This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of international diplomacy, covering both theory and practice. This second edition has been revised and updated, with new material on such key contemporary issues as Syria, Ukraine, migration and the South China Sea.

The text summarizes and discusses the major trends in the field of diplomacy, providing an innovative theoretical approach to understanding diplomacy not as a collection of practices or a set of historical traditions, but as a form of institutionalized communication through which authorized 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 re-make 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, indeed, ought to work in a globalized world.

This textbook will be essential reading for students of international diplomacy, and is highly recommended for students of crisis negotiation, international organizations, foreign policy and IR in general.

part I|9 pages


chapter 1|7 pages

Why and how to study diplomacy

part II|64 pages

Tracing diplomacy

chapter 2|23 pages

Historical evolution

chapter 4|20 pages

Multiplicities of global diplomacy

part III|37 pages

Mapping the diplomatic field

chapter 5|16 pages

Contexts of global diplomacy

chapter 6|19 pages

Tasks of global diplomacy

part IV|60 pages

Explaining diplomacy

chapter 7|18 pages

The making of decisions

chapter 8|19 pages

The making of relations

chapter 9|21 pages

The making of the world

part V|57 pages

Discussing normative approaches

chapter 10|19 pages

Re-making the diplomat

chapter 11|15 pages

Re-making domestic institutions

chapter 12|21 pages

The peaceful re-making of the world

part VI|14 pages


chapter 13|12 pages

Quo Vadis diplomacy?