Asian developing countries and the next round of WTO negotiations
Date of Issue2001
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Practices of representation are productive in that they make international life intelligble. As representational practices, orthodox diplomatic discourses reduce the heterological 'nature' of diplomatic activity to a single, monological reading. Although historical evidence suggests that diplomatic activities are ambiguous and pardoxical, orthodox discourse, however, explains modern diplomacy as continuous, teleological and guided by common sense - a claim contested here less on grounds of falsity than of crass reductionism. This domestication predisposition is characteristic of many academic and policybased rendations of Asia-Pacific diplomacy, especially the 'nongovernmental diplomacy' genre. Diplomatic discourse never quite realizes its absolutist aim in that tension exists between (1) its representational capabilities and (2) the speed and transparency of late-modern diplomatic activities. Following Der Derian's genealogical reading of diplomacy, it is argued that keen attention to the contradictions and distortions of Asia-Pacific diplomacy reveals the significant extent to which discontinuity matters to our understanding of modern diplomacy. Specially, it is argued that Asia-Pacific diplomacy is indebted to forces of 'anti-diplomacy' and 'neo'diplomacy' that paradoxically threaten its purposes. Several examples of anti- and neo-diplomacy that define aims contrary to the traditional teleology of Asia-Pacific diplomacy - activities which the voices of diplomatic orthodoxy seek incessantly to domesticate - are highlighted.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science::Political institutions::Asia
RSIS Working papers ; 018/01
Nanyang Technological University