The challenge of addressing complex sustainable development issues seems to have led to the emergence of a new kind of diplomacy, commonly known as Sustainable Development Diplomacy (SDD). Global sustainability challenges - including climate change, forest degradation, and food security - are increasingly being addressed through SDD.
It is therefore paramount for societies to gain a better understanding of what SDD entails, how it is practiced, and what types of policy outputs it produces. Characterised by the emergence of new actors that were traditionally not prominent in diplomacy, a higher prevalence of new types of cooperation and a more central place for knowledge and expertise, its current scholarship is rather limited. Moreover, mainstream research approaches to diplomacy, i.e. realism and liberalism, are usually state-centred and therefore fail to properly recognise the complexity by which SDD is given shape. This project therefore aims to understand how SDD emerged and how is it shaped by its actors, institutional networks and scientific and professional knowledge. The project analyses three examples of SDD, key among them the global climate negotiations, and the process(es) leading up to the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.