Strategic Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Rethinking Strategy and Statecraft

4 August 2020

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Today’s most pressing security challenges – great power conflict, economic dependence, climate change and other non-traditional threats such as pandemics – are complex, entailing interconnectivity, non-linearity and emergence. The core problem is a shrinking policy space for governments because of complex interdependence and growing strategic competition. Effective strategy is essential for winning the strategic contest, and diplomacy is essential to selling this strategy.

Professor Evelyn Goh from our Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and Associate Professor Jochen Prantl from our Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy will explore these challenges in their two-year research project, Strategic Diplomacy for Australian Defence and Statecraft, which will investigate how Australia and key allies/partners best meet their future defence and security needs. The project will stimulate ideas and debate among Australian defence stakeholders and help build strategic literacy necessary to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st Century for Australian policy and discourse.

“This innovative project advances our ‘Strategic Diplomacy’ framework developed for dealing with complex systems problems in defence and security. It uses four cases – Japan, UK, Germany, Singapore – to generate new insights for developing Strategic Diplomacy for Australia”, says Professors Evelyn Goh and Jochen Prantl.

The Strategic Diplomacy for Australian Defence and Statecraft research project is supported by a 2020 Australian Department of Defence Strategic Policy Grant.

The project’s findings and policy recommendations once completed will be published in a major report.

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