1. How to Get Started?
2. What Is Science Diplomacy?
3. Who Are the Science Diplomacy Stakeholders?
4. How Does the EU Practice Science Diplomacy?
5. What Are the National, Regional and Thematic Approaches of Science Diplomacy?
6. What Set of Skills Do I Need to Be a Good Science Diplomat?
7. Hands On! Case Studies
8. How Can You Dive Deeper into Science Diplomacy?
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7.1.2 Rationale for S4D4C Case Studies

A mixed team of researchers from across different disciplines (political science, diplomacy, law, sociology, and science and technology studies) within the S4D4C consortium have conducted nine case studies between June 2018 and December 2019.

The S4D4C project looks at science diplomacy from a European perspective in the context of global challenges. Each case study provides an overview of the topic and its background, context, the stakeholder landscape and a discussion of governance practices and arrangements. They look at different government-levels (International Organisations, EU, Member States, etc.) and examine the use of knowledge, the relations between the different levels and provide a discussion on how the case improves or changes our understanding of science diplomacy.

The case selection was based on viewing the intersection of science and policy from three distinct angles, defined by the primary drivers and areas of uncertainty within the scientific and political systems.

  1. Foreign-policy driven cases: in these cases, the foreign policy relevance is well established, and science plays a supporting role. We framed them as ‘diplomacy challenges’ as we believed that the greatest obstacles would be in the diplomatic rather than the scientific sphere. Our selected cases were: infectious diseases, water management, and cybersecurity. In this module, we focus on the case of infectious diseases (see Lesson 7.2).
  1. Science-driven cases: the advance of science presents new opportunities and challenges, and thus can potentially play an active role in shaping foreign policy approaches. These we framed as ‘science opportunities’ to reflect the hypothesis that new developments in science would open up opportunities for diplomacy. Our selected cases were: food security, large scale thematic research investments, and open science. In this module, we show information about food security and open science (see Lessons 7.3 and 7.4).
  1. Instrument-driven cases: with a focus on the role of coordination that emerges from policy instruments, from different types of policy initiatives that inherently appeared to constitute a diplomatic drive. We called them ‘coordination options’ as they potentially presented rich opportunities for diplomatic coordination to occur. Our selected cases were: the SESAME infrastructure, joint research programming, and science advice mechanisms. In this module, we give you information about SESAME (see Lesson 7.5).

What the experts think

You will see in the following video the criteria we followed to select these cases.

Mitchell Young

Mitchell Young

Assistant Professor, Department of European Studies, Charles University in Prague

What criteria did you follow to choose the S4D4C case studies?


Read more!
– Young, Mitchell; Flink, Tim; and Dall, Elke (eds.) (2020): Science Diplomacy in the Making: Case-Based insights from the S4D4C Project. S4D4C: Vienna. (Link)

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The material provided under this course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.