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Author: Drazen Pehar

Leaders’ rhetoric and preventive diplomacy – issues we are ignorant about


In this paper, Drazen Pehar analyses the argumentation made by George Lakoff of the University of California at Berkeley in his seminal paper on ‘Metaphor and War’, in which he tried to deconstruct the rhetoric U.S. president George Bush used to justify the war in the Gulf. He also analyses a reading by psycho-historian Lloyd deMause, whose theory differs from Lakoff’s. Throughout his analysis, Pehar describes the role of rhetoric in diplomatic prevention of armed conflicts, and its several functions, and concludes that the methods of preventive diplomacy depend heavily on the theory of leaders’ rhetoric one considers credible.

Analysis of the rhetoric that leaders use to explain, justify, and pre-program their foreign policies seems to offer a sound basis for diplomatic prevention of armed conflicts. There are two reasons for believing that this is the case. First, rhetoric, together with historical memories, cultural practices etc., belongs to the set of spiritual and psychological causes of war. Rhetoric usually precedes armed conflicts and hints at the important issues over which the upcoming war will eventually be fought. Thus, through leaders’ rhetoric, one can witness a not yet fully materialized “war of minds”. This may then, ideally speaking, prompt one to try to remove the spiritual incentive to fight a war; to cool down the “war of minds” before it turns into a “war of arms”. Second, the rhetoric that leaders use is, as a matter of principle, extremely rich in imaginative projections, in fanciful descriptions of the international affairs of leaders’ concern. The rhetoric is therefore always half a dream, and half a reality, which, from the perspective of critical and rational argumentation, makes it fragile and relatively easy to debate. More than one plausible rhetorical device has the potential of explaining away complexities of the international system, and the “king’s” one may not be the best one. Leaders’ rhetoric thus being principally fragile, debatable, and open to alternative readings, one again has a chance to prevent wars from erupting simply by showing the fragility of a leader’s narrative and of the metaphors he or she chooses.

Such a tool for conflict prevention was tried during the public debate in the U.S. before the U.S.-led operation “Desert Storm” against Iraq was launched. A leading linguist and cognitive scientist, George Lakoff of the University of California at Berkeley, wrote a seminal paper “Metaphor and War”, in which he tried to deconstruct the rhetoric U.S. president George Bush used to justify the war in the Gulf. Lakoff hoped to incite a public debate which would forestall the U.S. preparations to launch a war against Saddam, and he hoped his grassroots, Internet mediated diplomacy might save “tens of thousands of innocent lives”.

Lakoff’s idea was simply to show how the system of rhetorical schemes, the metaphorical system Bush applied in advance of the Gulf war, kept important aspects of international realities hidden, and did so in a very harmful way. Lakoff focused on several metaphors, but it will suffice to present the two most important ones: the metaphor of “Saddam as Hitler”, and the metaphor of “Kuwait as innocent victim of a villain’s aggression and rape”. Bush, in comparing Saddam with Adolf Hitler, was, according to Lakoff, wrong on several counts. The predicament of the U.S. in 1991, after Iraq’s excursion into Kuwait, did not resemble the predicament of the western powers at the Munich conference with Hitler. Iraq, for instance, was not comparable to Germany in the late 1940s. Besides that, there was no reason for anybody to believe in 1991 that Saddam was an irrational villain, like Hitler was, ready to take the riskiest action and to declare war against the entire world of liberal democracies. Lakoff thus rightly states that “the Hitler analogy also assumes that Saddam is a villainous madman. The analogy presupposes a Hitler myth, in which Hitler too was an irrational demon, rather than a rational self-serving brutal politician. In the myth, Munich was a mistake and Hitler could have been stopped early on had England entered the war then. Military historians disagree as to whether the myth is true. Be that as it may, the analogy does not hold. Whether or not Saddam is Hitler, Iraq isn’t Germany. It has 17 million people, not 70 million. It is economically weak, not strong. It simply is not a threat to the world. Saddam is certainly immoral, ruthless, and brutal, but there is no evidence that he is anything but rational.”

According to Lakoff, it was also incorrect for Bush to draw a comparison between “Kuwait” and an “innocent victim of a rape”. Kuwait was an oppressive monarchy, resented by most Arab countries because of its discriminatory policy against the cheap labour it imported. Kuwait further committed a serious injustice against Iraq after the war between Iraq and Iran, by having refused to assist the war-exhausted economy of Iraq, which fought the war against Iran partly for the benefit of Kuwait itself. And finally, Kuwait launched a de facto economic war against Iraq by, as Lakoff points out, “overproducing its oil-quota to hold oil prices down” and thus lowering Iraq’s chance to fight its post-war poverty.

Lakoff concluded his analysis with two important messages. First, the rhetoric Bush used to prepare the U.S. for a major war was fundamentally wrong since it presented America as a purely selfless hero, while America was a self-interested state eager, perhaps too eager, to protect the oil-pipelines on which its economy to some extent depends. According to Lakoff, the U.S. should not fight a war lacking clear rationale and an unambiguous enemy, following the rhetoric of a misleading leader. Second, he called upon the Internet browser community to spread his message for what seemed to be a very humanitarian purpose: to renounce the possibility of war and to try alternative means to find an overall solution benefiting Iraq, Kuwait, and the U.S. along with other western democracies. Lakoff’s “Metaphor and War” was thus a critical analysis of a leader’s rhetoric combined with an attempt to serve as an unofficial diplomat trying to prevent a conflict by putting into use the most democratic medium of today’s communication to familiarize the public with his sophisticated expertise. Unfortunately, it did not work and America is still at war with “the dictator”. I will not try to explain why an attempt to prevent a conflict through a sophisticated analysis of a leader’s rhetoric failed: it may have failed for an infinite number of reasons. But I believe that Lakoff’s attempt is worth probing more extensively, since it may tell us something important about many things we, as diplomats, humanitarian officers, members of an international team for crisis management, or public and elite opinion analysts, are deeply ignorant about.


