Multilateralism & Methodology

This multi-stakeholder research project addresses the future of multilateral diplomacy. The theoretical framework is taken from the book, On the Significance of Religion for Global Diplomacy (Routledge, 2021). Through structured dialogue with religious actors, academic experts, and practitioners with experience of the European Union and international multi-lateral institutions, the project aims to identify promising practices and case studies that may serve to take forward the findings of the book.

On the Significance of Religion for Global Diplomacy provided recommendations on the basis of six axioms of the historical imagination:

  1. We should examine the patterns of our behaviour in the light of all that we ought to know and can know
  1. We should ‘image’ or visualise peace as the rightful possession of the human community as a whole
  1. We should identify and explore the factors that accompany healing in a wounded social structure
  1. We should recognise that the starting position for political deliberation is inevitably non-ideal
  1. Discernment in the midst of opacity in accordance with a common standard should become a core value in the conduct of international relations
  1. We should give expression to a changing diplomatic culture through new frameworks of engagement.

In a first phase, the project will examine each of these axioms in turn through a consultative forum with a panel of relevant experts. This will lead to further initiatives, bearing in mind the convening authority of religious actors in hosting and framing ‘new, multilayered, consultative processes’ (On the Significance of Religion for Global Diplomacy p. xix) that could help point the way to ‘a long-term, multilayered, value-oriented, regional, diplomatic process accessible to citizens’