Diplomacy, development and security in the age of globalization

by Daryl Copeland

It is impossible for words to describe what is necessary…

Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now

It’s a jungle out there.

Pick up a newspaper, turn on the television, or log on to your favourite political web site or e-zine. The big stories, from political violence to religious extremism, transnational market meltdowns to weapons of mass destruction, pandemic disease to climate change, all point to the conclusion that the human project is facing major challenges.

Headlines, of course, don’t tell the whole story. Now as always, a good deal of what matters takes place behind the headlines, sometimes in the little known world which is the traditional habitat of diplomats. But increasingly, the things that count are happening in the open, in the public domain. Breaking events are reported and broadcast, often by citizen journalists using the new, digital media. Nowhere are these changes more clearly evident, or important, than in the case of international relations.

Today, world affairs are concerned less with the conduct of official business between states than with managing the effects of a colossal force referred to widely as globalization. As the backdrop against which all else must be framed, globalization is a powerful engine of economic integration. Paradoxically, it can also generate insecurity, splinter polities and enlarge cultural divides.

Globalization may today be down, but it is far from out. Indeed, its ascendance has rendered the planet and its problems, and hence the challenges facing diplomacy, immensely more complex. A new range of issues rooted in science and driven by technology must increasingly become the focus of the diplomatic enterprise. Multiple threats to global order, which are at least as likely to originate in the activities of supra-national or intra-national collectivities as they are in the machinations of traditional nation-states, have rendered the peaceful administration of the international system increasingly difficult.

In our wired world, security has become indivisible and diplomacy, dedicated by definition to solving problems and resolving differences non-violently, matters. Each year many more die from poverty-related causes than are killed as a result of any kind of political or religious extremism. By addressing issues of underdevelopment, which only 50 years ago were all but ignored, diplomacy can play a critical role in the achievement of international security. But diplomacy is a neglected, almost obscure area within contemporary academic research, and its practice has not adapted to the transformed environment in which it must operate. Not only has it lost its monopoly on intergovernmental communications across borders, but a panoply of thorny challenges, most related to globalization, have been left festering, or have been addressed by other means, mainly military. The results have been dismal.

Understanding the volatile alchemy of underdevelopment and insecurity, assessing the crisis of diplomacy, bridging the diplomatic performance gap, and identifying ways to retool diplomats as globalization managers are the goals of this book. Yet no one size fits all. I offer no single factor explanations or sole source solutions. Instead, a distinct approach to synthesizing and encapsulating sets of complex inter-relationships under the rubrics of public, and, especially, guerrilla diplomacy are my contribution to the debate.

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The Book of One Thousand and One Nights tells the instructive tale of a one-time king of Persia. Betrayed by his first wife, the king neither trusted nor respected any possible successor. Each day he would take a new virgin, and have her beheaded the following morning. This pattern persisted.

One day the king encountered the vizier’s cunning and beautiful daughter, Scheherazade. Sizing up her predicament, Scheherazade used her knowledge, intellect and imagination to tell stories – of Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin, among others – until the king was won over by feelings of satisfaction and gratitude. He sent the executioner home. Scheherazade was granted full pardon, they were wed and had three sons.

Moral of the story? Keep talking. That is the message that diplomacy brings to the world of international relations.

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Twenty-first century alchemy

Development and security are worthy ends; diplomacy and defence, like trade, immigration, and international law, are available means. History illustrates that diplomacy can be crucial to the prevention and, more commonly, to the resolution of conflict. It is much less widely appreciated that diplomacy can also make a durable contribution to achieving international security writ large at much less cost that recourse to armed force. It can do this by addressing not only the immediate causes of organized violence – anger, resentment, humiliation – but also the underlying, structurally embedded ones. Even with absolute poverty receding in places, relative disparity and the popular sensitivities that creates, is becoming more acute.

Diplomacy can be used to address, and ultimately to manage these discontinuities. Diplomats, however, are languishing in the bleachers as the legions march by.

When the Soviet Union imploded, the distinction between first, second and third worlds ceased being either accurate or relevant. Since then, analysts have been without a world order model which effectively captures the big picture of globalization. To better identify and understand the emerging contours of the 21st century, a better framework is required, one that will distinguish between those whose prospects are improving, those whose disposition will be contingent upon future developments, those whose well-being is at risk or facing erosion, and those who are excluded.

