Reports and papers

The Future of Diplomacy? Five Projective Visions

07 Mar 2005 - 12:47
Source: European leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka. © Flickr / Number 10

In a world characterized and transformed by the globalization of economic activity the practice of diplomacy is, according to some, in danger of obsolescence unless it is transformed - perhaps in quite radical ways. This contribution proposes a series of 'projective visions' of what the practice of diplomacy might entail in a future that is imminent and yet ultimately unknowable. In this attempt to 'think beyond the immediate horizon' five such projective visions are envisaged, including 'disintermediation' which might entail the bypassing of traditional institutions of diplomacy in favor of direct communication via media such as the internet; 'Europeanization' which might entail the subordination of bilateral diplomacy within a regional framework, although with space reserved for the development of a 'public diplomatic' role; 'Democratization' which might entail a larger role for states hitherto excluded from decision making within multilateral institutions as well as for representatives of civil society; 'Thematization' which might require a heightened degree of flexibility from diplomats as their principals engage in 'crusades' against a variety of threats to world society; and 'Americanization' which might require diplomats to adjust to a world where 'international relations' are conducted along lines analogous to the way in which US domestic politics is currently performed.

Clingendael Academy

Clingendael Academy is one of the largest independent diplomatic training centers around the world. Every year, around 2,500 international professionals from over 60 countries participate in courses at the Clingendael Institute. Are you interested what possibilities Clingendael Academy offers? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Read more about our mission, methods and trainings in our brochure and check out our training programmes