Recent Publications

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.

US President Donald Trump surprised the world by accepting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to talk, thereby setting the scene for potentially the first ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president. A Trump-Kim summit, which American officials say will take place this coming May or June at a location yet to be determined, would mark a turning point in US-North Korea relations. After a year of escalating tensions and insults between the two leaders, the prospect of talks seems like a welcome development. Americans have looked at North Korea as the land of lousy options for several decades now, so why not try the unprecedented? Yet, Trump’s diplomatic gamble is not without risk. Previous rounds of negotiations have not led to a major breakthrough and have left both sides disappointed. Meanwhile, the increased sophistication of North Korea’s nuclear program is forcing the US to come up with answers. Therefore, if Trump does not play his cards right and the summit is perceived as a failure, he may well provide further excuse for the US to turn to military options to achieve what diplomacy could seemingly not. 

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.

Neil Collins
Kristina Bekenova
Ainur Kagarmanova

In the soft power context, health is increasingly seen as an area that generates particular diplomatic benefits because it is ostensibly non-political and can bring both immediate and long-term advantages equally to the donor and the recipient country. Since the European Union’s role in the international affairs is increasing, the EU is expected to play a central role in global health guided by the principles of solidarity, i.e. to provide an equitable and universal access to quality health services. 

Some commentators point to a lack of coherence and coordination between EU health and other policies[1]. Also, ambiguities do exist about the scope of national and European competencies in the area of health policy[2]. The role of the smaller member states may be unusually significant as they "use the health arena to demonstrate their commitment to the multilateral systems that provide them with a voice and allow them a leading role on the global stage”[3]. Thus, health diplomacy offers an intriguing insight into the dynamics in the EU’s approaches to Central Asia, the region that is incrementally becoming of interest to Europe.

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[1]Rollet, V. & Chang, P. (2013). “Is the European Union a global health actor? An analysis of its capacities, involvement and challenges”, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 18, no. 3: pp. 309-328.

[2]Guy, M. & Sauter, W. (2016). The history and scope of EU health law and policy(Working Paper no. 16-2). University of East Anglia: Centre for Competition Policy.

[3]Kickbusch, I. (2013). “21st century health diplomacy: A new relationship between foreign policy and health”. In T. E. Novotny, I. Kickbusch & M. Told (eds.), 21st century global health diplomacy(Singapore: World Scientific): p. 14.

Antoine Hatzenberger

This case study on Egypt is part of a trilogy of case study reports that assess the view of the EU cultural and science diplomacy from the outside. The 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.

Antoine Hatzenberger

This case study on Tunisia is the second of a trilogy of case study reports that assess the view of the EU cultural and science diplomacy from the outside. The 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.

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.

April 2018
annual report

Following the University Council’s approval on 30 March 2018, the Annual Report 2017 of the IES is now available online. In its 15th anniversary year, the IES organised 33 public events, awarded 4 PhDs (bringing the total of PhDs awarded by the institute to 32), produced 117 publications, of which 24 peer-reviewed articles, and 25 book chapters, and collected 4 academic awards. Additionally, the IES also internally published 7 policy briefs, 2 policy papers and 7 working papers. Our Institute now counts 106 people or 48.9 full-time equivalents. This year, we welcomed 22 new people (16 to the IES proper, and 6 in collaboration with UNU-CRIS) while 8 people left the Institute. In 2017, IES scholars took part in a total of 129 media appearances - that's on average about one every three days. Last year, the Institute was particularly successful in obtaining externally funded projects. At the end of the year, no less than 35 external projects were conducted by IES scholars, whereas an additional 14 projects were funded through the own budget (in 2016, these figures were 31 and 11 respectively). With a project income of 1.4 million EUR, the Institute could raise its total external income (including tuition fees, non-governmental subsidies and gifts) to well above the Government's subsidy. Today, 53% of the Institute's income is generated from non-governmental funding. The Institute's leading advanced Master programmes also deliberated 42 new graduates that now will obtain life membership to our 1250+ alumni group. The IES Annual Report is also available in Dutch.

Stephan Klose

For decades, actorness has been a much‐debated concept central to the theorization and analysis of the EU's evolution as an international actor. While this concept is often presented as a set of factors, which together shape the EU's capacity to act internationally, the literature displays a surprisingly deficient understanding of how these factors interact in the emergence of actorness. To address this gap, this article theorizes about actorness from an interactionist role theory perspective, which draws on the works of social psychologist George Herbert Mead. In building on this perspective, the article conceptualizes actorness as an entity's capacity to (re)‐imagine and realize roles for its ‘self’ in (specific contexts of) international affairs. This capacity, the approach suggests, emerges in the interplay of (social and material) resources, creative action and (domestic and external) role expectations.

Click here to view this article (JCMS subscription required): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcms.12725

Glaudio Garcia

Medicines are a basic element in the provision of health. However, the high cost of some medications is hindering the stability of healthcare systems regardless the level of income of countries. Governments are addressing this problem by prioritising health in their national and foreign policies.

At the supranational level, regional organisations have been fora for creating action plans, disseminating and sharing information as well as generating capacity building. Consequently, they have quickly become fundamental to the successful promotion of sustainable pharmaceutical policies.

This working paper assesses the effectiveness of the implementation of pharmaceutical policies undertaken by UNASUR and the EU under the universal access to medicines framework generated by the WHO, by looking at the conditions of willingness, acceptance and capacity of these regional organisations.

Results show that engagement in international forums is encouraging positive outcomes in the formulation of regional pharmaceutical policies for improving access to medicines based on the globally-accepted frameworks. Moreover, regional organisations have turned out to be the most effective space for the promotion and implementation of such national pharmaceutical policies, as these are prone to be accepted with less opposition in each nation when a regional organisation backs them up.