S4D4C’s State-of-the-Art Report on Science Diplomacy

One of the goals of our early project work in S4D4C is to provide the conceptual grounds for our subsequent analyses of science diplomacy cases and governance. As one element of this, DZHW colleagues Charlotte Rungius and Tim Flink, supported by Alexander Degelsegger-Márquez at ZSI, prepared a State-of-the-Art Report on science diplomacy that we can now make available.

The report provides an overview of the most relevant conceptions of science diplomacy. We look at definitions in the global science diplomacy discourse as well as at practices subsumed under the label. Going a long way beyond a comparative summary, however, the report also provides an intellectual perspective that is in itself novel and refreshing.

We take a discourse analytical perspective on the interpretative patterns constituting science diplomacy as a promising foreign policy instrument. We reflect on the concept’s twofold use as an analytical and a political term. We argue that the concept reflects new formations in political and academic practices that do not fit into conventional distinctions of separate fields. We furthermore highlight that science diplomacy is typically defined by reference to its purposes, not practices, actors or institutions. The report also adds value by discussing the framing of the science diplomacy concept at the EU level.

Apart from supporting our project colleagues’ work on the cases and governance of EU science diplomacy, we hope the report is relevant for a wider audience of scholars and practitioners. Please contact us in case you have any questions.

Posted by Clara du Bled