Almost twenty years have passed since the end of the Cold War, yet the Manichean, radically simplistic world-view of the Cold Warriors lives on. In the case of major powers, foreign policy remains to a great extent militarized, and may be becoming even more so. The Cold War habits of binary perception – wherein everything is seen in terms of good or bad, friend or foe, black or white – threat conjuring, and the brandishing or use of hard power haunt us still. The domestic politics of fear and the ubiquitously advertised danger of terrorism have obscured a larger truth, namely that it is people, not countries or politics or ideas, that constitute the foundation upon which all else rests.

I propose a solution: the acceptance of human-centred development, where the well-being of people is paramount, as the basis for a new international policy upon which the world can construct a new kind of security. Achieving this goal will require moving well beyond discredited notions of “modernization.” Much greater focus is needed on scientific research and the development of a raft of new technologies, as well as on the balancing of human and environmental needs. If scientific discovery is the fuel of globalization, then technological innovation represents its motor. Special attention will have to be devoted to finding ways to better connect diplomacy to the research and development (R&D) agenda in support, for example, of the health of the ecosphere, without compromising the present or future requirements of economic development, social progress or justice. Growth, yes, but of an intelligent and informed variety, rather than the reckless, speculative greed and fear fest which has recently wrought such havoc. I propose a holistic, sustainable ethic of development as the defining characteristic not just of aid programs, but as the cornerstone of diplomacy and international security as a whole.

An important implication of this argument, with consequences related to spending priorities and the distribution of resources, involves rethinking the nature of diplomacy, a pursuit which has been driven off in all kinds of new directions by globalization. Traditional diplomacy, predicated on the conduct of formal relations between states, is in disarray, going through the motions without much sign of movement. It is equipped neither to address the complex challenges of the twenty-first century, nor to deliver the kinds of remedial policy that the globalization era requires. The growing number of unresolved transnational issues and the increasing incidence of violence and conflict in the world attest to diplomacy’s failure. In the face of the new constellation of unconventional, irregular threats, from explosive devices to pandemic diseases, international policy planners and diplomatic practitioners need to innovate, rigorously, and to adopt irregular responses.

Technology, for example, can create economic opportunities and solve problems, but it can also intensify alienation and spread disaffection. Bridging the research and development gaps that divide the beneficiaries of globalization from those consigned to its underside or lost on the periphery requires specialized knowledge. Many diplomats, however, and especially those in senior positions, are saddled with skills and sensibilities acquired during the Cold War. They are without the subtle, supple capacity to combine a nuanced understanding of the political economy of knowledge with its strategic application.

Diplomats, as they have been traditionally been trained and developed, are particularly ill-prepared to diagnose or treat the growing range of political, economic, and, especially, science-based global issues which have become a prominent feature of the evolving international landscape. They are neither predisposed, nor trained to deal effectively with the challenges of globalization, which have transformed the nature of international relations and demand a different set of talents. Like the basis of the new security, the diplomat, too, must be re-imagined. Class, pedigree and social status, once among the defining elements of the trade, have been eclipsed by the imperative of acquiring personal and professional profile not easily acquired at Ivy League schools. These new skills must find their place on the front lines of the craft and are central to what I call guerrilla diplomacy.

Grappling with globalization carries many implications for all elements of the diplomatic ecosystem, which include, among many constituent elements, the principal structures and institutions of international policy: diplomacy, the foreign ministry and foreign service. The three are inextricably intermeshed and best treated organically. All require major reform and reconstruction. To understand the ecology of diplomacy it is necessary to operate unconventionally, outside of the usual scholarly confines of data sets and exclusive theoretical frameworks, while maintaining the high-altitude perspective necessary to survey the various observations and findings generated by many different disciplines. These largely unexplored frontiers are our destination.

The diplomatic agenda: Globalization in context

Globalization, the transformative and defining historical process that is shaping our times, carries enormous implications for diplomacy, development, security and international policy. In the context of globalization, none of the latter are usefully viewed in isolation. New actors, drawn from civil society, tribal and religious groups, supra-national bodies and the private sector now play major roles distinct from those of government. A different constellation of interconnected challenges and threats have emerged, in tandem with multiplying media and unexplored possibilities.

Old-style, state-to-state relations, with all of their associated conventions and rigidities, remain in the diplomatic mix, but as the centre of gravity has shifted, their relevance has diminished. The erstwhile global village has come to resemble something more akin to a corporation of gated communities surrounded on all sides by sprawling, seething shantytowns. As a result, diplomacy, too, has become disbursed: the front lines are frequently far from the chancellery. The encounters that matter often occur in dangerous and far away places and invoke issues of almost unimaginable complexity.

