Nauki Społeczno-Humanistyczne Соціально-Гуманітарні Науки Social and Human Sciences


Sherhin, Serhiy, 2014. FOREIGN POLICY AND DIPLOMACY OF UKRAINE UNDER CONDITIONS OF GLOBALIZATION AND REGIONALIZATION. Social and Human Sciences. Polish-Ukrainian scientific journal, 02 (02), pp. 8-17.

Sherhin, Serhiy, 2014. Foreign policy and diplomacy of Ukraine under conditions of globalization and regionalization. Social and Human Sciences. Polish-Ukrainian scientific journal, 02 (02), pp. 8-17.



Foreign policy and diplomacy of Ukraine under conditions of globalization and regionalization

Prof. Sherhin, Serhiy,

Doctorate in Political Science,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine,

Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine,

Head of Regional Systems and

European Integration Department,




The article reviews the main transformations within the system of international relations and international politics under the impact of globalization and regionalization. In terms of political science the content of globalization as the process of transformation of the modern world into the unified system due to structural and functional dimensions are considered. This process has been resulted in transformation of all the structural elements of the contemporary world system such as nation-states, geographical regions and international organizations into the space of global interaction. In these circumstances Ukraine’s foreign policy has got to adapt to the new international realities. Special attention is paid to the consideration of Ukraine’s diplomacy in the time of global transformations, new challenges and threats. The author came to the conclusion that the integration to the Euro-Atlantic political and economic structures would be the main priority of Ukraine’s foreign policy for the time being and long-term outlook.

            Key words: foreign policy, diplomacy, globalization, regionalization, global transformations, international system, eurointegration strategy.






Шергін Сергій,

доктор політичних наук, професор,

Дипломатична академія при МЗС України,

завідувач кафедри регіональних систем та європейської інтеграції,




            В статті розглядаються основні перетворення в системі міжнародних відносин і міжнародної політики під впливом процесів глобалізації і регіоналізації. З точки зору політичної науки зміст глобалізації розглядається як процес трансформації сучасного світу в єдину систему за рахунок структурних і функціональних вимірів. Цей процес трансформації привів до зміни всіх структурних елементів сучасної світової системи, таких, як національні держави, міжнародні та регіональні організації.

            В цих умовах зовнішня політика України потребує адаптації до нових міжнародних реалій. Особлива увага приділяється розгляду української дипломатії в умовах глобальних трансформацій, нових викликів і загроз.

Автор доходить висновків, що інтеграція в євроатлантичні політичні і економічні структури буде головним пріоритетом зовнішньої політики України в сучасних умовах і довгостроковій перспективі.

Ключові слова: міжнародна політика, дипломатія, глобалізація, регіоналізація, глобальні трансформації, міжнародна система, євроінтеграційна стратегія.



The modern world is in a state of systemic changes, under the influence of which its development gains new quality forms and contents. The influence of global and regional processes on the international community becomes a characteristic feature of a new historical era – the era of global transformation. Taken together, globalization, regionalization and integration of global megatrends contribute to blurring of traditional line s between foreign and domestic politics and the emergence of the phenomenon of the world politics.

The versatility and scope of these processes does not leave untouched any sphere of social activity and the bases of human existence. Among various important consequences of globalization, there is the increase in the degree of interdependence of all elements of the global system and unification of international life. The majority of domestic and foreign researchers pay attention to the diverse impact of globalization on socio-economic, political and socio-cultural forms of human life and, in particular, the internal and external policies of almost all the world countries[1]. This gives grounds to interpret globalization as an objective process of restructuring and the development of international environment. In the categories of political science, its content is defined as the process of creating an integrated global economy, international political formation of integrity and the desire of transnational elites to take advantage of its possibilities for establishing a system of global governance.

In encyclopedias and reference books on international relations, published recently in the United States and countries of the British Commonwealth, the concept of globalization is interpreted quite broadly – this is coexistence and cooperation of all local communities, formal and informal institutions, nation states, national associations, international political regions and as a result the transformation of the world into a place of global interaction[2].

In this context it seems important to investigate the results of the general and specific effects on sphere of foreign policy and diplomacy, including those in Ukraine. It is significant that this question has been actively debated for several decades in political and academic communities in many, and particularly in developed countries. Among the other, the most radical is the view according to which diplomacy under conditions of strengthening of transnational relations founds itself in crisis. For example, such well known advocates of the critical approach to the role of diplomacy in the contemporary world as H. Kissinger and Zb. Brzezinski, such specific crisis is related with a change of the traditional role of the state in international relations under the influence of globalization.

