In this article, Henrikson soundly projects five possible futures of diplomacy in the near future. These are shaped in a context characterised by globalising and unifying world comprising of nations at different phases of history – pre-modern, modern and post-modern. Thus no model of diplomacy’s possible future is likely to fit all parts of the world the same way with equal perfectibility.
Disintermediation is characterised by a pattern of private withdrawal from the use of governmental services. Due to a number of inefficiencies and the effects of information technology, state run diplomacy could be largely bypassed. Nevertheless, state run diplomacy still remains indispensable especially after the 9/11 attacks which amplified the need for more state-run diplomacy to fight against terrorism.
Europeanisation entails the replacement of national diplomatic services with international ones. This is backed by the current reality in which EU bilateral diplomatic missions are already being eclipsed by the internal process of EU and by the effort to create a CFSP. Nevertheless Europeanisation will not completely replace bilateral relationships of European countries which remain important for several strategic, cultural, and political reasons.
Democratisation refers to international democracy premised on the sovereign equality of states, large and small and on the existence of multilateral structures such as the UN. The universality of the multilateral organisations, gives them strength as world public fora for the discussion of global matters. This opportunity could be wasted if more attention is placed more on popular resolutions than common dialogue and rational persuasion. Opening these institutions to the civil society may promote pluralism and diversity.
Thematic diplomacy focuses on...