Strategic Foresight

Reports and papers

Futures for Diplomacy: Integrative Diplomacy in the 21st Century

18 Oct 2012 - 15:30

Government diplomats will remain the most important players in international relations, but they will increasingly have to adapt to sharing the stage with many other governmental and non-governmental actors. This is a key point in the Report ‘Futures for Diplomacy: Integrative Diplomacy in the 21st Century’, prepared for the Government of Finland.

Clingendael authors Brian Hocking, Jan Melissen, Shaun Riordan and Paul Sharp, argue that diplomats will play a key role in integrating a wide range of actors and have to turn to innovative strategies for tackling a broad international agenda.

‘Futures for Diplomacy’ concludes that foreign ministries will remain at the heart of their national diplomatic system, managing diplomatic networks, leading in long term strategic analysis and ensuring that international communication strategies are at the centre of foreign policy making.

Non-traditional international security issues like global health issues, climate change and transnational terrorism as well as organized crime will increasingly become a major diplomatic concern. They will require diplomats to function as entrepreneurs and facilitators, promoting collaborative relationships within global civil society. At the same time, however, foreign ministries must be prepared to manage a resurgence of traditional geopolitical agendas, in which states continue to compete for power, territory and resources.

Futures for Diplomacy is one output from a larger and developing international project aiming at tailormade studies for interested governments and others with a stake in diplomacy’s future development.