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Diplomacy in 3D, 4D and Beyond



Kia Hall wrote “Diplomacy in 3D, 4D and Beyond” as part of the Humanity in Action Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship. Kia Hall holds a PhD in international relations from American University and is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Diplomacy and Diversity 2014). 


The racialized identity politics of the U.S. play a large part in shaping discussions of diversity – the fourth D – in a way that can be inconsistent with European ideas about diversity and inclusion.

This essay explores the opportunities, tensions and contradictions of a transatlantic program about diplomacy and diversity. In this reflective essay from one of Humanity in Action’s Diplomacy and Diversity Fellows, questions are raised about the divergent understandings of diplomacy and diversity among citizens of the United States and European countries. While diplomacy in the United States is often framed in a 3D (diplomacy, development and defense) framework, the author challenges whether this framing is appropriate in the context of European politics. Similarly, the racialized identity politics of the U.S. play a large part in shaping discussions of diversity – the fourth D – in a way that can be inconsistent with European ideas about diversity and inclusion. Analyzing such contradictions, the author reflects on the tensions that arose during the inaugural year of the program, giving both administrators and Fellows ideas to ponder on the form this fellowship opportunity will take in the future.


For four weeks this summer, I participated in the inaugural year of Humanity in Action’s Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship program. The fellowship brought together U.S. American (1) and European graduate students and recent graduates to explore the potential for greater diversity in the context of diplomacy. The group represented different nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, political perspectives and ethnoracial identities. Although we were not always in agreement about what type of diversity should be prioritized within different diplomatic organs, we consistently grappled with the concepts, learning about each other’s understanding of diversity and challenging one another to broaden our perspectives. In contrast to this deep engagement of diversity, we spent relatively little time discussing the meaning of diplomacy. I am sure many people probably considered this unnecessary. Of course, any government would have diplomatic agencies or bodies dedicated to maintaining positive relations with other states. That would be the assumed focus of our discussions. We, in fact, met with a number of current and former ambassadors, who represented these perspectives. (2)

Together, these 3Ds – defense, development and diplomacy – are considered important aspects of U.S. national strategy. 

This paper challenges this one-dimensional understanding of diplomacy, which is based in U.S. American norms linked to a very specific framing of diplomacy in relation to other national interests of defense and development. Together, these 3Ds – defense, development and diplomacy – are considered important aspects of U.S. national strategy. Thus, the first section of this paper will describe the idea of diplomacy in 3D. In spite of this U.S. American perspective, what makes Europe such an interesting topic of study for so many scholars is the dynamic of regional integration taking place. In this context, diplomacy, defense and development are often analyzed not in relation to states and national citizenship, but rather in relationship to European membership (or global citizenship). Thus, the second section of this paper explores European diplomacy outside the exclusive focus on national interests; it considers diplomacy in the context of regional or global interests. After discussing the particularities of European diplomacy, I discuss more broadly the notions of cosmopolitan citizenship, upon which a commitment to human rights is based.

During the last week of the Diplomacy & Diversity Fellowship, each of the Fellows was asked to give a short presentation about the papers that we would be preparing at the end of the program. At the end of my presentation, Humanity in Action Founder and Executive Director Judith Goldstein asked if there was a way for me to include a fourth D – diversity. The final section of the paper reflects on alternatives and extensions of the 3D model, focusing specifically on the potential of science diplomacy and the engagement of diversity in the context of diplomacy and international affairs. Ultimately, I suggest that more reflection about the meaning of both diplomacy and diversity within the Fellowship might create better integration between U.S. American and European perspectives.

Diplomacy in 3D

The United States government understands diplomacy in the context of a 3D (defense, development and diplomacy) national strategy. In this context, U.S. diplomacy has a very specific goal – “to pursue American interests and advance American values.” (3) In particular, efforts spearheaded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton were designed to restructure the development and diplomacy agencies, patterning them after the more successfully funded and supported defense department.

“During my years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I saw how the Department of Defense used its Quadrennial Defense Review to align its resources, policies, and strategies for the present – and the future. No similar mechanism existed for modernizing the State Department or USAID. In July 2009, I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a wholesale review of the State Department and USAID to recommend how to better equip, fund, train, and organize ourselves to meet current diplomatic and development priorities and how to begin building the people, structures, processes, and resources today to address the world’s challenges in the years ahead.” (4)

Thus, the role of the defense, diplomacy and development agencies as extensions of future-oriented U.S. national strategic interests is intentionally coordinated and unapologetically strategic. Instead of simply reacting to diplomatic and development crises, Clinton was calling for better integration with national interests. It is easy to lose track of these intentions when one is focusing on the benefits that a particular development project might bring to a community or the value of sports diplomacy; however, as will be discussed later in this paper, this characteristic of U.S. diplomacy is not universal, and other conceptualizations of diplomacy might be more useful depending on the context.

In the 3D model it would be impossible to describe a diplomatic agenda without both understating the strategic mission of the state and the complementary approaches of the defense and development agencies.

Key to understanding the 3D model is recognition of the coordination between agencies representing the three paths to an integrated national strategy. The Department of Defense (DoD), as an example, plays an important role in both diplomatic and development efforts, and vice versa: “U.S. diplomacy benefits from the U.S. military’s capacity to project itself rapidly into extreme situations, such as disasters and other humanitarian emergencies, enhancing the U.S. image as a humanitarian actor. Humanitarian assistance, military training, and other forms of assistance also provide opportunities to cultivate good relations with foreign populations, militaries, and governments.”(5) This is evidence that in the 3D model it would be impossible to describe a diplomatic agenda without both understating the strategic mission of the state and the complementary approaches of the defense and development agencies.

