This article draws on interviews with 198 state ambassadors and applies an interpretivist lens to provide a more nuanced conceptualization of diplomacy. In doing so, we seek to project a closer fit between scholarly definitions of the term and how diplomacy is understood by practitioners. We contribute to the literature by proposing a more refined understanding of the term, presented here as five distinct (though not mutually exclusive) ‘meanings’ of diplomacy: (1) The actors taking part in modern diplomacy; (2) the objectives of diplomacy; (3) the mechanisms of diplomacy; (4) diplomacy as a skill; and (5) diplomacy as a profession. We find that drawing on the full range of the diplomatic experience is particularly important given the growing challenges to negotiation as the primary agency of diplomacy.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||International Negotiation: a journal of theory and practice|
|Early online date||1 Sep 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations