The Network for the New Diplomatic History is an informal group of scholars whose work focuses broadly on the historical study of diplomats, their methods and their cultural, political and social milieux. Diplomatic history itself is very old but is now being rediscovered as historians have become more receptive to trends in cultural studies, to advances in the social sciences, and to the mutual incorporation of state and non-state actors into the study of international, transnational and global history.
Our network’s approach is “new” for two reasons: it is aimed specifically at the study of individuals and groups of individuals who perform diplomatic roles, rather than at international relations as a whole; and it integrates political and economic narratives with other perspectives and methodologies such as prosopography, the sociology of knowledge, gender theory and network analysis.
Our interests include, inter alia, the history of diplomatic institutions, practices, languages, norms, symbols, families, friendships, literature, associations, attitudes and methods. Our goal is to reassert professional diplomats and other diplomatic actors as important subjects of historical study while paving the way for further innovations in the understanding of international society. Although most of our own work is in the modern era, we are open to members with any chronological and geographic expertise.