Diplomacy can be regarded as an application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between the governments of independent States. Whereas the terms diplomacy and foreign policy are often used interchangeably, diplomacy is an instrument of foreign policy. Foreign policy is orientated towards settling goals, occasionally with mention to the strategies and tactics to be used. Diplomacy is used to its accomplishment. The purpose of diplomacy is to strengthen the State and to serve in its relations with others. One of the functions of diplomacy is to minimize frictions and conflicts with other states through negotiations.
Three kinds of diplomacy can be discerned: bilateral diplomacy or diplomacy between two states (i.e. diplomatic representation of the sending state in a receiving state), multilateral diplomacy which involves diplomacy regarding regional or global issues and is used with a plurality of States through an international organization or at international conferences, and ad hoc diplomacy which involves other forms of diplomacy than the two aforementioned types of diplomacy. For example one can think of special missions to which States resort in order to entrust a diplomatic officer with the task to carry out one or many diplomatic assignments in a foreign State even though this officer does not belong to a permanent mission accredited to a country. In Academia, diplomatic studies is regarded as a new discipline, a sub-area of international relations.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Diplomacy. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Public international law and subject heading (keyword) Diplomacy are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
New titlesAs we are right in the middle of moving to a new library system, it is not yet possible to automatically collect new titles for this Research Guide.
- Berridge, G.R. and L. Lloyd, The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Diplomacy, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
- Cooper, A.F., J. Heine and R. Thakur (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Kleiner, J., Diplomatic Practice: Between Tradition and Innovation, Singapore, World Scientific, 2010.
- Roberts, I. (eds.), Satow's Diplomatic Practice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Serres, J., and L. Stefanini, Manuel pratique de protocole, Paris, Adhoc, 2016.
- Smolinska, A. M., Droit International des Relations Diplomatiques et Consulaires, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2015.
- Barder, B., What Diplomats Do : the Life and Work of Diplomats, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
- Barston, R.P., Modern Diplomacy, Harlow, Pearson, 2013.
- Behrens, P., Diplomatic Interference and the Law, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2016.
- Behrens, P., Diplomatic Law in a New Millennium, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Betmann, M., Space diplomacy: Shedding Light on the Current Initiatives to Prevent Conflict in Outer Space,Vienna, European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), 2016.
- Biskupski, M.B.B., War and diplomacy in East and West : a Biography of Józef Retinger, London, Routledge, 2017.
- Bjola, C., and M. Kornprobst, Understanding International Diplomacy : Theory, Practice and Ethics, London, Routledge, 2013.
- Dahan, P. (dir.), Diplomates: Dans le Secret de la Négociation, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2016.
- Denza, E., Diplomatic law : Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Farer, T., "Diplomacy and International Law", In: Cooper, A.F. (et al.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 493-509.
- Fox, H., The Law of State Immunity, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Jenne, E.K., Nested security: lessons in conflict management from the League of Nations and the European Union, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2015.
- Kerr, P., Diplomacy in a Globalizing World: Theories and Practices, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Macalister-Smith, P., and J. Schwietzke, Diplomatic Conferences and Congresses : A Bibliographical Compendium of State Practice 1642 to 1919, Graz-Feldkirch,Wolfgang Neugebauer, 2017.
- Mallard, G., Fallout: Nuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2014.
- Meerts, P.W., Diplomatic Negotiation: Essence and Evolution, Enschede, Gildeprint, 2014.
- O'Keefe, R., The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property : a Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Pamment, J., New Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century: a Comparative Study of Policy and Practice, London, Routledge, 2013.
- Paech, N., Völkerrecht und Machtpolitik in den Internationalen Beziehungen : Ein Studienbuch - aktualisierte Neuauflage, Hamburg, VSA-Verlag, cop. 2013.
- Pease, K.K., Human Rights and Humanitarian Diplomacy, Manchester, Manchester, University Press, 2016.
- Pinfari, M., Peace Negotiations and Time: Deadline Diplomacy in Territorial Disputes, Routledge, 2013.
- Pouliot, V., International Pecking Orders: The Politics and Practice of Multilateral Diplomacy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Ronzitti, N. (ed.), Coercive Diplomacy, Sanctions and International Law, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2016.
- Satow, E.M. and I. Roberts (ed.), Satow's diplomatic practice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Sending, O. (eds.) (et al.), Diplomacy and the Making of World Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Sofer, S., The Courtiers of Civilization: a Study of Diplomacy, New York, State University of New York Press, 2013.
- Smith, M., The Diplomatic System of the European Union : Evolution, Change and Challenges, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.
- Sowerby, T. A., and J. Hennings, Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c. 1410-1800, London, Routledge, 2017.
