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 (‘Blog posts’). The contents of the rest of the site can be navigated via the horizonal menu at the top of this page.

Diplomacy: Theory and Practice

G. R. Berridge Diplomacy 6th edition

6th edition
(Palgrave-Macmillan: Basingstoke and New York, 2022)
NEW EDITION is now available here

After Kissinger’s book, the most cited general work on diplomacy on Google Scholar’s diplomacy page.


From the back cover:

“This is a highly welcome update for the best general introduction to the theory and practice of diplomacy. It is clear enough to be recommended to undergraduate students, yet sufficiently thoughtful and incisive to be read with profit by practitioners and experts.”
—John W. Young, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Nottingham, UK

Diplomacy: Theory and Practice is a tour de force in diplomacy scholarship. Geoff Berridge has not only written the definitive text in diplomatic studies; he has done so in a lucid, accessible, and engaging way that sets the gold standard for how books should be written. Weaving together historical cases with contemporary examples, Berridge has given us essential reading for any student of international politics.”
—Marcus Holmes, Associate Professor of Government, College of William & Mary, USA

Outposts of Diplomacy: A History of the Embassy

(Reaktion Books, London, forthcoming)

outposts of diplomacy a history of the embassy bookThis was published on 1 March 2024 in the UK and will be published on 1 May 2024 in the USA. The following text is taken from the publisher’s catalogue. I add a little on this page.

234 mm x 156 mm | 312 pages60 illustrations
Hardback | £25
World Rights: Reaktion

“A profusely illustrated history of the diplomatic embassy, from antiquity to today.

This compelling history traces the evolution of the embassy from its ancient origins to its enduring presence in the modern world. Beginning with the embassy’s precursors in antiquity, Outposts of Diplomacy explores its emergence on the cusp of the Italian Renaissance, its pinnacle during the nineteenth century and its navigation through the challenges of twentieth-century conference diplomacy.
G. R. Berridge investigates how this European institution adapted its staffing, architecture and communication methods to changing international landscapes, including the tumultuous wars of religion and encounters in East Asia. He also describes the expansion of the embassy’s responsibilities, such as providing diplomatic cover for intelligence operations. Infused with vibrant anecdotes of remarkable individuals and influential family dynasties, this book offers a profusely illustrated exploration of the embassy’s rich history.”

A collective noun for diplomats

28 February 2024. There is no collective noun for diplomats in common usage, although some candidates for the title have surfaced over the years. Here I note these, consider some other possibilities and come to no serious conclusion.

The embassy that planned 13 toilets underground

11 February, 2024. In 2015 the Russian Embassy in the Republic of Ireland secured local government approval to quadruple its footprint. However, on 4 March 2020, without publicity, the central government in Dublin overrode this decision and gutted its plans. What were they and why was this action taken?

The diplomatic consequences of Mrs Sacoolas

2 February 2024. In the years after the incident in 2019 in which the wife of an intel officer on a US Embassy annex in central England killed a British motorcyclist by careless driving, I posted three blogs on its diplomatic consequences. This one distils their essence and adds more considered reflections.

New London embassy for China?

27 January, 2024 China’s plans to build a much larger embassy in London on the site of the old Royal Mint Court near Tower Bridge appear to have been abandoned. Why did this happen and what lessons can be learned from the experience?

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