Research team

International Politics

Expertise

I am doing research on innovation in diplomatic practice, including commissioned research for public sector clients like national governments. Typically, such research consists of pilot studies, policy analyses, expert advice in policy screenings and policy evaluations and the research and writing of research reports. I have done work for goverments on recent developments in diplomacy, including public diplomacy, the impact of the digital age on foreign ministries, assistance to nationals abroad and other topics.

Subnational diplomatic activities as motor of reterritorialisation? The case study of the Mediterranean region. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

Substate diplomacy questions our assumptions with the nature and the dynamics of the international system. Especially the territorial framework of the international system can be questioned. Some scholars speak of "the end of territory", but it can be assumed that the arrival of subnational entities on the international scene has, beside a process of deterritorialization, also started a dynamics of reterritorialization. Reterritorialization can be defined as "developments which occur when certain territorial entities loose their importance, in favor of other territorial configurations" . The central question entails the interaction between geopolitics and substate diplomacy. It will be examined in the case of the Mediterranean area. The central question is twofold; (1°) how and to what extent is the diplomacy of substate entities in this region "influenced" by environmental variables (e.g. physical-geography, human-geography, spatial setting), and (2°) how and to what extent do these actors re-shape their environment by means of their diplomacy? Or, to reformulate the latter dynamics: do the diplomatic activities of substate entities constitute motors of "reterritorialization"? These questions will be operationalized as follows: based on the research traditions and methods of traditional and cognitive geopolitics, the "influence" of geopolitical factors on the diplomacy of substate entities will be examined. A second (opposite) movement will start from the research tradition and methods of the critical geopolitics. The way in which substate entities try to redefine and restructure the space in which they operate by means of their diplomatic activities and foreign policy discourse, will be evaluated. The choice is made to apply this framework of substate diplomatic practices in a particular geographical area, namely the Mediterranean. During the last years, an increasing number of substate diplomatic initiatives have been taken in the Mediterranean, notably by the ambitious Catalan Generalitat.

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Policy Study Centre Foreign policy, Toerism and Recreation (2007-2011). 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)