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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Bibliographies

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  • Fedele, D., Naissance de la diplomatie moderne (XIIIe-XVIIe siècles): l'ambassadeur au croisement du droit, de l'éthique et de la politique, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2017. Showcase item

    The author investigates the birth of modern diplomacy. Drawing on a wide-ranging body of textual materials dealing with the ambassador from the 13th to the 17th century, he analyses how that figure was developed within a complex constantly renewed field of interaction between law, ethics and politics, where theory and practice are intertwined in an unresolved dialectical interaction. The first part examines how the legal status of the ambassador was shaped during the late Middle Ages and how this process influenced early-modern scholarship on diplomacy. The second part investigates how the emergence of the modern State both reinvigorated and reshaped the scholarly approaches to the different themes linked to the figure of the ambassador. The third part proposes an account of how the professional status of the ambassador developed within the examined body of literature. Through the prism of these approaches, diplomacy appears as a foundational matrix of modern political rationality.

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  • Macalister-Smith, P. and J. Schwietzke, Diplomatic Conferences and Congresses: A Bibliographical Compendium of State Practice 1642 to 1919, Graz-Feldkirch, Wolfgang Neugebauer, 2017. Showcase item

    A survey of diplomatic conferences and congresses convened worldwide from 1642 to 1919 with extensive references to their published documents. Includes additionally a synopsis of the resulting acts, agreements, conventions, declarations and other instruments adopted by the states participating in each conference or congress. The meetings of the conferences and congresses are arranged thematically in 111 groups starting at Münster and Osnabrück to prepare the Peace of Westphalia. In total 280 conferences and congresses are recorded. Over one third of the conferences and congresses were held from 1827 to 1919 at London and Paris. Other leading cities in order of diminishing frequency were Brussels, Bern, The Hague, Berlin, Istanbul, Washington and Vienna. The compendium closes with the peace of Brest-Litovsk (1917) and the Inter-Allied Conference of the Powers held in Paris and environs from 1919 to 1920. The Latin American and Pan American congresses are well represented, for example at Buenos Aires, Guatemala, Lima, Managua, Mexico, Montevideo, Panama, Rio de Janeiro, San José, San Salvador, Santiago and Tegucigalpa. Annexes supply further information on the Versailles treaty with Germany and the Covenant of the League of Nations.

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  • Stavridis, S. and D. Janc̆ić (eds.), Parliamentary Diplomacy in European and Global Governance, Leiden, Brill, 2017.

    In Parliamentary Diplomacy in European and Global Governance, 27 experts from all over the world analyse the fast-expanding phenomenon of parliamentary diplomacy. Through a wealth of empirical case studies, the book demonstrates that parliamentarians and parliamentary assemblies have an increasingly important international role. The volume begins with parliamentary diplomacy in Europe, because the European Parliament is one of the strongest autonomous institutional actors in world politics. The study then examines parliamentary diplomacy in relations between Europe and third countries or regions (Mexico, Turkey, Russia, the Mediterranean), before turning attention to the rest of the world: North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. This pioneering volume confirms the worldwide nature and salience of parliamentary diplomacy in contemporary global politics.

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  • Roberts, I. (ed.), "Satow's Diplomatic Practice", Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.

    First published in 1917, Satow's Diplomatic Practice has long been hailed as a classic and authoritative text. An indispensable guide for anyone working in or studying the field of diplomacy, this seventh, centenary edition builds on the extensive revision in the sixth edition. The volume provides an enlarged and updated section on the history of diplomacy, including the exponential growth in multilateral diplomacy, and revises comprehensively the practice of diplomacy and the corpus of diplomatic and international law since the end of the Cold War. It traces the substantial expansion in numbers both of sovereign states and international and regional organisations and features detailed chapters on diplomatic privileges and immunities, diplomatic missions, and consular matters, treaty-making and conferences.

    The volume also examines alternative forms of diplomacy, from the work of NGOs to the use of secret envoys, as well as a study of the interaction with intelligence agencies and commercial security firms. It also discusses the impact of international terrorism and other violent non-state actors on the life and work of a diplomat. Finally, in recognition of the speed of changes in the field over the last ten years, this seventh edition examines the developments and challenges of modern diplomacy through new chapters on human rights and public/digital diplomacy by experts in their respective fields.

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Database

Blogs

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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