Diplomacy is “the established method of influencing the decisions and behaviour of foreign governments and peoples through dialogue, negotiation, and other measures short of war or violence”. Such methods are central to statecraft. The Peace of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna stand testimony to the capacity of diplomacy to end conflicts and build durable security orders. Twentieth-century initiatives such as the European Union and the United Nations mark the continuation of these efforts.
Today, diplomacy remains key to the sustainment of peace and prosperity. It is of existential importance in a nuclear world, in which failures of negotiation potentially have devastating consequences. Also essential in today’s world is public diplomacy, the direct communication with foreign publics for which opportunities have multiplied with the emergence of satellite television and social media. Soft power is in this context an indispensable complement to hard power.
To nurture an evidence-based approach to diplomacy is of crucial importance to Sweden, a small country reliant on diplomacy to maintain its international standing. The following research topics are welcomed:
- The history of diplomacy
- Diplomatic challenges in the twenty-first century
- Public diplomacy and soft power
- Diplomacy in Sweden and the Baltic region