Formerly a university teacher, I am now a freelance writer specialising in the theory and practice of diplomacy from the earliest times until the present. As well as hoping to encourage the study of diplomacy, this site provides periodic updating of my textbook (see immediately below). This page contains some news and views. The contents of the rest of the site can be navigated via the column on the left-hand side.

4th edition
(Palgrave-Macmillan: Basingstoke and New York, 2010)
ISBN 978-0-230-22960-0 (pbk)

Read more about this book
on the publisher’s website.

CLICK HERE
FOR ONLINE UPDATING

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From the back cover: ‘This book remains the best introduction to the subject’ (Alan Henrikson, Director of Diplomatic Studies, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy); ‘Berridge is the leading authority on contemporary diplomatic practice’ (Laurence E. Pope, former US ambassador and senior official at the Department of State); ‘Berridge’s study of diplomacy is the standard text on the subject – succinct yet substantial in content, lucid in style’ (John W. Young, Professor of International History at the University of Nottingham).

 

Click here to read online or download your free copy. Entertaining as well as instructive, it’s ideal reading for the conscientious student of diplomacy also trying to get a life. Writing recently to a mutual friend, Robin Fairlie said of the first edition: ‘What an astonishing story: I sat up till half-past midnight last night finishing it.’ Click here. (Be sure to check on the title page that you are reading the ‘Second Edition’. Depending on how your browser handles PDFs, you might need to refresh the file. IE does this automatically but I had to key Ctrl+F5 to get it on Google Chrome.)

At this time last year, I advanced a long list of reasons for self-publishing this book in the form of a PDF on my website. One of these was that it would give me the opportunity to produce a revised edition quickly, thereby enabling me to correct the inevitable mistakes and patches of poor drafting before sowing too much confusion among readers and causing myself undue embarrassment. I regret, therefore, that – distracted by other projects – it has taken me longer to get round to this than I had hoped, for a careful re-reading of the published pdf has uncovered more failings than I had anticipated. I found only a few typos, but some inexcusable solecisms, too little respect for the comma and too much for the semi-colon, and some over-long sentences – all weaknesses that good copy editors have no doubt been silently removing from my manuscripts for years. In this completely overhauled edition I have, therefore, not only eliminated those errors I have spotted but also pared off unnecessary words, sparked up some sub-heads, reorganized here and there, and re-worked some dense passages – all in the hope that this has made the whole thing spin along more clearly. I have also taken the opportunity to offer some new thoughts, and I have stiffened the Odessa section with new material from the papers of Sir Andrew Buchanan (British ambassador at St Petersburg at the time) held at the University of Nottingham, for alerting me to which I must thank John Young. I am also grateful to Richard Grenville Clark, Robin Fairlie and especially Sir Brian Barder for their warm comments on the first edition, which more than anything encouraged me to think it was worth a winter pruning – and sprinkling with just a little fertiliser.

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION: For comments on the First Edition, see the Recent Research page. Sir Brian Barder has also kindly posted a full blog about the book on his website.  Like the earlier edition, the Second Edition of A Diplomatic Whistleblower is available as a free PDF that can be read online or downloaded to a computer or e-reader such as a Kindle. Just click here.

 

I was mildly astonished to learn recently that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office re-named its commercial attachés ‘Prosperity Officers’ some time ago, apparently after William Hague (a former management consultant) became Foreign Secretary. Unless self-parody, this is a deplorable departure even by the tawdry standards of the present Tory-dominated British coalition government. I am afraid that it is typical of the modern political culture in which targets are announced in such a way as to suggest that they are achievements. Clearly immune to the embarrassment that use of this kind of language would induce in most of us, the FO might well not stop there. Perhaps it is just a matter of time before we hear about ‘Higher Wages Officers’ instead of labour attachés (if any remain), ‘Bumper Crop Officers’ instead of agricultural attachés, ‘Truth Officers’ instead of press attachés – and ‘Victory Officers’ in place of defence attachés.

 

It is worth keeping in mind – and reassuring – that throughout this undeclared war each party has kept open its embassy in the other’s capital, although the Russian Embassy in Kiev was savagely attacked by protesters in June. For discussion of the role that diplomatic missions can play in such circumstances, see the final section of Chapter 1 (‘Embassies in Enemy States’) of my Embassies in Armed Conflict.

 

Brian Barder’s long-awaited What Diplomats Do is finally published. You can read more about it on the author’s own website here.