thakur and Hyam Gold, ‘The Politics of a New Economic Relationship: Negotiating Free Trade between Australia and New Zealand’, Australian Outlook 37:2 (August 1983), 82–8.

(52.) Brian Brady, ‘Foreign Office is beset by culture of timidity, say staff’, The Independent, 22 March 2009.

(53.) Allan Gyngell (chair of the review panel created by the Lowy Institute in Sydney), ‘Rudd erodes diplomacy’, The Australian, 18 March 2009. The title of the article is misleading: the review had little to do with the new Rudd government.

(54.) See Allison Stranger, One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), and Thomas L. Friedman, ‘The best allies money can buy’, New York Times, 4 November 2009.

(55.) Amir Attaran and Gar Pardy, ‘Colvin is just doing his job’, Ottawa Citizen, 27 November 2009.

(56.) Stringer, ‘Letters reveal candid views of British diplomats’. The practice was discontinued in 2006 after the despatch from Sir Ivor Roberts, the departing British ambassador to Italy, quoted at the start of this chapter, was leaked.

(57.) See the two-part blog by Siddharth Varadarajan, ‘More effective externally than internally’, and ‘It's strategic culture that counts’, Hindu, 20 and 22 January 2010, <> and <>.

(58.) Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 19.

(59.) Roberts, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 20.

(60.) Mark Malloch-Brown, ‘How to reform the British Foreign Office’, Financial Times, 14 January 2010.

(61.) Quoted in Colum Lynch, ‘At the U.N., a growing Republican presence’, Washington Post, 21 July 2005.

(62.) Joseph S. Nye, The Powers to Lead (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). This should be read in conjunction with his earlier books Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990), and Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004).

(63.) Adam Watson, Diplomacy: The Dialogue between States (London: Methuen, 1982), 87.

(64.) Karen A. Mingst and Margaret P. Karns, The United Nations in the Twenty-first Century, 3rd ed. (Boulder: Westview, 2006), 42.

(65.) See Ramesh Thakur, Andrew F. Cooper, and John English (eds), International Commissions and the Power of Ideas (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2005).

(66.) Alex Evans, Bruce Jones, and David Steven, Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization: Risk, Resilience and International Order (Washington DC: Brookings, 2010).

(67.) Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 4th ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), 135.

(68.) Anne-Marie Slaughter, ‘America's Edge’, Foreign Affairs 88:1 (January/February 2009), 94–113.

(69.) See Anna Ohanyan, ‘Policy Wars for Peace: Network Model of NGO Behavior’, International Studies Review 11:3 (September 2009), 475–501.

(70.) In an interview with David Rothkopf, ‘It's 3 a.m. Do you know where Hillary Clinton is?’, Washington Post, 27 August 2009.

(71.) Daniel Markey, ‘Developing India's Foreign Policy “Software” ’. Seattle: National Bureau of Asian Research, Asia Policy no. 8 (July 2009), 73–96, available at <>.

(72.) Markey, ‘Developing India's Foreign Policy “Software” ’, 77.

(73.) See Andrew F. Cooper, Brian Hocking, and William Maley (eds), Global Governance and Diplomacy: Worlds Apart? (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

(74.) See Andrew F. Cooper and Ramesh Thakur, The Group of Twenty (G20) (London: Routledge, forthcoming).

(75.) See George F. Kennan, ‘Diplomacy without Diplomats,’ Foreign Affairs 76:5 (September–October 1997), 198–212.