The first thing we can recognize in Lakoff’s piece is his affiliation with the tradition of the Enlightenment. He at least implicitly believes that one is in a position to reach the population in a purely rational state of mind, and that the bad things happening in politics are due to the inclination of leaders to mislead and misinform people. In “Metaphor and War” Lakoff quite explicitly said that the Gulf War would serve the interests of only one particular establishment, the military-industrial one, and that Bush was simply trying to sell the interests of that particular establishment to the American people under the guise of “vital national interest”. Bush thus offered a theory modelling the relations between a number of countries and made the rest of the country over which he presided re-shape its political preferences, i.e. desires, in accordance with the model. Had Bush not used the means of the above rhetoric to provide the U.S. action against Iraq with a deeper, or superior, meaning, American people would not have started considering Saddam their mortal enemy. In other words, Lakoff holds that the stream of causes leading from rhetoric through human mind to eruption of full-scale war, is approximately as in the chart below:


Notice here that Lakoff believes that the primary role of rhetoric is to provide knowledge about foreign affairs and to explain the mechanisms responsible for certain events. Notice further that Lakoff believes that the cognitive part of our brains has priority over the volitional, or emotional part of our brains, and that our beliefs give shape to our preferences and not vice-versa. Lakoff’s theory stipulates that the offer of alternative, metaphor-cleansing pieces of real knowledge should tear the war-causing desires apart and wake one up from the bizarre dreams in which “Saddam is Hitler”, while “Kuwait is a small, unprotected and innocent country raped by the devil”. Finally, notice that, along the lines Lakoff proposes, preventive diplomacy, based on deconstruction of leaders’ rhetoric, should not lead to controversy at all but that once one presents both inductively and deductively valid arguments against the leaders’ rhetoric, the temptation to wage a war should simply disappear. It is certainly under the conditions of a democratic environment and in the spirit of equality and tolerance that such an open presentation of arguments is likely to take place and deliver positive results. But do our minds really behave in the way Lakoff believes? Do we really focus primarily on the cognitive, information-processing aspect of metaphors? Do our minds really first form an image of their environment, upon which they then shape, construct, or reconstruct their preferences, their volitional parts? If we compare our minds with a colourful cuisine, does the descriptive dimension of our rhetoric really play the role of chief cook?

I am raising these questions because rhetoric performs several functions. It first, but not foremost, serves to create an image of whatever it refers to. If I compare Saddam with Hitler then my image of Saddam differs from the image I would have, had I compared Saddam with Martin Luther King. But rhetoric also serves to raise emotions. If I compare today’s Bosnia with the triangle between China, U.S., and U.S.S.R from the early 1970s, my emotions concerning Bosnia would differ from the emotions I would have had I compared Bosnia with a patient dying in a coma. And, last but not least, rhetoric serves an outstandingly important function of defining and redefining one’s identity. I say very different things about the identity of the people of a nation when I say that they always behave like an elephant in china shop, on the one hand, and when I say that they are only a “shooting star”, on the other. The paradigms that nations adopt to forge or promote their own identity are always expressed through a number of historical analogies, and thus inevitably contain a rhetorical ingredient.

Rhetoric performs several functions, and this implies that several parts of the mind feel a need for rhetoric, and are equally operative in its creation. This further means that the origins of the rhetoric that leaders use to explain and prepare their foreign policies are multiple, and that what seemed to be a sound theory explaining the chain of causation of armed conflict, the theory George Lakoff proposed, may now encounter some complications. Lakoff also proposed a method of conflict prevention one could call “prevention through argumentation”. It almost needs no mentioning that the method itself could now run into troubles. Why?

Imagine an individual with a strong in-built self-image or identity, who is getting involved in a situation he or she understands only partially. The basic question the individual will usually raise is not “What else do I need to learn to fully understand this situation?” but rather, “What can I do to reconfirm my identity under conditions not fully transparent to me?” The individual will probably try to adapt understanding of the conditions to his or her self-image, and not other way around, because, speaking psychologically, it is more dangerous to question one’s identity than to question one’s understanding of conditions which are not fully compatible with all relevant evidence. When one is forced to choose between leaving the self-image intact while the understanding of the environment remains incomplete, on the one hand, and deepening the understanding to fit relevant evidence, which would cast doubt on one’s sense of identity, on the other, the individual is likely to choose the former. Otherwise he or she would have to suffer for a while, and to develop a new definition of his or her identity, which is a challenge few people are ready to accept.

Applied to Lakoff’s critique of the rhetoric Bush used to justify the war in the Gulf, the above psychological pattern would imply the following explanation. America has a strong sense of identity, and like other states, it chose a particular historical moment of its extreme assertiveness to serve as its role-model, as the core of its self-image. That moment, that role-model meeting the need for identity, is the America which won the Second World War. Now, whenever a crisis occurs in international affairs, American leaders start with the assumption that the crisis is similar to the crisis preceding World War Two, because America’s self-image leads them to choose the narrative and the rhetoric most suitable to the country’s inner sense of identity. They therefore project the imagery of the past Word War Two experience into new crises and new challenges almost automatically, and cannot really change this process. The sense of identity cannot be challenged easily, and if America sees itself as a “selfless hero leading a coalition of the free world against dictators and rapists of this world”, it will read empirical evidence accordingly, and, if necessary, neglect data not fitting the imagery of the Second World War. With regard to Lakoff’s critique of the rhetoric President Bush used, a proponent of the theory of identity would say that it does not really matter whether Saddam is both an irrational and ruthless dictator, or just a ruthless dictator. America reacts to either ruthless or irrational leaders with the determination of the great World War Two victor, and will do anything to punish the leader who severely violates the principles of international law, as it did with Hitler. The rhetoric that Bush used to justify the Gulf War was thus not rhetoric he simply picked from a menu. He was actually not in a position to deliberate and choose the means for persuading the American people. He was just somewhat semi-consciously aware of the key layer of the American self-image, which implied that Saddam must be Hitler while Kuwait must be a victim of a brutal war machine. Bush’s pre-Gulf War rhetoric came not from the cognitive, information processing part of his brain. It came from a deeper layer, from an inner sense of identity, from a drive to take an action for the sake of the actor’s identity, from the need to confirm the self-image, the self-definition.

For that reason, Lakoff’s interpretation of the chain of causation connecting leaders’ rhetoric with eruption of war may be too simplified, too neat. A host of inner, mental processes compete for the role of the key cause of lethal aggression, and consequently, a number of alternative interpretations of the etiology of the Gulf War and the rhetoric that led to it have been offered. The famous psycho-historian, Lloyd deMause, proposed a reading of the Gulf War which is similar to the above theory of identity, which, as we see, significantly differs from Lakoff’s theory.


DeMause believes that the decision to launch a war against Saddam was not motivated by considerations of political utility. According to him, it was launched to help America act out some of its 1990 and 1991 frustrations. In deMause’s opinion, prior to the war with Iraq America had an intense need for inner, mental order, which one may compare with the sense of identity as described above. As anyone who needs to experience catharsis to recover a sense of inner identity also needs a symbolic stage on which to pull the basic role together, America needed such a symbolic stage too. DeMause argues, for reasons I will discuss below, that the stage America set to pull itself together was a stage with three characters: Terrifying Parent, Hurt Child, and Good Parent. Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait offered America the first two characters, while Bush, in making the decision to wage war against Saddam, assigned to America the role of the third character. Thus, the war was inevitable. Good Parent had to punish Terrifying Parent to save Hurt Child. The rhetoric that was used to explain the policy towards Iraq was, according to deMause, a symptom rather than a cause of the Gulf War. It was, in actual fact, an expression of the fantasies that America had to cultivate for a while to restore its inner core. With that we come to deMause’s explanation of the etiology of armed conflicts and the role that rhetoric plays in that etiology.

