Tom Fletcher’s masterpiece, Naked Diplomacy, answers the question, “Who would be the appropriate power holder in the age of digitalization. The book proposes options in the form of governments, intellectuals and internet titans. One of the main highlights of the book is to answer the question, “how would diplomacy affect our future?” The focus of the book is on the diplomats and their approach towards the provided power (Fletcher 2017). In the book, Tom is perceived as a techno-optimist leader, who enhances the clarity of the readers regarding the role, which the diplomats need to play in terms of making proper utilization of the provided power. This assignment would look into the extent to which Tom emerges successful in attracting the diplomats.
Diplomats possess governmental assistance for maintaining the relationship with the neighbouring countries. These diplomats are allotted certain duties and responsibilities. The adjective, “naked” indicates stripping off the power from them. The act of “arriving late”, as mentioned in the preface, indicates a violation of the protocol specified for the diplomats (Fletcher 2017). He might be having different names like Sherpa; however, their duties are common in all forms. Here, politics is a game regarding the exertion of power for grabbing the hot seat. Yak, the assistant to Sherpa is entitled to perform the negotiations according to the specified protocols.
Conditions to achieve diplomacy
When a country is on the developing stage, diplomacy can be achieved. This is because of the interactions, which takes place between the neighbouring countries. These interactions are necessary for ensuring that the plans are being properly executed. Along with this, diplomacy is easy to achieve when the battle is won. The interactions go on a positive note, consisting of the priviledges and facilities. Tom Fletcher is also of the view that influencing approach of the leaders ease the process of achieving diplomacy. Empire building does not reflect their task of building their identity. Herein lays the appropriateness of the phrase “pioneering mindset” (Fletcher 2017). Vastness of the warfield is assistance towards exposing the magnetic qualities. “Bridging the gap” is the actual investment, which is needed in terms of maintaining the stability in the diplomatic relationships. Clarity is needed in terms of exposing a fair play in execution of the diplomatic relations. Absence of this clarity compels the players to encounter shifts in power. These shifts distort the hierarchy, staining the relationship between nations.
After the reign of Napolean, the diplomatic players exposed a conscious approach towards the preserving the stately affairs. Fletcher is of the view that speaking the same language contradicts the aspect of “shrewd generosity”. This is because both the aspects cannot be placed side by side (Fletcher 2017). Shrewd reflects a cunning mentality, which opposes the character of the diplomats. On the other hand, generosity reflects the adoption of friendly approach towards the neighbouring countries. Countering this, in order to maintain relations with the neighbouring nations, shrewd behaviour can be considered a necessity for assessing their behaviour. “Lashings of protocol” can be the punishment for exposing shrewdness, however, “collective work” and “gallons of alcohol” are the means to lure the diplomats towards the act of maintaining stability in the relations. In this perspective, “shrewd generosity” can be related with the characteristics of the personnel entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the security within the stately affairs (Fletcher 2017).
Political unrests and instabilities degrade the condition of political scenario. Under such situation, diplomats fail to cater to the private state matters. In such a situation, the leaders search for a responsible shoulder to entrust them with the power of the nation. Blocks are also formed for secretly fighting with the opposition powers. Herein lays the appropriateness of the adjective “hard”, which reflects the intensity to which the diplomats fail to execute their duties in an ambience of unrests and instabilities. Apart from this, “hard” also connotes the disinterest of the citizens towards extending support to the leaders. Ties, negotiations, friendly pacts are needed in terms of making the country worth living for the citizens (Fletcher 2017). Here, the expression “disinterest” attains a negative connotation in terms of stabilizing the economy.
Policy: The medium between power and statecraft
Policy is one of the means, which systematizes the act of ensuring privacy in the stately affairs. Tom points out that policies help in influencing and luring people on a large scale. If people exposed disinterest towards cooperating with the leaders, the task of protecting the state becomes difficult. In one of his interviews, Tom Fletcher expresses his concern towards fighting the war due to the influence of democratization. Herein, the word “statecraft” can be discussed. Policies are the crafts, which are used for looking after the needs of the state. Proper utilization of the provided power enables the diplomats to craft the stability in the relationship between the nations in a proper manner (Fletcher 2017).
