What is it about?

The Covid-19 Crisis has made assistance to nationals in en masse crises the most visible 21st century function of ministries of foreign affairs. More hidden from view is that helping people is one thing, but getting through to citizens is actually the dominant issue.

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Why is it important?

Diplomats need to understand people’s behaviour, before doing the ‘real job’ of helping individuals in distress. Getting through to an elusive public and enhancing their awareness, with the final objective of inducing behavioural change, is the first consular challenge.


This research was commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), for the Global Consular Forum (GCF), which is an informal multilateral initiative aimed at greater cooperation on consular challenges among the world's ministries of foreign affairs.

Jan Melissen
Leiden University and University of Antwerp

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Consular diplomacy's first challenge: Communicating assistance to nationals abroad, Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, April 2020, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/app5.298.
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