European Diplomacy in the 21st Century
Full course description
This course addresses Europe as a whole to include both the level of national and EU-based diplomacy. In comparison to EUS2011, which is an introduction to the institutional set up and actorness of the EU as Foreign and Security Policy player in the world, this course goes a step further to study the transformation of European diplomacy in 21st century and its application to resolve contemporary security challenges. While the case studies in EUS2011 focus on either how a particular mechanism operates (the COREU network) or on EU foreign policy action in a single policy domain (e.g. trade, defence), the course EUS3022 focuses on contemporary challenges cutting across policy domains and the embedding of EU diplomacy in global politics. In this way EUS3022 offers deeper conceptualization and application of diplomatic tools to reslove contemporary challenges. The course builds on four guiding questions:
What is diplomacy: how has diplomacy been traditionally defined and understood in the past, and how does this differ from the leading ideas of today? What conceptual frameworks can we apply to understand the new practices of diplomacy in a changing world characterized by technological change (digitalization, social media) and the increasing role of non-state actors (civil society, TNCs, expert bodies)?
Who are the actors in European diplomacy: What types of actors are engaged in practicing diplomacy in Europe today? How do different conceptual lenses allow us to identify different sets of actors on different levels?
How does European diplomacy work today – what are the instruments of ‘the craft’ in current European affairs, and through which mechanisms do they work? A basic distinction can be made here between coercive tools such as sanctions and conditionalities, and softer measures such as public diplomacy and policy dialogues. The use and effectiveness of these instruments is likely to change in line with development disused under point 1 above.
How is European diplomacy applied today - Case studies: a number of issue areas are conceivable, the focus of which could change over future editions of the course. Examples are migration; energy security; cyber security and hybrid threats; social media and the digitalization of society; environmental degradation and climate emergency; trade disputes; terrorism; democratic backsliding in Europe, etc. Each year, three to four topics should be covered.
After learning about concepts, actors, and instruments, students will analyse specific case studies that bring together these elements and allow the practical application of knowledge. In doing so, students apply and deepen the knowledge acquired in the previous courses on International Relations (EUS1015) and on institutions and decision-making in EU foreign policy (EUS2011).