ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN DIPLOMACY

Artificial intelligence has applications in defence, intelligence, homeland security, diplomacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, information, and economic statecraft. Diplomacy, long regarded as the primary tool of international relations, is impacted by AI on three levels: it has become a subject of the action; it conditions diplomacy itself, and it prepares the environment in which it is practised.

Evolution

“artificial intelligence” (AI) has received much attention ” artificial intelligence “. As exaggerated as the public hype can be, there is genuine technological progress behind it: computer processor performance increases year after year, as are advanced in-memory technology and research into AI algorithms. To summarise, it is now possible to process more data faster than ever before – with consequences that can already be seen in everyday life, such as facial and speech recognition.

Diplomacy has long been a part of the digital revolution. To meet the challenges and opportunities that come with it, it is adapting its cultural references, operational methods, practices, structures, and initiatives. With AI’s integration into all aspects of society, it will inevitably impact diplomacy. The more profound AI is integrated into society, the greater the impact on the context in which diplomats operate.

AI Implications on Diplomatic Practice

Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved into a tool of power politics and a component of state diplomacy.

AI as a tool for diplomatic practice: AI examines how it can support diplomats’ diplomatic functions and day-to-day tasks. In times of crisis, AI systems could be of great assistance to diplomats by assisting them in making sense of what is going on (descriptive analytics) and identifying potential trends (predictive analytics)

AI as a topic for diplomatic negotiations: Today, AI is still prone to error and will not be able to replace the judgement of experienced diplomats in the foreseeable future. However, as a supplementary tool, AI has the potential to make an invaluable contribution to the preparation and conduct of diplomatic negotiations.

AI as a factor influencing the environment in which diplomacy is practised: As a factor influencing the environment in which diplomacy is practised, AI has the potential to be the defining technology of our time, with the potential to reshape the foundation of the international order.

As a diplomatic topic, AI is relevant to a broader policy plan that includes everything from the economy, business, and security to democracy, human rights, and ethics. In assisting diplomats and other foreign policy professionals with internal and external text document analysis, speech analysis, content and framing input, catching spam and unwanted messages, identifying hate speech, and combating the spread of terrorism content on social media platforms.

Threats of AI as a diplomatic tool.

Artificial intelligence threatens international security and social, economic, and military activities. This means that governments, as the primary actors in a global society, must reconsider their foreign policies, diplomacy, and international cooperation in light of the new challenges posed by the malicious use of AI in various domains, particularly global psychological security. This threat is a crucial feature of the new cold war, defined by the race toward AI. Given the rise of new technological and economic forces, which means the emergence of new players and new rules of international relations, a new international order is taking shape. However, the malicious use of AI poses new challenges for states as the primary actors in international relations, given the emergence of new concepts such as artificial diplomacy, data sovereignty, cybersecurity, and cyberwar. For example, AI can assist diplomats in data processing, but it cannot completely replace the human factor. AI is incapable of reaching a compromise, and it is deaf to perception, intuition, and risk-taking. Human diplomats can detect the undetectable, see the invisible, and notice the unnoticeable, which AI systems cannot, at least not shortly.

Revolutionising Diplomatic Dialogues through AI

A dialogue must be added and organised based on the cognitive and analytical elements made available to operators by the digital revolution, from Big Data to the algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence. A dialogue of this type allows a diplomat to understand better his interlocutors’ history, cultures, attitudes, mentality, aspirations, and interests—that is, the citizens of the area in which he conducts his activity in favour of his state. In this regard, it should not be forgotten that, according to the most recent statistics, more than three billion people worldwide use Facebook, Twitter, Qzone, Snapchat, and other social media platforms daily.

It is the evolution of a forward-thinking diplomatic system. Many governments have advocated for establishing structures suited to these new responsibilities within foreign ministries and embassies worldwide. For example, the US State Department launched a Task Force on eDiplomacy in 2002, later becoming the Office of eDiplomacy. A visit to the official State Department website demonstrates how important, and complex the mechanism of American digital diplomacy has become. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the United Kingdom also has a separate Office of Digital Diplomacy.

The role of artificial intelligence in improving consular and diplomatic relations

From an AI standpoint, consular services could be low-hanging fruit for AI integration in diplomacy. Decisions are amenable to digitisation, the analytical contribution is reasonably relevant, and the technology encourages user-machine collaboration. Consular services rely on highly structured decisions. They primarily involve recurring and routinised operations based on clear and stable procedures that do not need to be treated as new each time a decision is required. By lowering language barriers between countries, AI can help improve communication between governments and foreign publics, increase the security of diplomatic missions through image recognition and information sorting technologies, and support international humanitarian operations by monitoring elections, assisting in peacekeeping operations, and ensuring that financial aid disbursements are not misused through anomaly detection. AI-assisted consular services may incorporate declarative (know-what) and procedural knowledge (know-how) to automate routinised operations and scaffold human cognition by reducing cognitive effort. This can be accomplished by using data mining and data discovery techniques to organise the data and enable the identification of patterns and relationships that would otherwise be difficult to detect.

