We could consider that certain period of time is required for the new diplomacy to expand to its modern characteristics, allowing its further evolution. However, there was not a natural or neutral evolution: it was evolved by the forces of political, social, and cultural dynamic conditions, few to mention: rise of the resident embassies, changing diplomatic agenda shifting from the ‘high’ to ‘low’ politics, the dominance of global imperialism, the end of Napoleonic Wars, the global states – system emerging form the European state – system, the explosion of multilateral conferences with its origins mostly devoted to peace settlements between the great powers, extend of bureaucratization, the First World War, formation of the League of Nations, and the Second World War, the United Nations, the period of Cold War, the European Economic Community, and the European Union, the role of
telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals) in modern information technology, the globalisation, etc. The new characteristic procedures associated with what in the earlier periods were, inevitably, the factors which transformed the ‘old diplomacy’ to the ‘new diplomacy’. (Berridge, 2005: 151-3)
History has shown the complex changes in political and social sphere which gradually affected the diplomatic agenda. The most important aspect of the new diplomacy is likely to be changing practises and perspectives of traditional (bilateral) institutions; the multilateral conferences and evolving nature of embassies and foreign ministries; the social and technological change such as the revolution ICT and increasing operations of summitry and shuttle diplomacy, the significance of the 'public diplomacy' and the growth of the international organisations and the NGOs, which involved public engagement in diplomatic practises. All in all, the new diplomacy shines out with a democratisation aspects and the need, more than ever before, for the international cooperation which is crucial for the new global system of high interdependence - globalisation. The fast modernisation has boosted the pressures on the value of the traditional diplomacy.
More detailed analysis below:
Furthermore, as already mentioned, the important aspect of new diplomacy is its multilateral properties , which not only promoted and helped to secure the prestige of the great powers and gave the opportunity to influence over the subjects of immediate concern, but also it advertised the other aspects of consideration like global climate change, etc. (Berridge, 2005: 154)
It suggested that the new diplomacy offers the significant concerns towards non-state actors (economic and social wealth), which have increased the growth of the IGO and the NGOs. It also perhaps suggests the fading of bilateral diplomacy in global perspective; however, it would not mean its elimination from the diplomatic practice or its shading value.
Nevertheless, the new diplomacy fallowed the indications above, gave roots to the increasing practise of public diplomacy with its aims to provide information, construct relations and prestige of the nation - states, and maybe the most importantly, to influence domestic and foreign public. However, it has also improved opportunities for propaganda provided by the revolution in mass communications.
Although, the new diplomacy considered to be an open diplomacy, which might look as a necessity in globalised world with a high extent of common interests and interdependence, yet, there also seem to be the extend of new difficulties in the modern diplomatic practise, especially concerning the security issues, such as difficulties to handle, seems ‘unlimited’, ICT and to prevent its damages on diplomatic missions, including the fact that globalisation widens the possibilities of terrorism, migration, labour exploitation and inequalities among states.
All in all, the few elements mentioned above, indeed have brought the democratisation into the diplomatic value which certainly provided the significant outcomes on the changing diplomatic practise. It started in the early years of the twentieth century by the questioning the liberal thought:
“If government were to be democratically accountable in the domestic
sphere, it fallowed that it should be similarly accountable in the international
sphere.” (Berridge, 2005: 155)
The key feature for achieving this was ‘open diplomacy’ which by practical procedures allowed some formal influence, however, limited to the smaller states. In this matter, even the 'new diplomacy' or the 'open diplomacy' can’t be recognised as fully democratic, although, equality is not fairy recognised in the global politics, which indeed, is dominated by the ‘realist’ approach. Fair or not, the ‘open diplomacy’ might be the only way in which each state has a right to be heard, however, it can’t guarantee the fair outcomes.
Comment: I do agree that in my blog I have not stated my position towards the major important aspect of the new diplomacy evidently. Nevertheless this is for the reason that I do believe there can not be one particular aspect which is of more importance than others. I think it involves few collective aspects creating the disposition of new diplomacy, such as multilateral, public diplomacy, revolution of ICT, and growth or increasing importance of NGO's and globalisation. Firstly, I tried to analyse history behind theses aspect before concluding, and secondly, I tired to conclude that those characteristics are interconnected in the new diplomacy, which finally have evolved into democratisation. I do believe that that is the most important aspect of new diplomacy.
Berridge, G. R. (2005), Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 3rd edition, (Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills)
Riordan, S. (2003), The New Diplomacy, (Polity, Cambridge)
Roberts, I. (ed.), (2009), Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, 6th edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
White, B. (2005), ‘Diplomacy’ in J. Baylis and S. Smith (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics, 3edition, (Oxford: Oxford University Press)