Global resilience through knowledgebased cooperation: A New Protocol for Science Diplomacy

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The world is currently dealing with one of the most severe health, economic and social crises in recent memory. Scholars are converging on the perspective that traditional means of addressing these crises have served their time. On the additional backdrop of a global political landscape in transition, realising a post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery will require new modes of international collaboration with scientific knowledge and expertise figuring more prominently. A smart approach to science diplomacy—to global resilience through knowledge-based cooperation—does not prescribe the content, but rather focuses on the process of science-based international exchange. The new Protocol for Science Diplomacy presented in this policy brief inspires the alignment of shared, cosmopolitan interests and their application to cross-border societal challenges. It comprises a set of twelve procedural and infrastructural principles with which actors can create a space for constructive and productive science diplomacy interactions. These principles are: Sensitivity; Inclusiveness; Transparency; Deliberation; Reciprocity; Complementarity & Manoeuvrability; Legitimacy; Alignment; Evaluation; Capacities; Capabilities; Trust. Our Protocol for Science Diplomacy sets new ground rules for international scientific and policy collaboration that enable us, inter alia, to make meaningful steps towards tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by their 2030 deadline. As such, it offers a roadmap for science diplomacy in the next decade and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Science diplomacy
  • Governing principles
  • Meta-governance


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