Diplomacy in the age of digitalization
In the 21st century, technology has created wonders in every field. This also includes the field of diplomacy. Latest and modern software have enabled the diplomats to maintain the secrecy in the private statements of the neighboring countries. Mention can be made of the transformation from telegrams to fax machines, which simultaneously reflects the technological advancements. These advancements are necessary for the diplomats in terms of keeping tracks about the recent stately affairs. The intellectuals express their concerns regarding smartphones replacing the diplomacy. However, they are sure that diplomatic activities can be done on the smartphones (Fletcher 2017). Typical example in this direction is skype conversations, video calling with the neighboring countries. These conversations are effective when there if fair competition between the diplomatic players. This fairness is crucial in terms of maintaining the positivity in the relationship between the nations.
If the resources are inadequate, the diplomats fail to execute the allocated duties and responsibilities. This inadequacy adds an interrogative parameter to the “mindset”. Furthermore, this inadequacy is contradicted by the aspect of agenda, which is set by “demagogues and tabloids” (Fletcher 2017). Setting agenda is one of the responsibilities of the diplomats, for which a cool mindset is needed. “Tabloids” can be considered as one of an innovative example of the technological advantage. “Your” indicates Tom’s address to the diplomats regarding the projection of appropriate mindset towards execution of the allocated duties and responsibilities.
Harsh rules and regulations is one of the other factors aggravating the complexities of the diplomats. Along with this, disruptive international system also makes the task of the diplomats difficult. Delving deep into the aspect, adjective “disruptive” can be related with the power politics games, which reflects the mentality to make effective use of the provided power (Fletcher 2017). Intervention of the miscreants into the agenda setting process, acts as an obstacle for the diplomats towards maintaining relationship with the neighbours and partners. One of an interesting aspect in this context is that of the mindset of the opponent party. If they think that diplomacy “does not matter”, then a feeling of demotivation is generated within the diplomats. This negligent approach makes the diplomatic tasks more complex. Therefore, Tom is right when he says, “Yet the periods when diplomacy is hardest are also the periods when it matters the most”.
When Tom says, “Much of the West is therefore in a phase of hard diplomacy”, he means the adaptation of the western culture. Tom presents such a phase as a difficult one, which forces the diplomats to exercise their brain and come up with some innovative ideas (Fletcher 2017). In such an ambience, strong and powerful hands are required, which is symbolized by the animals, “yak” and “horse”. The diplomats who wish to expose their capability at the final stage; Tom perceives them as one, for whom “technology has disrupted the true essence of diplomacy”. Proposing that the conditions for the over confident diplomats possess great value, Tom doubts over the effectiveness of Google ambassador or a national one. Here, option of Skype also comes, which can be related with that of digitalization.
Stately importance of Google is also doubted in terms of the effectiveness, with which the diplomats can perform their tasks. Perceiving the diplomats as “courtiers” aligns their responsibilities with that of spies. “Moving between the hierarchies” makes the identity of the diplomats similar to that of the nomads (Fletcher 2017). This makes them the slaves of their masters, with no self-respect at all. Pondering upon their functionalities, an interrogative parameter is added to the identity of the diplomats. This is a national crisis, as they move from countries to countries for securing the relations between the neighbours. Countering this, technology can be considered as an agent, which reduces the distance between the nations, enhancing the security of the diplomats. Herein lays the appropriateness of the software, which are flexible in enhancing the awareness of the diplomats about the happenings of the associate partners and neighbours (Fletcher 2017). Typical example in this direction is “Skype”, which enhances the stability in the relationship between the diplomats from two different countries.
Replacement of diplomats with that of sentiment analyst is an innovative thinking in terms of adopting technological advancement. This replacement can be related with that of artificial intelligence, reducing the burden of the diplomats in executing their roles and responsibilities. Non-existence of the diplomats nullifies the need for invention in the 21st century. However, diplomats would exist as relations between two nations needs to be protected. Tom makes the diplomats aware of the “crisis of legitimacy and trust”. This means he is aware and acquainted with the wrong means, which are used for making the political system disruptive. Tom expresses his concern over the representation of the diplomats (Fletcher 2017). However, he proposes that concern about securing power and prestige helps the diplomats in the fighting against the rivals. His belief of controlling “just one people” lays a strong foundation for the diplomats regarding gaining efficiency in the tasks. On the other hand, attempts towards controlling large number of people can lead to huge losses. Continuously facing losses demotivates the diplomats, adding a negative shade to the word “prestige”.
