New diplomacy has been introduced in a practice of diplomacy in an attempt to ease the tensions in the wake of the cold war. The politicians finally started to emphasis on the importance of pluralism in foreign policy due to the fact that international relations were more complex. What used to be traditional, exclusive and secret has opened up to various kinds of diplomatic practices over the years. In New diplomacy, citizens play greater roles with the less strict policy making by government. The diplomacy has entered into the information age in which people no longer need the government to get information regardless of where they reside. And people have given the opportunities to engage in the global affairs in many ways and their voices have been valued. It is a part of diplomat’s responsibility nowadays to lead public opinions. What must be recognised as new in negotiations and conferences today is the practice of multilateral element.The thing I consider to be the most significant change in New diplomacy is the increasing importance of engagement of non state actors, in pursuit of archiving of the improvement in many complicated issues such as human rights, labour rights, environmental issues and fair trade, which used to be difficult to address. In addition, nations engaging in multilateral relationships, all of this has given a lot more dynamics in global affairs. As the advancement of technology moves forward, it has given the opportunities for the new mass media of communications hence, the new norm of the intricate relationships has been embraced. Consequently, the world has become much smaller than it was in the time of the Cold war. Diplomacy has become inclusive and more open to public. Rarely, it is no longer undertaken secretly.
One of the important roles that a diplomat undertakes is the role in a crisis in the practice of diplomacy. Learning this side of diplomacy has simply provided me the insight into the process of the gruelling diplomatic missions behind closed doors in a time of crisis and what are the characteristics of it.
As I covered the multilateral diplomacy in the previous blog post, in a diplomacy even during a crisis, it is often where you witness ‘multilateral’ cooperation. In recent times, there has been the various kinds of complicated crisis all over the world, some of them have shown improvement, some have exacerbated to the never-ending conflict. For example, the recent significant crisis diplomacy in Syria since the outbreak of the civil war. Over the time, We have seen many countries being involved in the strife-torn country militarily and diplomatically. The devastating war has caused the country the biggest refugee crises of our time and malfunction in the diplomatic mission, moreover the great threat is spread globally as the war on terror intensifies. These confusions have been destabilising the security of the US and its allies. It has been argued that the chances for the US to archive their goal seems very slim. The United States try to pursue the diplomatic agreement to reduce the intensify of the conflict between the regime and the opposition. The negotiation took place in Vienna (Vienna Peace Talks for Syria) in October and November 2015 between all the parties involved (including international organisation the UN and the EU) And It was the first time, key countries in the war including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia gathered and negotiated regarding the cease-fire and the collapsed political situation in Syria. it was the first great step for a diplomatic mission as the participants resulted in the agreement of the basic principles for peace plan, however, the US and Russia remained divided concerning the future political participation of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The negotiations seemed to have shown the potentiality but the US is in need of another negotiations with Russia, owing to the fact that Russia is backing the regime and carrying out the air strikes on the opposition which the US and others support for, without negotiations between two countries, the war will never end.
As I noted on the previous post ‘multilateral diplomacy’ it is more complicated to reach to the agreement in multilateral diplomacy. In a crisis, it is even trickier. As I mentioned about Vienna peace talks above, after the first talk, Saudi Arabia showed strong disapproval of the participation of Iran in the future talks. Not to mention the tension between Russia and the US over the leadership. Given the collapsed nature of the opposition without an authority in control alongside with fighting against terrorist organisation, it is a diplomatically extremely challenging situation even if agreement is made it requires gruelling process which no one knows whether it is possible to obtain the goal in the future. Yet State department spokesman Mark Toner said “If we do walk away from this diplomatic process, as … moribund as it is, what are the options?” (7)
Cooper, A, Heine, J and Thakur, R. (2013), ‘The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy ‘Oxford: Oxford University Press.
George, A (1991). ‘Forceful Persuasion: Coercive Diplomacy as an Alternative to War.’ United States Institute of Peace.
Kassab, Y, R.(2016) ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War ‘ London, Pluto press.
Kerr, P and Wiseman, G. (2012),’ Diplomacy in a Globalizing World ‘New York: Oxford University Press,
Richardson, L, J (1994)’Crisis Diplomacy The Great Powers since the Mid-Nineteenth Century‘. Canberra, Australian National University.
Rozen, L. (2016) ‘US presidential transition adds turmoil to Syria diplomacy’ Al-monitor ‘http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2016/12/us-transition-trump-turmoil-syria-diplomacy-kerry.html
Solovyov, D. (2016) ‘Syria conflict: Diplomacy over crisis ‘on life support’ as fighting continues in Aleppo‘ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-conflict-civil-war-aleppo-bombing-fighting-russia-us-assad-a7340396.html Independent]
Yusupov, A. (2012) ‘A crisis in Modern Diplomacy‘ The Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/A-crisis-of-modern-diplomacy
Multilateralism is introduced in a recent history of diplomacy and has been practiced commonly nowadays. It is the diplomatic system in which between three or more states gather and conduct the diplomatic negotiations, arrange a conference to discuss and work in concerns on given issues in such situations like that participated countries involve in the coalition such as NATO, or form a union like EU. John Ruggie defined multilateralism as “an institutional form which coordinates relations among three or more states on the basis of ‘generalized’ principles of conduct . . . which specify appropriate conduct for a class of actions, without regard to particularistic interests of the parties or the strategic exigencies that may exist in any occurrence.” (1)
As an example of the recent episode of multilateral negotiation, Kyoto Protocol is an internal agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) The protocol’s main target is for state parties to set binding targets on the reduction of the emissions of greenhouse-gas in the commitment period from 2008 to 2012. As of 11th of December 1997, Kyoto protocol was adapted and put it into force on 5th of February 2005. The negotiation had taken place very slowly due to the fact that the climate change is a complicated global problem and also it had to be accepted politically. it ultimately took years to turn something what we should do into what we are forced to do. Even when the agreement was made in 1997, It deemed its necessary to conduct the further negotiations.
Now that we somewhat have basic understanding of what multilateralism is and how this form of diplomacy entails. Let us identify the importance and the limitation of it that are essential to raise.
In comparison to the old style of diplomacy which is known as bilateral or unilateral diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy is far more complicated and challenging. There might be no consensus at the end of negotiations but states have to compromise to some extent to bring as best outcome as possible for all. One could certainly say that it is fair for all of us in regards to the treatment. Multilateral system can give a voice and opportunities to vote to smaller states thus it protects them which is a good thing for long term success. It also helps prosper the global economy as cheaper goods become more available widely.
In terms of limitations, as noted before, negotiation can take longer, at times, years and bringing it to the stage of the agreement is very difficult, such as trade deals or the discussions on the matter that entails global contribution. therefore it lacks efficiency. Not to mention the difficulty in identifying the key issues and interests that each nation possess.
- John Ruggie, “Multilateralism: the anatomy of an institution,”International Organization, 46:3, summer 1992, pp 561-598.
- Oberthur S, (1990) “The Kyoto Protocol: International Climate Policy for the 21st Century (International and European Environmental Policy Series)” Springer, Berlin, Germany
- Ruggie G, J (1993) “Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Praxis of an Institutional Form (New Directions in World Politics) Columbia University Press, New York