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) open new doors for the practice of diplomacy? Throughout history, “diplomacy” has meant the efforts of human communities to peacefully reconcile their interests with one another before or after attempting to enforce them by force.

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Writer by Eric MUHIA, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

10 May 2022, Kenya  

Category: Diplomacy  

Reference: EM10052022D

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MODERN BUSINESS EVOLUTION

Millennials & Gen Z: The Game Changers

The digital age of accessible information brought ground-breaking changes to how we live our everyday lives, the way we communicate, and the dynamic pace of change we are expected to keep up with. Looking back at the history and the previous generations, from the cradle to the grave- not much would change.

If the Boomers and Gen X thought the 20th century was a rollercoaster of space flight, colour television and flip phone- the 21st century is a remarkable metamorphosis. The entire spectrum of subtitles and far-reaching changes proved to be axiomatically indispensable. From the perspective of conducting business in the global economy- standing still means moving backwards. Whilst tailored suits, shiny lease cars, office environments, business cards, and proper handshakes still matter, they are far removed from the primary expectations of a modern business and the very definition of success.

The Millennials (born 1981- 1996) and especially Gen Z (born 1997-2012) brought and will continue to bring immense disruption to business and job markets within the next decade. Corporations must adjust to their employees, consumers and influencers, who outright reject the old status symbols and genuinely want to make a positive difference in the world. Creativity, environment, cultural diversity, empathy, and work-life balance are amongst the most important aspects of Millennials and Gen Z life. Often branded as ‘snowflakes’, privileged and over-sensitive by the older generations, the derogatory undertone doesn’t seem to faze or startle them. Their heads might be in the clouds, but the gravity is firmly centred on moving away from the old world.

There is a lot to be learned and some things unlearned, to put this simply into a business etiquette term. Having chameleon-like skills, being well informed on social issues, and the ability to communicate on all levels are at the very top of my list. Traditional formalities are a small fraction of the overall picture when conducting and communicating in business, reserved for the highest level of governments and conventional corporate structures. However, social awareness, commitment to sustainability, diversity, equality, and inclusion are the driving force behind modern business etiquette on a large scale.

At times, the change, as it’s always been, maybe challenging and uncomfortable, but it’s very rarely unnecessary. Depending on where you are in the business spectrum of today’s modern society, the landscape has shifted for both employees and employers. The most evident proof of this is the global reaction to the current conflict in Europe. This is a prime example of a centuries-old, traditionally profit-orientated culture turning its backs on injustice, aggression and suffering of innocent people. An overwhelming proportion of corporations across the globe choose to do the right thing at a very high cost of profit. This unorthodox move is intensely welcomed, encouraged and supported by large populations worldwide, who refuse to ignore this deplorable abuse. Companies rapidly transform and gain lifelong loyal customers, consumers, business partners, and employees.

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Writer by Anastasia MARTEL, Etiquette and Protocol Specialist

08 May 2022, United Kingdom 

Category: Business Etiquette 

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THE FUTURE OF MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY

“Diplomacy has expanded its remit, moving far beyond bilateral political relations between states into a multilateral, multifaceted enterprise encompassing almost every realm of human endeavour,” said former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Multilateral diplomacy takes various forms: some are more institutional, such as the United Nations, while others are less formal and less identifiable in terms of parameters and rules. These latter are extremely difficult for African states, even though these fora, such as the World Economic Forum or G20, are extremely influential. It is the practice of involving more than two nations or parties in pursuing diplomatic solutions to supranational problems. Since multilateral diplomacy is a rapidly evolving industry, new forms regularly emerge, making it difficult to describe all types comprehensively.

Actors: Sovereign states remain the primary actors in multilateral diplomacy, but non-state actors such as non-governmental organisations, civil society representatives, and the business community are increasingly involved. Despite the importance of adhering to the constitutive acts of various international organisations, including their rules of procedure, multilateral diplomacy embraces new forms of interaction regularly, reflecting the need for flexibility and rapid adaptability to a dynamic environment.

Methods: In today’s world, only a tiny portion of multilateral diplomatic activity occurs in formal and solemn settings. The interaction between various actors takes many forms, including informal contacts and spontaneous coalitions of the willing.