Given this state-centered context, what does “diversity” mean? How is it potentially being integrated? Characterizing diplomacy as “the backbone of U.S. foreign policy,” Secretary of State Clinton described the diverse outreach goals as follows: “The State Department must expand its engagement to reach and influence wider and more diverse groups using new skills, strategies, and tools. To that end, the department is broadening the way it conceives of diplomacy as well as the roles and responsibilities of its practitioners.” (6) In this context, diversity is not about bringing together diverse perspectives – the goal of organizations such as Humanity in Action (HIA); rather the goal is to spread U.S. influence broadly to diverse communities around the globe. This represents a unidirectional flow of ideas. It is easy to understand how such a model might be inconsistent with goals of cross-cultural exchange and dialogue.

Given that the goal of diplomacy in a 3D model is to spread the influence of one state to other states and entities outside its borders, it is useful to consider the porous nature of today’s borders. With today’s technologies, people and information often flow effortlessly across borders. How is this 3D model engaging such flows? Secretary of State Clinton addresses this global interconnectedness as follows:

Clinton’s statement demonstrates that global interconnectedness is seen as largely impacting the target audience(s) of the ambassador, and more broadly of the State department.

“Increasing global interconnectedness now necessitates reaching beyond governments to citizens directly and broadening the U.S. foreign policy portfolio to include issues once confined to the domestic sphere, such as economic and environmental regulation, drugs and disease, organized crime, and world hunger. As those issues spill across borders, the domestic agencies addressing them must now do more of their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. A U.S. ambassador in 2010 is thus responsible not only for managing civilians from the State Department and USAID but also for operating as the CEO of a multiagency mission. And he or she must also be adept at connecting with audiences outside of government, such as the private sector and civil society.” (7)

Clinton’s statement demonstrates that global interconnectedness is seen as largely impacting the target audience(s) of the ambassador, and more broadly of the State department. In this model the identity of the diplomatic actor remains unchanged. Later in this paper, I will explore how transnational flows and global problems are impacting individual, state and regional identity. At this point, it is simply important to note that in the 3D model, these flows simply create a more complex task for traditional diplomatic actors (e.g., ambassadors) in their mission to spread U.S. influence.

Ultimately, the goal of diplomacy in such a context is global leadership – some would say dominance – for the country initiating the diplomacy. 

Finally, I want to emphasize that the efforts to address problems of global concern are ultimately rooted in nationalist concerns about the maintenance of U.S. influence. Too often discussions of diplomacy and development obfuscate the clear intentions of the actors. These are not global humanitarian initiatives that focus on individual wellbeing; U.S. diplomacy and development agencies are part of a robust and integrated national strategy. Secretary of State Clinton states it best when she says, “As stewards of American taxpayer dollars, the State Department and USAID must be strategic in pursuing the most critical needs and in making decisions based on hard evidence to ensure that investments deliver results.” (8) While some readers might interpret this as government operating with the precision of the business world, it is important to remember that businesses are designed to be profit-making; countries that follow this model similarly attempt to maintain a military, economic and diplomatic advantage over other states. Thus, the integration of defense, development and diplomacy are in no way suggestive of a U.S. that is attempting to be more humanitarian in its mission or egalitarian in its approach. It is a strategic decision to expand a model that has been successful within the defense department and to recognize the national security benefits of more integrated agencies: “It is time to move beyond the past and to recognize diplomacy and development as national security priorities and smart investments in the United States’ future stability and security.” (9)

I have quoted Clinton heavily here because she spoke so extensively about these issues during her tenure (2009-2013); the current Secretary of State has been in office less than a year. However, the ideas expressed by Clinton during her recent term are echoed by her predecessors. An article written collectively by eight former Secretaries of State, including Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, acknowledges the three Ds as an important foreign policy principle, and laments the inadequate funding for diplomacy, development and democratic governance. (10)

Ultimately, the goal of diplomacy in such a context is global leadership – some would say dominance – for the country initiating the diplomacy. Consider Clinton’s statement about the role of defense, diplomacy and development in U.S. global leadership: “With the right balance of civilian and military power, the United States can advance its interests and values, lead and support other nations in solving global problems, and forge strong diplomatic and development partnerships with traditional allies and newly emerging powers. And we can rise to the challenges of the world in the twenty-first century and meet the tests of America’s global leadership.” (11)

It would be easy to believe that this state-centered framing of diplomacy is the only option. However, the opportunity to contrast U.S. American and European perspectives highlights that there is a considerable challenge to this way of thinking about diplomacy that emerges from the model of European integration that displaces the primacy of national identity. In the section below, I reflect on diplomacy in the European context.

European Diplomacy

On an anecdotal level, Europe exists as an identity in a way that North America, as an example, does not.

