Event Date: 8 – 9 November 2013
Unrecognised Nations and Peoples Organisation
Laan van Meerdervoort 70
2517 AN The Hague
Alternative Cultures of Diplomacy
Part of the Diplomatic Cultures Research Network (AH/J013900/1)
Professor Noé Cornago – (Para)diplomatic cultures: old and new
Diplomatic culture is generally presented as something belonging exclusively to the semantic field of international relations, completely strange to the complexities of political life within the contours of specific states. In so doing, diplomatic studies tend to reproduce the fiction of the existence of a perfect political community –the state- as the foundational assumption that gives sense to the whole system of diplomatic recognition, representation and negotiation amongst states. The question however cannot be simply solved by introducing a greater attention to the growing importance to a variety of ‘non-state actors’. After all, as far as they are named that way, they are presented as something alienated from ‘states’ themselves, making even more difficult to grasp the problem signalled above. Against this background, our presentation aims to explore the possible implications of social pluralism, domestic complexity, and territorial continuities for a better understanding of alternative diplomatic cultures for global political life. For so doing we will examine the growing involvement of sub-national governments from all over the world in a wide variety of paradiplomatic efforts. As we will try to show, this is a reality rarely spectacular either in form or content which uses to be approached in narrowly formalistic or policy terms, but one which when considered thoroughly reveals important functional adjustments and symbolic struggles to which modern diplomatic system has nowadays to respond –if not to conform-, in order to ensure paradoxically its own sustainability.
Professor Noé Cornago is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao (Spain), where he is also in charge of the Masters Degree in Peace and Development Studies. His research interests are focused on the transformations of diplomacy, global regulation, critical sociology of knowledge, post -development and aesthetics and politics. He has been the Basque Visiting Fellow 2011-2012 at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where he completed his book Plural Diplomacies: Normative Predicaments and Functional Imperatives (Brill, 2013). He has promoted a number of decentralized partnerships with various UN institutions and collaborated with the Congress of Local and Regional Governments of the Council of Europe.