Unlike some, I do not glamorize or edify globalization, but neither do I try to bury it, as has lately become fashionable. Instead, I maintain that the central task of analysts is to grapple with the manifold and continuing implications. Where these are negative, the development of remedial tactics and strategies will be required.

Although driven primarily by economic forces, globalization often conditions and sometimes determines outcomes across an expansive array of human activity. Its impacts are omnipresent, cutting in broad swathes like a double-edged scythe. As such, it has produced a very mixed picture, featuring both winners and losers, beneficiaries and victims, providing comfort and choice for some, misery and hardship for many. Globalization is nothing if not complex and paradoxical. Even where levels of absolute poverty and deprivation are diminishing, the relative gaps, and media-fuelled perceptions thereof, are at all levels increasing, while the spaces left for shared goals and common identity are shrinking. Sensations of difference – ethnic, religious, cultural and political – rather than similarity, are ascendant everywhere. These are manifest with particular clarity in the many expressions of political Islam.

One of the most interesting but frequently overlooked aspects of globalization is its tendency to de-territorialize social, economic and political space. While not happening at the same pace or intensity everywhere, time and space are shrinking as barriers to human interaction and exchange; the nurturing of shared identity and a sense of community is no longer dependent upon physical proximity. The advent of the Internet and wireless communications have made possible the creation and extension of virtual communities – jihadis among them, but also including widely dispersed and numerous groupings of overseas Chinese, South Asians, and many others. This carries consequent, and, for the most part, unexamined implications not only for national and international security, but also for some basic assumptions about the potential for integrating of newcomers in the context of nation-building.

Diplomats need to learn how to operate in these burgeoning horizontal spaces, but at present are more attuned to and adept at working in the familiar vertical mosaic.

The combination of exploitation, inequality and sharpened awareness has created fertile ground for extremist causes, especially those with a religious connection. In the globalizing world, more people have more access to more information, much of it visual as well as textual. In these circumstances, perceptions of growing inequality and inequity, however relative, become both sharper and more widely held. The ever-expanding use of information and communications technology has encouraged intense feelings of exploitation and suffering to become vicarious. And it is that destabilizing development which brings concerns about addressing the underlying causes of insecurity right back front and centre.

Centralized, shifting, and precariously unstable, the globalized world is at the same time monolithic and fragmented. If it had a texture, it would be uneven. By imposing the ethos of competitiveness and polarizing the creation and distribution of wealth, resources and opportunity both within and between states, globalization aggregates at some levels as it fragments at others. By expanding markets for goods and ideas and extending networks, globalization enlarges the scope for democratization, even as it cheapens the content and corrodes the broad cultural base upon which democracy depends, in part through the promotion of values originating elsewhere. By disseminating vast quantities of information, it undermines monopolies previously enjoyed by governments and corporations, even while it concentrates and reinforces the power of a smaller number of key players. By subverting repressive, authoritarian structures, it contributes to liberating political change, even as its tendency to sharpen economic inequalities undermines the delicate social contract upon which all representative institutions ultimately depend.

Globalization generates wealth, but not for all. It churns out ever less costly consumer goods, at least for those who can afford them. It contributes to capital accumulation, but also to instability by inflating speculative bubbles and then bursting them. Highly prone to serious disruption, it creates efficiencies but breeds insecurity, particularly in the volatile zones found between integrating cores and disintegrating peripheries, the areas referred to sometimes as “the gap.” Globalization, whatever its virtues, has become a primary source of disaffection and, by weakening the machinery of government while exacerbating inequity, a major contributor to state failure. Weak states seem to be multiplying; according to the World Bank, the number of fragile states has grown recently from 17 to 26 in only three years.

These powerful currents are responsible for much of the violence of our times. Today, the animus of most conflict originates not, in the first instance, in the kinds of proximate political, ideological or territorial differences which have traditionally given rise to inter-state warfare. Rather, the causes are rooted in the essential dynamic of globalization, which generates threats of a sort best addressed not by counter-insurgency or a war on terror, but instead, I believe, through the use of diplomacy in the strategic pursuit of equitable, sustainable and human-centred development.

