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Working Papers

March 17, 2019

EL-CSID Working Paper 23 - Science Diplomacy in Development Cooperation- a qualitative research of the Belgian case

Carmen Mazijn

With the increased demand for evidence and science-based policy, also diplomats have had to improve their engagement with scientists and scientific research. Due to the specific role of Development Cooperation in diplomatic practices, and considering the limited research done on the topic, development cooperation in Belgium was chosen as case study for this WP. The impact of the Science Diplomacy policies and practices are assessed on willingness, capacity and acceptance of the actors or stakeholders. Through a policy analysis and through interviews with policy makers following question was answered: ‘Are policy officers of development cooperation in Belgium willing, capable and accepting to use scientific research as a diplomatic tool?’ This paper argues that due to the fragmentation of governance in Belgium, it is extra difficult to create a coherent Science Diplomacy policy. However, if they want to keep up in the modernisation of diplomatic policies and practices, they will have to take ownership of the concept and empower their policy officer on all three dimensions.

October 22, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 22 - Nation Branding and Policy Transfer: Insights from Norden

Christopher S. Browning

Recent years have seen an interesting development in practices and policies of nation branding. Alongside an emphasis in which nation branding programmes seek to activate desires of conspicuous consumption in consumers, or to use branded messages to attract investment, there has also been a growing emphasis placed on policy transfer as a part of nation branding strategies. To date, this shift towards the incorporation of policy transfer within nation branding practices had received only limited analysis. Questions that arise, therefore, include: why are countries increasingly shifting their nation branding programmes in this direction? What do they seek to gain by engaging in such exports? And should we take the ostensibly beneficent nature of such practices at face value? The aim of this working paper is therefore to consider what the shift to policy transfer may tell us about the developing politics of nation branding.

October 04, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 21 - The European Union’s Multi-Level Cultural Diplomacy vis-à-vis the United States of America

Riccardo Trobbiani and Simon Schunz

This paper examines how, to what extent and why the EU engages in cultural diplomacy vis-à-vis the US. While providing an empirical review of and conceptual reflection on the current state of the EU’s (including key member states’) efforts at employing cultural diplomacy vis-à-vis the US, the paper also strives to explain the forms of this activity. It argues that a multi-level EU cultural diplomacy in the US does exist, but that its potential is currently underused. The findings of this WP are corroborated by a brief discussion of the potential acceptance of EU cultural action in the US, which highlights how, despite positive perceptions of European culture as such, the EU is hardly recognised as an actor in the field of culture.

September 02, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 20 - New horizons shaping science, technology and innovation diplomacy: The case of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union

Begoña Sánchez

Europe and the world face a moment of transformation. The global financial crisis wiped out years of economic and social progress, exposed structural weaknesses in world economies and emphasised the importance of the real economies and strong industries. Modernisation and digitalisation of the industrial base together with the promotion of a competitive framework for industry through research, technology and innovation are drivers for recovery. Innovation, and particularly open innovation, is a key factor of global competitiveness. 

The European Commission addresses international cooperation policy in a wider framework and adapts to the evolving needs of partner countries at different stages of development. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels. This paper focuses on the challenges that innovation nowadays poses to international relations and diplomacy. It is based on the evidence gained by the research team from participation in several EU-LAC projects. 

July 22, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 19 - Council of the Baltic Sea States: The Role of a Sustainable and Prosperous Region in Bringing Science Diplomacy Forward

Zane Šime

More than 25 years of multilateral dialogue and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region has been supported and overseen by the Council of the Baltic Sea States. These developments offer a multitude of insights in the implicit science diplomacy activities, which are presented in order to offer new ideas in the on-going work of honing the overall science diplomacy understanding in the EU setting. Likewise, various EU facilitated science, research and innovation cooperation strands are highlighted as potential avenues for exploring implicit science diplomacy practices adopted by EU or its funded authorities. Examples captured in this concise mapping exercise are presented to support comprehensive reflections on the existing set of practices characterising EU science diplomacy. Some of the lessons learnt, assessments and recommendations are brought into the spotlight in view on further reflecting on the EU Science Diplomacy Strategy.