- Stahn, C., Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency : Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Strauss, M.J., Territorial Leasing in Diplomacy and International Law, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.
- Susskind, L.E. and S.H. Ali , Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Tassani, G., Diplomatico Tra Due Guerre: Vita di Giacomo Paulucci di Calboli Barone, Firenze, Le Lettere, 2012.
- Winter Roeder Jr., L. and A. Simard, Diplomacy and Negotiation for Humanitarian NGOs, Heidelberg, Springer Verlag, 2013.
- Bentall, P., "United Nations Targeted Sanctions and Other Policy Tools: Diplomacy, Legal, Use of Force" in: Biersteker T.J. (et al.), Targeted Sanctions: the Impacts and Effectiveness of United Nations Action, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Blockmans, S., "EU Global Peace Diplomacy: Institutional Framework", in: Stahn, C. and H. Melber (eds.), Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Boutros-Ghali, B., "The Challenges of Preventive Diplomacy: the Role of the United Nations and its Secretary-General", In: Cahill, K.M., History and Hope : the International Humanitarian Reader, The Center for International Humanitarian, 2013.
- Cohen, R., "Diplomacy through the Ages", In: Diplomacy in a Globalizing World: Theories and Practices, P. Kerr and G. Wiseman (eds.), New York, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 15-30.
- Foucher, M., "Diplomatie: Un Art et un Technique", dans: Dahan, P. (dir.), Diplomates: Dans le Secret de la Négociation, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2016, pp. 19-36.
- Murthy, S.L., "Can International Water Law be a Tool for Water Diplomacy?", in: Humanitäres Völkerrecht, vol. 27, afl. 1, pag. 17-25, 2014.
- Muchlinski, P.T., "The Diplomatic Protection of Foreign Investors: a Tale of Judicial Caution", in: International Investment Law for the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Christoph Schreuer, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 341-362.
- Odier, A., "De la Diplomatie Financière à la Géopolitique de la Finance", in: Politique étrangère; afl. 4, pag. 145-156, 2015.
- Pouliot, V.,"Hierarchy in Practice : Multilateral Diplomacy and the Governance of International Security", In: European Journal of International Security; vol. 1, afl. 1, pag. 5-26, 2016.
- Terry, F., "Humanitarian Diplomacy: the ICRC Experience", In: Acuto, M. (editor), Negotiating Relief : The Politics of Humanitarian Space, London, Hurst & Company, 2014.
- Toscano, R., "The Ethics of Modern Diplomacy", In: J.-M. Coicaud and D. Warner (eds.), Ethics and International Affairs: Extent and Limits, Tokyo, United Nations University Press, 2013.
- Wallensteen, P., "Dag Hammarskjöld's Diplomacy: Lessons Learned", In: Stahn, C. and H. Melber (eds.), Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Willmot, H. (et al.) (eds.), "Security Council Diplomacy on the Protection of Civilians: a Convoluted History", in:
The Protection of Civilians, Stagno Ugarte, B., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Periodicals, serial publications
- Archives diplomatiques pour l'histoire du tems et des états
- British and Foreign State Papers
- Clingendael Diplomacy Papers
- DEP: diplomacia, estratégia, política
- Diplomacia Academia Diplomática de Chile
- Diplomatic Studies
- Discussion Papers in Diplomacy
- History of International Relations, Diplomacy, and Intelligence
- I documenti diplomatici italiani
- Studia Diplomatica
- The Green Bag
- The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Seib, P., The Future of Diplomacy, Cambridge; Malden, MA, Polity Press, 2016.View this title in our discovery service
Never before has diplomacy evolved at such a rapid pace. It is being transformed into a global participatory process by new media tools and newly empowered publics. ‘Public diplomacy’ has taken center-stage as diplomats strive to reach and influence audiences that are better informed and more assertive than any in the past.
In this crisp and insightful analysis, Philip Seib, one of the world’s top experts on media and foreign policy, explores the future of diplomacy in our hyper-connected world. He shows how the focus of diplomatic practice has shifted away from the closed-door, top-level negotiations of the past. Today’s diplomats are obliged to respond instantly to the latest crisis fueled by a YouTube video or Facebook post. This has given rise to a more open and reactive approach to global problem-solving with consequences that are difficult to predict. Drawing on examples from the Iran nuclear negotiations to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Seib argues persuasively for this new versatile and flexible public-facing diplomacy; one that makes strategic use of both new media and traditional diplomatic processes to manage the increasingly complex relations between states and new non-state political actors in the 21st Century.