International policy and the “new security”

Searching for good, or, in any case, better governance in a world faced with deteriorating international relations, severe economic instability, a worsening physical environment, and the prevalence of grinding, systemic violence which is inherent in chronic poverty and underdevelopment is stimulating to some, wearying to others. There is, however, one over-riding objective which is shared by all: an interest in survival. Such a goal might represent the lowest common denominator, but even so, this basic connection could usefully be built upon.

During the Cold War, the management of inter-state relations was the centre-piece of international relations. Globalization, however, has brought transnational issues to the forefront, and has made security and development mutually inclusive and indivisible; two sides of the same coin fused together by diplomacy and international policy.

This is unprecedented, yet the magnitude and complexity of the impact has tended to induce a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness, anaesthesia. This must be resisted, especially by those responsible for the framing of international policy who face steep challenges as a result of globalization’s winnowing effects. The expression of a delicate balance between the promotion of values, such as human rights, democracy, religious freedom, social justice, and the pursuit of interests, such as trade gains, capital inflows, commercial advantage and resource access, has become even harder to achieve.

Finding this balance is the province of international policy, a term I use broadly to describe most everything that national governments do, officially, outside of their borders. It refers to activities undertaken by a variety of departments, agencies and institutions including, for example, trade and investment promotion, immigration, development assistance, military intervention, and environmental action. Partners (or targets, or adversaries) may include other levels of government or non-state actors. International policy stands in contrast to an older and more familiar term, foreign policy, which tended to be transacted exclusively between states and was mostly the exclusive domain of foreign ministries and heads of state or government. This evolution of terminology reflects both the blurring of the lines between the domestic and international spheres, and the shift from the Cold War to the globalization era. It is also suggestive of the reality that for many countries diplomatic missions abroad are staffed by representatives from many government departments, and sometimes by representatives drawn from other levels of government and civil society as well.

Development and security are key international policy objectives, and I view them as inseparable. Both feature prominently in the thinking on human-centred development, which is premised on the freedom of political, economic, social and cultural expression; the provision of reasonable access to the basic necessities of life, both material and knowledge-based, and; the absence of chronic threats. The absence of fear and want, central pillars of what has come to be known as the human security doctrine, are considered germane to human-centred development.

Within this rubric, I have tried to synthesize one especially critical cluster of issues related to the capacity to access and use the burgeoning political economy of knowledge. This will involve harnessing the power of science and technology to bridge strategic R&D gaps both inside and between populations, countries and regions. Not least because of their present state of neglect, recognition of the pivotal role of science and technology in international relations, and in addressing many of the pressing issues which constrain human-centred development is essential if a better, more secure tomorrow is to be fashioned.

In terms of real threats to humankind, terrorism does not make the A-team. It is in a different league than climate change, pandemic disease, the scourge of chronic underdevelopment or, for that matter, problems with transportation safety or the explosive growth of tobacco use in underdeveloped countries. Nonetheless, the placement of counter-terrorism at or near the very centre of the foreign policy frameworks adopted by many Western countries since 9/11, and the fear factor bolstered by the mass media, renders the treatment such issues indispensable to this analysis.

A thoroughly reconstructed approach to diplomacy, which I believe to be a significantly undervalued and under-resourced asset, though not a panacea, will be crucial in mobilizing the support necessary to achieve global development and security over the longer term. In the meantime, however, a world in which suicide bombing has become commonplace, in which fundamentalist Islam has been branded as the religion of the oppressed, and in which terror has been embraced as the weapon of choice by the weak and the disenfranchised, desperately requires innovative responses. Diplomats, as I will show, can add value here too, not least in conflict situations and in ways not available to soldiers, aid workers or the representatives of non-governmental organizations.

Diplomatic deconstruction

If international relations is about the why in this assessment, and international policy the what, then diplomacy is about the how. As understood and practiced today, diplomacy is a relatively recent addition to the lexicon of international relations, coming into common usage only in the eighteenth century. Since then, the ends of diplomacy have not changed: the non-violent resolution of differences through negotiation and compromise, the promotion of cooperation for mutual gain, and the collection and analysis of information related to the advancement of national interests. Dialogue, however, cannot flourish in the absence of a commitment to development or in a violent climate wherein large-scale and generalized insecurity is treated mainly by the application of force.