Diplomatic Hubs

Diplomatic hubs in New York, Geneva, and Vienna will remain important in the future. Diplomats on the ground are critical, especially during the lockdown and social distancing. While diplomatic hubs, like all diplomatic practices, face both continuity and change, we can say that they are now more important than ever. Acknowledging context and nuance in multilateral diplomacy and dealing with contentious issues and crises necessitates an on-the-ground presence. Diplomatic presence at multilateral hubs is critical due to significant time differences between multilateral hubs and some capitals and potential future travel restrictions. Diplomatic representation at key multilateral institutions is also symbolic, signalling a commitment to multilateralism for functional and normative reasons.

Multilateral diplomacy by video conference: practices, procedures, protocol, and platforms

At the heart of the diplomatic practice is the ability to overcome communication barriers and positional distances. As a result, mediating physical distance and video conferencing challenges is a new diplomatic task, one for which diplomats are already prepared as “mediators of estrangement.” Negotiating the modalities of in-person, hybrid, and online meetings have become a new challenge for multilateral institution and meeting chairs and presidents. As the Human Rights Council (HRC) demonstrates, committed leadership and ongoing dialogue with member states to build trust are critical ingredients in successfully navigating the changed circumstances.

The diplomatic protocol has adapted to social distancing measures, such as reorganising and framing photo opportunities at high-level meetings. While this complicates meeting organisation, it does not call into question established protocol rules. Since some diplomatic practice has shifted toward video conferencing, key challenges include addressing security concerns, adapting to changes in communication and negotiation dynamics, providing translation services, and maintaining a stable Internet connection. Concerns have been raised about creating an unequal playing field and the risk of exclusion due to bandwidth requirements and security constraints. Small and developing countries face a unique set of challenges in this regard.

State of Multilateral Diplomacy among African Countries.

Representatives from African countries are outnumbered by negotiating teams from other countries who arrive better prepared; African countries must maximise their resources and collaborate to combine their areas of expertise. Diplomats in Africa are also woefully undertrained, and organisations such as the African Union (AU) could do more to improve their members’ diplomatic skills.

African diplomats should not be naive about the world and emerging powers’ multilateral strategies. Other countries are also developing countries does not necessarily imply that they are looking out for Africa’s best interests. The rise of multistakeholder diplomacy adds to the complication. It is difficult for African countries to open to this type of international relations. Still, they must do so to have genuine grassroots representation defending their points of view and promoting their interests.

Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today

As the world faces new and ongoing challenges such as globalisation, international terrorism, and a slew of other global issues, the United Nations and its critical attribute-multilateral diplomacy-are more crucial than ever. With new and updated essays detailing the experiences of a diverse group of practitioners and scholars working in diplomacy, this emerging era covers the fundamental characteristics of multilateral diplomacy as it is conducted within the United Nations framework in even greater breadth and depth.

Today’s Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations offers valuable insights from various perspectives on how diplomacy is practised, making it required reading for aspiring diplomats, international business leaders, and students at all levels. This volume’s contributors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to examine five areas of multilateral diplomacy: UN diplomacy, crisis diplomacy, international economic diplomacy, UN summits and “citizen diplomats,” and non-governmental diplomacy.

In conclusion, context is critical in multilateral diplomacy. Diplomats on the ground are far better positioned to detect and interpret nuances and signals. The incorporation and dissemination of digital tools into the practice of diplomacy has had a significant impact on multilateral diplomacy today.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

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Category: Diplomacy 

Reference: EM02052022D   

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION IN CLIMATE DIPLOMACY

The European Union’s (EU) climate diplomacy has changed dramatically since the early 2010s. Previously relying on a ‘leadership-by-example’ approach primarily concerned with the external projection of its domestic policies, the EU profoundly adapted its climate diplomacy strategy between the 2009 Copenhagen COP 15 and the 2015 Paris COP 21. This reimagined strategy was further solidified in the aftermath of the Paris Climate Conference. The EU’s redesigned climate diplomacy focuses on stronger – cooperative and adversarial – bilateral relations with significant emitters and greater flexibility in its positions and actions. (“The European Union’s Strategic Turn in Climate Diplomacy …”)

It is a widely held and, at first glance, plausible belief that the European Union (EU) is the world leader in combating dangerous global climate change. Since the early 1990s, the EU has committed to unilateral and relatively high reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the EU has ensured the implementation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding international framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This aspires to demonstrate leadership in developing a new global agreement after 2012.

