Diplomacy

Introduction

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.

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Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Articles

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

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  • Seib, P., The Future of Diplomacy, Cambridge; Malden, MA, Polity Press, 2016.

    Seib, P., The Future of Diplomacy, Cambridge; Malden, MA, Polity Press, 2016.

    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.

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  • Trager, R.F., Diplomacy: Communication and the Origins of International Order, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

    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.

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Database

Blogs

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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”.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  • 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]
    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

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See also

More Research guides on International Organizations and Relations

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