DeMause presented his theory of armed conflicts and the rhetoric that leaders use to prepare a nation for war in his paper “Historical Group-Fantasies”. He first notes that a high percentage of the figures, metaphors, similes, and symbols that leaders use in advance of a war group around the image of a “body trying to set itself free”, as well as around the image of a “mother-child relationship”. In other words, he notices that the official discourse servicing war propaganda frequently refers to the “need to protect mother”, the “need for mother to protect her children”, a “state of pregnancy”, a “birth-giving”. One needs here to recall idiomatic expressions such as “the nation fought for survival”, “the nation fought out its right to live”, or the “birth of nation”. Based on this observation, as well as on a number of additional ones, deMause draws the conclusion that before war actually breaks out a group-fantasy catches the minds of the people, who then simply have to experience the group-shock of war to live through the fantasy. DeMause believes that the group-fantasy is the fantasy of rebirth and that people put their lives at risk in times of war for one single purpose: to re-experience or re-enact the trauma of birth. This explains why the rhetoric is rich in the aforementioned imagery. He thus, in an elegant way, answers the question as to why people decide to wage war despite the fact that war brings more losses than gains. He says that people simply see in war something that war is not, and that one can understand this very easily by looking deeper into the rhetoric that precedes armed conflicts. The Gulf War was about a Hurt Child who needed protection from a Terrifying Parent, as we saw. It was not about soldiers, oil, and sovereignty. But notice here to what an extent deMause’s theory differs from Lakoff’s theory.

DeMause believes that war, or serious inter-group enmity, is a must-be. He further believes that the key cause of war is a group-fantasy, the fantasy of rebirth, something many people of similar background share. The trauma of birth is not restricted to a particular establishment. It concerns almost everyone, and it shapes almost everyone’s identity. The trauma recurs time and again. Both incidence and abundance of wars, together with their eye-catching irrationality, prove that the cognitive part of our brains does not partake in their making. The rhetoric explaining, preparing, and inciting wars is not a conceptual tool for understanding international relations. The rhetoric is literal truth. It is a creation, not a description of the world. This means that for those who in 1933 said that their mother “Germany” needed to expand to embrace all her children, and to ultimately give birth to one gigantic nation, the land referred to had the meaning of a real mother experiencing real birth pangs. The rhetoric comes from our deepest memories, the memories of birth, and it does not follow the rhythm of our rational thoughts. Finally, its charm is overwhelming and irresistible. Since I presented a chart illustrating Lakoff’s theory, I will do the same for deMause’s theory.


It may sound strange, but DeMause does not believe that wars are quite inevitable. I deliberately exaggerated when I said that, according to DeMause, war is a “must-be”. DeMause himself holds that conflicts may be prevented. But his vision of preventive diplomacy differs from our official concept of prevention like heaven differs from hell, and, as one can easily predict, conflict prevention, in DeMause’s view, is not something that foreign ministries or diplomats should be doing. DeMause believes that there are actually three ways to prevent conflicts. The three represent what I like to call “prevention through re-channeling”, which, of course, significantly differs from Lakoff’s “prevention through rational argumentation”, which certainly is something that foreign ministries and official diplomats are able, and more than welcome, to do. “Prevention through re-channeling” basically takes three forms: first, a leader may understand that his people have started to approach a very dangerous state of mind, the state of obsessive need to re-experience the trauma of birth. He may then offer his own sacrifice. He may enact the drama of birth himself, using himself as a scapegoat for the “hungry” masses. He may offer himself as a screen onto which his people will then project their inner drama of rebirth. DeMause holds that this is exactly what Nixon did through the Watergate affair. Second, a leader may simply simulate an action which will meet the need of the people to re-enact the trauma of birth. The leader should, according to DeMause, use the opportunity of increased international tension to allow the people to let off steam by pretending he is ready to launch a war but really launching a very limited quasi-aggressive action. The leader thus plays the role of a movie director, who, by taking only a half-complete, risky but not harmful or lethal action, satisfies the public’s need to see and feel “blood and suffering”. DeMause claims that Dwight Eisenhower was a mastermind of this type of “prevention through re-channeling”. For instance, the actions Eisenhower took in late 1954 during the period of increased friction in relations between America and China was an example of the second means of conflict prevention. The third, and final, way DeMause suggests to try decreasing the number of conflicts taking place in this world is through appropriate child-rearing. If one brings up a child in a safe environment, and is sensitive to the child’s need to re-experience the trauma of birth, then the likelihood that people raised thus will need to act out the trauma through political means or lethal conflicts will decline. I like to call the third type of conflict prevention “prevention through the most timely re-channeling”.

Notice here to what extent DeMause’s conflict prevention measures differ from all the wise things one learns in schools of diplomacy, international relations and law. Just imagine the consternation a junior diplomat would cause by proposing to his minister to propose to a head of state to initiate a mini-Watergate to calm the innate need of his people to re-experience the trauma of birth, which would definitely save “tens of thousands of lives”, etc. Or imagine a diplomat deciding to resign from the ministry in order to rear a child in ways more sensitive to the child’s experience of birth in order to aid in the prevention of future conflicts. Sounds silly, but if one believes that re-channeling is a better way to cope with the lethal and aggressive parts of our nature, then the ways of classical, formal diplomacy are definitely far less promising than those DeMause proposes.

DeMause is not the only theoretician who believes that rhetoric originates from deep and irrational layers. David Campbell, for instance, holds that the rhetoric of danger and of the alien is inherent to our making of foreign policy, and that without a rhetoric to describe the existence of a threatening other, neither states nor their foreign policy element would have an identity. There is no identity without an enemy. Campbell thus believes that rhetoric comes from a need for identity, that it is based on quasi-perception of a threat, and that without the sense of threat states would not have anything to do internationally. He writes that “the constant articulation of danger through foreign policy is thus not a threat to a state’s identity or existence; it is its condition of possibility”. Campbell in actual fact time and again voices his belief that the foreign policy element of the modern state is comparable to the role the church used to play in the age of pre-modernity. Like the church, which “relied heavily on discourses of danger to establish its authority”, modern states rely on rhetoric and “evangelism of fear”, to secure and maintain their identity, and finally, to maintain their authority through promising their “followers” salvation, immortality, and a role worth fighting for. Campbell’s theory is very similar to deMause’s, and can be summarized along the following lines.

