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233 × 157 × 22 mm
312 pages
01 Jul 2011

A History of Diplomacy Jeremy Black

In A History of Diplomacy, historian Jeremy Black challenges the conventional account of the development of diplomacy, devoting more attention to non-Western traditions and to the medieval West than is usually the case. By the nineteenth century a system of diplomacy was increasingly formalized. Black charts the course and evolution of ‘diplomacy’ in all its incarnations, concluding with the ideological diplomatic conflicts of the twentieth century and the situation today. The role of modern inter- and non-governmental organizations – from the United Nations and NATO to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – in diplomatic relations is assessed, and the challenges facing diplomacy in the future are identified and investigated.

A History of Diplomacy presents a detailed and engaging study into the ever-changing phenomenon of diplomacy: its aims, its achievements, its successes and failures, against a historical and cultural background. An essential read for students and scholars of history and politics, it will also be of interest to anyone intrigued by the forces that have shaped international relations throughout history.

‘An ambitious, innovative and remarkably wide-ranging survey by a historian of formidable breadth.’ — BBC History Magazine

‘Thought-provoking and usefully targeted to the questions of today.’ — TLS

‘[a] spirited defence of traditional diplomacy . . . a history of the profession, but with an alternative focus, looking at modern diplomacy's non-Western traditions and its roots in the medieval West. It provides fascinating details along the way about the development of embassies, envoys, and give-and-take or 19th century statesmanship. It almost made me want to rejoin the trade except in a time capsule.’ — Eamon Delaney, Irish Times

‘Using illuminating, sometimes fascinating examples and an easy-going style, he describes the development of embassies and the self-taught skills of their envoys all the way up to the zenith of statesmanship, the nineteenth century . . . beyond merely demonstrating the forces that have shaped international relations today, Professor Black delivers a clarion call for todays diplomats to not forsake their traditional skills and functions in favour of easy sound bites.’ — Diplomat magazine

‘Blacks analysis is scholarly and perceptive. It refreshes in its diversity. It reminds us that diplomacy was active and eventful before developments in 15th century Italy led us to the regular practice of resident diplomacy.’ — Asian Affairs

‘Jeremy Blacks book provides a highly effective tour dhorizon of the practice of diplomacy to date, as well as indicating its future longevity.’ — International Affairs

‘a rich book . . . one from which both diplomats and scholars will profit.’ — Political Studies Review

‘chronicles the interactions between different cultures and nations, from the emissaries of the early Ming Dynasty to the use of Facebook and Twitter by the modern British Foreign Office. It is a bold endeavour which, whilst not without its limitations, offers a useful primer for those interested in international dialogue over the longue dureé.’ — European History Quarterly

‘Jeremy Black brings together a wide ranging body of knowledge to produce a powerful defence of the traditional academic discipline of Diplomatic History. In so doing he also demonstrates the continuing importance and relevance of diplomacy in the changing conditions of the modern world.’ — Professor John Clark, University of Buckingham

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Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. One of Britain’s leading military historians, he has written over eighty books, including: Maps and Politics (Reaktion, 1996), Why Wars Happen (Reaktion, 1998), Britain since the Seventies (Reaktion, 2004), War since 1945 (Reaktion, 2004), Altered States: America since the Sixties (2004), all published by Reaktion.

One      1450–1600
Two     1600–1690
Three   1690–1775
Four     1775–1815
Five     1815–1900
Six       1900–1970
Seven  1970 to the Present
Conclusions: The Future
Selected Further Reading