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NEW DIPLOMACY

by on May 15, 2013

Although there is no definitive start date for the use of the term ‘new diplomacy’ it is often used to denote the type of diplomacy used since the League of Nations was set up at the end of world war one. One may say this is the same time as true multilateral diplomacy began and in many cases the two go hand in hand. But I believe new diplomacy only really took of as we know it today when technology began to fuel globalisation in the 1980s with the mobile phone and the internet coming onto the world stage. These technologies have transformed the way the world works and more importantly, governments and institutions. They have changed the fabric of the embassy and government departments. States can now get in contact at the touch of a button and transactions are easy to carry out. This has helped us in times of crisis when instant contact was necessary to avoid wars. New diplomacy is also a new way of attempting to fix problems that old diplomacy could not. One example would be the Israel-Palestine problem and John Kerry’s new diplomacy approach to try and break the deadlock that has existed for decades.  This includes going back to past peace plans and trying to re-initiate them in an attempt to make some sort of progress. Another example would be China’s growing influence in the world sphere and their attempt at diplomacy to further these interests. China has used a soft power approach, which by doing so has not harmed other states through expansion of territory or military threats. It has attempted to grow simply through economic means and in the meantime has kept good relations with most of the western hemisphere. I would say this approach has on the whole succeeded as the economy has rivalled that of other large states and despite nations attacking China for its human rights record, it has on the whole kept diplomatic channels open with most states. These are just two of many examples of new diplomacy over the past twenty years. But on the whole I do believe that new diplomacy’s main concept is that of technology and how it has pushed diplomacy to a whole new level that benefits all governments and that of it’s citizens.

 

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3 Comments
  1. very interesting, i totally agree on the idea of new diplomacy linking with the technology and state actor wouldn’t waste time travelling across the world and many things do happen with a touch of button. Misunderstanding can be avoided through use of internet and mobile phones as you have mentioned above.

  2. Some good comments here. Although multilateral diplomacy was not new as it had been used in the past such as for the treaty of Westphalia, it grew in importance after WWI and the creation of the League of Nations. It gave way for much more multilateral diplomacy as we see today with all the multilateral organizations which exist. Technology is certainly a major driving force behind new diplomacy as it allows states and organizations to interact quickly. Also the growing importance of the use of soft power. It is harder and harder for states to use hard power these days which is why states prefer to apply soft power, as its more friendly, gets better results and preserves a country’s image

  3. The general focus falls on technology when it comes to establishing the main characteristics of new diplomacy, which is very realistic and demonstrates exactly how the world works in modern times. As illustrated above “with the touch of a button” a quick and efficient way of communication can be created. Compared to previous times, states today have the opportunity to cooperate with each other whenever they need and have to, avoiding the slow process of traditional diplomacy. Crisis can be tackled and taken action against in a very short period of time, preventing from escalation of the problem,

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