Small States and Diplomacy: An Indispensible, though Much Diversified Relation

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Milan Jazbec


This paper aims to analyze the way the relation between small states and their diplomacies is changing in times of crisis. Findings are generalized, focusing on the comparison between Slovenia and the three Baltic states. The relation discussed is not in question, but heavily diversified. New players take up diplomatic activity, and new topics appear on the agenda. Diplomacy remains an indispensable tool for a small state, but the way it operates and the substance it transfers, have changed significantly. Diplomacy as a part of public administration is changing its institutional set-up and modifies the way it approaches complex challenges. Small states need their diplomacies to upgrade engagement in solving global questions, but they also have to encourage the inclusion of non-state actors in pursuing diplomatic activities. Therefore additional organizational flexibility and the inclusion of experts, combined with active engagement in the integration process, are essential.

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Author Biography

Milan Jazbec, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

MILAN JAZBEC is Policy Planning and Research Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia; Associate Professor of Diplomacy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. The author was State Secretary at the Slovene Ministry of Defence from December 2000 till November 2004. His research interests are in diplomacy, security and small states. Views expressed in this paper are solely of the author and do not represent those of his employer.
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