Trager, R.F., Diplomacy: Communication and the Origins of International Order, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2017.View this title in our discovery service
How do adversaries communicate? How do diplomatic encounters shape international orders and determine whether states go to war? Diplomacy, from alliance politics to nuclear brinkmanship, almost always operates through a few forms of signaling: choosing the scope of demands on another state, risking a breach in relations, encouraging a protégé, staking one's reputation, or making a diplomatic approach all convey specific sorts of information. Through rich history and analyses of diplomatic network data from the Confidential Print of the British Empire, Trager demonstrates the lasting effects that diplomatic encounters have on international affairs. The Concert of Europe, the perceptions of existential threat that formed before the World Wars, the reduction in Cold War tensions known as détente, and the institutional structure of the current world order were all products of inferences about intentions drawn from the statements of individuals represented as the will of states. Diplomacy explains how closed-door conversations create stable orders and violent wars.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Asylum, Diplomatic, by Prakash Shah.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Démarche, Diplomatic, by Jean Salmon.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Diplomacy, by Eduardo Jara Roncati.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Diplomatic Communications, Forms of, by Paul Behrens.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Diplomatic Courier and Bag, by Eduardo Jean d'Aspremont.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Diplomatic Protection, by John Dugard.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Diplomatic Protocol, by Martina Wohlan.
Treaty of Versailles Centennial: Territorial Changes
The Versailles Treaty stripped Germany of 65,000 km2 of territory and circa 7 million people. It also required Germany to give up the gains made in the East. In Western Europe Germany was required to recognize Belgian sovereignty over Moresnet and cede control of the Eupen-Malmedy area. To compensate for the destruction of French coal mines, Germany was to cede the output of the Saar coalmines to France and control of the Saar to the League of Nations for 15 years; a plebiscite would then be held to decide sovereignty. The treaty “restored” the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine to France. The sovereignty of Schleswig-Holstein was to be resolved by a plebiscite to be held at a future time.Read more
Treaty of Versailles Centennial: Wilson's Fourteen Points
Wilson’s Fourteen Points had helped win the hearts and minds of many as the war ended; these included Americans and Europeans generally, as well as Germany, its allies and the former subjects of the Ottoman Empire specifically. Wilson felt it was his duty and obligation to the people of the world to be a prominent figure at the peace negotiations. High hopes and expectations were placed on him to deliver what he had promised for the post-war era. In doing so, Wilson ultimately began to lead the foreign policy of the United States toward interventionism, a move strongly resisted in some domestic circles.Read more
Treaty of Versailles Centennial: British Aims in Paris
During the Paris Peace Conference and for the most of the period after 1919, the aims, interests, and policies of Britain differed fundamentally from those of France. Neither of the two countries was able to pursue unhampered the course it laid out for itself. Great Britain had suffered huge casualties but little land devastation during the war. However, the British wartime coalition was re-elected at the end of 1918, with a policy of squeezing the German “’til the pips squeak”. Public opinion favoured a “just peace”, which would force Germany to pay reparations and be unable to repeat the aggression of 1914, although those of a “liberal and advanced opinion” shared Wilson’s ideal of a peace of reconciliation.Read more
Treaty of Versailles Centennial: French Aims in Paris
What war aims did the French have during World War I and how did they negotiate the treaties that ended this war? In 1917 the Comité d’études was created by Aristide Briand to assist the French Government in formulating these aims. The work of this Comité resulted in an impressive report of around 1500 pages: maps, statistics, tracing the borders of the Alsace, the Saar Region, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, etc. At the Paris Peace Conference, the French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, controlled his delegation and his chief goal was to weaken Germany militarily, strategically and economically.Read more
The Peace of Christmas Eve
Peace is an elusive thing. For many, the attraction of the Christmas season is the momentary fulfillment of that dream, the wonderful moment of ‘Peace on Earth’. For one night, it seems possible. As Christmas approaches, we experience a sense of ‘Peace on Earth’. A few times in history, this sense of peace at Christmas had real impact on human affairs. A little known example is the the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1814, ending a war, the War of 1812, between the United States and the British Empire and their allies.Read more
In Memoriam: Kofi A. Annan (1938–2018)
Mr Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the UN passed away peacefully on Saturday in Bern, Switzerland. He was 80 years old. Annan passed away after a short illness. The Ghanaian top diplomat was the seventh Secretary-General and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation in 2001. “Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law,” the Kofi Annan Foundation and Annan family said in a statement.Read more
Collective Expulsion of Russian Diplomats
The collective expulsion of Russian diplomats was all over the news the past few days. The United States, Canada and 18 European countries have ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom. We have created a bibliographic overview on diplomacy and expulsion, intended as a starting point for research. It provides materials available in the Peace Palace Library catalogue, both in print and electronic format.Read more
Book Review: War, Peace and International Order?
