S4D4C case studies

Under its Work Package 3 “European Science Diplomacy addressing global challenges”, S4D4C experts investigate a range of science diplomacy cases. Below you can find first insights into the nine cases. Full case reports will be available here as soon as they are ready.

Cases with a foreign policy focus


1. Science diplomacy and infectious diseases: Between national and European narratives
Case authors:
Ivo Šlosarčík/ Charles University,
Nadia Meyer
/ German Aerospace Center,
Jennifer Chubb
/ University of Sheffield

The Zika epidemics in 2015 and 2016 provided a platform for further elaboration of science diplomacy used by the EU institutions and EU Member States. The response was characterised by an interplay between the political, diplomatic, medical and scientific communities performed within national, European, and global frameworks.

output brief: infectious diseases


2. Water diplomacy and its future in the national, regional and European environments
Case authors:
Eliška Tomalová
/ Charles University,
Eliška Černovská/ Charles University,
Ewert Aukes
/ University of Twente,
Jasper Montana
/ University of Sheffield

Water diplomacy represents a challenge for bringing the worlds of diplomacy and science closer together; it has the potential to shape the diplomatic environment as well as to create new interfaces, techniques, and team strategies in science and foreign policy

output brief: water diplomacy


3. Cyber security: Mapping the role of science diplomacy in the cyber field
Case authors:
Lucie Kadlecová
/ Charles University,
Nadia Meyer
/ German Aerospace Centre,
Rafaël Cos/ University of Lille,
Pauline Ravinet
/ University of Lille

Cyber security has entered the agenda of the international community and has quickly been transformed from a purely technical topic to an issue of diplomacy. The term ‘cyber diplomacy’ has come into global use, and countries are keenly deploying their own ‘cyber diplomats’.

output brief: cyber security


Science driven cases


4. The science and diplomacy of global challenges: Food security in EU-Africa relations
Case authors:
Rafaël Cos/ University of Lille,
Pauline Ravinet/ University of Lille,
Mitchell Young/ Charles University

Over the past 20 years, a set of institutions, concerns, competencies, partnerships, and programmes have shaped the features of EU-African Union food security diplomacy. To what extent has science played a role in deploying this food security diplomacy?



output brief: food security in EU Africa relations


5. International dimensions of the EU’s FET Flagships: Large-scale strategic research investments as a site of de-facto science diplomacy
Case Authors:
Alexander Degelsegger-Márquez
/ formerly Centre for Social Innovation,
now S4D4C Advisory Board member,
Elke Dall/ Centre for Social Innovation,
Manfred Spiesberger/ Centre for Social Innovation

A study of Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Flagship initiatives as potential mechanisms of EU science diplomacy reveals that their governance models and design as research policy instruments have sectoral foreign policy dynamics.

ouptput brief: FET Flagships


6. Open Science Diplomacy
Case authors:
Katja Mayer/ Centre for Social Innovation
Ewert J. Aukes/ University of Twente

Following the call for ‘open science, open innovation, and open to the world’ by the EU Commisioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas in 2015, we look for applications and implications of open science in science diplomacy.




output brief: Open Science Diplomacy


European instrument driven cases


7. SESAME – An international research infrastructure in the Middle East
Case authors:
Charlotte Rungius
/ German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies
Tim Flink
/ German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies
Sebastian Riedel
/ German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies

SESAME is a synchrotron light source user’s facility in the Middle East. The international research centre was initiated with the explicit intention to foster scientific cooperation among a number of countries that share a history of conflict.



output brief: SESAME


8. Joint international research programming as a case of science diplomacy
Case author:
Tim Flink
/ German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies

Joint international research programming is a common but underrated case of science diplomacy. It engages funding agencies as intermediary organisations that are compelled to operate at the intersection of science policy and international affairs.





output brief: joint programming


9. Science advice in the European Union: Crafting collective understanding of transnational issues
Case authors:
Jasper Montana/ University of Sheffield
Jennifer Chubb/ University of Sheffield
James Wilsdon/ University of Sheffield

In thinking about science diplomacy, it is important to not only acknowledge the formal structures for science diplomacy, but also to consider the ways in which internal capacities for science diplomacy might already be buildt into diplomatic systems.


output brief: science advice



An aggregated data package for the case studies is available HERE.