Diplomacy and global governance

Atiq-Ur-Rehman, Researcher/scholar, Department of International Relations, NUML Islamabad.



In the world of 21st century, the complexities and issues that were previously unknown to mankind became an order of the day. With the rise in complex interdependence and globalization, it is not an easy task to solely cope up with the all emerging problems. For very that purpose there is required a collective effort by not only States but also of the non-state actors, International regimes, hybrid Institutions, state Agencies, and in fact, all type of domestic, regional, and global actors, which can play their role in mitigating contemporary tension and issues.

In contrast to a term “Global government” which denotes a centralized rigid authority (Supra-national government), the concept of “global governance” upheld an idea of collective effort by transnational actors to deal with all possible menaces, associated with the process of globalization. It mainly aims at resolving the issues that are of the global projection and effect all States altogether. This process is mainly dependent upon the multilateral cooperation, also called as “International problem management” that includes formal and informal agreements upon which these multi-regional actors mutually agreed upon.

Now projecting the spotlight of diplomacy which is the linchpin of our discussion, one can say that the tools, multiplicities, dimensions, and variations of diplomacy are the most critical element in not only mitigating the common tension, but also to foster the mutual collaboration among involved actors.

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The Institutions of diplomacy is expanding at such a photonic pace that one can be easily flummoxed by its vast multiplicities and dimensions. Although, there are nearly infinite types of diplomacy for instance: track 1 diplomacy, public diplomacy, environment diplomacy, blue diplomacy, citizen diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, and so on and so forth. But the succeeding section would shed a light on its dimensions that were more vibrantly playing their role regarding Global Governance.

Origin of diplomacy

Starting with the “New Diplomacy” the term which was coined by Woodrow Wilson after World War one. The war which traumatized the whole world on one side, it also pointed out the basic flaws in diplomatic institution, which was largely blamed for being unable to halt the global drift towards war. For that purpose, strong actions were taken down to Reform the whole diplomatic Institution.

The Paris Peace Conference and the famous 14 points of President Wilson brings the “conference diplomacy” back in international realm. Efforts were made at an international level to mitigate the sense of distrust. This type of diplomacy is very relevant in the context of global governance. It involves mutual cooperation and negotiations to deal with issues associated with various domains and dimensions: For example, Trade, Technology, Refugee dumping, Human Rights, Environmental degradation, Novel Threats, Maritime Affairs, Terrorism, and the most important questions related to sustainable development.

Likewise, cultural, public, and citizen diplomacy is equally relevant to minimize the mutual distress among different nations and actors. The governments nowadays, pay their much heed on directly approaching foreign public. This type of approach mainly aims at establishing a link between them in order to foster their culture and to gain support regarding their strategic objectives abroad. The green diplomacy is also of very importance in the context of “International Problem Management.”

Read More: https://www.diplomacy.edu/topics/digital-diplomacy/

Environment is directly related to all humans and is not a prerogative of any individual. It is one of the most lethal issues that poses a great challenge to global governance.

Punitive measures were taken down in 19th and 20th centuries, but after World War II and the humongous rise of nuclear weapons, the efforts were intensified to protect the environment from further degradation.

The first step was taken down by ECOSOC in 1968, but was soon dusted by the wrestle of cold war. Afterwards, under the auspices of United Nation many bold steps were taken down like Rio Summit, UN conference on environment and development, world climate conference, and mainly, Millennium and world Summit retains very much of importance. These diplomatic efforts towards mutual development and to solve common problems was a milestone towards Global governance.

Moreover, various other efforts at individual, regional, and global levels has been taken up in this regard. The blue diplomacy, resource diplomacy, economic diplomacy, and the most notable, digital diplomacy are the Pioneer examples of the diplomatic role in global governance.


State is the most significant actor in world politics. It always has remained a core possessor of power and resources. The worst predicament in it is that, despite of increased globalization states are still overwhelmingly focused on their own national interest. There corporation is also for the sake of their own profit. So in the process of global governance unilateral decisions are also visibly common.

Major Powers especially P-5 are more inclined toward Global leadership, which is 180 degree against the core concept of global governance. Likewise, there are multiple ways by which states (major powers) influence the process of global governance, diplomatically. For example: traditional means, by using International organizations, summit diplomacy and international conferences.


In a conclusion, if I funnel down my whole discussion. I can say that, diplomacy is, and would remain the linchpin of today’s globalized world. “Globalization and mutual interdependence” which on the one side provided an ease to mankind, it also opens up a new Pandora box whose issues and menaces are yet to be solved. At an end, I am going to leave this debate open, by providing my thesis statement on this subject:

“Complexities create conflicts, and when world is intermingled at such a level, when globalization rose to such a heights, and when multiple minds and their views are involved, you only need a little disturbance to create a domino effect, which would destroy the whole system with its Colossal pace.”

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