Communication: An Essential Aspect of Diplomacy

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Communication is generally regarded as an essential aspect of diplomacy. Proceeding from an understanding of diplomacy as a transhistorical phenomenon, this article distinguishes a number of pertinent dimensions of the communicative aspects of diplomacy and proffers examples taken from different eras and geographic regions. With a focus on continuity and change, the article analyzes the basic aspects of diplomatic communication and the gathering and transmission of information, as well as two important options in the diplomatic repertoire: verbal versus nonverbal and public versus private communication. Two processes of continuity and change––the ritualization of diplomatic communication and technological development––are discussed. The article concludes that today's diplomatic communication cannot be seen as the result of any unilinear process. Variations within the distinguished dimensions do not follow an evolutionary pattern but reflect historical contingency.
Sidor (från-till)195-210
TidskriftInternational Studies Perspectives
StatusPublished - 2003

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