The Meaning of Diplomacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Abstract

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.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Negotiation: a journal of theory and practice
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020