Saturday, 15 January 2011

My conclusion

Looking back to my first impression on what was my understanding of the title “Diplomacy”, I had a little to say because my knowledge of the subject was very narrow and limited to the general idea of the official representation between countries or the government face of one country in another country. However, going through the module topics I started to have a bigger view on the role of diplomacy in world politics and the changes that occurred to this practice over the time. My knowledge of the subject started to develop from the first topic we tackled and with it my understanding of the difference between old and new ways of conducting Diplomacy, from the old Bilateral residential representation which was conducted in absolute secrecy to the new practices like the Multilateral and the Conference diplomacy which they started to be an important practice of Diplomacy only after the World War One with the creation of the League of Nations. Trade and environmental diplomacy also became vital to the security and stability of the nations. Due to the complexity of trade and environmental negotiations between states and the impact of the different philosophical perspectives that are connected to them, it became imperative at the high level of the international relations to set up new world organisations to control and to regulate both issues especially after the claims about the economical disagreement between Europeans was the cause that led to the start of the First World War. Also one of the big debates we are witnessing at the present time about who to blame for the deterioration of the world environment, also what have to be done to tackle the environmental issues of development. The Public diplomacy is another new practice of Diplomacy, there is different views on this practice as some groups claim that public diplomacy is a ‘propaganda campaign’ by states, they spread lies in order to obtain beneficial gains like the promotion of the state image abroad. other groups disagree with the ‘conspiracy theory’ behind the propaganda claim and have a different view on how public diplomacy is conducted and what is aiming to achieve, moreover, this group see the practice as publicising cultural, economical, historical, and political gains of one state abroad.
Not only I learnt how the methods in the practice are highly controversial, like the secrecy around the negotiations, the lobbying in the corridors, and the propaganda view on some of the practice, but also I learnt how positively Diplomacy evolved in many ways. The amazing speed of technological advances and the breakthrough in the different fields especially of transportation, communications, the media, and many others led to big changes in the conduct of Diplomacy. For example the so cold ‘shuttle Diplomacy’ in which high officials travel from a capital to another in very short period and uses their planes as their offices like with US Force one plane which have an office equipped with the best communication technologies and have everything the president needs from very comfortable bedroom and bathroom to on plane cooker serving him freshly cooked meals, this is to help the president or his foreign minister to deal with the long spells of Diplomatic missions abroad. Also I have to mention the use of new technological devices to communicate between states like the electronic mails and the voice and image speeches like the one made by the president Obama to the Iranian people which was released on the Internet to be easily accessed by the broadest Iranian audiences.
Although all the changes in the conduct of Diplomacy from the ‘Old’ to the ‘New’ were important, however, Diplomacy was affected also by the international political developments like the economical integration areas like the EU and its innovative practice of diplomacy, as the newly created European foreign minister led by Baroness Catherine Ashton which is the first European foreign minister and represented 27 European countries in Haiti after the earthquake disaster that happened in that Caribbean island last year. Another important political development occurred and is growing within the Diplomacy practice. It is the rise of number and importance of non- state actors in the international relations field. Not only their interaction with governments and world organisations led to many changes in the international political and economical system and laid the platforms to solve many issues like environmental summits, but also they forced rich countries to look and poorer countries and help to elevate world poverty in their meeting like the (G8).
To conclude, I must say that my knowledge of the subject has broaden and became wider, also I could see and read clearer than before in the foreign political approach of states and what aspects of Diplomatic are used during conflicts or negotiations.

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