ISLAMABAD - The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy was launched on Thursday at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI). The eminent speakers were Gareth Evans, former foreign minister of Australia & Chancellor, Australian National University, Canberra and Ramesh Thakur, Director, Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation & Disarmament, Australian National University, Canberra.
While introducing the book Diplomacy in the 21st Century: An Introduction to the Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Ramesh Thakur said that diplomacy is the conduct of business, using peaceful means, by and among international actors, at least one of whom is usually governmental.
He said that the formulation and adoption of policy is the responsibility of ministers whilst its implementation or execution is the job of public servants and, in the case of foreign policy, of diplomats. And this relies on the tools of persuasion-cum-negotiations and pressure-cum-coercion i.e. soft power and hard power respectively. Furthermore, he mentioned the requisite skill-sets for diplomacy i.e. intelligence, discretion and circumspection, patience, teamwork, creative imagination, the ability to signal and communication messages to the target audience and the capacity to present negotiated compromises as win-win outcomes.
He explained the modes, types, and techniques of diplomacy and the issues including war, human rights and international humanitarian law, environment, global pandemics, food, fuel and water security, migration, refugees, diasporas and IDPs and uncivil society (people, arms and drug trafficking, terrorism) that are covered in the different chapters of the book.
He concluded by quoting Andrea Baumann that "power and influence depend ever more strongly on the ability to navigate and exploit global networks, to form effective partnerships, and to combine different instruments of statecraft in a flexible, agile way."