Diplomacy in the 21st century - Behind the diplomat, the negotiator?
Raymond Aron Conference 2018
Diplomacy in the 21st century - behind the diplomat, the negotiator?
Paris 25-26 juin 2018
The conference is organized by the CESPRA (Centre d’Etudes Sociologiques et Politiques Raymond Aron, EHESS) with the SARA (Société des Amis de Raymond Aron) in partnership with
the CAPS (Centre for Analysis, Prevision and Strategy of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs) and the IRSEM (Institute of Strategic Studies, French Ministry of Armies)
When examining the state of diplomacy, one cannot help but observe the disappearance of the once Great Ambassadors, negotiators of treaties and alliances on behalf of their nations; a shift that came after the Yalta Conference and the fading spirit of 19th century International Conferences.
Indeed Summit diplomacy of the 20th and 21st centuries is characterized by the withdrawal of ambassadors and diplomats in favor of political leaders: presidents, prime ministers and minister of foreign affairs —the latter filling less and less their role as diplomats and more and more their function as government officials. Even when diplomats can still play their role, they are overshadowed, replaced or supplanted by non-state actors, practitioners of mediation and unconventional diplomacy. Diplomatic action is proving to be increasingly difficult in a century, which carries, according to Pierre Hassner, "an ever-changing complexity, increasingly complex and increasingly ‘ever-changing".1 Is it the consequence of globalization and the expansion of the diplomatic field? Of the ‘presidentialization’ of regimes and the centralization of powers? Of the weakening of the State and national sovereignty?
If the goal of a diplomat is to create a space for negotiation —rather than to conclude a negotiation—, what then are the instruments and techniques needed for establishing this space? Can we design the type of negotiations that would introduce a new era of collective security when diplomats are no longer the negotiators? What tools can be developed when diplomatic action is not carried out within an "area of civilization" as Aron puts it? How can we put an end to local conflicts outside the scope of compromise between sovereign states? Does negotiating a local ceasefire agreement at all costs delay or make impossible a substantive settlement? Current debates focus on science and technology as the new tool for international diplomacy. Is science and technology a good basis in the process of recovering a "civilizational area" which in turn opens up a space for negotiation?
The conference aims at analyzing diplomacy as an original type of political action; through looking at (1) the way diplomats perceive their own mission, (2) the importance of decisive moments and events in diplomatic action, (3) its conditions and its consequences. The goal is to combine both historical and contemporary empirical analysis without losing sight of the philosophical and political questioning which allows us, as Aron puts it, to unveil "the system of power holding within the ideology that controls diplomacy".
Paper proposals can relate to the following topics, in a non-limiting way:
• On diplomacy as an original type of political action: From Machiavelli to Grotius, and from François de Caillères to Kissinger, how can one understand diplomacy as an original type of political action? Which authors, which paradigms allow us to analyze —both empirically and philosophically— the specificity of diplomatic activity?
• On the nature of diplomats and ambassadors: Who can be a diplomat? What is a good ambassador? What is the role of practitioners of non-conventional diplomacy? How do diplomats think of diplomacy? Is there a competitive or complementary function of state and non-state actors? What is the specificity of religious actors?
• On the types of Diplomacy: Economic diplomacy, scientific diplomacy, religious diplomacy, nuclear diplomacy, preventive diplomacy, soft power, club or network diplomacy... Do these categories allow us to renew state diplomacies?
• On negotiation: Diplomacy presupposes negotiating tools. Negotiation is always an option in the case of the lack of an agreement but the condition for its possibility is sharing a negotiation toolkit. Does political science offer a satisfying analysis of existing negotiation tools, diplomatic protocols and the diplomacy vocabulary?
• On prospective studies: What is the role of prospective studies in establishing effective diplomacy? What is the relationship between strategy and diplomacy? Are strategic studies —focused on the rationalization of violence— a good resource for diplomats and foreign policy makers?
Dag Hammarskjöld and the diplomacy of peacekeeping in Africa
Dr Mohieddine HADHRI
On 18 September 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld died in a tragic plane crash while on a peacekeeping mission in Congo, an African country in the midst of a civil war. Half a century later, the name of the Swedish diplomat remains more than ever associated with the concept of preventive diplomacy, just like that of the "peacekeeping doctrine", theorized by Dag Hammarskjöld himself. This remarkable legacy of the diplomat The UN has not failed to inspire the action of his successors but continues to fascinate today the diplomatic and academic circles around the world. In addition, Dag Hammarskjöld's action and his diplomatic work remain as much linked to Africa, the continent for which he left his life and on which, fifty years later, nearly 23 out of the 61 operations of maintenance or United Nations-led peace-building were provoked by African crises.
In this context, this contribution proposes on the basis of archives, publications and UN resolutions to bring:
1- Some insights on the pioneering role of Dag Hammarskjöld in the implementation of the UN preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping as well as on the exceptional qualities of the Swedish diplomat as a theoretician, man of action and visionary.
2- A retrospective and prospective look at both the role of UN diplomacy in maintaining peace in Africa. It will also provide insights into the different aspects of UN peacekeeping action through the UN's military intervention and political reconstruction strategies in the African continent, as well as the legal frameworks. promulgated for this purpose (texts and resolutions, Agenda for Peace, Brahimi Report on peacekeeping, etc.).
3- Some thoughts on the scope and limits of preventive diplomacy: What assessments can be made of peacekeeping processes on the African continent, those that have been implemented or are under way? How to characterize success and failures? Such questions are also intended to allow comparative analyzes; to carry out assessments and consider drawing lessons from UN action in the face of the wars of the twenty-first century.
In a nutshell, this contribution will attempt to provide a cross-cutting reading of the strategies and mechanisms of UN peacekeeping operations, the spin-offs of which will help redraw the new geopolitical map of peace in Africa, a continent at the heart of the stakes. international and more than ever on the agenda at the beginning of the XXI century