Leaders’ rhetoric comes from the deepest layers of our selves. It forms and maintains our political identity as it meets our most basic need to have all things threatening to us sharply defined and kept separate from ourselves. The concept of preventive diplomacy through “re-channelling” would be a clear implication of the tenets of Campbell’s theory. Campbell himself would probably say that rational argumentation would do no harm to the discourses and the rhetoric of danger, and that one should find better ways to meet our needs for identity, protection, and salvation, in ways less harmful and less threatening to others.


There seems little doubt that leaders’ rhetoric plays some role in the etiology of armed conflict. There also seems little doubt that analysis and deconstruction of leaders’ rhetoric offer an attractive method to prevent a “war of words” from sliding into a “war of arms”. However, our key problem lies in the fact that we do not yet know where rhetoric and metaphors come from. What parts of our minds are responsible for the generation of metaphors in the context of international politics? Is it the part which strives for objective knowledge, for objective theories that retain their validity in all imaginable contexts of our action? Or is it the part which cares for maintenance of our self-image, our inner sense of identity? Or is it perhaps a deeper part, more irrational than the first two, the memories of pre-natal stages, of our birth-fantasies?

There is another possibility. It is quite possible that the locus of origins of both rhetoric and metaphors changes from case to case, depending on complexity and severity of conditions. But we do not know this either. We may start with the assumption that some metaphors reflect our biological design (type A), some reflect our historical experience (type B), while others reflect our daily practices (type C). For instance, if I said “Malta is my mother”, then the metaphor would reflect my biological design and have a deMausean flavour. If, on the other hand, I said “Kissinger is Prince Metternich reborn”, then the metaphor would reflect our historical experience and have the flavour of an identity theory, so to speak. And finally, if I said “today’s Bosnia resembles a victim of a traffic accident in which all drivers violated a number of traffic-regulations”, then the metaphor would reflect my daily, practical experience and would have the flavour of the theory of rational argumentation. Now, the psychological theories in which we believe would predict that the more complex the conditions in which mental imagery and metaphors occur, the more likely our minds to regress. Thus, rhetoric of type A is most likely to occur under the most complex conditions, rhetoric of type B is most likely to occur under conditions of average complexity, and rhetoric of type C is most likely to occur under the least complex conditions. But, first, the complexity concerned is complexity relative to the mind which perceives it. Unfortunately, we are not yet in possession of a measure of that kind of complexity, although the sciences of complexity seem to accumulate more and more extremely interesting findings along the borderlines of math, physics, and molecular biology. Second, even if we come into possession of such a measure, no one will be able to isolate perception of complexity from arbitrary and randomly fluctuating factors. Leaders will probably continue enjoying the privilege to use rhetoric of type A even under the least complex conditions of international politics, contrary to what the aforementioned theory predicts. Will they ever stop dramatizing non-dramatic events, a natural inclination because drama gives them an opportunity to portray their role as more important than it actually is? Will they ever learn that the line dividing drama from hostility is a thin one? We may only guess. Are they, and are we ourselves, capable of learning that? We do not know that either.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that as statecraft itself is highly dependent on the image of human nature it considers credible, the methods of preventive diplomacy debated here depend heavily on the theory of leaders’ rhetoric one considers credible. Since we remain ignorant about the origins of rhetoric, about conditions of its appearance as well as about its effects, the measures of appropriate rhetoric-based conflict prevention remain unclear too. The issue as to whether one should conduct classical prevention through rational argumentation, as Lakoff proposes, or prevention through re-channelling, as deMause proposes, thus remains unresolved. Would it be better to opt for face-to-face prevention, with its immediate, short-term, and individually directed effects? Or to opt for prevention oriented towards the culture of an entire group, which, with its indirect, long-term, and slowly accumulating effects, can hardly be subsumed under the concept of preventive diplomacy as run by professional servicemen of foreign ministries? There also remains the third and safest way. Ignorant as we are, perhaps we should use both ways until we find which of the two, and under what conditions, is better.

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Twentieth-Century Diplomacy: A Case Study of British Practice, 1963-1976

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Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge

I started writing a memoire in 1998, but on a long train journey in Germany (Stuttgart to Essen), accompanied by my wonderful wife Mimi, a thought came that it might be much more interesting to write about how the Indian diplomatic system works – or does not really work. That became my first book, Inside Diplomacy (1999). Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge, first published in 2015, is that delayed memoire.


Blundering Into Disaster: Surviving the First Century of the Nuclear Age


Diplomat’s Dictionary


The Nineteenth Century Foreign Office


The Cinderella Service: British Consuls since 1825


Essence of Diplomacy

Christer Jönsson is Professor of Political Science at Lund University in Sweden, where Martin Hall is a Researcher. Their book is described as an exercise in ‘theorizing’ diplomacy, that is, an attempt to provide a general account of its causes and consequences. (The authors are thus severe in denying the title of ‘theory’ to the ‘prescriptive tracts’ which scholar-diplomats have written about their art over hundreds of years, though I notice that they are more indulgent to the use of the term ‘political theory’ as in, for example, ‘liberal political theory’.)


Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 2nd edn


Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 4th ed


The New Diplomacy


A Selection of New diplomatic memoirs

I have just written a review article on these six books of British diplomatic memoirs for the English Historical Journal, so here I shall just provide some notes on those that I believe to be most valuable to students of diplomacy.


Diplomatic Security under a Comparative Lens – Or Not?

“Diplomatic security” is the term now usually preferred to “diplomatic protection” for the steps taken by states to safeguard the fabric of their diplomatic and consular missions, the lives of their diplomatic and consular officers, and the integrity of their communications; it has the advantage of avoiding confusion with the controversial legal doctrine of diplomatic protection.


On the manner of practising the new diplomacy

The traditional model of diplomacy, founded on the principles of national sovereignty and of statecraft, is becoming less relevant as a field of new, influential actors enter the international system.


American Negotiating Behaviour: Wheeler-Dealers, Legal Eagles, Bullies, and Preachers


Manuel de droit diplomatique


International Regimes


Multi-Track Diplomacy: A systems approach to peace


Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a political survivor

Jack Straw was the ablest and wisest of Tony Blair’s foreign secretaries and served in this capacity from 2001 until he was ungratefully dumped without warning by his leader in 2006. Afterwards he hit the headlines by courageously publishing his dislike of the full veil worn my some Muslim women, on the grounds that this was such a visible statement of separation and difference that it complicated community relations and was, in any case, a cultural preference rather than a religious obligation. (Straw was then and still is the Labour MP for a Bradford constituency with a large Muslim popula...


