Lecture 5.docx

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Lecture 5
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Diplomacy in history
Practices, including diplomacy, have constitutive effects on world politics
oi.e. strategic interaction during cold war
Practices evolve over time, as a result, we must study their historical evolution
o“By tracing continuities and changes in diplomatic practices across historical
time and geographic space, readers will be in a better position to compare and
contrast how diplomatic practices have evolved in different contexts and how
they are likely to evolve in future”
History allows us to see the continuity of diplomacy from ancient times
We can trust diplomacy in the past into the present and even the future if we can study
Diplomacy today is so well connected that there may be too much information
It is no longer hard to actually reach someone, its hard to understand which actor is
playing the role of influence and who to actually reach to
Cohen (article): tracing a lineage in diplomatic practices, from cuneiform diplomacy
through Greece to Rome
oSovereigns communicate and negotiate by means of surrogates (diplomats)
oThey enter into binding written commitments regulating their relationships
Literacy is key to diplomacy
oThey pass obligations down from one generation to the next
Cohen: diplomatic practices adapt to change (e.g. technology) yet it is more than a
functional response:
o“Diplomacy, like the wheel, had to be invented” (24)
oThere is a diverse way in which diplomacy could have evolved
oThere is a non-inevitability of the way that diplomacy has evolved
oIt has been different in the past and it could have been very different in other
places in different circumstances
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