Difference Between Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Foreign Policy vs Diplomacy

In the field of foreign affairs, foreign policy and diplomacy are both important topics and knowing the difference between them is very important. States cannot exist in idleness without the assistance of other states for its survival as well as development especially in such a globalized arena. Due to this reason, countries use various methods in tackling other countries in the international context. Foreign policy and diplomacy are only two such strategies. Foreign policy refers to the stance that a country adopts and the strategies used for the promotion of its national interest in the world. Diplomacy, on the other hand, refers to the manner in which a country goes about in achieving its needs through negotiations with other countries. This article presents an understanding of these two terms and attempts to highlight some differences.

What is Foreign Policy?

A foreign policy basically refers to the stance and strategies which are adopted by a state with the intention of promoting its national interest. The national interest of a country can differ from one country to another. However, in general, a country strives for sovereignty and prosperity. Let us try to understand what is meant by a foreign policy through the world history. The United States can be taken as an example. Before the Second World War, the United States adopted a more isolationist foreign policy where it did not get involved in the issues of the international arena. However, this stance of United States changed after the world war, where the U.S began to become more involved in the world affairs. There can be a number of reasons for countries to adjust their foreign policy in accordance to the world context. Even in this case reasons such as the emergence of communist ideals can be considered as factors for the change in foreign policy.

In order to promote the national interest, a country can use a number of strategies. Diplomacy, foreign aid, and military force are some of these strategies. Unlike in the present, in the past, powerful states used their military capacities in order to promote the national interest through conquest and exploitation of other states. However, in the modern world, states cannot take such extreme measures in promoting their national interest and have to exercise other means, one such method is diplomacy.

What is Diplomacy?

Diplomacy refers to dealing with other countries through negotiations and discussions to arrive at a beneficial standing for both parties. This, however, does not mean that diplomacy is fair and square for all parties involved. There is always the possibility of the powerful state having the upper hand even in diplomacy. However, it assists states to influence the decisions of other states through dialogue.

Diplomacy can include a range of activities ranging from meeting state leaders to sending diplomatic messages on behalf of states. The people who carry such diplomatic messages are called diplomats. These individuals are specialized in these processes of diplomacy and use words as their strongest weapon. Diplomacy can be unilateral, bilateral or multilateral and is considered as the main substitution for the use of force in the international arena.

Difference Between Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

What is the difference between Foreign Policy and Diplomacy?

• Foreign policy refers to the stance of a country and the strategies it uses to promote the national interest.

• Countries use a variety of strategies in the international arena.

• Diplomacy is only one such strategy.

• Diplomacy is the manner in which a state deals with other countries to promote its national interest.

• This is usually through negotiations and discourse.

• In the modern world, it is believed to be the main substitute for force.