What makes Europe different? On an anecdotal level, Europe exists as an identity in a way that North America, as an example, does not. Anecdotally, as a U.S. American and an International Relations scholar who often interacts with colleagues from other countries, I often ask people about their nationality and/or family origins. I have met a number of “Africans” and “Europeans.” I have never met (and do not anticipate meeting) a “North American.” Canadians, Mexicans and U.S. Americans do not often think of themselves as sharing a cultural identity. Contrastingly, “European” is often used to characterize styles of architecture, fashion and food. It exists as an identity, apart from the identity of the individual countries that constitute Europe. (12)

Another important distinction is the existence of regional, supranational institutions. Scholars often discuss the impact of institutions of the European Union (EU). In comparing EU institutions to other regional structures, such as NAFTA, ASEAN and CARICOM, Mirzakhanyan wrote, “The European Union stands apart from the rest by its sui generis status of a supranational community determined, in the first place, by a wide spectrum of issues transferred to its supranational institutions. Having covered a long road of integration, it is still a developing supranational structure.” (13)

One of the issues impacting European integration is the lack of agreement on who is rightfully part of Europe.

Similar to the 3D model of the U.S., European institutions take an integrated approach to strategic goals, employing a combination of military and diplomatic solutions. The 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS) “asserts that the threats and challenges it describes cannot be adequately addressed by military means alone, but require a mixture of military, political, and economic tools.” (14) In this context military forces work with diplomatic forces to advance the strategic interests of Europe, however we may define it. Boin and Ekengren identified the ESS as the closest thing to a shared EU philosophy, even if it falls short of collaborative action: “The ESS adopts a comprehensive view, explicitly linking internal and external threats, civilian and military capacities, and natural and man-made disasters. The ESS has not moved much beyond ‘paper status’, however, and its influence has been limited at best.” (15) One of the issues impacting European integration is the lack of agreement on who is rightfully part of Europe. Depending on the context, Europe might be alternatively understood as the countries on the continent of Europe, or the countries within the European Union? In the latter case, member states are dynamically changing, creating a further challenge in understanding the boundaries of what is European. To the extent that countries that are not part of the EU may be seen as being less committed to European integration, they might be interpreted as less European than EU member states. In this sense the regional boundaries of Europe can be as challenging to define as the national borders of the U.S. with current transnational flows.

In particular, there was significant tension around the word and concept of “race.” Were the Europeans unwilling to discuss and address the important racial tensions that exist? Or were they addressing the issues under a different name?

Even if we agree about the physical boundaries of the U.S. or of Europe, we still have to engage the question of diversity within these entities. Is U.S. American diversity the same as European diversity? Does the concept travel easily across the Atlantic? A recurring conversation – some might say tension – within the group was about what constitutes “diversity.” Not surprisingly, Fellows in the group often referred to characteristics that had marked them as a minority in different contexts, including racial identity, sexual orientation, gender identity and socio-economic status. In the two weeks during which the Fellowship was based in France, these conversations were complicated by the fact that France does not maintain official statistics about race. This contrast to the understanding of race in the U.S. created a disjunction between the conversations that began in Washington, DC and those that were to continue in Paris. In particular, there was significant tension around the word and concept of “race.” Were the Europeans unwilling to discuss and address the important racial tensions that exist? Or were they addressing the issues under a different name? This single yet significant issue led a number of the Fellows to question whether Europe, and France specifically, was really committed to addressing issues of diversity. These tensions went beyond discussions with government officials and included engagements with French and other European citizens who seemed reluctant to engage in open and candid discussions regarding issues of race.

The underlying issue in the debate about race is how U.S. Americans and Europeans might see the issue of diversity differently. In our discussions with French diplomats, emphasis was placed on the inclusion of women into the diplomatic corps. When pressed about “racial” diversity, we were encouraged to think in terms of nationality. In these discussions, underrepresented nationalities seemed to be associated with certain Parisian suburbs and lower socio-economic statuses. These discussions made it difficult to determine when and whether nationalities were seen as important sources of diversity, outside and apart from the issues of socio-economic class. This made it difficult to identify an acknowledgement of white (skin color) privilege, which is broadly accepted as a problem that disadvantages non-white people in the U.S. A program like Diplomacy and Diversity must thus address the question of what type of diversity is to be discussed and engaged. If left to chance, the most vocal people will often set an agenda specific to their experience.

While some scholars point to the coordination around issues of security environmental threats, issues of national and religious diversity seem to be obstacles to European integration.

Among Europeans (however we define the group), there is significant variation in identities. Earlier I discussed the U.S. American identity as being easily distinguished from other North Americans. What is the impact of transnational flows on a continent that has established a more coherent identity? One factor is that there is significant collaboration within Europe among states. This is particularly important in addressing threats – such as climate change – that pay no attention to borders. Boin and Ekengren wrote, “Nation states will have to collaborate to develop transboundary management capacity. Such a process has been taking place in Europe, where the member states of the European Union (EU) have begun to develop joint safety and security arrangements for this new world of crises and disasters.” (16) While there are certainly challenges to this integration, as articulated by Glencross, (17) the advances toward regional collaboration continue to stand as an example for other countries, as globally coordinated action becomes increasingly important to address problems that transcend borders, such as the spread of the Ebola virus.

What is interesting in the case of European integration is that while some scholars point to the coordination around issues of security environmental threats, issues of national and religious diversity seem to be obstacles to European integration. Awad wrote about the “religio-phobia” in the region, (18) while Triadafilapoulos wrote about the use of coercive state power to protect liberal values. (19) Thus, at an ideational and material level, there is evidence to suggest that there are limits to Europe’s integration capacity. Joppke talked specifically about the challenge of the integration of Muslims in European countries, (20) which is discussed in more detail below. Although there is clearly a trend towards Islamophobia, that does not preclude the existence of specific cases of successful integration, which López-Bueno has written about in Spain. (21) While the implementation and effectiveness of European integration is politically controversial, what is clear from the hundreds – maybe thousands – of articles written about it is that it exists as an ideal that others are looking toward for guidance.