Simply put, security is no longer best understood as a dimension of defence. Instead, in this world of organized militaries pursuing irregular militants, vulnerability has become mutual, and the use of conventional arms is frequently counter-productive. To find the best route to a more pacific future, the fundamentals of security need to be rethought, and the intellectual foundations reconstructed. In so doing, public diplomacy and nation branding emerge as vital instruments.

At the highest level of analysis, public diplomacy involves efforts by government to promote policies and interests abroad by influencing international public opinion through interaction with polities, partnerships with civil society and the strategic use of the media. The approach is non-coercive and based on the use of “soft power” – the capacity to make others want what you want through the power of attraction rather than coercion, and the ability to harness public opinion in support of particular interests. In other words, public diplomats use public relations tools and tactics to connect with populations abroad, and count on that dynamic to produce intelligence and to move host governments towards desired ends. This is very different than classic diplomatic practice. Public diplomacy and branding move the goalposts, enlarge the playing field, and re-write the rules of the game in a manner not captured fully even in the more recent references.

In liberal democracies generally, and in major cities such as London, Tokyo, New York and Sao Paulo, public diplomacy works well. Globalization has produced a cultural commonality and audiences are both accessible and influential. But the model needs to be pushed when applied to underdeveloped areas and, especially, in the context of conflict and insecurity. What I call guerrilla diplomacy offers a formula for that retuning, particularly in response to some of the more exigent challenges posed by globalization. In developing that concept and its focus on adaptability, agility, self-sufficiency, intelligence and technology, I stress the importance of tapping into both mass and elite sources of fact and opinion. If your diplomacy is going to be capable of connecting with the population among whom you are operating, then clearly it will be necessary to devote a great deal of effort toward understanding deeply what your interlocutors are all about. That is precisely why some aspects of thinking about public diplomacy and counterinsurgency are now converging.

For that reason and others, it is also necessary to reconsider fundamentally existing approaches to the generation and analysis of foreign intelligence – where, how, for what purpose it is gathered, and what is done with the product. I am not talking here about spying, or running agents, or various forms of espionage, subversion or skulduggery. Au contraire, in my view, among the most promising of recent developments has been the move away from an exclusive, discreet, and often secretive boutique type of diplomacy catering mainly to style and tastes of the pin stripe set, to something in much closer proximity to Main Street by getting at the grass roots and taking diplomacy to the people. With an ear to the ground, much can be heard.

As a network-builder and knowledge worker, the public, and even more so the guerrilla diplomat becomes an agile agent with access to critical information sources, connecting directly with populations and navigating pathways of influence which others can’t chart or manoeuvre through. Boring deep into the interstices of power or operating unconventionally, often outside of their traditional metropolitan comfort zones, guerrilla diplomats can connect directly with both the drivers of globalization and the consequences of change.

This kind of diplomacy is most effective when meaningful exchange finds demonstrable expression in policy development and action. It goes well beyond public affairs, which seeks more to inform than to persuade, and has more in common with dialogue than propaganda, which is a one-way flow of information often characterized by inaccuracy and bias in support of a particular cause. But neither public, nor its more radical iteration, guerrilla diplomacy, will work in a vacuum. To deliver on their full potential, a much larger, more comprehensive, and in many respects more thorny package of structural and institutional changes are necessary. Here we must examine critically the other two elements of the diplomatic ecosystem: the foreign ministry, and especially its role in the formulation of development policy and aid programs, and the foreign service, which is in desperate need of reform. That said, in the era of globalization it is diplomacy, the foreign ministry and the foreign service that remain the most efficient and effective tools with which to identify and, ultimately, to address the daunting range of economic, social and political needs worldwide, and in so doing make the planet a more secure place.

Geodiplomacy: The world in five uneasy pieces

Where in the world are we going? How might we best chart where we’ve been, where we are, and where we would like to arrive? A reconsidered grand strategy would set out basic principles, policies and instruments, analyze the threats and obstacles to be broached, and identify the objectives sought. United under the general heading of geodiplomatics I summarize below the central issues to be treated and principal arguments advanced over the pages which follow.

1. Globalization is a profound historical process which works very well for some, affording comfort and choice, but at the direct expense of many who do not enjoy the benefits. Because it generates insecurity, the management of globalization must be moved into the centre of the diplomatic agenda. To accurately apprehend the nature of that agenda, and the contemporary operating environment in which international policy is formulated and implemented, diplomats will need an explanatory and predictive world order model which takes full account of the impact of globalization, highlighting especially the dialectic between security and development.