The European Union’s Influence on Copenhagen Policy

Europe is forming its post-Copenhagen policy, with a strong emphasis on engaging third countries and adopting a more “realistic” approach to climate diplomacy. However, fundamental differences exist between and within European countries on key issues such as the transition to a 30% EU emissions reduction target, the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the significance of a binding UN treaty, the appropriate mix of conditionality and incentives, and the role – if any – of border adjustment measures. (“European Climate Diplomacy after Copenhagen – E3G”). These policy differences stem from fundamental disagreements about strategic goals and perceptions of international politics. The EU will be unable to deploy the total weight of Community and Member State resources to support its collective interests unless new processes for closer strategic alignment are implemented. Closer alignment is built on three critical pillars: improved collective political intelligence, a clearer medium-term strategy for meeting the 2c goal, and stronger strategic conversations on climate change among senior European politicians and officials, including foreign ministries.

However, a few new perspectives emerged in the post-Copenhagen context, emphasising the EU’s alleged role as a ‘leadiator,’ a ‘leader-cum-mediator,’ and paying some attention to its bilateral relations with emerging economies. However, the multipolar dynamics of the Paris Agreement negotiations and implementation necessitate a thorough rethinking of scholarly analyses of the EU’s climate diplomacy. Importantly, these must include a Foreign Policy Analysis perspective beyond the alleged default multilateral preference.

Europe must handle four significant areas of Climate Diplomacy.

The EU appears to be as well prepared as other major powers to navigate these new waters. Still, it will need to be more adept at climate diplomacy than the “low ambition coalition” to achieve its ambitious, positive agenda.

The four primary areas of climate diplomacy which Europe must address include:

  • Strategy: How Europe defines and integrates its overall climate change goals with its broader strategic interests.
  • Political engagement with third countries: How Europe perceives and influences climate change discussions in other parts of the world.
  • Policy towards the international climate regime: How Europe creates effective international climate change cooperation mechanisms within and outside the UNFCCC.
  • Practical climate cooperation with third countries: How Europe organises itself to provide practical support for low-carbon, climate-resilient development worldwide.

European Green Deal Diplomacy

Rebuilding Europe’s climate diplomacy strategy must begin with an open discussion of European interests, which may necessitate internal realignment of those interests. Maintaining momentum will require the enthusiastic participation of new stakeholders in the internal European debate, including the national security community. Europe needs a more intelligent political strategy, backed up by new diplomatic machinery, to influence other countries and win their support for its policy positions. European countries should continue to share lessons learned on best practices in this area through the new European External Action Service, the Green Diplomacy Network, and other channels.

Green Deal Diplomacy

One of the novel aspects of the new European Commission’s proposal for a European Green Deal (EGD) is the establishment of a “Green Deal Diplomacy.” While this ambition has yet to be realised, the proposed new diplomacy does not emerge from a vacuum. The EU has been developing explicit climate and energy diplomacies since 2011 and 2015. As a result, it will be critical for EGD diplomacy to learn from previous attempts to formulate and implement EU external ambitions in policy areas related to the European Green Deal, both successes and failures. The purpose for the EU to be a “global leader” by paralleling internal ambitious transition efforts with a “stronger ‘green deal diplomacy’ focused on convincing and supporting others to take on their share of promoting more sustainable development has received comparatively less attention.

For climate diplomacy, regular and extensive conclusions on spreading ambitious climate action to various actors, emphasising instruments and policy synergies (e.g., energy, human rights, trade, security, development) have provided a relatively straightforward framework of external engagement. The goals of energy diplomacy are less clear, with actions primarily aimed at improving internal coordination among Member States and EU institutions and expanding on existing energy partnership/dialogue formats. As a result, transparent decisions on which concrete policy-area specific objectives and external instruments will be included in EGD diplomacy will be required to develop into a meaningful, comprehensive outreach strategy rather than a paper tiger of stated ambitions for various areas of external engagement.

Conclusion.

When the EU redesigned its external climate strategy, it changed how it chose its main interlocutors and interacted with them in practice. The Union has shifted away from a singular focus on the multilateral arena and leadership-by-example to what is known as ‘multiple bilateralisms’ (MB), which is defined as a foreign policy “strategy that entails the maintenance of several bilateral relationships in parallel as a subset of a multilateral negotiation setting.” With this shift, the EU abandoned its efforts to create a global climate regime that mirrored its regional and adopted a more pragmatic approach, acknowledging that it is part of a broader and malleable global context in which the – cooperative and confrontational – relations between major emitters shape multilateral climate policies decisively. The key features of the redesigned EU climate diplomacy are greater flexibility and more significant investment in the EU’s multiple bilateral relationships with other major emitters in parallel with the ongoing UN climate regime negotiations.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

13 April 2022, Kenya

Photo by Frederic Köberl

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: EM13042022D   

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

CONFERENCE DIPLOMACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

“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, established a mutually guaranteed territorial status quo, and agreed on rules of conduct for regulating international affairs.