Nevertheless, differences remain.

How does a European diplomatic sensibility translate to the issues of global leadership or dominance? Echague wrote about how the U.S. and the EU interpret the goal of economic policies and related diplomatic relations in different ways: “In the past couple of years both the European Union and the United States have made their commitment to some form of economic statecraft explicit. Nevertheless, differences remain. Whilst the EU focuses on commercial diplomacy as a means to achieve growth, the U.S. speaks of economic statecraft as a means of retaining leadership and shaping the global political system.” (22) These distinctions are significant. The strategic political motivations of the U.S. underlie all diplomatic relations, while the EU is more focused on broad economic growth without such narrowly strategic goals. Echague was critical of this narrow economic focus for two reasons. “The focus on exports and investment is leading to increased competition between member states for commercial access to emerging markets and is encouraging bilateralism to the detriment of common EU approaches;” and “The pursuit of strictly economic goals in foreign policy can lead to strategic parochialism and a neglect of the bigger geo-political picture.” (23) Competition and cooperation often exist simultaneously in a system. As an example, cell phone companies in the U.S. often compete for customers but work cooperatively to build the infrastructure that they all use. However, finding the appropriate and productive balance of coordination and cooperation can be difficult.

This raises the question of whether diplomacy should be conducted in such a way that an individual state “leads” the rest of the countries. Should there be a greater moral imperative? Are these simply matters of power politics? Further, is a regional strategic mission substantively different from a national strategy? Some would argue that both are missing an opportunity to understand global humanity in a way that rejects national or regional “citizenship” as the most important factors in determining rights and restrictions. Below I explore some of the alternatives and extensions of the U.S. and European diplomatic perspectives. Among these are more cosmopolitan or global citizenship ideals that would encourage the promotion of better relations across cultural difference, regardless of citizenship.

Cosmopolitan Citizenry

Although there is overlap between the U.S. American and European conceptions of diplomacy, there is also considerable contrast. Some might suggest that the two are in ways incommensurable. If so, then one has to consider more deliberately what it means to bring together U.S. American and European junior scholars. What are we debating? It seems clear that there are several key points of contention, including (1) the value of diversity for diplomacy, (2) the impact of transnational flows on diplomatic affairs and (3) leadership (or dominance) in the context of diplomacy. Above, each of these three points has been discussed in the sections about U.S. American diplomacy (in 3D) and European diplomacy. The underlying question is whether US American and European diplomacy might be incompatible. Based on the contrast between the European (regional) identity and the U.S. American (national) identity, there is reason to explore whether these forms of identity ultimately lead to different ideas about citizenship, (national, regional and global) interests and ultimately diplomacy.

Sociopolitical and national identities impact how Fellows in the program understand themselves in relation to other Fellows, as well as the project of advancing “diplomacy and diversity.” Of course, traditional understandings of citizenship are rooted in national identity. (24) However, the concept of cosmopolitanism is useful in understanding how identities and citizenship can be differently understood: “In its simplest formulation, cosmopolitanism derives from the empirical assertion that the processes of globalization have resulted in social and political networks which render the traditional locus of citizenship affiliations and membership less relevant (though not necessarily obsolete).” (25) In contrast to the idea of national citizenship, cosmopolitan theories “define citizenship identities as transcending rootedness in the nation-state.” (26)

On the surface a cosmopolitan perspective with regard to citizenship is well aligned with HIA’s intention to create a “global network of students, young professionals and established leaders committed to promoting human rights, diversity and active citizenship – in their own communities and around the world.” (29)

This cosmopolitan notion of citizenship is often associated with EU membership, which appears to many scholars to be redefining the concept: “In the EU, which is not ‘settled’ as a polity compared to nation states and has developed a complex system of multilevel decision-making, the scope and limits of citizenship are therefore not clear-cut.” (27) However, as mentioned above the ideas often move much faster than the institutions, and the realities of EU function are very much inter-national. As Olsen wrote, “Despite certain cosmopolitan developments towards granting rights based on ‘personhood’ rather than ‘nationhood’, European citizenship is also heavily dependent on the interface between nation state and federal arrangements in EU politics.” (28)

On the surface a cosmopolitan perspective with regard to citizenship is well aligned with HIA’s intention to create a “global network of students, young professionals and established leaders committed to promoting human rights, diversity and active citizenship – in their own communities and around the world.” (29) Furia defined cosmopolitanism as “the belief that humanity as a whole constitutes a relevant identity group and that concrete moral and political obligations arise from this identification.” (30) Linking cosmopolitanism to human rights, Held described one of the defining characteristics of cosmopolitanism as follows: “In the first instance, cosmopolitanism refers to those basic values which set down standards or boundaries that no agent, whether a representative of a global body, state or civil association, should be able to violate.” (31) Moving from concept to document, Starkey described the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as “a text that is cosmopolitan in perspective, utopian in intention and universal in its potential to enable people whose value systems are diverse and apparently incompatible nonetheless to recognize and accept common standards and principles that make living in society possible.” (32) All of these definitions point to the notion of cosmopolitanism as a moral ideal much broader than the interests of any one state.