The Foreign Office


Ever the Diplomat


Inside Diplomacy

This is a book on diplomacy in general and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in particular. It is also a gem, and a large gem. It breathes life, wisdom, and good humour, and is full of rich detail. I found it thoroughly absorbing. Students of diplomacy at all stages of their careers will find it immensely useful, while those in a position to influence the future shape of the IFS will discover a whole raft of constructive suggestions for reform fearlessly advanced.


Bilateral Diplomacy: A Practitioner Perspective (Briefing Paper #15)


British Diplomacy and the Descent into Chaos: The career of Jack Garnett, 1902-19

I am in favour of biographies of relatively obscure individuals like Jack Garnett because there are plenty of them on the famous; moreover, studies of this kind often turn up interesting details (including how the famous were seen from the foothills) and stimulate thought on bigger questions. John Fisher’s well written and thoroughly researched study of this early twentieth century British diplomat, into which contextual detail is expertly woven, is no exception.


A Dictionary of Diplomacy, Second Edition

Diplomatic security and the birth of the compound system


The 21st Century Ambassador: Plenipotentiary to Chief Executive

Ambassador Kishan Rana, a diplomatist for four decades, is now a noted scholar and theorist of international relations and the new diplomacy that has evolved.


Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy


Diplomats on Twitter: The good, the bad and the ugly


Reflections on Persuasion in Diplomacy by Ambassador Joseph Cassar

In our families, in our jobs, in our political dynamic at a national level, we always try to persuade others, first and foremost. Since, diplomacy is part of the global human existence, it is natural that persuasion is an essential part and an essential tool of diplomacy … as much it is in your family life, in my family life, when you try to sort out trouble within your family, between your brothers and sisters, between your children and between your grandchildren at my age.


Foreign Ministries: Managing Diplomatic Networks and Optimizing Value

This is a collection of papers presented at the 2006 Conference on Foreign Ministries hosted by DiploFoundation in May 2006, in Geneva. The overarching theme is the adaptation and reform that these ministries have undertaken, in the shape of country experiences and the transformation implemented in specific areas such as the application of information technology for outreach to domestic publics, adaptation in consular services and outsourcing options. Some of the challenging issues addressed cover relations between civil servants and politicians, the role of sub-state entities in diplomacy, an...


Innovation in Diplomatic Practice


Performance Management in Foreign Ministries: Corporate Techniques in the Diplomatic Service


DC Confidential: The controversial memoirs of Britain’s ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11 and the Iraq War

DC Confidential: The controversial memoirs of Britain's ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11 and the Iraq War.


Twentieth Century Diplomacy: A case study of British practice, 1963-1976

Book review by Geoff Berridge What is so original about the book is that the author has asked himself: What are the major forms of diplomatic contact? And followed this with the question: How and to what effect were they each employed by one state over a period sufficiently short to make detailed research possible […]


Internet Guide for Diplomats

The Internet Guide for Diplomats is the first guide specifically conceived and realised to assist diplomats and others involved in international affairs to use the Internet in their work. The book includes both basic technical information about the Internet and specific issues related to the use of the Internet in diplomacy. Examples and illustrations address many common questions including web-management for diplomatic services, knowledge management and distance learning.


Renaissance Diplomacy and the Reformation

We invite you to continue our walk along timeline of Evolution of diplomacy and technology. In May, our next stop is Renaissance diplomacy and the impact of the invention of the printing press on diplomacy in the Reformation period.


Persuasion in sociology of diplomacy

Dr Milan Jazbec, a practitioner and researcher in diplomacy, positions a discussion on persuasion in the sociology of diplomacy. Social context determines both diplomacy and persuasion. Dr Jazbec makes a distinction between pressure and persuasion. In a rather counter-intuitive view to dominant discourse, he argues that genuine persuasion cannot be public. As soon as it becomes public, it immediately becomes pressure.


Diplomats as cultural bridge builders

Diplomats are people who are on the fringe somewhere, because they are either permanently living in or at least dealing with alien cultures, cultures with different values. The success of a diplomat depends on this brinkmanship because, on the one hand, they must remain credible with their superiors back home and, on the other hand, they must have access to the leaders in the country where they are posted. This paper discusses the role of diplomats as cultural bridge-builders.


The Summer Capitals of Europe, 1814-1919

This is an original work, meticulously researched, rich in detail, and written in a clear and – here and there – refreshingly pungent style. Soroka is a Russian scholar but at ease in English.


DiploDialogue – Metaphors for Diplomats

On Diplo’s blog, in Diplo’s classrooms, and at Diplo’s events, dialogues stretch over a series of entries, comments, and exchanges and may even linger. DiploDialogue summarises. It’s like in sports events: DiploDialogue aims to bring focus by deleting what, in hindsight, is less relevant. In this first DiploDialogue, Katharina Höne and Aldo Matteucci discuss the usefulness of analogies and metaphors for understanding international relations and diplomacy.


Lessons from two fields


Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Problems of Our Time

In this classic text, an eminent historian of international affairs and a distinguished political scientist survey the evolution of the international system, from the emergence of the modern state in the 17th century to the present. Craig and George pay particular attention to the nineteenth century's "balance-of-power" system, the basic tenets of which still determine many applications of modern diplomacy. The authors also focus on the ways in which the 20th century diplomatic revolution--a complex of military, political, economic and ideological factors--has destroyed the homogeneity of th...

Diplomacy and domestic politics: The logic of two-level games


The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell diaries

Until his resignation amid huge controversy in August 2003, Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair’s official spokesman and director of communications and strategy – ace spin doctor, closest confidante, and constant travelling companion. His diaries have probably been mined chiefly for their astonishing revelations about the internal machinations of his government and the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. However, they should also be read for the sharp and often amusing light they throw on certain aspects of diplomacy.


Theatre of Power: The Art of Signaling


Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations

In a previous book review for DiploFoundation, Petru Dumitriu described G. R. Berridge’s Diplomacy: Theory and Practice as 'a Robinson Crusoe’s book on diplomacy'. Suppose one is left on a deserted island and allowed only one book to study diplomacy; in that case, Dumitriu recommends Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. Without doubt, I wholeheartedly support this recommendation.


Modern Diplomacy: Dialectics and Dimensions


Quick Diplomatic Response

In the increasingly interdependent world, diplomacy is our only alternative. Wars do not provide solutions for modern problems, whether these are regional crises, environmental challenges, such as climate change, or the risk of global pandemics. Compromise and consensus are not only the most ethical approach, but necessity. This interesting comic presents one day in life of an e-diplomat.


