Strategic Foresight


Trends in economic diplomacy

12 Sep 2016 - 15:17
Source: Republic of Korea / Flickr

Economic diplomacy is a contested concept and a diverse practice. Nonetheless, the processes of globalization – including the revolution in communications technologies – are connecting the world’s economies, while shifts in global power are causing governments to review the balance between their different national interests. Maaike Okano-Heijmans explores recent trends in the field in a chapter in the SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy.

Trinity in economic diplomacy

The economic dimension of states’ foreign policies and therefore the role of economic diplomacy is receiving much attention. This chapter in the SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy argues that as a result of these changes, the concept and practice of economic diplomacy is evolving, becoming more comprehensive and covering at least three types of diplomatic activity: trade and investment promotion (commercial diplomacy), negotiations on economic agreements (trade diplomacy), and development cooperation.
The EU’s Association Agreements – including with Jordan and Tunisia – as well as China’s attempts to reshape global economic governance are illustrative of this trend.

Diplomatic networks

The evolving nature of economic diplomacy is driving change in domestic and multilateral institutions, including new ways of decision making. Despite these and other changes, such as diplomatic networks of state and non-state actors, the state continues to be the primary actor in economic diplomacy.

The SAGE Handbook on Diplomacy provides a major thematic overview of Diplomacy and its study that is theoretically and historically informed and in sync with the current and future needs of diplomatic practice . The collection is co-edited by Costas M. Constantinou, Pauline Kerr and Paul Sharp.

Review of the book:

At a time when global crises abound, the Sage Handbook of Diplomacy is a major contribution to our understanding of this profession so vital for a future of peace in the world.
--- Nicholas Burns, Professor Harvard University and former Under Secretary of State