Geoff Berridge

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So far G.R. Berridge has created 117 blog entries.

In defence of the House of Lords

7 March 2017 Once more the House of Lords, the ‘upper’ chamber of the British Parliament, has shown itself to be on the side of common decency, not to mention economic prudence.

‘Guarded engagement’ with Russia means what?

5 March 2017 So Boris Johnson, Britain’s diplomatically inept, part-time foreign secretary (his other job is entertainment) is going to Moscow for talks with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

Geneva Prenegotiations on Syria

5 March 2017 UN-led prenegotiations for a settlement of the Syrian civil war tragically seem once more to be going nowhere.

US diplomats revolt against Trump

31 January 2017 Radical changes of government have in the past often led to tension between the new regime and at least some of the state’s diplomatic servants at foreign posts,

‘Who would want to be a diplomat now?’

9 January 2017 ‘Who would want to be a diplomat now? Civil servants are judged as though they are reality TV contestants, while reality TV stars have inherited the Earth.’ So writes one of the Guardian’s sharpest columnists,

The Embassy: A story of war and diplomacy

(Beaufort Books: New York, 2016), p. 376, incl. index. ISBN 9780825308253 This book tells the story of the vital role played by the US Embassy in Monrovia in helping to mediate an end to the brutal, 14-year civil war in Liberia in 2003. Its successful diplomacy was assisted by a popular yearning for peace, the [...]

Donald Trump and the Death of Summitry

9 November 2016 There is sometimes a silver lining to the darkest of clouds, and a case in point in connection with Donald Trump’s election victory might well be the injection of a virus into that sometimes useful but now out-of-control mode of diplomacy, summitry.

Diplomatic Interference and the Law

(Hart: Oxford and Portland, Oregon, 2016), 493pp. incl. index. ISBN 9781849464369 (hb), ISBN 9781509902781 (Epub). Q: ‘Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington? A: Because there’s no American Embassy there.’  This old joke serves to highlight the belief – entrenched deeply in poor, weak states – that diplomatic missions too often meddle [...]

John le Carré: The Biography

(Bloomsbury: London, 2015). 652 pp. incl. index. ISBN: HB: 978-1-4088-2792-5 TPB: 978-1-4088-2793-2 ePub: 978-1-4088-4944-6[ buy this book ] I thought to review this book because I had enjoyed the spy novels of John le Carré and, having introduced a chapter on secret intelligence into the latest edition of my textbook and mentioned him in it [...]

Back Channel to Cuba: The hidden history of negotiations between Washington and Havana

(The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2014), 524pp. incl. index. ISBN 978-I-4696-1763-3 (cloth); ISBN 978-I-4696-1764-0 (ebook) This book went to press after the much-publicised handshake between US president Barack Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in December 2013 – but before their historic, simultaneous announcements a [...]

Why bother with an Index?

17 April 2015, with 2020 post script Is it a waste of time producing an index for a book when lengthy works are appearing more and more in searchable electronic format?

The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy: Two cheers for striped pants

(Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2014), pp. 88 (incl. index). ISBN 10: 1137298545 / ISBN 13: 9781137298546 The trenchant contribution to this subject of the outstanding American scholar-diplomat Laurence Pope is published in Palgrave’s ‘Pivot’ series of short books designed to be brought out quickly. Its contents list and other details, including numerous well-deserved plaudits, can be [...]

Road maps for careful diplomats

27 January 2014 The ‘road map’ metaphor in important international negotiations, on which I dwelt at some length in the chapter called ‘Diplomatic Momentum’ in my textbook, is alive and well, and why not?

‘Soft power’ is nothing more than influence

17 January 2014 The term soft power (and its siblings hard power and smart power), employed to embrace a particular category of resources of potential power, originated in the stable of Joseph S. Nye, Jnr.,

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