The erosion of the Westphalian system of international relations, which has gained the character chain reaction after the collapse of the bipolar world, significantly weakened the position of state sovereignty, which was considered a necessary element of internal and external power. The formation of a multipolar world with all its advantages and disadvantages significantly changed the social and geopolitical conditions of the diplomacy functioning. We agree with the opinion of the Russian professor and diplomat T. Zonova that "... in these circumstances, the diplomatic service could not avoid entrance in a period of painful crises since they first faced with the need to solve problems that have never before stood in front of a classic diplomacy"[3].

It should be mentioned that Ukrainian diplomacy has also come under the impact of painful changes and challenges typical to the global transformations period. The entry of Ukraine into the modern international system according to the proclaimed course of integration into Euro-Atlantic structures required the complex revision of habitual representations about the role of our country in the international community and relevant institutional and functional changes in the foreign policy activity and diplomatic service.

First, it became obvious that there is the need of development of the complex of new foreign policy tasks and setting the priorities both in the context the governmental strategy of European integration, and in the wider geopolitical context.

Second, the realities of the modern world require from the relevant structures the adjustment of concept, strategy and directions of foreign policy for the purpose of optimal adaptation of the Ukrainian state and society to the challenges and consequences of globalization.

Thirdly, the new international environment and different from the previous conditions of national development assigned a task to Ukraine of diplomatic personnel training which in intellectual, cultural and professional respects could meet the requirements of ensuring sustainable development in an era of total struggle for natural resources and competition between social and political identities.

Among the main factors of globalization, which have controversial, but significant effect on the functioning of the system of international relations next should be mentioned:

·        a combination of internal and external political, economic and cultural factors and interests into a single multipolar and interactive space;

·        globalization of the world economic development leads to total economization of foreign policy activity;

·        information and communication revolution and as a result an unprecedented growth of global networks of interdependence;

·        increase of the number of new, particularly non-state actors of international relations, during the changes of functions of traditional international organizations (UN, NATO, OSCE, etc.);

·        democratization of international relations and an increasingly active participation in it of various social groups and individuals;

·        regionalization of the world economic space with the separation of the three economic arrays within the relevant integration structures: Europe, North America and Asia;

·        strengthening of the trends of asymmetry in the relations between the global center and periphery of the world;

·        critical deepening of the gap in socio-economic development of countries of the North and the South;

·        intensification of challenges and growth of tension in the field of immigration, demography and ecology;

·        internationalization of terrorism and the emergence of so-called "asymmetric threats".

It should be mentioned that the combined effect of these factors under certain circumstances cause defensive reaction from the countries the world periphery in the form of isolation, autarchy and protectionism. In its turn, this gives grounds to globalization countries to blame the global periphery in "resource nationalism" and unwillingness to participate in the development of transnational economy. However, the mega space of transnational economythat is created through the actions of "the vanguard of globalization", is characterized by the definition of Russian political scientist Alexander P. Panarin, as "international financial predation" and "the global dictatorship of unipolarity carriers"[4]. Among the factors of globalization that have a global impact on the international system, it is advisable to separately define the features of their impact on foreign policy and diplomacy:

·        state foreign policy reacts on globalization as on the challenge that comes out from the environment of the interaction between leading countries of the world (major powers), as well as non-state actors of hierarchical international system – transnational corporations (TNCs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGO);

·        blurring of boundaries between functional characteristics of foreign and domestic policy;

·        permanent erosion of the Westphalian system of international relations that was based on the principles of state sovereignty, and the growing role of transnational actors;

·        necessity of introduction in the foreign policy practices the new mechanisms of stability ensuring such as preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and international sanctions;

·        transformation of diplomatic missions in the "service companies" that are designed to perform a service function and solve many issues of domestic and foreign policy of the accrediting state;

·        the increasing role of multilateral diplomacy, and at the same time "requalification" of bilateral diplomacy to perform non-traditional functions;

·        extension the options and features of the economic, energy and humanitarian diplomacy in the context of trends "generalization" of diplomatic activity that extends to the system of training and retraining diplomatic service employees;

·        strengthening the role of purely professional factors – competition between career diplomats and representatives of business and political structures on vacant positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

·        increasing role of psychological factors in the conditions of raising the professional risks that are traditionally bounded with diplomatic service.

In this context, the importance of regional aspects of the diplomatic services of the world should be mentioned, because they are constantly facing the challenges caused by the processes of regionalization. This is primarily about the increasing role of the regions in world politics in general and the development of economic integration and international cooperation in particular.

