Analysis & Opinions - PS Quarterly

A Diplomatic Winter?

| Dec. 12, 2022

Following two years of insufficient international cooperation in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 brought the return of war and a further intensification of geopolitical rivalries. Are there still prospects for diplomacy, or will things need to get even worse before they can get better?


PS Quarterly regularly features predictions from leading thinkers and uniquely positioned commentators on a topic of global concern. In this issue of PS Quarterly, Project Syndicate commentators offered their insights in response to the following proposition:

"After a year marked by war and geopolitical conflict, peacemaking and diplomacy will stage a recovery in 2023."

Joseph S. Nye Jr.'s response is below.

I fear that the climate for peacemaking and diplomacy will not improve in 2023. Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine was based on the miscalculation that Ukraine was part of the "Russian world" and not a legitimate state. He has now unwittingly helped to forge a stronger Ukrainian patriotism. But it is difficult to see Putin backing down or Ukraine giving up its territory.

In Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated his power and reiterated his intention to return Taiwan to Beijing's control. As China's economic growth slows, the Communist Party is increasingly turning to nationalism and "wolf warrior" diplomacy as a source of legitimacy. Neither of these situations looks promising for diplomacy.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Nye, Joseph S. Jr.“A Diplomatic Winter?.” PS Quarterly, December 12, 2022.