What is Conference Diplomacy?

Conference diplomacy is the management of relations between governments and intergovernmental organisations that takes place at international conferences. This definition encompasses relations between governments and relationships between governments and the organisations to which they belong. This latter type of relationship has brought new elements to diplomacy. The term “conference” is used broadly, preventing the old distinction between a conference and a congress. The latter refers to gatherings attended by sovereigns or their principal ministers.

It is about resolving differences through an interconnected set of compromises and trade-offs in which no party gains everything, but all parties gain something and concede something.

Actors in Conference Diplomacy.

In most intergovernmental conferences, four main actors can be detected:

  • the delegations, as representatives of their governments.
  • the secretariat and its executive head.
  • the presiding officer(s).
  • various groups of governments, often acting through a single delegation appointed by the group.

Sometimes others become involved in conference diplomacy:

  • non-governmental organisations.
  • formal mediators, appointed by the parties in the dispute, by the UN Secretary-General, by the UN Security Council, or somehow.
  • informal facilitators- a recent example is former US president Carter, with his interventions in North Korea, Haiti, and former Yugoslavia

Rise of Negotiations in Conference Diplomacy.

Westphalia, especially the Münster agreement, can be seen as a network of interconnected bilateral negotiations. It thus had a multilateral connotation, though not in the modern sense. As a result, this study proposes the term multi-bilateral negotiation because the meetings resembled a conference and resulted in numerous informal contacts between delegations that were not involved in formal negotiations. It is worth noting that this transverse or transliteral negotiation, along with regular longitudinal negotiation, is common in today’s conference diplomacy. In fact, the more participants there are and the more complicated and numerous the issues, the more transliteral negotiations are required inside and outside the conference rooms to keep the process moving. While the procedures and methods of the Westphalia negotiations favoured the larger countries, the smaller parties considered themselves fortunate to have been invited. Without the massive gathering, they would have been left much more out in the cold, which is why small countries prefer multilateral meetings. In contrast, their larger ‘brothers’ often prefer bilateral meetings currently. Westphalia can be seen as a bridge between old-fashioned bilateral interaction and twenty-first-century conference diplomacy in terms of procedure and process.

The United Nations and Conference Diplomacy

Diplomacy today faces the challenges of modern phenomena such as increased public attention and involvement, new modes of communication, and an increase in the number of international state and non-state actors, all of which are required to formulate foreign policy. From air traffic to the internet, modern communication technologies have allowed top diplomats, politicians, and heads of government and state to communicate personally and directly.

Conference Diplomacy (Kaufmann, 1996) by Johan Kaufmann assists practitioners in dealing with the procedures of institutionalised conferences, particularly in the context of the United Nations. Today’s United Nations has unrivalled convening and mobilising power, which has been used to organise many global conferences on various topics ranging from women to human rights, population to social development, and economic development to environmental conservation. Typically, the panels have included all global governance actors—states, civil society organisations, and, to a lesser extent, private sector firms. Whereas intergovernmental conferences are essential for the development of treaty law, global discussions are critical to the evolution of norms and ‘soft law,’ which begins to exert a binding effect in customary international law. According to two UN scholars, these conferences are “important for articulating new international norms, expanding international law, creating new structures, setting agendas… and promoting linkages among the UN, the specialised agencies, NGOs, and governments.” Any major global conference is accompanied by extensive diplomatic activity, which can last several years. Countries try to identify like-minded and thus likely coalition partners, harmonise strategies to advance their own and defeat competing interests and efforts, mobilise NGO support or blunt NGO dissent, etc.

Did you know?

A conference diplomat can jeopardise himself if he makes deliberate misrepresentations or avoidable errors, which are likely to be discovered sooner or later by his fellow delegates. Another delegate may confront him about his mistake in a speech, or he may be approached informally. In both cases, he will be questioned about the integrity of what he said. As a result, the conference diplomat will ensure that the facts he mentions in official sessions, informal speeches, or private conversations can be supported. On the other hand, the problem is that ‘truth’ is not always a singular entity. Truth can mean one thing to one person and something else to another when it comes to policy.

Conclusion

Modern conference diplomacy is one result that uses an ancient diplomatic strategy for avoiding conflict for as long as possible—ideally until a solution is found.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

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06 April 2022, Kenya

Reference: EM06042022D  

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“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

SOFT POWER DIPLOMACY

Japan’s soft diplomacy phenomenon is portrayed through “Pop Culture Diplomacy.” The Japanese government’s program uses anime (animated cartoons) and manga (a comic style) to achieve a foreign policy goal. The use of pop culture as a diplomatic strategy stands in appealing, warm, and humane opposition to the threat of military power. While reliance on pop culture as a means of soft diplomacy and nation branding has significant potential for international relations, nations must be cautious in developing these practices. Recent initiatives in Japan, Britain, Turkey and the United States reveal the possible benefits and pitfalls of soft diplomacy and nation branding through popular culture.