The process of regionalization in its geopolitical implications for the international community is no less important than globalization. Both processes as the main trends of world development, although being interdependent and interconnected, have their own nature and a certain degree of autonomy. One trend – globalization leads to homogenization and universalization of the world (integration) and the other to separation (fragmentation) of different parts of the world. Keeping this in mind, the American political scientist James Rosenau suggested the term – "fragmegration" which reflects and blends the action of two processes – fragmentation and integration[5].

Regionalization of international relations is a relatively new phenomenon, and it is associated with the increasing openness of national economies and the intensification of international economic cooperation, that is, with the acceleration of globalization processes. However, the very concept of "regionalism" emerged as a result a long-lasting crisis of the nation-state institution in the conditions of the internationalization of the world economy and the increasing role of economic regions. Thus, regionalization should be considered as part of globalization, and at the same time as its alternative.

However, the contrast between globalization and regionalization of the world space creates the illusion of their identification in accordance with the processes of organization and chaotisation. However, analysts have grounds to argue that globalization does not necessarily lead to the ordering of the international system and regionalization to the planetary anarchy. According to the Ukrainian researcher M. Shepyelyev, today, on the contrary, regionalization or fragmentation "becomes a way of protection against disordered impacts on local social structures from the global environment."[6]

It is worth to stress that regionalization has the ability of exaggerated multiplication of leading trends and processes that operate on a global scale. In other words, regionalization contributes to the intensification of international interactions within a particular territorial space. Acting in such controversial complex form, regionalization has its peculiarities and the effects on the international system and its subjects, which must include:

·        creation of three poles of economic development with the relevant institutional structures: Western Europe – EU, North America – NAFTA, Asia-Pacific – APEC;

·        diversification of the foreign policy strategy of the state with orientation towards regional "centers of power";

·        priority of regional strategies and policies in the development of the State;

·        increase the role of border countries and regions in the multidimensional space of communication;

·        transfer of the weight from the geopolitical factor to the economic one in the system of the strategic priorities of the state;

It should be noted that the process of regionalization is accompanied by the increasing role of the border countries, located on the edge geopolitical and geo-economic spaces. This point is very important for our country, as cross-border the position of Ukraine makes it use watershed function to balance its relationship with post-Soviet countries (Russia, Belarus, Lithuania), and Western Europe and the countries of the European periphery (Romania and Turkey).

The impact of regional factors on the foreign policy of Ukraine is also seen in its activity in regional and subregional organizations, among of which we must firstly mention the CIS, GUAM and BSEC.

Regionalization is clearly visible in the geopolitical code of Ukraine. At a theoretical level, it distinguishes three external and internal regional vectors that are called to provide an optimal balance of vital interests. General directions – West (EU), East (Russia) and South (Mediterranean) – meets the specificity of Western, Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Therefore, the loss of one of the outer areas leads to the destruction of multidimensional communication space Ukraine in the context of its regional policy. To the general directions – West (EU), East (Russia) and South (Mediterranean) – corresponds the specificity of Western, Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Therefore, the loss of one of the outer areas leads to the destruction of multidimensional communication space of Ukraine in the context of its regional policy.

Location on the border of three huge geopolitical arrays – Atlantic, Eurasia and the Middle East – gives the country the opportunity to play the role of country-balancer that under conditions of controversy between civilizations is extremely important because of the danger of their deployment to the global level. Being near the potentially unstable Eurasia, which Zb. Brzezinski calls the "new world Balkans", makes Ukraine to consistently implement its European integration strategy.

In the context of the articulated themes we underline the impact of regionalization on the sphere of diplomacy that according to the traditional interpretation has to ensure implementation of foreign policy goals and objectives at the state level. The most typical effects of such exposure include the following:

·        the right of European Regions (according to the Maastricht Treaty) to represent the public interest in the Council of Ministers and to open their representative offices in other European countries;

·        creation of optimal conditions for conducting "diplomacy of the regions" in the context of decentralization trend of diplomatic activity that requires more specialization in training diplomats;

·        intensification diplomatic activity in the countries which act as regional "centers of power";

·        concentration of the efforts of the foreign offices of some EU countries on the non-European diplomatic activity;

·        extension of powers of regional authorities for economic and energy diplomacy;

·        exit of the regions at transnational level and the formation of "parallel" diplomacy;

It is obvious that transnational regionalization, the consequences of which are most visible in Europe, greatly reduces the monopoly of the central government on the development of international cooperation. At the same time it provokes nationalist and separatist tendencies, as well as the experience of the European Union. Thus, proclaiming the slogans such as "Europe of nations" the separatists of Belgium, Spain, France and Italy strengthen trends to the ethno-national separateness. It is obvious that the same controversial and contradictory can be a policy of the Euro-regions within the Maastricht Treaty when it comes to historically disputed territories.