Curing the Sick Man: Sir Henry Bulwer and the Ottoman Empire, 1858-1865

This is the first book of a very promising young historian. Laurence Guymer, who is head of the Department of History at Winchester College and a research associate in the School of History at the University of East Anglia, has produced a biography of Sir Henry Bulwer that successfully challenges the conventional account of this colourful mid-Victorian figure. It also raises the question of how ‘diplomatic success’ is judged.


Instruzione e formazione del diplomatico: la tradizione inglese


“Control yourself, Sir!”: A call for research into emotion cultures in diplomacy

This essay examines and seeks to explode the notion that diplomats are, or should be, immune to emotion in the conduct of their duties. It also discusses the concept of emotion cultures - cultural rules governing the experience and expression of emotion and suggests the possibility that modern diplomacy, perhaps a distinctive culture in itself, encourages the socialisation of diplomats into a distinctive, ostensibly global diplomatic emotion culture.




Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, Fifth Edition

In 2005, I reviewed the third edition of Diplomacy: Theory and Practice by G.R. Berridge as essential reading for Robinson Crusoe, had he been a student of diplomacy. We all know that eventually Crusoe ended his assignment on the foreign island and returned to his native country where he found himself a wealthy man for whom bibliography no longer had a role to play … unlike the rest of us, who have continued to practise diplomacy and read books about it.


Reflections on multistakeholder diplomacy

Through analysis of the procedural and institutional arrangements in the functioning of international bodies, Valentin Katrandjiev, seeks to measure the extent to which diplomats accept nonofficial networks and entities as equal partners in the diplomatic negotiation process. Katrandjiev analyses the trend that on the domestic front, societies demand greater public accountability of governments in the process of national foreign policy making. He attempts to do so through the organisational units in MFAs responsible for relationships with domestic stakeholders.


Preventive Diplomacy: Stopping Wars Before they Start


Diplomacy: Theory and Practice

Let us suppose that you are left, like Robinson Crusoe, on a deserted island, under instructions to learn about diplomacy. To that elevated purpose you would be allowed to keep one book only, the rest of the luggage consisting of things more essential for your physical survival, like a gun and gunpowder. The choice of that particular book may not be that difficult, if you had at hand the third edition of Diplomacy: Theory and Practice by G.R. Berridge.


Inside Diplomacy

This is a book on diplomacy in general and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in particular. It is also a gem, and a large gem. It breathes life, wisdom, and good humour, and is full of rich detail. I found it thoroughly absorbing. Students of diplomacy at all stages of their careers will find it immensely useful, while those in a position to influence the future shape of the IFS will discover a whole raft of constructive suggestions for reform fearlessly advanced.


The Turkish Embassy Letters


Reforming Diplomacy: Clear Choices, New Emphases


The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Diplomacy, Third Edition

Indispensable for students of diplomacy and junior members of diplomatic services, this dictionary not only covers diplomacy's jargon but also includes entries on legal terms, political events, international organizations, e-Diplomacy, and major figures who have occupied the diplomatic scene or have written about it over the last half millennium.


A weak diplomatic hybrid: U.S. Special Mission Benghazi, 2011-12

In the widespread coverage of the brutal murder of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and others in the US mission in Benghazi on 11 September 2012, there has been much confusion over the character of the post. It has been repeatedly described in the media as the American ‘consulate’ but the official position, recently stated emphatically by the Report of the Accountability Review Board for Benghazi (ARB) convened by secretary of state Hillary Clinton, is that ‘the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi was never a consulate and never formally notified [in any character] to the Libyan ...


Applying the pedagogy of positiveness to diplomatic communication

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): Dr Francisco Gomes de Matos applies what he calls the "Pedagogy of Positiveness" to diplomatic communication. He proposes a checklist of tips for diplomats to make their communication more positive, emphasising respect and understanding of the other side, and keeping in mind the ultimate goal of avoiding conflict.


Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth Office of High Commissioner, 1880-2006

Book review by Geoff Berridge


Diplomacy for the New Century


Getting Our Way: 500 Years of Adventure and Intrigue: The Inside Story of British Diplomacy


The Rise of Modern Diplomacy, 1450-1919


Persuasion: bad practices and … others

Persuasion is a very relative concept. Like beauty, persuasion is the eye of the beholder. Admittedly, persuasion does not exist in the absence of results. One can say that persuasion can be defined as such, if and only if it is effective and reaches its goals. If we accept this prerequisite, we may find persuasion where we least expect it.


To joke or not to joke: A diplomatic dilemma in the age of internet

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): The first paper, presented by Prof. Peter Serracino-Inglott as the keynote address at the 2001 conference, examines the serious issue of diplomatic communication in a playful manner, through one of the most paradigmatic and creative examples of language use: joking.


A Diplomat in Siam (introduced and edited by Nigel Brailey)

Nigel Brailey, a University of Bristol historian who is well known to students of Sir Ernest Satow, is to be congratulated on bringing out a revised edition of this work, the fruit of Satow's period as British minister-resident in Bangkok from 1885 until 1888. It is the journal which Satow, later the author of the famous Guide to Diplomatic Practice, kept on his long boat journey from Bangkok to the northern city of Chiangmai and back again, which took from the beginning of December 1885 until the end of the following February.


Diplomats at War: British and Commonwealth diplomacy in wartime

In their Preface, the editors of Diplomats at War say that the two world wars in the twentieth century had a “catalytic impact upon the practice of diplomacy”; among other things, they continue, this produced “an unprecedented revolution” in the way heads of mission conducted their business.


Yes, (Saudi) Minister! A Life in Administration

After a brilliant ministerial career in Riyadh, Algosaibi fell from grace at the Ministry of Health in 1984. This was the start of his diplomatic life, which commenced in Bahrain and continued in London. This is a shrewd and lively book.


Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy

On 21 April 2004, the Security Council adopted resolution 1538(2004), the most embarrassing resolution in the history of the United Nations. The resolution appointed an independent high-level inquiry whose mandate was to 'collect and examine information relating to the administration and management of the Oil-for-Food Programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of United Nations officials, personnel and agents, as well as contractors, including entities that have entered into contracts with the United Nations or with Iraq under the Programme.'

The Limits of Neorealism

The Limits of Neorealism


Embassies in Armed Conflict


I’ll be with you in a Minute Mr. Ambassador: The Education of a canadian Diplomat in Washington


Politics Among Nations


Ottoman Diplomacy


Building relations through multi-dialogue formats: Trends in bilateral diplomacy


British Heads of Mission at Constantinople, 1583-1922


Journeying Far and Wide: A Political and Diplomatic Memoir

Kaiser was an active Democrat and 'noncareer officer' in the US Foreign Service under three Democratic presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter. His memoir, which is uncluttered with the trivial detail sometimes found in this genre and written with great verve, will be valued by diplomatic historians of the whole period since the Second World War. (Kaiser had served earlier as Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs in the Truman administration.)


