Dimensions of Diplomacy

International Department, CPN (Unified Socialist)

Diplomatic missions, which are established in a foreign land, are, of course, the sense organs of the government because they collect information, analyse it and disseminate it to the respective country. They also define interests, needs, and probabilities, create an environment for beneficial negotiation, and furnish important information. As a whole, diplomacy is the means to carry out domestic policy in a foreign land to generate resources for the formulation of sound and compatible policy according to circumstantial demands, mitigating national concerns. Therefore, diplomatic practitioners should be precisely involved in the foreign policy formulation process because they can insert significant ideas based on their ground experience. Considerable amplification of resources, in terms of vitalizing multidimensional diplomacy, is an indispensable condition. Potential intellectuals must be deputed for socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic appraisals that could be supportive of plans and accordingly educate the basic human resources recruited in the diplomatic missions. A nation, regarding the personnel’s assignment to this sector, should be careful, sincere, and farsighted. These duty-assigned persons from the Ambassadors and Consular to junior staff should have immense potentiality and capability in terms of pursuing national objectives without aggrieving the emotion of counterparts. For this, only the proper education and fruitful training are commensurate with the demands placed on their shoulders by the nation upon the diplomatic personnel.

In terms of international relations, traversing through Jaisikotha to the modern Ministry of Foreign Affairs, depending on single transit with the East India Company, and fighting against neighbouring intervention, we have arrived at the republican age, opening up several avenues. The world has been massively changed. The development of science and technology has sped up and the world has been squeezed into a global village, raising people’s awareness levels and aspirations to a high pitch. The democratic air-ventilation in the country has been an appetizer to an increasing lust for equity and modernization. An infant democracy begotten in 1950 was immediately assassinated. Tumultuous days went on for several years, and the democratic system was re-established in 1990. Eventually, an armed struggle broke out; a serious crisis ensued, resulting in a thousand deaths and casualties. In the meantime, the royal massacre took place; the new king took over political power and state authority. This situation created the ground for a joint mass movement against autocratic moves, resulting in a peace accord and achieving a glorious victory over two centuries-old monarchies. The dissolved parliament was reinstated, the Interim Constitution was enforced, the peace process came to a logical end, and a decade-long armed rebellion concluded. A Constitutional Assembly (CA) election was held; its first meeting was suspended and Nepal finally abolished the monarchy, declaring Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in 2010.

Finally, the constitution was promulgated in 2015, vesting all the rights to the people and provisioned three tiers governing system. Though some machinations and mischievousness were triggered from certain corners against the new constitution’s implementation, they were dexterously handled. The two largest communist parties unified and a tremendous victory was achieved in the multiparty competitive election in all the tiers. The Communist Party formed an overwhelming majority government, assuming major positions of state authority, including the president. Despite party unification, initiatives to outline a prosperous Nepal are yet to be materialized. “Happy Nepali and prosperous Nepal’ is the motto of the nation and the aspirations of the people. It is the right time to delineate the form and essence of development and prosperity agendas among the development partners.

 We have already talked, struggled, and fought for democracy, peace, equity justice, and human rights for a vast duration. Now it needs to begin development and prosperity-centric activities to target the goalpost. White energy through the rivers is flowing in vain, the industrial setup is virgin, and precious natural resources are lying unutilized. Youths are leaving the nation every day. Money fleeing in the name of better education and treatment is at its apex, and the agriculture sector has been neglected. The trade deficit is shocking, productive national activities have not yet been promoted, and the end of the prevailing transition and building sustainable peace are yet to be achieved. For this, the pertinent tasks of our diplomatic mission are to prioritize agendas based on national interests. The diplomatic dimensions practicable to us must be devised, and needs and desires should lucidly be explained to convince the counterpart and promote cooperation on the ground of mutual benefit. An abundance of natural resources, a cheap labour market, and several avenues of the commodity market are highly profitable to foreign investors if the matters are precisely outlined. Therefore, without drawing a long bow in international relations and foreign policy, Nepal needs to dexterously deal with dimensions of diplomacy that are beneficial to our interests and status. The following are the types of diplomacy:

1. Chequebook Diplomacy: During the regime of George Bush -I in America, an action plan to liberate Kuwait from the invasion of Saddam Husain was adopted, appealing to join Bush’s other nations to overthrow Saddam. Many countries had sent troops to fight but the constitution of some countries like Japan and Germany did not permit it. Thus, both of the countries that were the closest allies of the US contributed huge amounts of money to the war effort. This is how the term “checkbook diplomacy” was coined.