It is important to note that cosmopolitan citizenship does not necessarily replace national citizenship as much as it extends the idea of citizenship beyond the state. Starkey described a cosmopolitan perspective as one that “envisages all people gradually acknowledging an identity as global citizen in addition to local and national feelings of belonging.” (33) Further, a cosmopolitan identity is not simply about contrasts to national identity, but rather can extend to other types of identity: “Cosmopolitanism does not, moreover, imply a rejection of other identifications related, for example, to ethnicity, faith, or sexuality, but seeks to build upon them and extend them. Such identifications often develop out of a struggle for justice and equality, and such struggles are, for many people, a starting point in recognizing solidarities and differences across boundaries.” (34) Some of the discussions about “race” among Fellows, in fact, were based upon a social justice ethic that aims to respond to the transnational oppression of racialized peoples by multinational corporations that span multiple countries.

“Cosmopolitanism can be taken to refer to those forms of political regulation and law-making that create powers, rights and constraints which go beyond the claims of nation-states and which have far-reaching consequences, in principle, for the nature and form of political power.” (35)

Held noted that, in addition to human rights values, cosmopolitanism can also be recognized in political form and power: “Cosmopolitanism can be taken to refer to those forms of political regulation and law-making that create powers, rights and constraints which go beyond the claims of nation-states and which have far-reaching consequences, in principle, for the nature and form of political power.” (35) Although human rights are related to the cosmopolitan ideals of Europe, institutional commitments to human rights can be identified in both European and American contexts:

“The establishment of the European Union has been accompanied by a Charter of Fundamental Rights and by the formation of a European Court of Justice. The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which encompasses states which are not members of the EU as well, permits the claims of citizens of adhering states to be heard by a European Court of Human Rights. Parallel developments can be seen on the American continent through the establishment of the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.” (36)

Benhabib linked the proliferation of cosmopolitan norms and the rise of the international human rights regime with the changing security situation following September 11, 2001. Many scholars see these as markers of an increasingly interdependent world: “Global human rights and cosmopolitan norms establish new thresholds of public justification for a humanity that is increasingly united and interdependent.” (37)

While on the surface such cosmopolitan values seem to promote greater understanding and collaboration, Langmann argued that there is also an outsider in such political alliances: “Cosmopolitan discourses on tolerance, respect and recognition, therefore, all trade on a welcome and openness to the other, while simultaneously being unwelcoming to those whose differences are seen as antagonistic to the cosmopolitan ideal, such as the ‘racist’, the ‘terrorist’ or the ‘intolerant.’” (38) The challenges of identifying real allies in the advancement of human rights presented themselves throughout the program. As mentioned above, there were times when French diplomatic officials describing their “colorblind” policies were seen not as progressive, but rather as upholding and sustaining years of racist practice that has disadvantaged (and continues to disadvantage) many non-white French citizens and residents. Thus, defining this line drawn between those with whom one can collaborate politically and those who are enemies of one’s sociopolitical agenda can be challenging. (39)

The challenges of reconciling cosmopolitan values with perspectives that appear to be “intolerant” are painfully obvious in Europe’s current political climate:

“Responding to concerns by governments to real and perceived threats to social cohesion across Europe, the Council of Europe commissioned a group of distinguished academic and political figures to report on the challenges arising from the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination in Europe. The group identified developments in European society that challenge any assumption that there is consensus around the principles of democracy and human rights.” (40)

Thus, while the concept of a cosmopolitan citizenry is very much rooted in supranational identities such as European citizenship, there is an ongoing struggle to make such ideals a reality. While in France, Fellows specifically engaged the issue of French laws restricting Muslim head coverings and what this demonstrated about the tension between human rights, cosmopolitan norms and national identity. Edmunds described the tension as follows: “Muslim women protesting against the ban on the day of its introduction claimed it was a violation of their human rights. The ban thus captures, very neatly, the conflict between growing mobilization around human rights among European Muslims and the question of how religious freedom, protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), sits with European secularism.” (41) Thus, in the same space, there is both growing human rights mobilization and the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination.

“What is at stake in cosmopolitan hospitality, then, is not primarily whether or how to include or exclude those who are not the same as ‘us’. Instead, so I wish to argue, the educational significance lies in our willingness to endure the impossibility… of knowing who the other is.”

Langmann suggested that attention to cosmopolitan hospitality is one way to engage such tensions between the cosmopolitan self and intolerant other: “What is at stake in cosmopolitan hospitality, then, is not primarily whether or how to include or exclude those who are not the same as ‘us’. Instead, so I wish to argue, the educational significance lies in our willingness to endure the impossibility (impossible insofar as it exceeds the range of given possibilities) of knowing who the other is, and in the attempt to endure it again and again and not once and for all.” (42) If anything was painfully obvious about this inaugural year, it was that engaging in these transatlantic diversity dialogues required endurance, perseverance and considerable commitment to the group and the project. In that way, the experience was unique in its demand on the Fellows.

However, if we are to believe Langmann, all such engagements with cosmopolitan hospitality are taxing in this way: “Hospitality calls for a more courageous and risky approach to education for global citizenship, one that acknowledges the pedagogical importance of both strangeness and familiarity, both losing one’s places and finding one’s place.” (43) Any fellowship such as the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship, where adults are challenged both to articulate some realities about their own identity while engaging in cross-cultural exchange and hospitality, is bound to be risky. It required risk in the sense that one’s own identity was on the agenda, for discussion and possible attack. Agreeing to such personal vulnerability in the context of a program required courage among participants.

