Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Transformational Diplomacy
Many foreign affairs experts believe that the international system is undergoing a momentous transition affecting its very nature. Some, such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, compare the changes in the international system to those of a century ago. Secretary of State Rice relates the changes to the period following the Second World War and the start of the Cold War. At the same time, concerns are being raised about the need for major reform of the institutions and tools of American diplomacy to meet the coming challenges. At issue is how the United States adjusts its diplomacy to address foreign policy demands in the 21st Century.
Jefferson, America’s first Secretary of State, the United States has engaged in diplomacy to represent America and further its interests around the world. According to the Henry L. Stimson Center, “Since 1945, the United States has conducted its foreign relations in the context of a world that practiced what can be called Classic Diplomacy. It was a world in which government-to-government relations were the principal activity. A world in which ambassadors and embassies were often a nation’s only venue for expressing its national interests. A world in which heads of state met to discuss the great questions of the day. It was a world, in short, in which nations were more sovereign and independent actors than today’s environment allows them to be on the cusp of the 21st century.”
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