This book attempts to assess the history and on-going relevance of the 1899 and 1907 Hague peace conferences, the conventions they brought into being, the institutions they established and the precedents they set. The exact legacies of the two conferences remain unclear. On the one hand, diplomatic and military historians, who cast their gaze to 1914, traditionally dismiss the events of 1899 and 1907 as insignificant footnotes on the path to the First World War. On the other, experts in international law posit that The Hague’s foremost legacy lies in the manner in which the conferences progressed the law of war and the concept and application of international justice.Read more
Diplodocus Carnegii, Peace Diplomacy by Dinosaur
The New York Journal and Advertiser of the 11th of December 1898 had an article on page 29; “Most Colossal Animal Ever on Earth Just Found Out West”.
It announced the discovery of a “gigantic brontosaur” in Wyoming by Mr. William H. Reed
Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, decided to secure the find for the new Museum of Natural History at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg. The Director of the Museum, Dr. William J. Holland, was ordered by Andrew Carnegie to purchase the find for the museum and contacted the discoverer.Read more
The Raid on the Medway, 1667: Forcing Peace at Breda
350 Years ago, the Treaty of Breda was signed at the Dutch city of Breda, 31 July, 1667, by England, the Dutch Republic, France, and Denmark-Norway. It brought a hasty end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) in favour of the Dutch. It was a typical quick uti possidetis treaty. In the latter stages of the war, the Dutch had prevailed. Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter virtually controlled the seas around the south coast of England. His presence encouraged English commissioners to sue for peace quickly. Negotiations, which had been long protracted, and had actually begun in Breda before the raid, took only ten days to conclude after resumption of talks.Read more
Aleppo, Ankara and Berlin: Atrocities, Violence and Terror
Humanitarian Crisis in Syria. In the eastern part of Aleppo, a Syrian city held by rebels, thousands of civilians were trapped. People were being executed in those parts of Aleppo that had been retaken by Assad forces. Recently the trapped residents that were stuck in a small area with no safe zones posted final “goodbye” messages, pictures and tweets on social media. They have thanked supporters, and questioned how the world allowed the situation in Aleppo to happen. The situation in Syria has been described as a “stain on the world’s collective conscience”.Read more
Interview Sigrid Kaag
This month, we have the honor of interviewing Ms. Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat who currently serves as a United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). Last month, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation awarded Sigrid Kaag the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. Before the ceremony took place, we took the opportunity to interview Ms. Kaag to discuss her work at the UN, in particular, the succesful UN-OPCW joint mission Ms. Kaag led to eliminate the chemical weapons programme in Syria. We also discussed the role of international law in her daily work at the UN. Here’s what she had to say.Read more
Nuclear Deal, Sanctions, Nuclear Diplomacy
After nearly two years of arduous negotiations a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program of Iran was signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015. In exchange for reducing Iran’s nuclear activities drastically, the United States and the European Union would lift their nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian economy. Most countries and international organizations welcomed the agreement. Will U.S. President Obama be remembered as initiator of this ‘historic’ deal? The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a nuclear agreement signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.Read more
The Youth Peace Initiative 2014 and the Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian Permanent Peace!
Between 11 and 18 October the Youth Peace Initiative 2014 took place in The Hague, international City of Peace and Justice. The Youth Peace Initiative 2014 (YPI 2014) has been set up to get Israeli and Palestinian youth involved with the current peace negotiations between their nations. The YPI 2014 participants discussed and deliberated a whole week to achieve consensus on ideas and solutions for the peace process.Read more
Building a ‘Temple for Peace’: the 1899 Hague Peace Conference
This year, the Peace Palace, will celebrate its 100-year Anniversary. As official celebrations will commence in August, the Peace Palace Library starts with a series of library blogs in retrospect. The foundation of the Peace Palace in 1913 marked a pivotal point between two centuries. At the end of the 19th century, the idea of world peace was blooming as never before. At the dawn of the 20th century however, expectations had toned down considerably.Read more
Texas Executes Mexican National in Defiance of ICJ Rulings
Late Tuesday night, 5 August, the State of Texas executed José Ernesto Medellín, despite a call from the UN Secretary-General urging the United States (US) not to go ahead with the execution and to respect the judgements of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Read more
Tsvangirai seeks diplomatic protection
Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, fearing for his safety, has taken refuge in the Dutch embassy in the capital Harare. Zimbabwean authorities said to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations of 1961 [PDF]Read more
The embassy has diplomatic immunity and cannot be entered without permission of the ambassador.
Famous cases involving embassies are ; the Iran-US Hostage crisis in 1979, the Hungarian Cardinal József Mindszenty lived for 15 years in the American embassy in Budapest.
Keywords for more literature on diplomatic protection : Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, Hostages, Iran, Diplomatic and consular protection