“No government could survive without champagne. Champagne in the throats of our diplomatic people is like oil in the wheels of an engine.” (Joseph Dargent, 1953)
|Those nice old times...|
Only as a second step comes what Kelley identifies as new actors and new media. And I concur that the state is ceding ground to non-state actors - although I have some doubts about the real value of celebrities' diplomacy and popularizing the term "Ambassador"- and I certainly believe that the five features that he identifies for the future of diplomacy are already on the minds of every "new" diplomat, being part of the diplomatic service or part of another interest. But as Kelley also states, "transition are a fixture of modern diplomacy." Diplomats are already aware that in a world where almost everyone has access to the same information at the same time and can also express ideas at the same time, their "expertise" must be sufficiently real for them to be heard.
I believe new generations of diplomats are already thinking in the new role of Diplomacy in the XXI century. As Kelley explores, this is specially true for Public Diplomacy, that has regained importance. New diplomats are using already new technologies to communicate. I believe, as a "Peruvian" diplomat, that our challenge is to find ways in which these technologies can also serve "our" national interests - such as connecting our diaspora, expressing our ideas or promoting our country. But for us the challenge is also to understand that these technologies are value-neutral (Alec Ross commented this in a recent remark) and that if Diplomats will survive is because they are still relevant.
I believe that unless a dramatic transformation on the nation-state occurs, diplomats will still be relevant, certainly sharing a space with other "new" diplomats. Nevertheless, I think at this moment all diplomats - being those officials or "new" diplomats - are still struggling with realizing the real role anyone can play in the international arena and what their behavior should be. And in this world of doubts, at least "official" diplomats have the certainty of what interests we are pursuing. So, to end with relief, I can just quote Gloria Gaynor: I will (hopefully) survive.