The Foreign Office and British Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Foreign Office and British Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century

1st Edition

Edited by Gaynor Johnson


238 pages

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Paperback: 9780415568319
pub: 2009-10-13
Hardback: 9780714656793
pub: 2005-06-16
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pub: 2013-09-13
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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.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Foreign Office and British Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century Gaynor Johnson. 2.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Resistance and Adaptation to Changing Times. Zara Steiner. 3.Old Diplomacy: Reflections on the Foreign Office before 1914 T.G. Otte. 4. Preparing for Office: Lord Curzon as Acting Foreign Secretary, January – October 1919 Gaynor Johnson. 5. Adapting to a New World? British Foreign Policy in the 1920s. Alan Sharp. 6. The Foreign Office, 1930–39: Strategy, Permanent Interests and National Security B.J.C.McKercher. 7. The Foreign Office and Britain’s Ambassadors to Berlin, 1933–39. Peter Neville. 8. Splendid Isolation to Finest Hour: Britain as a Global Power, 1900 – 1950. John Charmley. 9. Managing the Americans: Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan and the Pursuit of ‘Power by Proxy’ in the 1950s 10. Kevin Ruane and James Ellison. 11. From Carbon Paper to E-Mail: Changes in Methods in the Foreign Office, 1950–2000. Sir Alan Campbell. 12. ‘Not the “General Will” but the Will of the General’: The Input of the Paris Embassy to the British “Great Debate”on Europe, Summer 1960. Sean Greenwood. 13. Reflections on Thirty Years in the Diplomatic Service. Alyson J.K. Bailes. 14. Accommodating Diplomacy: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Debate over Whitehall Redevelopment Keith Hamilton. 15. How Did Wilton Park Survive into the Twenty-First Century? Richard Langhorne.

About the Editor

Gaynor Johnson is Senior Lecturer in History at Bolton Institute. She is the author of The Berlin Embassy of Lord D'Abernon, 1920-1926 (2002) and the editor of Locarno Revisited: European Diplomacy 1920 -1929 (2004) and Our Man in Berlin: The Diary of Sir Eric Phipps, 1933-1937 (2004).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General