2. Gunboat Diplomacy: This form of diplomacy is usually defined as aggressive diplomatic activities carried out with the implicit as well as explicit use of naval military force intending to intimidate the other party. It is also called the “Big Stick Ideology.” Roosevelt is the propounded of an ideology that was used to impose threats upon the Caribbean and Latin American countries. It refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives with the aid of naval power. In another term, this is the behaviour of a powerful nation towards a weak one.

3. Coercive Diplomacy: This term is also defined as a forceful persuasion of diplomacy through which a state attempts to target the other state, a group within a state, or a non-state actor to control it or to change its objectionable behaviours either through the threat to use force. It is essentially a blunt diplomatic strategy that the threat relies more on than the use of force. If force by chance is used to strengthen diplomatic efforts at persuasion, it is employed in an exemplary manner in the form of limited action as a symbolic demonstration of resolution and willingness to escalate to high-level military action if necessary. This terminology is used for quite a flexible and refined psychological instrument of a political-diplomatic strategy aiming at influencing the adversaries.

4. Commercial Diplomacy: This mission of diplomacy has to focus on business development between two countries, aiming to generate commercial gains in the form of trade enhancing inward and outward investment using various entrepreneurship promotion and facilitation activities in the host country. The main objective of this diplomacy is to apply persuasion with the goal of gaining economic stability, public welfare, cooperation, and benefit. The concept of commercial diplomacy was developed to safeguard the national interest, promote commercial activities and cooperation, and prepare the ground for frictionless commodity markets. Traditional commercial diplomatic activities include facilitation, negotiation, promotion, and arbitration of international trade, investment, and intellectual property as the major responsibilities. Besides this, networking, capacity building, intelligence management, and image-building campaigns are added to modern commercial diplomacy.

5. Cultural Diplomacy: The scope of cultural diplomacy in our country’s multidimensional diversity is profound. This is a type of public diplomacy that is supposed to have been soft power and includes the exchange of ideas, art, language, and other various aspects of culture among nations and peoples to foster mutual understanding, widen bilateral experiences, and strengthen social harmony. The purpose of cultural diplomacy can be instrumental in helping the people of a foreign nation to develop an understanding of their national ideals and institutions to garner support for economic and political goals. In essence, cultural diplomacy reveals the soul of a nation through examples that can have an immense impact on the audience. Although it is often overlooked, cultural diplomacy can play an important role even in the sphere of security efforts. It is a set of social norms, values, and practices and is known as the linchpin of public diplomacy because of its powerful flow of emotion to appeal to the masses.

6. Defense, Diplomacy: It is an organizing concept for defense-related international activity, coined in post-cold war reappraisals of western defense establishments. It was used to help the West garner a new international security environment. The conduct of defense, diplomacy is by no means confined to western countries. There is not yet a broadly accepted definition of defense diplomacy. It can be understood as the peaceful application of resources from across the spectrum of defense to achieve positive outcomes in the development of a country’s bilateral and multilateral relationships. Bilateral meetings, staff talks, training and exercises in regional defense forums, outreach, confidence and security-building measures, and non-proliferation activities come under this sort of diplomacy. Defense missions aim at dispelling hostility, building and maintaining trust amongst them, and assisting in the development of democratically accountable armed forces to make a significant contribution to conflict prevention and resolution. 

7. Digital Diplomacy: It is known as e-diplomacy. It was commenced by the US foreign ministry by creating a task force on this issue in 2002; thereafter, it is defined as digital diplomacy. Most developed nations today have an office of digital diplomacy that involves a range of e-diplomacy activities. Nowadays, the attention to digital diplomacy as a tool of public relations has been increasing.  

8. Economic Diplomacy: This genre of diplomacy is traditionally defined as the decision-making, policymaking, and advocating home-country business interests. It requires the application of technical expertise that analyses the effects of a recipient country’s economic situation on its political climate and the sending state’s economic interests. The sending state and receiving state, foreign business leaders, as well as government decision-makers, work together on some of the most cutting-edge issues in foreign policy, such as technology, the environment, and health in the more traditional areas of trade and finance. Versatility, flexibility, sound judgment, and strong business skills are all needed in the execution of economic diplomacy. Government agencies that are involved in international economic mandates are players in economic diplomacy. Entrepreneurs and investors are also stakeholders in the processes of economic diplomacy.

9. Gift-basket Diplomacy: This is a type of diplomacy that attempts to solve the lowest common denominator problem of multilateral diplomacy. It attempts to circumvent the need for consensus by seeking out like-minded parties with a similar view in negotiating positions. The result is usually much stronger language or pledges for more concrete action with less caution. The United States first implemented Gift basket diplomacy in the Nuclear Security Summit. 