Dramatic growth of the west in the last 200 years has brought noticeable transformation in democracy. Typical evidence of this is the systematic growth of the elites. Herein lays the appropriateness of the plans before the execution of the tasks and after getting the marching orders. These plans resulted in the development of the internal political system, nullifying the “need for going outside Westminster” (Fletcher 2017). When nations lose their power, they lament for power from the bigger nations. Give and take policy in case of the diplomats is a challenge in the phase of globalization. Localization and individualization are the two aspects, which “just fits in”, the states representatives within the social hierarchy.
Approaches of the people towards the digitalization
The relationship between the government and states cannot be finished. This is because the people are the agents, who contribute to the economy formation. There is predominance in the states being the main agents, through which the issues of public interest are solved. Tom gives a condition that as longer as the states exist, there is a need for diplomats. Here, their role is considered as a “mediator”, in terms of maintaining the relationship between the two nations (Fletcher 2017). This is in terms of the “niche” power they possess with them. In order to maintain the pace with the current technological advancements, the diplomats need to “redefine the legitimacy”. Along with this, connection is required with the “new sources of power”. This is because of gaining an understanding regarding the steps taken by the opponent party.
Monarchical representation of the people added value to the power of the states. However, dispersal of power adds questions towards the credibility of the representation of the people. Tom expresses his concern about the response of the people towards the threats of nationalism. The people with less knowledge about nationalism fail to tackle with the intensity of these threats (Fletcher 2017). “Secret legitimate assistance” eases the process of maintaining the diplomatic relations. For the diplomats, who represent a nation or country, Tom proposes credibility.
Concerns regarding the role of diplomats
In spite of the transformations in the role of diplomats, there has not been any innovation. Tom estimates the existence of diplomacy even if the geographical power ceases. His statements project that the diplomats, currently, are in “uncharted waters”. However, his strategies prove effective in strengthening their position “within the boat”. When Tom says, “Data is not sufficiently shared and regulations to keep pace”, he indicates the attempts towards maintaining the secrecy within the data. Here, mention can be made of stealing the secret codes, which contradicts “privacy” and “transparency” (Fletcher 2017). Tom is of the view that if the diplomats make proper use of their power, then they would emerge successful in “finding the right formula to nurture innovation”.
Diplomacy in the earlier stages indicated the sea routes, which helped the diplomats to maintain the friendly relations. This was followed by television, emails among others. Therefore, a “good diplomat” is one, who emerges successful in maintaining the pace with all of these transformations. Herein lays the effectiveness of new and innovative data. The present age of digitalization suggests that it is not the end of secrecy rather the age of new power. This is possible only through the means of using effective and efficient data connection to gain an insight into the latest activities of the opponent party. “Selling ladders to the other leaders for climbing” reflects biasness towards the diplomats aspiring to be successful (Fletcher 2017). Herein lays the appropriateness of the adjective “naked”, which strips off the diplomats of their power.
Tom proposes the need for fighting the territorial battles for adopting the true essence of digitalization. Optimistic approach towards setting agenda is fruitful in terms of achieving positive outcomes. Typical example in this direction can be the development of the foreign policy, which would enhance the awareness of diplomats towards the effective ways of maintaining the relations (Fletcher 2017).
The assignment emerges successful in determining the usefulness of Tom’s statement for the diplomats. Practical knowledge of the war politics would be crucial in terms of encouraging the diplomats to have proper mindset. For this, strong and flexible leaders are needed, who would guide the diplomats into the right direction. Envisioning to “standing on the shoulder of giants” is easy for the diplomats. However, when it comes to actual performance, they become acquainted with the harsh realities. “Giant” can be considered as the fate of the diplomats. In this sense, standing on the shoulders of fate is impossible, as the humans are mere creatures to the immense power of the fate. This includes even the diplomats. Technological advancement has eased the tasks of the diplomats towards maintaining the relations between the two nations. This digital connection relates with that of the “statecraft”.
Fletcher, T., 2017. Naked diplomacy: Power and statecraft in the digital age. William Collins.