Bilateral Diplomacy

Bilateral Diplomacy is the first of the DiploHandbooks, a new series on practical diplomacy. The book breaks new ground in the role ascribed to bilateral diplomacy, and its importance in international affairs today. It also covers the de facto “empowerment” of the embassy that flows from its new responsibility for relationship management.


Multistakeholder diplomacy at the OECD

In his paper John West outlines multistakeholder diplomacy at the OECD. West first explores the main points and facts of the OECD before going into the emergence of globalising stakeholder societies. Finally he gives his remarks on multistakeholder diplomacy at the OECD.

The inertia of Diplomacy

Diplomacy is used to manage the goals of foreign policy focusing on communication. New trends affect the institution of diplomacy in different ways. Diplomacy has received an additional tool in the form of the Internet. In various cases of interdependence and dependence interference in a country’s affairs is accepted. Multilateral cooperation has created parliamentary diplomacy and a new type of diplomat, the international civil servant. States and their diplomats are in demand to curb the excesses of globalization. The fight against terrorism also brought additional work for diplomac...


Born a Foreigner: A Memoir of the American Presence in Asia

This is the eighth volume in the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series, and is a very solid addition to it. Cross, who was born of missionary parents in Beijing, spent 32 years in the US Foreign Service, and though his tours abroad included Egypt, Cyprus and London, most were in Asia and it is on these which this memoir concentrates.


Language, signaling and diplomacy

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): Ambassador Kishan Rana introduces the dimension of diplomatic signalling. Beginning with a reference to the Bhagwad Gita, one of the sacred texts of the Hindus, Rana outlines the qualities of good diplomatic dialogue: not causing distress to the listener, precision and good use of language, and truthfulness.


Just a Diplomat

Close students of the new, Conservative Party Mayor of London, the at once engaging and alarming Boris Johnson, will know that he has Turkish cousins. One of these is Sinan Kuneralp, a son of the late Zeki Kuneralp, probably the most distinguished and well liked Turkish diplomat of his generation. Sinan Kuneralp is a scholar-publisher and runs The Isis Press in Istanbul, a house at the forefront of publishing scholarly works and original documents on the Ottoman Empire, chiefly in English and French. The three works noticed here are all its products and reflect the publisher’s own special in...


The New Diplomacy

Shaun Riordan was a British diplomat for 16 years before resigning in 2000 to take up private consultancy work and journalism in Spain, where he had ended his diplomatic career as political officer in the embassy. He has written a conceptually flawed, often vague, sometimes contradictory, and essentially polemical attack on 'traditional diplomacy'. It is also peppered with New Labour jargon ('stakeholders', 'global governance', 'civil society'), has its fair measure of superficially examined mantras, misquotes Clausewitz, and sports a shop-soiled title - is he not aware that Abba Ebban publish...


The origins, use and development of hot line diplomacy


Enhancing Global Governance: Towards a New Diplomacy


Ellsworth Bunker: Global Troubleshooter, Vietnam Hawk


The Contemporary Embassy: Paths to Diplomatic Excellence


The Diplomats, 1939-1979


A Diplomat’s Handbook of International Law and Practice


The Beijing-Washington Back-Channel and Henry Kissinger’s Secret Trip to China


Who needs diplomats? The problem of diplomatic representation

This paper discusses the problem of diplomatic representation. Diplomats should remind themselves and others that they are first and foremost the representatives of sovereign states, that this is their raison d’être and a precondition for anything else they might aspire to be or to do. This might require an adjustment in their professional orientation but not a transformation.

Diplomatic Persuasion: An Under-Investigated Process

The under-investigation in diplomatic studies of processes of persuasion in explaining diplomatic outcomes needs to be addressed in the interests of better scholarly explanations and diplomatic practice. Although such processes are implicit in nearly all concepts and practice of diplomacy, neither scholars nor practitioners explicitly investigate them. Yet other related fields of study and disciplines examine persuasion and demonstrate its explanatory value.


In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents


FDR’s Ambassadors and the Diplomacy of Crisis: From the rise of Hitler to the end of World War II

What effect did personality and circumstance have on US foreign policy during World War II? This incisive account of US envoys residing in the major belligerent countries – Japan, Germany, Italy, China, France, Great Britain, USSR – highlights the fascinating role played by such diplomats as Joseph Grew, William Dodd, William Bullitt, Joseph Kennedy and W. Averell Harriman. Between Hitler's 1933 ascent to power and the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki, US ambassadors sculpted formal policy – occasionally deliberately, other times inadvertently – giving shape and meaning not always intended by ...


Diplomacy and Power: Studies in Modern Diplomatic Practice


The Office of Ambassador in the Middle Ages


Bertie of Thame: Edwardian Ambassador


Diplomacy and Journalism in the Victorian era: Charles Dickens, the Roving Englishman and the “white gloved cousinocracy”


The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Diplomacy

Book by Geoff Berridge


Diplomacy, Satire and the Victorians

This book, which rests on extensive use of private papers, official documents, press archives and not least Grenville-Murray’s vast output (including novels), is the first biography of this complex man to be written. It begins with the difficulties produced by his illegitimate birth, and then describes his patronage by Lord Palmerston and Charles Dickens, his colourful diplomatic career, and finally his blossoming as a successful writer in France in the 1870s


Diplomacy, Force & Leadership: Essays In Honor of Alexander L. George


Cursed is the Peacemaker: The American Diplomat [Philip Habib] Versus the Israeli General, Beirut 1982


The Ambassadors and America’s Soviet Policy


Lucky George: Memoirs of an Anti-Politician

This is a belated and less than comprehensive note on this book, which I stumbled upon in a second-hand bookshop while on holiday. It is one of the most lively, shrewd, and brilliantly written diplomatic and political memoirs that I have ever come across.


Positive Diplomacy


Diplomacy and the American Democracy


21st Century Diplomacy: A practitioner’s guide

Kishan Rana is a man of lengthy and varied experience in the Indian Foreign Service, ending his career as ambassador to Germany. Since then he has spent many years as a globe-trotting trainer of junior diplomats on behalf of DiploFoundation. Few people, therefore, are as well placed to write a practitioners’ guide to the diplomatic craft; and, insofar as concerns the content of his book, which can be found described here, he has not disappointed.


