35. New aspects of diplomacy

2 Jul

New aspects of diplomacy

1. The establishment of diplomatic relations, as an attribute of sovereignty of States, is by mutual consent, based on the mutual interests and building on the principle of legal equality of States.

2. A State cannot establish any sustained improvement in the international environment without having to accept and implement the appropriate systems of a collective character. In this context, it is for diplomacy to reconcile between the exercise of national prerogatives and the need for a stable and pluralistic world order.

3. The current dynamics of international politics, which obviously affects the growing interdependence of states, determines the essential role of contemporary diplomatic relations and also with other links generated by the inclusion of new actors on the international stage today.

4. Currently, there is the increasingly accepted international activity of sub-national governments known as “proto-diplomacy.” This term refers specifically to the steps, processes and networks through which sub-national governments seek to establish, among other important links, contacts for cooperation with foreign central governments or with other sub-national governments. The objectives of these activities across national borders are usually foreign trade, the search for investment, environmental protection, cultural exchanges and tourism.

5. “Proto-diplomacy” may create tensions between the central government and the sub-national government since the former holds that foreign policy has historically been in its preserve. Such tension created between the central government diplomacy and international participation of the sub-national government tends to be interpreted as a symptom particularly dynamic to the process of decentralisation of modern federal states.

6. “Proto-diplomacy” practised by a sub-national government may also include initiatives and activities through which it aspires to establish itself as fully sovereign state. The initiatives and activities may also be part of the preparatory work towards a future secession and international recognition of such a status.

7. There is also the concept of “post-diplomacy” practised by “non-governmental organisations” which make direct contacts with foreign governments to promote themselves.

8. Then there is the so-called “anti-diplomacy” which refers to the sinister and destabilising role of international terrorists, drug traffickers, and political and economic espionage.

9. In the theory of international relations, the view is now being expressed that diplomacy should show a distinction between that of “high politics” (which refers only to “noble” cases of foreign policy, namely,  diplomacy, defence and security), and that of “low politics” (which deals with more mundane matters such as economics, trade and welfare.

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