Soft Power

Joseph Nye Jr, a political scientist during the 1980s, defined soft power as a country’s ability to influence others without resorting to coercive pressure. When put into practice, it entails a process where countries project their values, ideals, and culture across borders to foster goodwill and strengthen partnerships. The concept of soft power was first used in 1990 by the American Political Scientist Joseph Nye. In his article, Nye focuses on how America will rebuild the hegemonic power of the unipolar world after the Cold War. The debate has been shaped around ‘how power has changed in international relations. Countries must constantly renew themselves in the global competition.

Countries have developed tools and strategies to help them outperform their competitors in global competition. The country’s soft powers and brand are the most important tools. Positive images of the countries attract investment, tourism, and security. The country brand has evolved into an essential soft power tool in this context. The countries’ brand values and soft powers directly impact one another. Countries with a high brand value also have effective soft power. A country’s soft power is primarily based on three factors: its culture (in places where it is appealing to others), its political values (when they are upheld at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority.)

Soft Power Diplomacy

Soft diplomacy is one of those words with a hazy definition that you recognise when you see it. Typically, it refers to attempts to engage directly with the public in indirect ways; it’s diplomacy’s soft power equivalent in that the goal isn’t so much to accomplish a specific substantive task as it is to try and change the fundamental basis on which a diplomatic relationship exists between countries. In and of itself, diplomacy evolves from the IR theory of Liberalism, which promotes cooperation among state actors for the peaceful resolution of conflicting issues in a win-win situation. As a big fan of Joseph Nye’s work on liberalism and soft power, I can say that soft diplomacy is based on the same idea.

Soft diplomacy is a process of mutual empowerment in which no direct goal-oriented action is taken, but efforts are channelled indirectly to achieve the goal. There is some debate about whether the affected state actors will directly participate. I believe that state actors are involved in some cases, and some indirect state actors engage in soft diplomacy.

European Union Soft Power Diplomacy

The EU is a leading intergovernmental organisation, and its success inspires non-member states to join the European integration project. The EU’s “soft power” stems from its willingness to offer a seat at the decision-making table, built on this promising foundation. This attractiveness ensures peace and security among European states, and the EU enlargement process strengthens the EU’s position on a global scale. As a result, the EU’s soft power benefits its member countries and the EU itself. This attractiveness ensures peace and security among European states, and the EU enlargement process strengthens the EU’s position on a global scale. Thus, the EU’s soft power benefits both its member countries and the EU itself. Soft power is being used by rising powers such as Russia, China, and India. Soft power and public diplomacy are lacking in developing countries.

Examples of Soft Power Diplomacy:

Korea

From the Gangnam style dance moves to the crazed fans of Korean pop groups like BTS, Twice, Black Pink, and the Oscar-winning film Parasite, as well as a large following of soft romance in Korean dramas. Korea is the new entertainment industry leader, in addition to establishing a foothold in the cosmetics and fashion industries, which have taken the world by storm.

India

India’s long history, culture, and civilisation is the most significant factor. These have drawn intellectuals and ordinary people from all over the world to India. So many brilliant minds from all over the world would not be working as Indologists if they were not attractive. Being in a strategic location and a global powerhouse of Asia, India also exercises soft power diplomacy through its vast diaspora, IT and pharmaceutical industries, and a foreign policy that values its neighbours.

China

China is one of the most powerful nations in terms of soft power diplomacy, from a global economic powerhouse to a centre of rich culture and traditions. China is a land that has it all, including our favourite Pandas, who are one of the key Chinese soft power diplomacy instruments.

Germany

Germany wields considerable influence and soft power in public policy, foreign relations, and international affairs. (Not afraid to criticise Russia or even support Iran for the JCPOA.) Germany is also a major contributor to global donations to international organisations and the most influential advocate for environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable development.

Conclusion

Soft Power is about winning people’s hearts and minds at its most basic. As a result, a people-centred approach is required. Governments cannot do much more than facilitating the process in this regard. Even if the concept of Soft Power is imprecise, Joseph Nye did well to highlight this important aspect of countries’ foreign policies. There is no country today that does not value this factor. Academics and intellectuals can be crucial in this endeavour.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student.

