According to the nature of their work we identify different science diplomacy stakeholders (Figure 1):
Governmental stakeholders: involving nation states and subnational governments in science diplomacy.
Intergovernmental and supranational stakeholders: in other words, multilateral international and supranational organisations that transcend national boundaries and that are directly engaged in global governance.
Research and academic stakeholders: research and academic actors with a stake in science diplomacy cover from research councils to universities, research centres, national academies, learned societies, and also individual researchers.
Private sector stakeholders: including private companies, which can be trans- or multi-national companies as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), can be also involved in science diplomacy.
Civil society stakeholders: including national and transnational NGOs, civil society organisations, private charities, and even individuals acting as science diplomacy actors.
However, this proposal has certain challenges that are worth mentioning here:
Level of action: all stakeholders may operate at the local, subnational, national, sub-global and transnational levels. Industry can have transnational companies but we do not include them within the intergovernmental and supranational stakeholders because these are focused on those bodies directly related to global governance.
Governments are the actors in the international bodies: in International Relations Theory, realists consider transnational organisations as tools that respond to the interests of nation states, which are the actors setting up and steering the governance of transnational bodies. On the other hand, idealists and transnationalists uphold that transnational organisations have certain degree of action to implement policies, set global rules and lead global negotiation that foster collective action and consensus from nation states. Because of the international nature of science diplomacy, we want to cover intergovernmental and supranational stakeholders as a separate actor but understand that they are highly dependent on their nation states’ interests. Regarding supranational bodies, nation states come together in a process studied by the integration theory to constitute a supranational organisation that gathers legal jurisdiction, policy competences, sovereignty from its member states, executive powers, etc. Again, nation states are actors in this integration process but the supranational body has a degree of manoeuvring worth noting.
Research is everywhere: research and individual researchers can be found not only in the academic sector, but also in industry, government, NGOs, think tanks, and other sectors. We associate it here to the academic sector to focus on academic research and the concrete role of academic institutions and individual researchers in science diplomacy. A researcher working for government or industry would be considered a government or industry stakeholder as it is assumed it will pursue governmental or industry—and not necessarily academic—interests.
What the experts think
Learn whether science diplomacy goes beyond traditional diplomacy between nation states by listening to some experts below!
Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)
Is science diplomacy a matter for classic diplomacy only? Is there room for other type of stakeholders?
Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) to the UK Ministry of Defence on nuclear science and technology matters. Former CSA to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College London
Is science diplomacy a matter for classic diplomacy only?