The world, since the very beginning of the 20th century, has entered a phase where international politics and diplomacy dominates every aspect of human life and livelihood. With globalisation and trade relations between nations and organisations peaking up to levels where their involvement in our lives is impossible to reject, diplomacy and the factors encircling it have been studied in a further depth. The line that dominates a structured diplomacy and thus differentiates a successful one from a failed on is indeed very fine. However, if the factors are to be implemented with an objective basis, diplomacy is the key that might strengthen or break a nation and its pillars.

Successful Diplomacy and the factors that encircle it-

Successful Diplomacy, in simplest terms, is about reacting to some kind of an agreement, bargain or compromise that everybody can live with. Nobody is extremely happy but everybody signs up for it. The worst harm therein is contained to some degree for both the parties but none is utterly disappointed.

The starting point is some form of dialogue or connection between the two state, tribes, civilizations or forms of power. These dialogues build some form of an understanding of reciprocal positions and then do the two or more parties get into negotiations, adaptations and all higher forms of statecraft.

Cardinal Richelieu talks about continuous engaging dialogue, thus stating that a successful strategy towards diplomacy is to keep talking thus producing a constant result where all the parties involved change in a way. He speaks about good and successful diplomacy being built around immense patience, particularly when these parties are working in conflict zones/situations.

Dr. Richard Woodward of the Coventry University suggests that having an open mind while discussing international relations is of utmost importance. Adhering to the more conventional views, it’s about getting to ‘yes’ in the knowledge that there are constraints here, while however maintaining an understanding of not giving too much away. ”The key is to sort out all complicated strands, making them transact-able and coming to an agreement”, he says.

The considerations of failure and what it means in the given sense-

A considered failure of diplomacy between two parties is basically the lack of ethics that ends up with the parties walking away with enmity and greater divisions that the initial discussions. “If there is no dialogue, the relations are completely broken and in addition, there is a need for a mediator shutting from room to room, that is when diplomacy fails”, says Martin Brown- U.S International University of London.

Diplomacy is about small, incremental gains that the parties gradually approach with a sense of getting a certain target fulfilled, for as Richard Woodward suggests, “Diplomacy is an iterative process. It is not a one shot thing.”

It is however necessary to understand that when one diplomatic path is closed, others remain open. There is always a way out that suggests that the friendly relations are maintained or re-generated only reduce hostilities, an example of which are the G7 and G20 summits.

John Worne (Kings College London) states, “Boycott, very popular in the modern world, is the king of conscious severing of any kind of formal dialogue. The point where diplomacy has completely failed is when there is no possibility for a dialogue”. While many nations may have a bitter sense of dialogues in the initial stage, it is only significant to have a smooth ending to ensure future friendships and fostering of bilateral relations.

In his book, The Peace Negotiations, Robert Lansing suggests that use of force is also a failure in diplomacy.  According to Winston Churchill, a man who paced much of the early to mid-20th century politics, the reason for having diplomatic relations is not to confer a compliment but to secure a convenience. It also requires immeasurable patience, whilst working in conflict situations/zones, as exemplified by Robert Lansing’s policy on peace negotiations presented to the commissioners of the League of Nations.

The process of an ideal diplomacy is, thus, very far-fetched. While it is a very natural idea of progression between two or more nations and parties, a slight approach may tend to mould the fate of the world in much wider sense.


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