This chapter will aim at analyzing the topic of interest from the perspective of neorealism in order to reach an attempt of an answer for the problem formulation. The structure of this chapter will be similar to that of the preceding one with one exception. As the analysis at hand will reach a quite different conclusion than the one reached previously the subchapters, of whether or not the new approaches to diplomacy are more efficient at reaching foreign policy goals and whether the concepts signify a fundamental change in international relations, will be merged. After the main analytical sections of the chapter there will be a short summary of the conclusions reached through the analysis from the neorealist perspective.
New ways of conducting diplomacy
From the neorealist perspective the rise of concepts such as public diplomacy is quite puzzling at best and utterly nonsense at worst. As the only entity which truly matters in international relations is the state and the state will act rationally and not change its basic behavioural patterns as long as there is no world government in place the rise of public diplomacy is a mistake. The assumption that by creating close relations between one’s own population and foreign populations or by seeming more open to dialogue will change other states behaviour towards oneself is a miscalculation as state behaviour will never change due to the anarchic conditions states exist under.
Since it is a fact that public diplomacy initiatives has been established in a wide range of countries the reason must lie in the wrong perception that the reason for conflict lies in the evilness of man and the unpredictable behaviour of the individuals in power – i.e. the first image. In other words the public diplomacy initiatives has been started because it is hoped that one can directly or indirectly affect the future leaders of a country to have a good impression of one’s own country and thereby increasing the security of that country because it will have postponed possible conflict with this state.
More efficient in reaching foreign policy goals
Following the argument of the preceding paragraph the rise of public diplomacy does not signify a more efficient way of reaching foreign policy goals as the basic interests of a state is static and communication with foreign publics will not to any significant extent result in increased security for the sending state rather it will likely be a waste of resources giving a competitive edge to the states not wasting funds on these ill-conceived concepts.
Regarding nation branding though, this can be a good initiative as such from the viewpoint of neorealism in that it can affect a state’s economic strength positively and thereby increasing its power and security. Nation branding as such does not really have anything significant to do with international relations as such though since it only is of importance as an export-enhancing initiative and won’t change the approach towards other states fundamentally.
Since the concepts are not really of any significant use in the competition between states or affecting the relationship between states in any real way, the rise of public diplomacy does not constitute any fundamental change in the way international relations are taking place.
Since neorealism view state behaviour as rational and the international environment as anarchical and static, the new concepts of public diplomacy does not have any relevance to international relations at all and has probably arisen to prominence lately by the mistake of seeing human behaviour as the source of conflict and therefore the way to limit direct conflict is to create beneficial views of one’s state among foreign publics. Even though nation branding can be seen as beneficial indirectly to a state’s security by proposing a way to increase the economic strength of a state it does not have anything to do with international relations as such but is merely an advanced advertisement campaign.
Application of constructivism
Like the two previous chapters, this chapter will aim at providing an explanatory model in order to give some answers in relation to the problem formulation. It will do this through the application of constructivism as it was presented in the corresponding theoretical chapter. This current chapter will generally be structured in the same way as the preceding two chapters by exploring the three levels of the problem formulation one at a time. First it will look in to why the communicative approaches to diplomacy has arisen to prominence the last years followed by an investigation on whether it can signify a more efficient way of reaching foreign policy goals from a theoretical approach. Finally it will be explored whether or not this can be deemed as constituting a significant breakthrough in the way international relations generally are conducted. After this chapter the final analysis and conclusion of the thesis will follow.
New ways of conducting diplomacy
From the constructivist point of view the reason why public diplomacy and other communicative approaches to conducting diplomacy has arisen can be manifold as it is a quite flexible theory so to speak – international relations is what states make of it after all. One interpretation can be developed by looking at the general world history since World War II. In World War two the dominant culture must be deemed to have been a Hobbesian culture – a kill or be killed culture. This was reverted back to a Lockean culture as the Allies or the status quo powers won the war. During the post-war period and the Cold War the Lockean culture became increasingly entrenched – this was partly due to coercion, as the theory proscribes, since it became too costly to engage in war partly due to the nuclear bomb. Major wars were rare, borders hardly moved and a quite significant amount of respect for sovereignty of states – at least for the most part. Even as the major rivalry in the world between the United States and the Soviet Union ended with the Cold War alliances persisted and grew closer even though an increased competition should have been expected. As this did not happen the Lockean culture must be deemed to have reached one of its most entrenched phases. Since the culture is that entrenched there is no serious fear that the status quo should not be maintained and it is becoming increasingly desirable to increase dialogue and understanding between countries.
More efficient in reaching foreign policy goals
As the Lockean culture can be deemed to have reached its most entrenched phase it gives room to sew the seeds of friendship between peoples and states among the world. So when seeing whether a state becomes more efficient at reaching its foreign policy goals through the use of public diplomacy or not, this might not be the right question to ask in this relation. If the Lockean culture has reached its final stages and has begun to approach other countries through increased dialogue, openness and honesty, this can signify the move from a Lockean to a Kantian culture. If the culture of international relations are changing from a Lockean to a Kantian it would entail a change of foreign policy goals which in turn makes the question obsolete in itself.
The emergence of public diplomacy can therefore more be seen as a tool to increase socialization between states with foreign publics as the medium. By affecting foreign publics through openness, sincerity and dialogue these will in turn affect their governments increasing the prospects of possible friendship between the two states in question.
Breakthrough in international relations
If the culture of international relations are changing from Lockean to Kantian partly due to the effects of public diplomacy this signifies an enormous potential change in the fundamental ways international relations are taking place. The reason for this is that it changes how states are socialized – from seeing each other as rivals they will begin to see each other as friends instead. This can in turn make room for a previously unheard of degree of cooperation in international relations. In the early stages after a new culture has been introduced in international relations, it will be severely fragile though. The slightest break of trust between the former rivals turned friends could potentially revert the culture back – at least until it has become more entrenched. In short, the rise to prominence of public diplomacy does not in itself signify a big fundamental change in the conduct of international relations but rather plays an important part in this potential change.
Since constructivism is a very flexible theory, several different scenarios could be plausible according to the theory. The explanation mentioned here have been chosen as it resonates well with the theory as presented in the theoretical chapter as well as providing a distinct third way – meaning that it is quite different from the explanatory model used both in the chapter of soft power and of neorealism. Throughout the past sixty years the Lockean culture has grown increasingly entrenched as the primary culture of international relations. There have been few wars due to the costly nature of it after the invention of the nuclear bomb, a high degree of respect for sovereignty and maintenance of the status quo. This has especially been true for the post-Cold War era and can be deemed as signifying a highly entrenched Lockean culture.
The rise of public diplomacy can therefore be interpreted as a sign that the culture of international relations are on the verge of a change from the Lockean to the Kantian culture with an increased focus on communication, openness and dialogue – key tools to socialize the states into seeing each other as friends rather than rivals.