New journal issue about diplomats

Posted by Kenneth Weisbrode in New Diplomatic History Announcements · Comments ( 1 )

A special issue of our sister journal,  New Global Studies, has just appeared under the guest editorship of NNDH member Giles Scott-Smith. The theme is: Who is a Diplomat? Diplomatic Entrepreneurs in the Global Age.

This publication was put together as an outcome of the New Diplomatic History conference held in Leiden in September 2013. Each of the essays explores the activities, successes, and failures of private individuals who became engaged (and entangled) in the world of diplomacy through the 20th century. The authors examine the ways these individuals could interact in and with that world, to what extent they could do so on their own terms, and what their value (if any) was for official diplomacy. This is the first collaboration following on from the Leiden event, and it will hopefully provide the basis for further explorations of the ‘boundaries’ to Diplomatic History.

From Giles’ Introduction:

“In terms of historical enquiry, the understanding of private individuals as diplomatic actors dates largely from the 1970s, the decade when international and transnational history started to come to the fore. The seminal Unofficial Diplomats of Maureen Berman and Joseph Johnson (himself US secretary for the Bilderberg meetings) is an oft-mentioned benchmark in this regard. The Berman-Johnson collection of essays on “private international relations” and the role of non-governmental individuals and groups in influencing international affairs through their own direct contacts, sets out the terrain well, albeit in terms of recognition rather than research agenda. Such unofficial diplomats have of course existed as long as there have been (self-)designated communities interacting with each other across some form of a (non)recognized border. The processes of globalization through the twentieth century, particularly the expansion of communications and private travel, have gradually re-positioned the state within a more crowded landscape of cross-border actors. The presence and resonance of private actors within the framework of international political affairs was long neglected due to the overarching shadow of ‘the state’ as the official representative of all things diplomatic. They made up the “harlequinade,” in the words of J.D. Gregory, a confusing multitude of diverse actors who could still make the diplomatic difference in the end. But the practices of official diplomacy are now being adapted in turn. The collection of essays in this special issue illustrates the unique ‘diplomatic’ spaces that individuals have occupied in this globalized setting, taking advantage of their specific motivations and contacts to attain influence either publicly or behind the scenes.”

Table of Contents:

1) Introduction:

Giles Scott-Smith: Private Diplomacy, Making the Citizen Visible

2) Messengers and Interest Groups

Andreas Rathberger: ‘The “Piano Virtuosos” of International Politics. Informal Diplomacy in the late 19th and early 20th Century Ottoman Empire’

Michael Jonas: ‘“It is not good with these private politici, particularly not during these times.” Activism, Diplomacy and Swedish-German Relations during the First World War’

3) Cultural Brokers

Kenneth Marcus: ‘The International Relations of Thomas Mann in Early Cold War Germany’

Jonathan Rosenberg: ‘“The Best Diplomats Are Often the Great Musicians”: Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Play Berlin’

4) Mediators and ‘Fixers’

Johannes Grossmann: ‘Winning the Cold War: Anti-Communism, Informal Diplomacy, and the Transnational Career of Jean Violet’

Albertine Bloemendal: ‘Between Dinner Table and Formal Diplomacy: Ernst van der Beugel as an unofficial diplomat for an Atlantic Community’

5) Peacemakers

Allen Pietrobon: ‘Humanitarian Aid or Private Diplomacy?: Norman Cousins and the Treatment of Atomic Bomb Victims’

Giles Scott-Smith: ‘A Dutch Dartmouth: Ernst van Eeghen’s Private Campaign to Defuse the Euromissiles Crisis’

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  1. […] Gilles Scott-Smith edited. The issue deals with diplomatic entrepreneurs under the heading “Who is a Diplomat – Diplomatic Entrepreneurs in a Global Age.” Looks wonderfully appetizing. The contributions are taken out of the New Diplomatic History […]