Page 68 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - April 2012. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
foreign affairs expertise. Instead, the
process of formulating and im
plementing foreign policy now en-
compasses domestic agencies and
non-state actors, as well.
No longer the doorkeepers to the
inner sanctum of policymaking, Rana
explains, foreign ministries nowmainly
play the role of coordinator. In that ca-
pacity, they earn respect through the
contributions they make to promoting
the interests of their governments, not
for any “notional primacy” in foreign
affairs. And just as foreign affairs agen-
cies must now become proficient at
networking, so, too, must individual
diplomats. (This view fits nicely with
the “whole of government” approach,
incidentally.)
21st-Century Diplomacy
is a de-
tailed guide to tradecraft, not merely a
hortatory plea for doing better, some-
how. In just 20 chapters, Rana me-
thodically outlines the entire pro-
fession. After describing the distinc-
tive characteristics of the various types
of diplomacy (including such new
types as diaspora diplomacy), he ex-
plains how today’s ministry of foreign
affairs functions as a distinctive bu-
reaucratic institution, using examples
of and reports about various reform ef-
forts around the world. A chapter on
the “reinvented embassy” is particular
enlightening — and comforting to
those who believe that the era of the
resident embassy is not yet over.
Throughout his book, Rana defines
terms and practices, summarizes or-
ganizations, explains attitudes and de-
bunks myths about the diplomatic
career. One especially innovative chap-
ter presents four training exercises or
simulations, each designed to illustrate
practical aspects of diplomacy and
serve as a realistic guide to the daily
work of the profession.
Rana goes on to discuss foreign af-
fairs decision-making, offering sugges-
tions for enhancing performance and
examining the role of new information
and communications technologies.
Along the way, he dispenses sensible
advice about consular diplomacy, ad-
ministration and management, recruit-
ment and promotion, protocol and the
spoken and written arts, to name just a
few facets of the profession.
This book will appeal to experi-
enced diplomats, as well, through its
sensible discussion of many career-
long professional concerns. Among
them: How does a modern foreign
ministry transform itself from a “gate-
keeper” to the “coordinator” of nu-
merous other agencies, many of them
domestic departments. What is the fu-
ture of multilateral diplomacy? How
do governments integrate diaspora
communities into foreign policy? And
how do diplomatic services deal with
As its title suggests,
the book not only
explains the theory of
diplomacy, but shows
new diplomats how to
practice their craft.
68
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / A P R I L 2 0 1 2
B
O O K S