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Diplomacy and the Making of World Politics
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Book description

This book examines world politics through the lens of diplomatic practice. It argues that many global phenomena of our time, from the making of international law to the constitution of international public power, through humanitarianism and the maintenance of global hierarchies, are made possible and shaped by evolving forms of diplomacy. The study of diplomacy is largely dominated by firsthand accounts and historical treaties, with little effort at theoretical discussion. This book shows how diplomatic studies can benefit from more explicit theorizing, and argues that the study of world politics should pay more attention to what goes on in the diplomatic 'engine room' of international politics.


‘As said of war and generals, diplomacy is too serious a matter to be left to the accredited representatives of the sovereign state. The authors offer new theoretical insights into the symbolic, strategic and institutional importance of traditional diplomacy while acknowledging cell-phone activists, camera-ready celebrities, humanitarian workers and lance corporals in a three-block war as the new faces of diplomacy. This collection has the jolt of an intellectual defibrillator, bringing diplomacy back from a grossly exaggerated death while nurturing emergent forms of global mediation.’

James Der Derian - Director of the Centre for International Security Studies and Michael Hintze Professor of International Security, University of Sydney

‘An interesting anthology of first-rate articles on the traditional and changing functions of diplomatic practices and their contribution to the constitution of world politics and to global governance.’

Friedrich Kratochwil - Professor Emeritus, European University Institute, Florence

‘A superb collection of essays which goes beyond proclaiming the insight that agents and structures are constituted by practice, and actually puts that insight to work to tell us new, interesting, and useful things about how diplomacy and governance actually operate.’

Paul Sharp - University of Minnesota, Duluth

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