Diplomacy is the art of conducting relationships for gain without conflict. It is the chief instrument of foreign policy. Its methods include secret negotiation by accredited envoys (though political leaders also negotiate) and international agreements and laws. Its use predates recorded history. The goal of diplomacy is to further the state's interests as dictated by geography, history, and economics. Safeguarding the state's independence, security, and integrity is of prime importance; preserving the widest possible freedom of action for the state is nearly as important. Beyond that, diplomacy seeks maximum national advantage without using force and preferably without causing resentment. DIPLOMACY OF INTEGRATION
As has long been known, regional integration agreements (RIAs) are examples of second best, the impact of which on economic welfare is ambiguous. Despite an enormous theoretical, empirical and historical-descriptive literature, no consensus on the desirability of RIAs has emerged. One case in which RIAs may in theory generate unambiguous welfare gains is if they correct externalities. And even though the standard static welfare impact of such a RIA may be negative for the reforming country, the latter is likely to gain once the benefits of the enhanced credibility of the reforms are taken into account. Countries may respond to third-country security threats by forming a regional arrangement. For instance, the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), which eventually developed trading arrangements under the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was formed to provide a united front against South Africa. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was created in part in response to the potential threat of regional powers such as Iran and Iraq. And a major motive of Central and Eastern European countries for applying for membership to the EU is as protection against the perceived threat from Russia. Regional integration describes the process in which neighboring countries promote and/or reduce barriers by common accord in the management of shared resources and regional goods. The drive for integration in various regions (e.g., European Union, East African Community, Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has internal (e.g., regional stability, economic development) and/or external drivers (e.g., geopolitical weight, trading blocs). The various mechanisms to support the integration process reflect the ultimate goals and the degree of integration. Intra-regional scientific cooperation, which features shared responsibilities and resources for mutual benefit, can play a role in this process and has the potential to not only build positive ties between the various science stakeholders within the region but also may help develop broader norms of partnership between countries in the socio-political-economic context. CURRENT FRAMEWORKS OF THE DIPLOMACY OF INTEGRATION
A distinctive pattern of diplomatic activity emerges when reviewing approaches to fragile states, defined by a series of critical tasks in support of peacemaking, in which steps towards negotiating peace are made; and peace-building, which typically begins when an interim or transitional government is agreed, and diplomatic and development support allows for progress that sets the country on a footing towards legitimate political representation and peaceful negotiation of issues of contention. For diplomacy of integration to succeed, the following themes ought to be present: A key diplomatic task is creation of a regional agreement at all stages of peacemaking and peace-building. The diplomatic community can work to ensure efforts are made to avoid the spillover effects of regional and related conflicts, and to bring surrounding countries together behind a regional approach to political, developmental and economic state and market...