- Negotiating to Win
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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 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. 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 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.
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. But in India the same position straddles the domestic-external responsibilities. In the Middle Ages diplomacy was typically engaged in by kings and princes of neighbouring states directly at summit level.
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. There are also the irregular ad hoc summits, for example the famous meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong in Beijing in 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.
Negotiating to Win
The involvement of sub-national units like provincial governments in international affairs directly p. 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. 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.
Burnham, openly declared that his primary loyalty was to the US, 61 Secretary-General Annan had a quiet word to set him right.
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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 and 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. This is but one example of a growing trend of celebrity diplomacy, with several others joining to do good deeds like p.
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. Typically, the conferences have involved all the actors of global governance—states, civil society organizations, and, if to a lesser degree, private sector firms.
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. 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. In the classic formulation, the overriding goal of foreign policy was the promotion, pursuit, and defence of the national interest. 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 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.
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.
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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.
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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. War, business, media, society, even religion are all networked. 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.
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. 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.
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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. 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.
Given the involvement of an increasingly diverse cast of actors, diplomats must reach out beyond their peers and tap into civil society. 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.
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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. 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.