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Consular Diplomacy: A Conceptual Framework for Analysis and Decision Making

Date: 2010
This paper argues that the scope of consular work is in fact broader than ‘protection’ of nationals abroad. Moreover, the paper highlights the inherent theoretical conflicts between representing individual interests and national interest while performing these multifarious functions, and moreover, how this conflict may not only lead to rifts between consuls and diplomats, but also how consular immunity may be the target of promoting strategic interests in times of conflict. In conclusion, the dissertation argues that the importance given by any state to enhance and broaden the consular institution is indicative of the value it places on its own nationals, thereby signalling the value it places on its national identity. The consular function thus becomes a window through which a state projects its ‘nationhood’ in competition with rival identities and interests in the nation-state system.