Diplomacy and Global Governance: The Diplomatic Service in an Age of Worldwide Interdependence


The Diplomats, 1919-1939


21st Century Diplomacy: A Practitioner’s Guide

In the 21st century, new kinds of challenges resulting from interdependence among states and globalisation have had a determining impact of the conduct of diplomacy. Diplomacy has become multifaceted, pluri-directional, volatile and intensive, due to the increased complexity in terms of actors, dialogues subjects, modes of communication, and plurality of objectives. This unique text, written by a leading scholar and Foreign Service expert, examines all such factors to provide the definitive guide to diplomacy as it is practiced today. With a multitude of examples from around the world, includi...


Embassies under Siege


Texts in diplomacy

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): Professor Dietrich Kappeler provides an overview of the various types of formal written documents used in diplomacy, pointing out where the practices surrounding these documents have changed in recent years. He also discusses multi-language treaties, including the difficulties of translation and interpretation.


Chinese Ambassadors: The rise of diplomatic professionalism since 1945

Xiaohong worked on Western European affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing from 1977 until 1989. At some point after this she entered the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and in 1997 was awarded a Ph.D. This book is her doctoral thesis, and - on the whole - a very good one it is. Chinese Ambassadors is based on many interviews with former diplomats and a variety of Chinese primary sources (including memoirs), and is clear, well organized, and - in its main thrust - tightly argued. As a result, it offers a rare insight int...


DC Confidential: The controversial memoirs of Britain’s ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11 and the Iraq War

The publication of these memoirs in autumn 2005 caused a public furore in Britain so I shall not waste time giving any background on Sir Christopher Meyer. (Just punch his name into Google, which will enable you in the blink of an eye even to find out from the BBC website which records he chose when he appeared on Desert Island Discs.)


Mediation in International Relations


Diplomatic Theory from Machiavelli to Kissinger


Why Persuasion? Reflections after 50 years of practising, teaching and studying diplomacy

From the faraway days when representatives of fighting tribes tried to arrange for a truce, thereby risking their head, to the often derided endless discussions within present day international frameworks, the common aim of diplomacy has remained persuasion. The better a diplomat is at persuading, the more successful he will be in furthering the cause he represents.


Twitter for Diplomats

Twitter for Diplomats is not a manual, or a list of what to do or not to do. It is rather a collection of information, anecdotes, and experiences. It recounts a few episodes involving foreign ministers and ambassadors, as well as their ways of interacting with the tool and exploring its great potential. It wants to inspire ambassadors and diplomats to open and nurture their accounts – and it wants to inspire all of us to use Twitter to also listen and open our minds.


A practitioner’s view

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): With examples from a detailed case study of the historical New Zealand Treaty of Waitangi, Aldo Matteucci shows us that the diplomat's job is to decode language. Matteucci writes that all language comes with "hidden baggage": hidden meanings and intentions, historical and political context, legal precedents, etc. In order to find these hidden meanings the diplomat needs a broad understanding of the context of a situation.


Leaders’ rhetoric and preventive diplomacy – issues we are ignorant about

In this paper, Drazen Pehar analyses the argumentation made by George Lakoff of the University of California at Berkeley in his seminal paper on ‘Metaphor and War’, in which he tried to deconstruct the rhetoric U.S. president George Bush used to justify the war in the Gulf. He also analyses a reading by psycho-historian Lloyd deMause, whose theory differs from Lakoff’s. Throughout his analysis, Pehar describes the role of rhetoric in diplomatic prevention of armed conflicts, and its several functions, and concludes that the methods of preventive diplomacy depend heavily on the theory of...

The Visa Dimension of Diplomacy


True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office


Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 3rd edn


Under the Wire: How the Telegraph Changed Diplomacy

Review by Geoff Berridge


The Work of Diplomacy


Diplomatic Notebooks 1, 1958-1960: The view from Ankara

Zeki Kuneralp (1914-1998) was one of Turkey’s most gifted, well-liked and influential diplomats of the second half of the twentieth century. This book, dispassionately edited, introduced and annotated by his son, the scholar-publisher Sinan Kuneralp, is the first of a promised series of six volumes. Beginning in January 1958 and ending in August 1960, when Zeki Kuneralp became ambassador to Switzerland, it covers all but the first seven or eight months of the period when he was assistant secretary-general for political affairs in the Turkish foreign ministry in Ankara (in May 1960 he was ele...


Diplomatic culture and its domestic context

Is there a specific, distinctive diplomatic culture? Given the fact that the conduct of diplomacy is regulated by international law and by custom, and since the structures through which states conduct their external relations, both bilateral and multilateral, are standardized, it is fair to say that both the institutions and the process form a pattern of their own, unique to this profession. The professional diplomatist actors on the international stage, and their institutions, display certain shared characteristics.


Brian Barder’s Diplomatic Diary

Sir Brian Barder, the senior British diplomat and author of the always sage and sometimes gripping What Diplomats Do, died in 2017 but, courtesy of the professional editorial hand of his daughter Louise, has left us another treat. This is what he called a diary and which for the most part has the form of a diary (dated daily entries), although originally it was a series of letters sent to friends from foreign parts. Compared to diplomatic memoirs, diplomatic diaries are a rarity. And since this one is the product of an acute observer who loved the English language and used it in a vigorous and...


All Fall Down: America’s fateful encounter with Iran

All Fall Down is the definitive chronicle of Americas experience with the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis of 1978-81. Drawing on internal government documents, it recounts the controversies, decisions and uncertainties that made this a unique chapter in modern American history. From his personal experiences, the author draws revealing portraits of the people who engaged in this test of wills with an Islamic revolutionary regime.


British Envoys to Germany 1816-1866


Diplomacy: The world of the honest spy


The Practice of Diplomacy, 2nd ed


Getting to the Table: The Process of International Prenegotiation


Beyond diplomatic – the unravelling of history

In his paper, Robert Alston travels through time to rekindle an important highlight – as well as a personal highlight – in the history of knowledge management. His journey takes him back to the 1850s, which saw Antonio Panizzi’s efforts in creating a universal repository of knowledge in the British Museum; and to the 1990s, a time in which he acquired first-hand experience at the same museum, drawing conclusions on the various available ways of navigating large bibliographical and archival databases.


Byzantium and Venice: A study in diplomatic and cultural relations

This book traces the diplomatic, cultural and commercial links between Constantinople and Venice from the foundation of the Venetian republic to the fall of the Byzantine Empire. It aims to show how, especially after the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Venetians came to dominate first the Genoese and thereafter the whole Byzantine economy. At the same time the author points to those important cultural and, above all, political reasons why the relationship between the two states was always inherently unstable.


The Consular Dimension of Diplomacy