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Über dieses Buch

This volume is a comprehensive overview of the various methods used in contemporary diplomatic practice. It incorporates the traditional modes of diplomacy and explains how these modes have evolved to deal with a burgeoning international community of state and non-state actors, the information and communications revolution and the changing profile of global conflict. The pursuit of “development diplomacy” is an integral part of the project, with due attention to the fault-lines, microcosms of power-politics and rapid evolution within the society of states that make up the Global South. All chapters are extensively illustrated with recent case examples from across the world.



Chapter 1. Introduction

In her introductory chapter, Spies explains her reasons for writing the book: on the one hand the neglect of diplomatic studies in academic scholarship and on the other hand the dearth of Global South perspectives in diplomatic studies. She defines diplomacy and differentiates it from other international engagements. Conceptual demarcation of the Global South is done, with a discussion of the development diplomacy that distinguishes this group of states. The methodology of the book is explained in terms of the modal approach, i.e. separate focus on bilateral , multilateral , third-party and polylateral diplomacy. The chapterisation of the book follows this modal delineation and culminates, as she explains, in a chapter on ‘structural diplomacy ’, an inter-modal approach with particular resonance for the Global South .
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 2. Bilateral Diplomacy: The Perennial Basics of Diplomacy

In this chapter, Spies focuses on bilateral diplomacy, the oldest and most traditional diplomatic mode. It encapsulates basics of diplomatic practice—principles, techniques and processes that are replicated in all the other modes of diplomacy. The discussion is structured according to the five functions of diplomatic missions , as per the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations . Spies explains how these duties have expanded in recent decades, how they are executed even in the absence of resident embassies , and how struggling states are affected by deficits in diplomatic capacity. The impact of information and communication technology on diplomacy’s core tasks is discussed, as are the implications of a greater spectrum of stakeholders—not least the public of a host state—that need to be engaged by diplomats.
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 3. Multilateral Diplomacy: Diplomacy in Congress

The focus of this chapter is multilateral diplomacy, a mode that has developed exponentially over the past century for a variety of practical, normative and symbolic reasons. The expansion and diversification of international society , in particular the emergence of the Global South , has fed the phenomenon. Spies identifies the contemporary manifestations of multilateral diplomacy: the traditional distinction between conference and parliamentary diplomacy ; new concepts such as ‘minilateral’, ‘network’ and ‘club’ diplomacy ; as well as multilateral-within-multilateral diplomacy, i.e. different forms of ‘plurilateral’ diplomacy. Attention is given to the role of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) because they create hubs of multilateral diplomacy and they are important diplomatic actors in their own right. The opportunities and challenges inherent to multilateral diplomacy are explored from the state-centric perspective of foreign ministries.
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 4. Third-Party Diplomacy: The Diplomacy of Peace and Intercession

In this chapter Spies focuses on third-party diplomacy; a mode that involves conflict management, reduction and resolution. Third-party diplomacy speaks to the very raison d’être of diplomacy, because it hinges on the principle of brokerage, or intermediation that underpins the institution of diplomacy. The chapter explores the notion of neutrality and explores various third-party methods, including good offices, arbitration, mediation and conciliation. The troubled evolution of peacekeeping is discussed, and the broader management of conflict is contextualised within the changing profile of global peace and conflict. Spies explains the nuanced concept of peacebuilding, and the implications of long-term, multi-stakeholder ‘project management’ of peace processes. She also addresses the ethical dilemma that faces diplomats when a political settlement is prioritised over judicial closure.
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 5. Polylateral Diplomacy: Diplomacy as Public–Private Collaboration

In this chapter, the newest diplomatic mode, polylateral diplomacy, is analysed. Spies explains the catalytic processes that constitute this interface of official diplomacy with private initiatives. Non-state actors operate at domestic, transnational, international and global levels, and their de facto diplomacy often happens in parallel to that of sovereign states, challenging the latter’s jurisdiction. This has made the contemporary diplomatic arena pluralistic, dynamic and complex. Spies identifies the main categories of non-state diplomatic actors and explains their comparative advantages vis-à-vis state actors. The global public commons, where delivery of global public goods is at stake, is discussed to contextualise the intersection of state and societal interests. The intersection makes it imperative for joint ventures in statecraft and civilcraft —essentially the networked model that polylateral diplomacy entails.
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 6. Structural Diplomacy: Development, Participation and Governance

This final substantive chapter of the book deals with a hybrid approach rather than a distinct diplomatic mode. Structural diplomacy is geared—in purpose as well as methodology—towards the terms of interaction in the international system. It confronts the discrepancies between notions of global ‘democracy’ and the actual, entrenched hierarchies of power. The chapter focuses therefore on the perennial power-diplomacy nexus. Spies recounts how, in recent decades, the Global South has assumed agency in addressing systemic flaws in world order. She explains the role of middle powers in providing norm entrepreneurship (inter alia as concerns equity in the forums of global governance) and the intriguing diplomacy of emerging powers who are using the ‘rules of the game’ to challenge the architecture of global power.
Yolanda Kemp Spies

Chapter 7. Conclusion

In this concluding chapter Spies explains how the diplomatic arena has changed in terms of its density (the many new actors that deploy diplomats, whether de facto or de jure); enlarging substantive agenda (crowded with high and low-political issues); and diversity of operational styles. She revisits the four main diplomatic modes (bilateral, third party, multilateral and polylateral) to comment on their distinct features and advantages. Their inter-modal use in the pursuit of structural power is discussed, notably the efforts of the Global South to level the international playing field. Spies posits that the bifurcating ‘West and the Rest’ narrative is just another phase in the evolution of international society, and that diplomacy maintains its central role in providing continuity and coherence to international relations.
Yolanda Kemp Spies


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