June 18, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 18 - The Hunt for Science Diplomacy: Practice and Perceptions in the Horizon 2020 Scientific Community

Virginia Proud

In the last 10 years, efforts to understand and harness science diplomacy have gained momentum in both the academic and policy-making world. Much of the conversation around science diplomacy looks in the rear view mirror, where the positive impact of scientific collaboration is easier to see. But if there is an intention, or desire, as expressed in policy circles, that the Commission benefit from science as a forward directed tool of diplomacy, then engagement with the scientific community and understanding their perceptions and attitudes is key. This study, based on in-depth interviews with Horizon 2020 scientific and project coordinators, reveals common attitudes and themes that shed light on how, and how much, to engage scientists in the science diplomacy conversation, with specific recommendations for bridging the gap between the aspirations of policy and science.

May 27, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 17 - Towards the Private Provision of a Public Good: Exploring the Role of Higher Education as an Instrument of European Cultural and Science Diplomacy in Africa

Richard Higgott

The European Union’s (EU) universities and their provision of higher education (HE) to international students remains one of its most powerful global development and cultural assets. The EU operates a wide-ranging set of strategies to assist Africa in enhancing the quality and quantity of its HE. But an 8% average enrolment rate across all sub-Saharan African nations is still much lower than the average of 20-40% for all other developing regions. Currently, only one percent of total African GDP is spent on higher education. Africa will not grow its graduate labour force relying solely on its public universities and/or public support from international bodies like the EU. International private provision must play a greater role. Yet EU’s strategy towards HE in Africa fails to understand or to engage the private sector to help grow the number of Africans undertaking tertiary study. There has been no effort to learn from the success of international private provision in Asia. This study identifies the benefits and opportunities of international private provision and proposes a set of next steps as part of a targeted ‘strategy of engagement’ for greater international private involvement in higher education in Africa. The EU currently does not, but needs, to play a role in these next steps.

April 23, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 16 - The rhetoric of "science diplomacy": Innovation for the EU's scientific cooperation?

Jerneja Penca

Across the policy discourses and academic literature, the popularity of the concept of “science diplomacy” has used the concept in an uncritical manner. This paper aims to understand the concept’s value-added and the implications of its use. It considers the evolution of scientific cooperation and its interaction with foreign policy in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It finds out that many of the goals currently enshrined in “science diplomacy” have already constituted the history of the Euro-Mediterranean relationships since the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The difference with the past is that the EU now has higher political and economic expectations of genuine scientific cooperation. However, in contrast to widening the objectives, the EU has not substantively broadened the tools it avails of. This leads us to expect that the EU’s actual policy in regional scientific cooperation might nevertheless stay the same. While the rhetoric of science diplomacy is of little use, the paper suggests some meaningful questions in the science-foreign policy nexus to replace it.

April 16, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 15 - Case Study Report: EU-China S&T cooperation in the field of solar PV

Daniel Gehrt

In recent years, the European Commission has promoted the idea of science diplomacy in various strategic documents. This positive view on international S&T cooperation is linked to the assumption that collaboration is generally beneficial and resulting in a win-win situation for both sides. The question is whether this assumption is maintained when applied to a relatively mature technological domain, with clear commercial interests at stake. In the case study that is underlying the present working paper, we have tested this question by taking the example of EU-China S&T cooperation in the field of solar PV. The result was much clearer than expected: Based on an analysis of strategic documents, a thorough study of concrete Horizon 2020 topics and a number of in-depth interviews with key people in various relevant directorates and units of the European Commission, we can only conclude that there is no intention to foster collaboration with the EU’s main competitor in this technology field.

April 08, 2018

EL-CSID Working Paper 14 - Case Study Report: EU Cultural and Science Diplomacy from Turkey

Naciye Selin Senocak

This case study on Turkey is the third of a trilogy of case study reports that assess the view of the EU cultural and science diplomacy from the outside. It provides important insights into the ways in which neighbourhood countries think and behave in these areas, as well as benchmarks against which future evolutions can be tracked. The case study reports are the outcome of impact studies analysing how the EU’s cultural and science diplomacy initiatives are perceived in three Mediterranean countries, namely Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. The objective is to evaluate the degree to which populations notice and appreciate European culture and science diplomacy actions, and to understand the Southern partners’ image of the EU. Through survey (quantitative study) and interviews (qualitative study), these studies aim at measuring the reception of the EU’s messages in the considered countries. The reports point to the need for information campaigns and feedbacks about the different programmes in order to fill in the existing gap between experts and general public.

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