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.



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).


Nationalists attach supreme importance to the need for the ‘nation’ to be coterminous with the ‘state’. This crude nineteenth century ideology, which discounts both class and religion, and has throughout its miserable life always been a potent source of international conflict, might triumph in the Scottish referendum on 18 September. If it does, among the many questions the tribalist government of the nascent Scottish state will have to confront will be how to organize its diplomacy, although I hope most earnestly that any answer will never have to be put into practice (for the antidote, see the opinion of the Scot, Rory Bremner). Nevertheless, thought has had to be given to the diplomatic question by the Foreign Office and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons and their conclusions can be read here and here. The present devolved government in Scotland already has 22 offices abroad but many of them are located in UK missions. The Scottish nationalists aspire to between 70 and 90 missions of their own. Setting them up will be expensive; it will also take time to get them working efficiently. And this assumes that the states in which an independent Scotland wishes to open a mission will extend recognition to the new state in the first place, and – even if they do – that they will be willing to establish diplomatic relations with it. Some, especially those in which separatists of their own have been fired up by the success of the Scottish nationalists, might not rush to welcome them. China, Spain, and Turkey are just a few of those perhaps falling into this category. On the other hand, it seems that there will be no difficulty for an independent Scotland in North Korea. I wonder why.



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


Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest this brilliant, timely article. [25 July 2014]


Thanks to a prompting from a friend in Brussels and the technical efforts of Jelena Jakovljevic, the homepage of this website has had a face-lift. Please note: (a) that posts continue onto further pages, and (b) that rss is now available – either via the icon at top right, or this link ://