21 March 2022, Kenya

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: EM210322D    

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DIGITAL DIPLOMACY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Digital diplomacy has become a new and increasingly popular strategy aiming to broaden access to the United Kingdom cultural context and make it more accessible to people worldwide in this age of information society. (Grincheva, 2012)The British Council is the central diplomatic organisation in the UK and the second biggest charity organisation globally, whose aim objective is to develop international cultural and educational relations with different countries worldwide while maintaining a non-governmental status. According to the Royal Charter, The British Council’s purpose is to widen the exposure and knowledge of the English language and promote a broader global understanding of the UK. British Council programs include building intercultural dialogue through digital media tools because digital media is one of the key tools used by the British Council to expand its outreach across the globe.

The UK is among the few countries that take digital diplomacy and policy very seriously, especially in its creative industry and cultural sectors. The UK is aware of the importance of digital potential in enhancing and preserving its national cultural heritage. The UK government established an institution called the National Archives of the UK, which preserves the heritage of the UK in a digital form to make it more accessible for people all over the world online. The National archives, which serve England, Wales and the UK, hold up to 1000 years of national records and up to until October 2011; The National Archives had a sub-body called the Museums Libraries and Archives Council and this partnership aimed at empowering national museums and libraries providing experience through connecting them to national cultural heritage. The British Council employs the full potential of new media like the internet to promote the richness of the arts and British culture. The museum galleries have been applying digital technologies to reach new audiences. A lot of online programs and websites have been developed by the British Council to provide access to creative and cultural products of the UK on a global scale.

Digital diplomacy in the UK aims to showcase the UK’s cultural, national superiority and excellence to wider audiences. The British Council uses diplomacy in promoting its innovative practices, like building more democratic and inclusive societies around the world. The UK applies digital media to support English language learning and mastery through online interactive resources like learning English websites used by over 2 million teachers and students worldwide, providing unlimited materials necessary for effective English language learning, practising and examination.

The United Kingdom’s national ambition is to ensure that it’s one of the world’s leading digital knowledge economies employing digital technologies in economic initiatives. The digital diplomacy group was established in the UK to make sure the foreign and commonwealth office in the UK is a world authority on the theory and practice of digital diplomacy.

In conclusion, digital diplomacy has become a platform for attention generation by diplomats. Diplomats, just like almost everyone else, are competing for attention. This has led to attempts by some diplomats to use jokes or entertaining posts to make statements and trends online. An example is a post made by the Joint Delegation of Canada at NATO in 2014, which through a satirical post accompanied by a regional map, critiqued Russian actions in Crimea. The post generated attention in the diplomatic world about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Wanless, 2014)

References

Grincheva, N. (2012). Digital Diplomacy. International Policy Frame transformation in Diplomatic Discourse.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student.

03 March 2022, Kenya

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: EM030322D    

 

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

SOFT SKILLS PROPELLING PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS IN POST-PANDEMIC ECONOMY

The past two years brought unprecedented changes to how we live and work. As the second wave of The Great Resignation is forecasted to descend upon all industries in the middle of 2022, employers and employees are fundamentally rethinking their future strategies.

Whilst it is tough to foresee the true expend of changes and the lasting effects on post Pandemic world, it is evident that changes are here to stay.

Research conducted by Harvard University has consistently shown that 85% of career success is attributable to well‐developed soft and people skills. Traditionally, the emphasis on business etiquette was placed in a professional environment to build long term business relationships and customer rapport. In the current climate, however, employers began to recognise that people skills are necessary not only for potential candidates to stand out but also for corporations to preserve the talent they already have working for them.

The Pandemic catalysed the ever-growing dynamic equilibrium in the job markets worldwide, the most significant change since The Industrial Revolution. The aim is to excel in this short window of opportunities, where companies are willing to hire people with a wide range of experience and invest in the training of their employees. Whilst lack of industry-specific knowledge or expertise is eagerly acknowledged and supported by the employers, well-developed soft and people skills remain imperative components and criteria when hiring.

Working from home digitised the way we interact with our colleagues and clients. As for many of us, main channels of communication are emails, telephone calls and video conferencing; it is more vital than ever to possess the ability of clear and concise communication, good manners, and the ability to build strong relationships with people, whom we may never get to meet in person. Rapid globalisation and outsourcing of the workforce added a further layer of necessity to communicate with people from different cultures across the world effectively. We have found ourselves in a world where knowledge and skills have been placed on the same plateau with professional decorum and cross-cultural sensitivity.

