August Danielson defends his thesis on 8 December


August Danielson defends his thesis The Resilience of Diplomacy – Adaptation and Continuity of Diplomatic Practice in Crises on 8 December at 13:15 in Brusewitzsalen.

August Danielson 

The external reviewer is Frédéric Mérand, Professor of Political Science vid University of Montreal.

The members of the examining committee are Professor Ann Towns, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Professor Kristine Höglund, Department of Peace and Conflict, Uppsala University and Stefano Guzzini, Department of Government, Uppsala Uppsala University (chair of the public defence).

Most welcome to Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala!

The Resilience of Diplomacy – Adaptation and Continuity of Diplomatic Practice in Crises

This thesis studies how crises impact diplomatic norms and practices. Diplomacy plays a fundamental role in enabling peaceful and constructive relations between states. When successful, it can provide global common goods, ranging from international security, trading rules, to peaceful enforcement of international agreements, as well as resolving collective action problems such as climate change mitigation. Despite this crucial role, we still know relatively little about diplomatic norms and practices, the unwritten rules that structure interactions between diplomats. In particular, we have an insufficient understanding of how and when these norms and practices change. The institution of diplomacy is often described as a conservative one – it upholds a system of conventions that ensure the stability and predictability of relations between states. However, in light of recent political developments that pose challenges to cooperation within the framework of international institutions, it is essential to comprehend the effects of crises on diplomatic practice.

Three independent empirical studies have been conducted to analyze diplomatic practices in the context of heightened levels of international contestation and crisis. Two of these studies focus on the way in which diplomats responsible for negotiating EU foreign policy cope with increasing contestation between member states. This internal crisis necessitates the development and implementation of practices that ensure that the EU continues to produce common positions and policies. The third study analyzes the way in which the states and state leaders of the G20 dealt with the uncertainty that arose following the transition to virtual summitry during the COVID-19 crisis. The study finds that the transition to virtual summitry created new opportunities for signaling status through the states’ visual presentations.

Together, the essays show that diplomatic norms and practices can and do change as a result of crises, but that this change is limited by the dispositions and structural conditions that shape the selection of practices. In other words, crises can be said to lead to relatively frequent but limited change in diplomatic practice. The thesis also contributes new insights into norm diffusion processes in international organizations, the role of status in world politics and the politicization of the EU.

Find out more about August Danielson here.

Full-text available on DiVA open access

Public Defences

Last modified: 2023-11-23