The brutal murder of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens while visiting the American mission in Benghazi less than half a year ago highlighted the perils as well as the possibilities of ‘expeditionary diplomacy’. This is the fashionable term for the attempt to establish contact with governments-in-waiting or governments in fragile states and where, in consequence, diplomats have to rely on their own wits and resources for their security. There is nothing new about this form of diplomacy, although its contemporary extent – in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and elsewhere – is probably unprecedented. Professor Geoff Berridge has been writing about it for many years, as well as about Embassies in Armed Conflict (the title of his most recent book), and both topics are discussed in the lecture on Bilateral Diplomacy in the online course Diplomatic Theory and Practice.
You can also read Professor Berridge’s new article on expeditionary diplomacy published on his website: ‘A weak diplomacy hybrid: U.S. Special Mission Benghazi‘.