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New v/s Old Diplomacy: A Comparative Study

(i) New Diplomacy is Global, Old Diplomacy was mainly European:

The New Diplomacy is truly global in nature and scope. The rise of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the emergence of a large number of sovereign independent states changed the character of post-war international relations. From mostly European relations these came to be truly international relations involving all the sovereign states. Consequently, diplomacy had to abandon its European character and to become truly global in nature and approach.

(ii) New Diplomacy is mostly Multilateral, whereas Old Diplomacy was mostly Bilateral:

Multilateral negotiations in international conferences, institutionalized diplomacy at the United Nations and the emergence of direct personal contacts among the statesmen and leaders of various states, have all combined to give a new look and content to New Diplomacy. Old Diplomacy was mostly bilateral and limited; the New Diplomacy is mostly multilateral and global.

(iii) New Diplomacy is less formal than Old Diplomacy:

New Diplomacy is not as much formal and rigid in respect of rules or procedures as was the case with the Old Diplomacy. Presently, there exist quite informal and direct contacts among the leaders and diplomats of various states.

(iv) New Diplomacy is mostly open and Old Diplomacy was mostly secret:

In New Diplomacy the negotiations are open and the results are, invariably always, made public soon after the reaching of agreements or treaties or alliances or settlements. Diplomatic negotiations are given full coverage over the Radio, Press, Television and other means of mass-media. Old Diplomacy favoured secrecy as its governing principle.

(v) Democratic Nature of New Diplomacy versus Aristocratic nature of Old Diplomacy:

The New Diplomacy is democratic, whereas Old Diplomacy was aristocratic in nature. In the era of the latter, a special elitist class of diplomats, who were professionals to the core, used to conduct diplomatic negotiations and relations. However, at present the increased influence of public opinion, political parties, pressure groups, world public opinion, the rise of a more democratic and less aristocratic class of civil servants, have all given a new dimension and look to diplomacy. Modern ambassadors and consoler’s are democratic in their outlook towards diplomacy. A degree of informality has come to characterize their functioning in international relations.

(vi) New Diplomacy depends more on Propaganda than Old Diplomacy:

The use of propaganda/publicity as an important instrument of political warfare in international relations is accepted and used by New Diplomacy as a means for securing the goals of national interest that it represents. Old Diplomacy was mostly secret and hence avoided propaganda. It concentrated upon legal and formal communications as the means for conveying its wishes, desires and objectives.

(vii) Under New Diplomacy, the role of a Diplomat has suffered a Decline:

In the era of New Diplomacy, the role of diplomat has suffered a decline. Due to the development of speedy means of transport and communications, it has become possible for the political leaders of the states to develop and maintain direct, continuous and active contacts with one another. This development has reduced the role of an ambassador as a link between his home state and the host state.

In Old Diplomacy, diplomats were regarded as the most important vital links among the states and were full representatives of their nations in international relations. They enjoyed a lot of discretion and freedom of action. New Diplomacy has reduced the role of diplomats to glorified representatives who really act as highly dignified messengers and actors with the responsibility of faithfully carrying out the instructions of the foreign office and political leadership of their states. The control of the foreign office over the diplomats has considerably increased in this real of New Diplomacy.

Thus, the features of New Diplomacy are almost entirely different from the features of Old Diplomacy.

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