Christer Jönsson, “Multilateral Diplomacy in the 21st Century” Panel 30

Diplomacy can be viewed as ”an institution characterized by great resilience and adaptability”; ”diplomacy has adjusted to changing circumstances and has sometimes been instrumental in affecting these changes” (Jönsson and Hall, 2005: 164). The 21st century has already brought remarkable changes in the international order, in global communication and in the legitimacy of liberal democracy. To what extent do these changes represent challenges to diplomacy in general, and multilateral diplomacy in particular? In this paper I will focus on three areas of transformation: the evolution from club to network diplomacy; problems of representation; and the digitization of communication. This is by no means a comprehensive list of potential areas of change, but they have figured prominently in a recent series of discussions among practitioners and academics.

Christer Jönsson is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Lund University and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. International organization, diplomacy, negotiation and transnational relations are among his research interests. His publications include Communication in International Bargaining (1990), Essence of Diplomacy (co-author 2005), Transnational Actors in Global Governance (co-editor 2010) and The Opening Up of International Organizations (co-author 2013) along with several articles in leading academic journals. In 2009–12 he served as Chair of the ACUNS Board of Directors.

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