Understanding International Diplomacy: Theory, Practice and Ethics (Paperback) book cover

Understanding International Diplomacy

Theory, Practice and Ethics

By Corneliu Bjola, Markus Kornprobst

© 2013 – Routledge

242 pages

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Paperback: 9780415688215
pub: 2013-05-24
Hardback: 9780415688208
pub: 2013-05-28
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pub: 2013-06-07
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This book provides a comprehensive new introduction to the study of international diplomacy, covering both theory and practice.

The text summarises and discusses the major trends in the field of diplomacy, developing an innovative analytical toolbox for understanding diplomacy not as a collection of practices or a set of historical traditions, but as a form of institutionalised communication through which authorised representatives produce, manage and distribute public goods. The book:

    • traces the evolution of diplomacy from its beginnings in ancient Egypt, Greece and China to our current age of global diplomacy;
    • examines theoretical explanations about how diplomats take decisions, make relations and shape the world;
    • discusses normative approaches to how diplomacy ought to adapt itself to the twenty-first century, help remake states and assist the peaceful evolution of international order.

In sum, Understanding International Diplomacy provides an up-to-date, accessible and authoritative overview of how diplomacy works and ought to work in a globalising world.

This new textbook is essential reading for students of international diplomacy, and highly recommended for students of crisis negotiation, international organisations, foreign policy and international relations in general.


'An invaluable volume for all those studying the critical endeavour of diplomacy in today's changing world.'--Javier Solana, former NATO Secretary General, ex-European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy

'In this fascinating book, Bjola and Kornprobst offer a fresh perspective on the study of diplomacy as a form of institutionalized communication. Drawing insight from multiple disciplines, it presents a sophisticated overview of both the history and contemporary practice of diplomacy. The cases studies add texture to a theory-driven account of what remains a critically important dimension of international life.' -- Ian Johnstone, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA

'Understanding International Diplomacy: Theory, Practice and Ethics deserves a prominent place on the bookshelf of every serious student of diplomacy. Corneliu Bjola and Markus Kornprobst have produced a study that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible. Their conception of diplomacy as institutionalised communication captures its similarities to, but also its differences from, other forms of transnational dialogue, and allows them to explore changes in the character of diplomacy in the contemporary world in a richly-textured fashion. Scholars and practitioners alike will draw on the authors' insights for years to come.' -- William Maley, Director, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, The Australian National University

'Bjola and Kornprobst have done the academic and diplomatic communities the great service of producing a clear text which deals not only with what diplomacy and diplomats do, but with how they contribute to making the international world as it is and as it ought to be.' -- Paul Sharp, University of Minnesota, USA

'All those concerned with the study or teaching of diplomacy and foreign policy will want to consult this excellent book, which comprehensively discusses the most relevant and topical aspects of the subject; a precious teaching tool as well as a valuable handbook.'-- Basil Germond, Lancaster University, UK

'Understanding International Diplomacy: Theory, Practice and Ethics fills in gap in the study of diplomacy and will be a useful addition for those interested in the conduct of international relations.' -- Nabil Ayad, Director, London Academy of Diplomacy, University of East Anglia, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction PART I: TRACING DIPLOMACY 1. Historical Evolution 2. The New Diplomacy after World War I 3. Global Diplomacy PART II: MAPPING THE DIPLOMATIC FIELD 4. Contexts of Global Diplomacy 5. Tasks of Global Diplomacy PART III: EXPLAINING DIPLOMACY 6 The Making of Decisions 7. The Making of Relations 8. The Making of the World PART IV: DISCUSSING NORMATIVE APPROACHES 9. Re-making the Diplomat 10. Re-making States 11. The Peaceful Re-making of the World Conclusion: Towards Inclusive Diplomacy

About the Authors

Corneliu Bjola is University Lecturer in Diplomatic Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. He is co-editor of Arguing Global Governance: Agency, Lifeworld and Shared Reasons (2010) and author of Legitimating the Use of Force in International Politics: Kosovo, Iraq and the Ethics of Intervention (2009).

Markus Kornprobst is Chair of International Relations at the Vienna School of International Studies, Austria. He is author of Irredentism in European Politics: Argumentation, Compromise and Norms (2008) and co-editor of Arguing Global Governance: Agency, Lifeworld and Shared Reasons (2010) as well as Metaphors of Globalization: Mirrors, Magicians, and Mutinies (2008).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Modern / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General