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Igor Ivanov

President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)

Abstract

Globalization continues to be a growing trend from the economy, security, and even the individual as ideas are rapidly exchanged between different cultures. State-actors, although still a critical component, are competing for influence with the private sector, transnational movements, international media, and even small NGOs. In this globalized world nations must adopt the concept of ‘smart’ foreign policy. The basic idea of ‘smart’ foreign policy is outlined in nine major points: focusing on the long term rather than short term opportunistic gains; separating domestic from foreign policy agendas; credibility; global intellectual leadership; enhancing the bureaucratic decision-making process to include all actors in the new globalized world; working more closely with the academic community; harmonizing public and private instruments of foreign policymaking; better educating societies on the concept and benefits of globalization; and finally, enhancing communication among all nations. These nine components of ‘smart’ foreign policy will help facilitate a better world where new opportunities can be discovered and greater progress can be made without the alienation of one group or nation.

If I were to limit myself to just one word reflecting the current state of international relations, it would be ‘globalization’. These days we talk about globalization in all fields of human activities—in business and culture, in education and science, in environment and social development. Many fundamental dimensions of our lives that were formerly constrained by national borders are now exposed to global trends, opportunities, and challenges. Without doubt, globalization has a profound impact on how we understand international security. For the first time in the history of humankind, international security has become truly indivisible from one country to the next: a military conflict or even a political crisis in one corner of the world has an immediate impact on many other parts of the globe, even the most remote ones. We can no longer tolerate regional and local wars or instabilities—not only on moral grounds, but also due to our globalized interests. Likewise, economic and social progress has become indivisible: an economic setback or financial instability in one region has immediate detrimental impact on others.

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Source: Chinese Journal of International Politics

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