Permanent missions will become increasingly important in the post-COVID-19 era, and their modus operandi will change as they become a key segment of ‘hybrid diplomacy’ (i.e., diplomacy that combines onsite and online diplomatic meetings).
These were the underlying messages of DiploFoundation’s WebDebate entitled ‘Permanent missions at global diplomatic hubs: More or less relevant in 2020?’.
An influential article of 2014 noted that health attachés were appointed shortly after the Second World War and were thereafter assigned by 'a growing number of countries [...] to work in embassies in countries of strategic importance'. Is this true? If not, why not? And does it matter anyway?
When considering the great technological changes that humanity is facing, it is generally assumed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (underway since the middle of the last century, and characterised by a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres) will be the fundamental trigger for a new welfare stage based on prosperity and inclusion.
Indeed, humanity is undergoing the largest information and communications revolution in human history.
The matters pertaining to the Internet and its ‘governance’ are broad and varied, and include aspects such as human rights, cybersecurity, infrastructure and connectivity, and skills learning, among others.
Disease grips humanity’s imagination with a chokehold. It distances people from each other and can create animosities between groups. The fear of disease trumps even war, since you can see guns and tanks. You cannot see the bubonic plague, or Ebola, or COVID-19 with your bare eyes.
History books remember the use of disease in war with disdain and scorn.
Referring to Prof. Geoff Berridge, we learn that ‘diplomacy is the most important institution of our society of states’. Further on, according to Sir Ivor Roberts, diplomacy is both ‘that funny old trade’ as well as a the ‘most rewarding of professions’. This is the frame where Brian Barder’s quite unique and eloquently written book What Diplomats Do: The Life and Work of Diplomats fits in.
The term soft power (and its siblings hard power and smart power), employed to embrace a particular category of resources of potential power, originated in the stable of JosephSNye, Jr, a Harvard University distinguished service professor and former senior member of the US military-intelligence complex.