10. Intermediary Diplomacy: This diplomatic concept was developed to involve a third party to offer intermediation services between disputing parties. It is supposed that this can mitigate disputes, preventing the direct and political escalation of the issue. Intermediaries can facilitate communication between a vulnerable witness, a diffident, and court personnel to acquire important evidence through bartering.

11. Paradiplomacy: direct and in various instances of autonomous involvement in external-relations activities of federated states is called “Paradiplomacy.” It responds to the functional needs of Paradiplomacy by attracting a sub-national actor to negotiate to ensure entry into relations and defend the interests of the respective actor directly. These actors may be sovereign states, federated states, NGOs, or the private sector. Thus, it is similar to normal diplomacy. The actors of Para diplomacy cannot become full members of international organizations or be part of an international treaty. But they often participate in international negotiations and the work of an international organization but within the national delegation. It is supposed that Paradiplomacy is useful to promote the intentions of local governments and thus promotes developmental aspiration by exploring complementarities with partners to arrive more easily at solutions.

12. Pacification Diplomacy: The main objective of pacification diplomacy is to create an environment for maintaining peace by devising an appreciative strategy to calm down the hostile party. Many things can be instrumented in carrying out this policy like soft pressure, positive argument, and appeasement policy. Pacification diplomacy is mainly enacted by government agencies to maintain peace, prevent conflict, and reduce tension.

13. Pilgrim Diplomacy: This type of diplomacy is also known as “Dargah diplomacy” in another term. It is a new phraseology used in modern political science and international relations. Traveling of diplomatic staff or politicians to a non-friend country under the pretext of pilgrimage to visit holy shrines with the aim of political discussion with an antagonistic side intending to turn a new leaf in bilateral relations is usually referred to by this diplomacy. Such a pilgrimage may sometimes set the stage for bilateral talks to tackle contentious issues, reduce tensions and remove obstacles.

14. Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The People’s Republic of China has taken the initiative for the first time in this type of diplomacy by inviting American table tennis players to Beijing. This plan has achieved the expected success in exchanging players between the conflicting nations, the USA and PRC. The endeavour of the 1970s came with flying colours paving the way for the visit of US President Richard Nixon to Beijing after the Ping-Pong game. The event marked a thaw in icy Sino-American relations. The event is observed as a turning point in relations, and the policy approach has since been carried out elsewhere.

15. Public Diplomacy: This term was used by the London Times in 1856. It usually deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policy. It encompasses dimensions of international relations beyond traditional diplomacy. This diplomacy deals with public and government opinion on other countries; the interaction of private groups and interests in one country with another; the reporting of foreign affairs and their impact on policy; communication between those whose job is interaction as diplomats and foreign correspondents; and the process of intercultural communications. Over time, the concept and definition have evolved through various practitioners. It effectively communicates with the public around the globe and enables them to understand, value, and even emulate the vision and ideas historically.  

16. Track II Diplomacy: This term is defined as “backchannel diplomacy,” which is practiced through non-governmental, informal, and unofficial contacts and activities between private citizens or groups of individuals. The track I diplomacy is government officials and the diplomatic staff’s affairs that are carried out by the diplomatic missions through official government channels. However, track two diplomacy is not a substitute for track I diplomacy. Rather, it is there to assist official actors to manage and resolve problems by exploring possible solutions.

17. People’s Diplomacy: In other terms, it is known as “citizenship.” The political concept of average citizens engaging as representatives of a country, either inadvertently or by design, is people’s diplomacy. This type of diplomacy may take place when official channels are not reliable in efficiently tackling the issues. For instance, if two countries do not formally recognize each other’s governments, citizen diplomacy may be an ideal tool of statecraft in this regard. It does not directly negotiate between two parties but can take the form of scientific and cultural exchanges, including international athletic events. If dexterously deployed, this sort of diplomacy can, in some particular cases, achieve result-oriented action and can be a complement to official diplomacy.

18. Transformational Diplomacy: This is a diplomacy initiative taken by Condoleezza Rice to reinvigorate American Foreign Policy as well as Foreign Service. Democratization of every walk of life and restructuring of the system is the objective of this policy. Five core elements are mainly marked as,

  1. Relocation of diplomats,
  2. Invigoration of diplomats,
  3. focus on the solution of problems,
  4. Empowerment of diplomatic staff and
  5. Efficiency building of the diplomatic rank and file working in missions

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