The fairly broad powers for economic diplomacy and international cooperation in general have separate entities of the Russian Federation. First of all, it concerns the major Russian regions, autonomous regions and individual republics: East and West Siberia, Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai (regions), Karelia, Tatarstan, etc. Mechanisms of legal regulation of international and foreign economic relations of the RF subjects are based on relevant Federal laws, as well as the laws and regulations of the Federation adopted in recent years.

For Ukraine the establishing of the communicative cross-border cooperation with the EU in the context of signed in 1994 the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the Joint EU–Ukraine Action Plan and, most importantly, a formal signature in 2014 the political part of Association Agreement with the EU – becomes crucial. However, the political situation in the EU while the Russian policy of expansionism is growing shows that Brussels is now ready to conclude the Association Agreement with Ukraine in general. No doubt, this would require the implementation of more effective diplomacy from Kyiv to follow the course for European integration as well as to boost multilateral cooperation with the EU member-states.

In these circumstances Ukraine is trying to expand cooperation with the regional associations and centers of power, with which there is a real possibility to achieve the level of mutually beneficial economic integration. Responding to the challenges of the time Ukraine seeks to develop mutually beneficial cooperation not only with the European Union, but also with China, India, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America who are deeply involved in the processes of globalization. Today, there is good reason to believe that the increase in weight of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS group) in the global transformation will be crucial for the development of global integration. Thus, there is a trend of accelerated development of integration processes in the European and East Asian geopolitical space. The driving forces of these processes are the economic engine of Europe – Germany and China as the locomotive of the formation of the “Great East Asia”.

Forecast of options and themes of global development that was presented in the analytical report of the National Intelligence Council of the United States in 2008, quite reasonably shows that by 2025 there will be changes in the world of world historical significance[7]. The main thesis of the paper – a creation under the influence of globalization and regionalization of new poles of a multipolar world. Reducing the leadership position of the U.S. while growing role of China, India and perhaps Russia – such prediction puts before Ukraine the questions about its future strategy and foreign policy priorities.

Primary stake on the socio-economic modernization with accent on science, education and innovation development –this task can be solved under conditions of general mobilization of the political establishment and the Ukrainian society. It seems that no less important thing is proper attention of academic and university science to the systematic study of the socio-economic transformation and geopolitical cycles of Eurasia that occurred and continues to occur in the early twenty-first century.

In solving this complex of difficult tasks a significant role plays the foreign policy of Ukraine, according to the chosen course of European integration and joining Euro-Atlantic structures, primarily the NATO. A more active use of the potential of pragmatic foreign policy and effective diplomacy should strengthen the position of our country in basic directions of its international activities and, in particular, in the Eurasian space of international cooperation.

It is obvious that solution of large-scale tasks will depend on the ability of the new government of Ukraine that represents various financial and industrial groups, political parties and public organizations, to defend national interests in conditions when they themselves are subjects to varied influence of regional and global structures. In this regard the Ukrainian researcher O. Irkhin noted that "in the current economic and political model of development of the post-soviet space Ukrainian elite faces a dilemma of choice, with the exception of the narrow perspectives of common decisions."[8]

Models of the integrative development offered by the European Union and Russia do not have any advantages and, moreover, guarantees for their successful implementation in Ukrainian socio-political and economic environment. Organizational and functional differences between the two models of integration are quite substantial, that is why Ukraine's national development strategy should envisage the use of means for minimizing the systemic risks that arise when one sovereign state enters in the integration structures of the other states in the political and socio-cultural standards of countries.

In addition, the problem of foreign policy choices is connected with the fact that the center of political legitimacy of Ukrainian and the other post-Soviet elites is the West with its processed during historical time criteria of democracy and legal forms of social life. Therefore it is necessary for this important in the civilization aspect Ukrainian choice to meet with the key provisions of the strategy for national development and security. Deviations from selected national development strategies in favor to global and regional structures and related political and economic elites can lead to a chain reaction of de-souvereignization and destruction of communication environment of the country. Meanwhile, the present-day dangers and challenges to Ukraine’s national security from Russia eventually accelerate this process that may seriously harm regional and international stability in general.



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Создан 06 окт 2014