Although cosmopolitan citizenship and hospitality do not require a rejection of national identity, a more critical perspective – one that is courageous and risky as described above – is required:

“While education for cosmopolitan citizenship does not necessarily imply a tension with education for national citizenship, it does require a different approach to national citizenship and a critical rather than unthinking patriotism. Since cosmopolitan citizenship is based on feelings of solidarity with human beings wherever they are situated and acceptance of diversity, it necessarily challenges ethno-nationalist and other exclusive definitions of the nation.” (44)

The statement further highlights the complexities of advancing a cosmopolitan commitment to human rights while simultaneously embracing the concept of diversity. Above, I have given examples from Europe, and even from the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship, which highlight the nature of such challenges. Below, I explore the potential of science diplomacy, which can sometimes skirt political tensions, appealing either to the economic benefits for multiple parties or the impossibility of completing the tasks at hand without significant cooperation.

Science Diplomacy and 4D Models

This section on science diplomacy is included here to make a distinction between social sciences and other types of science – mathematical, biological, chemical and physical. Whereas social scientists, and specifically political scientists, accept that discussions about diplomacy, development and defense will be ideological in nature, mathematical and natural scientists tend to assume a more rational model. They often collaborate in the context of political tensions at the state level, with the understanding that their scientific goals will not be met without significant collaboration. In particular, climate scientists and public health officials believe that in spite of ideological differences, crises of global scale will force cooperation, possibly leading to ecological citizenship.

“Climate change or the destruction of the ozone layer are examples of new global public goods: those that cannot be satisfied individually and that demand co-operation in the search for solutions. To this would have to be added the global dimension of the risks generated by ecological problems themselves. This dual aspect of ‘the environmental’ as a public good to defend and as a potential threat beyond the nation-state makes necessary new theoretical spaces to justify the conservation of nature and the avoidance of ecological catastrophes. The concept of ecological citizenship constitutes one of these new theoretical spaces.” (45)

From the pending climate change crisis to any number of public health issues, there is good reason to believe that countries will sooner rather than later have to cooperate out of necessity. The current debate about responses to an Ebola outbreak seems to make precisely this point. (46)

“In Silicon Valley 44 percent of engineering and technology ventures launched between 2006 and 2012 were founded by at least one immigrant.”

What does science diplomacy mean for diversity? Once again, the answer depends on how one defines diversity. Is diversity defined by national origin, gender identity, ethnoracial identity, sexual orientation or other factors? Global corporate behemoth Google recently disclosed that it is “overwhelmingly white and male.” (47) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently noted “in Silicon Valley 44 percent of engineering and technology ventures launched between 2006 and 2012 were founded by at least one immigrant” and “in the United States, more than a quarter of foreign-born workers with college degrees work as scientists or engineers.” (48) AAAS is specifically concerned with enhancing networks to promote scientific innovation and science diplomacy: “Scientific cooperation can be an essential element of foreign policy, allowing countries to focus on areas of mutual interest even if they are in conflict on political topics.” (49)

While U.S. American diplomacy is largely understood in the 3D – diplomacy, defense and development – context described above, scientists will sometimes caution against the strategic interests of one state interfering with scientific collaboration. According to former U.S. astronaut David Hilmers, “science diplomacy should not be seen as a sort of ‘soft power’ by which one nation tries to exert leverage on another nation.” (50) Science diplomacy is just one way in which diplomacy within the U.S. may be able to move its 3D engagement into a less strategic and more collaborative approach. Consider the current call for international collaboration on a cure for the rapidly spreading Ebola virus. Many of the scientists engaged are calling for cooperation, based on a necessity that abandons ideological discussions. However, even in this context, there may be a useful discussion to be had about issues of diversity. In particular, reports have pointed to the high death rates of health professionals who are not U.S. nationals. (51) What is clear is that even in the case of science diplomacy, the marginalization of groups, based on nationality or other factors, must be addressed in order to obtain an inclusive approach.

At the beginning of this paper, I mentioned that Humanity in Action founder and Executive Director Judith Goldstein suggested the addition of a fourth D, for diversity, to the 3D model. Goldstein is not the first person to consider tweaks to the 3D model. Minkov and Smolynec wrote a series of articles about Soviet strategic interests in which they included a fourth D for disengagement. They argue that especially for the rebuilding of failed states such as Afghanistan, “Disengagement should be considered an essential element in planning international engagements involving military intervention, combined with significant political and financial commitments.” (52)

Considering the complexity of the global crises facing us, innovative approaches to solving problems will be critically important.

Exploring Goldstein’s suggestions of diplomacy in 4D – defense, development, diplomacy and diversity – requires thinking about how such an approach would take form. According to Page, people with different perspectives improve the probability of innovation. (53) Considering the complexity of the global crises facing us, innovative approaches to solving problems will be critically important. During the two weeks during which the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship was based in Washington, DC, we were often hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). Only a month before the Fellowship began, CFR Senior Vice President and Director of Studies James M. Lindsay convened a “Diversity in International Affairs” conference. During opening comments, he described the issue of diversity in international affairs as follows:

“While America’s ethnic and racial makeup has changed dramatically in recent decades, the ethnic and racial makeup of the American foreign policy community hasn’t. That’s a loss for our country. Talented voices and unique perspectives that could enrich our foreign policy debate are not being heard. That loss is all the greater in the globalizing world in which we live, in which events and people overseas increasingly affect our lives here at home. Our very diversity – the fact that we as a society of ties to virtually every country in the world – can be a great strength in a complex and challenging world.” (54)

In this context, diversity is invoked as a tool of U.S. American foreign policy. Lindsay identified the inability to leverage such diversity as a weakness in the U.S. capacity to exert influence. This is consistent with the 3D model.

