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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Contemporary Challenges in Diplomacy - Dr Elise Rousseau

The cause of contemporary issues, and the responsibility to solve them, can be widespread in world politics. Since the second half of the 20th century, there has been an increasing willingness to ascribe moral responsibility to states. This is true, for example, of transboundary problems, the conflicting use of international commons, and domestic issues that are of concern to the world. When a new problem emerges, diplomats are often in the first line to mitigate the impact of blame on their state and, in some instances, to sketch the lines of a joint solution. This seminar uses the question of the attribution of responsibility as a point of departure to investigate current forms and practices of diplomacy. After focusing on how responsibility may – or may not – spread to different sites of diplomacy, both at the domestic and international levels, it interrogates the emergence of “new” diplomatic actors to deal with the complexification of international problems. Two particular areas will then be investigated: crisis and digital diplomacy. The seminar will end with a reflection on how diplomacy can be studied today. 

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