As someone whose primary professional expertise are in STEM, my conclusions are based on a unique blend of diligent observations and firm comprehension that developing good soft and people skills is very much a multidimensional phenomenon. In my opinion, the single ability to switch up and adapt one’s vocabulary depending on the audience is the most critical life skill one can master. To excel in a professional environment, personal presentation, listening skills, and efficiency must be learned. But above all, even if professional development is not on your priority list, it is worth remembering that Ai is estimated to replace 40% of current jobs within the next 15 years. With this undisputable prognosis in mind, it is worth remembering that soft skills will remain the most sought for expertise in job markets across the globe.

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Write by Anastasia Martel, a specialist in Etiquette  

8 February 2022, United Kingdom

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: AM80222D

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

PROTOCOL AND ETIQUETTE

In June 2018, Australia’s very own High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, the then titled Honourable Alexander Downer, and his Twitter faux pas splashed over the Australian news.  What did he do that made Aussie headlines?

Two weeks after officially leaving his post as High Commissioner, he used his ‘business’ account to tweet support to his daughter, Georgina Downer, who was forging a career in Australian politics.  The secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Department, Frances Adamson, stated that Alexander Downer “mistakenly used the account instead of his own” stated the Adelaide Independent New Indaily, Friday, Jun 1, 2018.

The rapid evolution of mobile technology, together with the emergence of social media, has significantly changed, to communicating instantly, letting millions know facts, figures, actions, reactions, and interactions.  How can social media and diplomacy work hand-in-hand?

Modern public diplomacy is used for the promotion and enhancement of a countries profile, critical humanitarian and consular events, and the explanation of economic developments.  The use of public diplomacy allows for open, transparent, and accountable dialogue, which enhances friendly relations, monitors events, gauges public sentiment, gathers information, and explains government policies and programs.  However, the Australian government states in an Administrative Circular of July 2014 that social media does not replace traditional avenues of announcements.

It was noted that in 2009 the United States Government piloted a program that used social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook in the Middle East, “increasing citizen engagement and civic participation”.  Also, that year the Israeli Foreign Ministry said they wanted to use social media to “focus less on Palestinian issues and more on the Iranian threat.” (Zhang & Fahmy et al., 2015).

For those in the diplomatic or government services that are tweeting, blogging, and using social media to get their word across to the masses through real-time channels, what guidelines do they follow?  Guiding them is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Ethics, Integrity and Professional Standards Policy Manual and the Department of Communications and Parliamentary Branch.  Which begs the question, what can we do as individuals that are not working for the government department? How can we use social media mindfully?  Here are four tips for using social media to your advantage:

“Is my social media account private?”

Whether you have a public or private profile on social media, you are still leaving a digital footprint.  Whatever you post in word, photo, video, audio, or emoji can be screen-grabbed and passed around quickly, without your knowledge.

“What are my intentions today?”

Post information you want people to know and won’t regret one week, one year, or ten years from posting.  Always post positively and professionally.  Using courtesy is the best practice today.

“How can I keep safe?”

Keep personal information, such as your address, birth date, etc. off social media as hackers are constantly harvesting and farming for your personal information.

“What content will I display and post today?”

Be wise with photos, audio, and videos you take of other people.  Try to pixelate, blur or cut people out the best you can unless you have their consent to publish.  Consider your comments and the emojis that you attach to your comments.  Emojis have a powerful effect as non-verbal cues.  Adding emojis to social posts could bring confusion in interpretation.

“Ensure Intercultural Intelligence”

Symbols, emojis, illustrations, metaphors, and even the contextual meaning of words can be interpreted and experienced differently across countries and cultures. Mind your social media had a borderless reach and can be resent by anyone who has received it directly or indirectly.

Make sure that you master intercultural intelligence so that your message is “global proof” and will not cause embarrassing situations for you and the entity that you are representing.

May you use social media wisely and mindfully.

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 Written by Elizabeth SOOS, an expert in Etiquette  

27 January 2022, Australia 

Category: Diplomacy 

Reference: ES270121D

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

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PROTOCOL GUIDE FOR DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS AND CONSULAR POST THE NETHERLANDS

This Protocol Guide is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our efforts to be a transparent and good host to our distinguished guests. It contains practical information based on the Dutch authorities’ interpretation of the rules for privileged persons.

Protocol Guide for Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts1 Protocol and Host Country Affairs Department2

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

January 2021

Protocol Guide for Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts1

 https://www.government.nl/documents/leaflets/2015/04/15/protocol-guide-for-diplomatic-missions-en-consular-posts

Contact the Protocol Department for identity cards, Protocol Guides and further assistance:

Protocol Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Telephone: (070) 348 64 90

Website: www.government.nl

Email: dkp@minbuza.nl

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Written by Adriana FLORES, protocol and soft diplomacy adviser and trainer at ProtocolToday Academy.

07 July 2021, The Netherlands

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: AF070721D

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!