During the CFR “Diversity in International Affairs” conference, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice was invited to share her perspective. She said the following:

“First of all, we are a nation that has every element of the world represented in it, and it’s one of our, I think, extraordinary strengths. And yet, when you look at the profile of those who are making and running our national security and foreign policy, it doesn’t look anything like the diversity of America. It is still overwhelmingly, predominately white and male – although less male, but still predominately male. And there’re very few visible minorities. We have very low religious diversity, which I think is a big impediment. We have very little racial diversity.” (55)

Similar to Lindsay, Rice recognized the exclusion of diversity as a problem for the country in relation to its ability to address national security and foreign policy issues. Similar to Page, Rice recognized the great potential of bringing together diverse perspectives: “One of our greatest strengths is our people, and that we are everybody in one place. And if we were harnessing that diversity, we would be making better foreign policy decisions and we would be making judgments that were more conscious of and informed by the insights and perspectives that, collectively as a nation, we have the capacity to bring to bear. And yet we don’t.” (56) These examples of how U.S. scholars and international relations professionals understand the importance of diversity highlight an emphasis on the benefit to the country, rather than a more cosmopolitan perspective. A more inclusive approach to diplomacy would likely take a more cosmopolitan perspective that focuses on the rights of diverse individuals across national boundaries.


This paper simultaneously has been a discussion of the challenges and potential of transatlantic discussions of diplomacy and diversity and a reflection on the inaugural Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship program. After an intensive intercultural and cross-cultural experience, such reflection is critical to taking full advantage of the experience. Jackson noted the importance of reflection throughout such learning experiences: “Intercultural education can enrich the learning experience of student sojourners by providing a framework to help them make sense of cultural difference. To be most effective, individual and group reflection should be promoted before, during, and after a sojourn.” (57) Throughout the four-week summer fellowship, Fellows yearned for such reflection. While the Fellowship’s packed schedule rarely allowed time for individual or group reflection, it is useful in this period after the program to consider what was learned or achieved, individually and in the name of the larger project.

The reflections in this paper are about the different ways that one might understand diplomacy and diversity. Although the U.S. has clearly defined its diplomatic efforts in 3D – development, defense and diplomacy – as part of a larger strategic goal, the comparison to European notions of citizenship and diplomacy give us reason to question whether this framing is ideal. The ideas of a cosmopolitan citizenship and hospitality have been explored as an alternative perspective that creates potential tensions between U.S. and European perspectives. Ecological citizenship and science diplomacy stand out as a less politically charged approach to international and transnational collaboration. As the U.S.-initiated discussions of diversity – especially racial diversity – advance, there will likely continue to be tensions between the U.S. and European understanding of diversity because of a resistance to the discussion of “race” in Europe. As I reflect on my experience in the summer fellowship and look forward to learning about future Diplomacy and Diversity Fellows, I hope that past and future Fellows will have time to reflect on the nuances embedded in a project such as this one. Further, I hope that we can engage in the courageous and risky work, as Langmann called it, (58) of both defining the “we” who are fighting for human rights and discussing how “we” can more hospitably engage the intolerant other, or “them,” on the path to a better global society for all.

•     •     •


Hall, Kia. “Diplomacy in 3D, 4D and Beyond.” Article, “Knowledge & Action,” Humanity in Action, 2015. Humanity in Action, Inc.


