Critical Thinking

In discussing how fruitful diplomacy is in the

In
discussing how fruitful diplomacy is in the modern age, the main types of
diplomacy will be examined and the effectiveness of each will be critically
analysed. Contemporary case studies such as the North Korean nuclear missile
crisis, EU-China economic relations, the Syrian civil war and the Israel-Palestine
conflict will be utilised to further illustrate and support the observations
being made. Firstly. the possibilities and successes of diplomacy will be
reviewed and thereafter, the shortcomings and limitations will be evaluated.

 

The
author will look to support his view that a state or an authoritative international
body such as the United Nations (UN) should not have one overarching diplomatic
strategy to achieve all of its foreign policy goals. For example, the singular
use of soft power. While a state should prioritise diplomacy, it should also be
ready and politically willing to use force or the threat of force if
circumstances do call for such action. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s successful
use of military force to retake the Falkland Islands after they were invaded by
Argentine forces is a prime example of how the deployment of armed forces was
more effective than traditional diplomacy. This example will be examined more
thoroughly later on in this article.

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Public
diplomacy is an excellent example of how successful diplomacy can be. The possibilities
of this type of diplomacy are seemingly endless. The United States Department
of State defines public diplomacy to be a program that intends to inform and
influence public opinions in other countries by employing methods such as
cultural exchanges, publications, radio and television. The influence of public
opinion by using information campaigns throughout the world is not entirely
dissimilar to government sponsored propaganda. Professor Berridge neatly refers
to it as white propaganda.

 

The
creation of the European Coal and Steel Community which later grew to become
the European Union has proven how effective public diplomacy can be. It helped
create the international treaty in the 1950s that founded the EEC. And in doing
so, the European economies were so inexorably intertwined that it made the
possibility of a third world war unimaginable. The creation of the treaty by
the use of public diplomacy has also lead to a more comprehensive cultural understanding
among European citizens. This is primarily due to European governments and private
corporations enhancing their partnerships and the simultaneous cross border
immigration of families and workers.

 

A
more contemporaneous but arguably not as effective example of the use of public
diplomacy is by the United States. The State Department has tried immensely to
influence the Middle Eastern and the worldwide Islamic community’s perception
of the US. This is to paint the US in a more favourable light, especially after
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Methods used include, cultural exchanges,
public lectures, foreign aid and visits by senior US foreign service dignitaries.
However, even after more than a decade of public diplomacy, the citizens of
Middle Eastern countries view the USA and by association, the British, as oil
greedy war mongerers hell bent on global dominance. 

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