This book examines the evolution of the Foreign Office in the 20th century and the way in which it has responded to Britain's changing role in international affairs. The last century was one of unprecedented change in the way foreign policy and diplomacy were conducted. The work of 'The Office' expanded enormously in the 20th century, and oversaw the transition from Empire to Commonwealth, with the merger of the Foreign and Colonial Offices taking place in the 1960s.
The book focuses on the challenges posed by waging world war and the process of peacemaking, as well as the diplomatic gridlock of the Cold War. Contributions also discusses ways in which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to modernise to meet the challenges of diplomacy in the 21st century.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the journal Contemporary British History.
1. The Foreign Office and British Foreign Policy: Adaptation and Resistance 2. Empire and Europe: The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy, 1890-1914 3. Lord Curzon as Acting Foreign Secretary, Jan-Oct 1919 4. Adapting to a New World? British Foreign Policy in the 1920s 5. The Foreign Office 1930-1939: Permanent Interests and National Security 6. The Foreign Office, Anglo-American Relations, and the Pursuit of 'Power by Proxy', 1952-1957 7. Splendid Isolation to Finest Hour: Britain as a Global Power, 1900-1950 8. From Carbon Paper to E-mail: Changes in Methods in the Foreign Office, 1950-2000 9. The Input of the Paris Embassy to the British 'Great Debate' on Europe, Summer 1960 10. Thirty Years in the FCO: From Coal Scuttle to Computer 11. Accommodating Diplomacy: Plans for Reconstruction and Renovation of the Foreign Office's Main Building during the Heath and Wilson Governments 12. Skin of the Teeth: Why did Wilton Park Outlive the Twentieth Century? Afterword