2. As we have moved from the Cold War to the globalization era, development has displaced defence as the most secure foundation upon which to build a common future. The range of threats and challenges generated by this epochal shift are best addressed not through armed force, or a global war on terror, or the militarization of international policy which has which has resulted in a severe mis-allocation of resources, but through the strategic pursuit of human-centred development. Particular emphasis must be placed by diplomats on the role of communications, culture, non-state actors and the implications of the de-territorialization of political space.

3. Many of the key challenges for international policy in the 21st century – quality of life in mega-cities, weapons of mass destruction, energy supply, pandemic disease, climate change – are fundamental to both security and development and are rooted in and driven by science and technology. Addressing these issues will require the development of new capacities among diplomats flowing from an understanding of the emerging political economy of knowledge and directed towards the strategic use of that know-how – which I refer to as souplesse to bridge global R&D gaps.

4. In response to the transformed circumstances, diplomacy is not a cure-all, but relative to the alternatives – especially defence – it is an under-valued, under-resourced and cost-effective asset with which much more could be done. Public and especially guerrilla diplomacy are uniquely attuned to challenges and threats generated by globalization. But diplomacy’s structures, principles and practices must be re-thought from the ground up, with special attention dedicated to the relationship between development and security, including in the context of counter-insurgency. If states are allowed to fail, insecurity will deepen and widen.

5. To better deliver the necessary outcomes in support of a transformed international policy agenda, the machinery and institutions of diplomacy must be considered as an intrinsic whole – the ecology of diplomacy – and re-equipped and retooled together. The foreign ministry and foreign service today are not designed around the need to connect with populations, to construct and maintain networks of contacts or to generate the intelligence required to understand and deal effectively with complex, cross-cutting issues. If institutional performance in the pursuit of peace and prosperity is to be improved, the entire diplomatic ecosystem must be restored.

Diplomacy matters, but is in crisis because it has not adapted to globalization, is without a functioning world order model, is in large part divorced from both development and science and technology, and is in need of a systemic makeover. The challenges are great. But the potential for progress is greater still. The Internet, the flagship of globalization, is both changing diplomatic practice and empowering individual diplomats by giving them access to a vast amount of knowledge and the ability to communicate to a worldwide audience. Even at that, diplomats will need new tools, both heuristic and practical, if they are to act effectively in response to current challenges, underdevelopment foremost among them. Success will turn on both political leadership and, at the senior bureaucratic level, a determined push back on resource reductions. Each has been notable mainly for its absence.

With so much to be done it is time to reflect. To reconsider. To think things through. Diplomacy was largely frozen out during the Cold War, and it has been shunted to the sidelines in the Global War on Terror. Government spokespeople are fond of saying: “We don’t negotiate with …,” variously, “the Taliban, militants, Al Qaeda, extremists, terrorists….” That must change. Communication in itself is neutral. It does not translate into support, or in any way condone the actions of the other party to the exchange.

War is the antithesis of diplomacy, and reliance upon armed force as the international policy instrument of choice is costly. When the fighting starts, diplomacy may continue, but the negotiations intended to avert recourse to violence stop, and the willingness to compromise wanes. The scope for useful diplomatic enterprise becomes limited. Yet as a tool used to treat the afflictions characteristic of globalization, the military is both too sharp, which is to say damaging, and too dull, which is to say imprecise. When states lead with the sword, they forfeit the supple capacity to grapple with complex differences through meaningful political communication. That is guerrilla diplomacy’s forte.

Amidst the din of plowshares being beaten into swords, I believe that it is time to commit to talking, not fighting. But to get from here to there will involve formulating the right questions at least as much as proffering any answers.

The take-away? In the age of globalization, security, development and world order have become inseparable and diplomacy is the key to treating the new range of threats and challenges rooted in science and driven by technology. Better performance in shaping our common future won’t take a miracle, but it will require an accurate understanding of the world we live in, the will to learn new skills, and a commitment to realign grand strategy and address global priorities. In that calculation, diplomacy, rather than defence, must occupy a central place, for it alone has the cross-cutting applicability with other international policy instruments lack. Public, and especially guerrilla diplomacy can restore relevance and effectiveness to the world’s second oldest profession in the face of the threats and challenges of the globalization age. First, however, ways will have to be found to correct the crippling imbalance between the exploding demand and diminishing supply of all forms of diplomacy in a globalizing and insecure world. A substantial re-allocation or injection of new resources is a sine qua non.