  1. Here the term U.S. American is used to designate Americans from the United States. Although the term American is often used to identify this group, it does not acknowledge the existence of other “Americans” in North, Central and South America. Thus, this term is more descriptively accurate.
  2. Although we met with individuals and organizations outside of the diplomatic core, these entities were seen as potential influences on traditional diplomatic organs, rather than leaders in diplomacy
  3. Clinton, Hilary Rodham. 2010. “Leading Through Civilian Power.” Foreign Affairs 89, no. 6 (November/December): 13 – 24.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Congressional Research Service. 2008. “Perspectives: The Department of Defense Role in Foreign Assistance: Background, Major Issues, and Options for Congress.” DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management (December): 117 – 138.
  6. Clinton, 2010.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Kissinger, Henry, George Schultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. 2009. “U.S. Must Deploy More Foreign Diplomacy Personnel.” Politico. Posted June 25.
  11. Clinton, 2010.
  12. During the Fellowship, we had multiple conversations about which countries constitute Europe and the difference between Europe and the European Union; while no agreement was reached on the answers to these issues, we did agree that there are a number of possible interpretations.
  13. Mirzakhanyan, S. 2012. “Supranational: From Europe to Eurasia.” International Affairs 6: 102 – 110.
  14. Mix, Derek E. 2013. “The European Union: Foreign and Security Policy.” CRS Report for Congress: 1 – 25.
  15. Boin, Arjen and Magnus Ekengren. 2009. “Preparing for the World Risk Society: Towards a New Security Paradigm for the European Union.” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 17, no. 4 (December): 285 – 294.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Glencross, Andrew. 2014. “The Eurozone Crisis as a Challenge to Democracy and Integration in Europe.” Orbis 58, no. 1 (January): 55 – 68.
  18. Najib, George Awad. 2013. “Religio-phobia: Western Islam, Social Integration and the Resurgence of Religiosity in Europe.” The Muslim World 103 (October): 433 – 447.
  19. Triadafilopoulos, Triadafilos. 2011. “Illiberal Means to Liberal Ends? Understanding Recent Immigrant Integration policies in Europe.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37, no. 6 (July): 861 – 880.
  20. Joppke, Christian. 2014. “Europe and Islam: Alarmists, Victimists, and Integration by Law.” West European Politics 37, no. 6 (November): 1314 – 1335.
  21. López-Bueno, José María. 2013. “A Real-Time Example for Muslim Integration in Europe: Melilla, an Unknown Spanish City.” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 33, no. 2 (June): 224 – 240.
  22. Echague, Ana. 2012. “European Commercial Diplomacy: The Hunt for Growth.” FRIDE: A European Think Tank for Global Action 138 (October): 1 – 5.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Camicia, Steven P. and Barry M. Franklin. 2011. “What Type of Global Community and Citizenship? Tangled Discourses of Neoliberalism and Critical Democracy Curriculum and Its Reform.” Globalisation, Societies and Education. 9, nos. 3 – 4: 311 – 322.
  25. Peterson, Andrew. 2012. “The Educational Limits of Ethical Cosmopolitanism: Towards the Importance of Virtue in Cosmopolitan Education and Communities.” British Journal of Educational Studies 60, no. 3: 227 – 242.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Olsen, Espen D. H. 2013. “European Citizenship: Mixing Nation State and Federal Features with a Cosmopolitan Twist.” Perspectives on European Politics and Society 14, no. 4: 505 – 519.
  28. Ibid., p. 506.
  29. Humanity in Action. 2014. “About Us.” Accessed August 27.
  30. Furia, Peter A. 2005. “Global Citizenship, Anyone? Cosmopolitanism, Privilege and Public Opinion.” Global Society 19, no. 4: 331 – 359.
  31. Held, David. 2004. “Democratic Accountability and Political Effectiveness from a Cosmopolitan Perspective.” Government and Opposition 39, no. 2 (January): 364 – 391.
  32. Starkey, Hugh. 2012. “Human Rights, Cosmopolitanism and Utopias: Implications for Citizenship Education.” Cambridge Journal of Education 42, no. 1 (March): 21 – 35.
  33. Ibid., p. 22.
  34. Osler, Audrey. 2011. “Teacher Interpretations of Citizenship Education: National Identity, Cosmopolitan Ideals, and Political Realities.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 43, no. 1: 1 – 24.
  35. Held, 2004, p. 388.
  36. Benhabib, Seyla. 2007. “Twilight of Sovereignty or the Emergence of Cosmopolitan Norms? Rethinking Citizenship in Volatile Times.” Citizenship Studies 11, no. 1: 19 – 36.
  37. Ibid., p. 33.
  38. Langmann, Elisabet. 2011. “Representational and Territorial Economies in Global Citizenship Education: Welcoming the Other at the Limit of Cosmopolitan Hospitality.” Globalisation, Societies and Education 9, nos. 3 – 4: 399 – 409.
  39. Another layer of this complexity presented itself when at times Fellows interpreted as being “disrespectful” to speakers advancing such agendas.
  40. Starkey, 2012, p. 22.
  41. Edmunds, June. 2012. “The Limits of Post-National Citizenship: European Muslims, Human Rights and the Hijab.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 35, no. 7 (July): 1181 – 1199.
  42. Langmann, 2011, p. 407.
  43. Ibid.
  44. Osler, 2011, p. 3.
  45. Sáiz, Angel Valencia. 2005. “Globalisation, Cosmopolitanism and Ecological Citizenship.” Environmental Politics 14, no. 2: 163 – 178.
  46. Garza, Alexander. 2014. “Much more Vigorous Government Response to Ebola Is Needed.” New York Times. Updated October 3; Inglesby, Thmas. 2014. “Bolster Communication with Health Workers.” New York Times. Updated October 3; Vaughan, Jessica M. 2014. “Bar People from Areas Affected by Ebola Until Threat is Over.” New York Times. Updated October 3; Ryan, Aubrey Stimola. 2014. “To Fight Ebola, the E.R. and Outpatient Clinics Need to be Prepared.” New York Times. Updated October 2; Marty, Aileen M. 2014. “Recognizing Ebola is the Key to Prevention.” New York Times. Updated October 2.
  47. Mendoza, Martha. 2014. “Google Admits It’s Overwhelmingly White and Male.” Updated May 29.
  48. Wren, Kathy. 2014. “Beyond the Brain Drain: How Diaspora Scientists are Bridging Nations.” Posted March 26.
  49. Ibid.
  50. Lempinen, Edward W. 2014. “Scientists, Diplomats from 32 Nations Connect at Science Diplomacy.” Posted June 30.
  51. Linshi, Jack. 2014. “Ebola Healthcare Workers are Dying Faster than Their Patients.” Published October 3.
  52. Minkov, Anton and Gregory Smolynec. 2010. “4-D Soviet Style: Defence, Development, Diplomacy and Disengagement in Afghanistan During the Soviet Period Part I: State Building.” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 23: 306 – 327.
  53. Page, Scott E. 2007. “Making the Difference: Applying a Logic of Diversity.” Academy of Management Perspectives (November): 6 – 20.
  54. Lindsay, James M. 2014. “Vali Nasr Discusses Diversity in International Relations.” Published April 4.
  55. Rice, Susan. 2014. “Susan Rice on Diversity in International Affairs.” Published April 7.
  56. Ibid.
  57. Jackson, Jane. 2011. “Cultivating Cosmopolitan, Intercultural Citizenship Through Critical Reflection and International Experiential Learning.” Language a& Intercultural Communication 11, no. 2: 80 – 96.
  58. Langmann, 2011.