Diplomacy at the UN

Edited and introduced by G. R. Berridge and A. Jennings

Macmillan Press, Basingstoke and London, 1985, repr. 1986, 1987

In 1981 the Noel Buxton Trust, which, since its inception in 1919, had as one of its principal concerns the study of the causes of war and the promotion of international peace, invited the University of Leicester to hold a series of lectures on a theme of the University’s choosing in the field of international relations. In the event, this was ‘The United Nations and Diplomacy’, and among those who accepted invitations to give the lectures was Peter Calvocoressi, my old MA tutor at the University of Sussex. This book, which included some pieces added to the lectures, was the upshot. It only appeared in hardback and was never given a dustjacket but it reprinted twice.

The contents list and chapter abstracts can be seen on Springer Link here


From International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), vol. 61(4), Autumn, 1985

This book arises from a series of lectures in 1981 at the University of Leicester promoted by the Noel Buxton Trust. It is a compilation of these lectures together with some additional articles. The university collected some very distinguished and authoritative lecturers and the result is one of the best books on the UN that I have read. …
The articles are sober and realistic; sadly, but inevitably, they are pretty gloomy. Nearly all the assumptions on which the UN was founded have proved wrong; some were wrong from the start. And the immense influx of new members, the jump from 51 original members to the present 158, has quite altered the nature of the organization from what it was at the beginning. …
The editors make much of the distinctions between different kinds of diplomacy: bilateral, multilateral, third-party, conference, even parliamentary. These distinctions are academically valid, but in practice they merge into each other; one does not change gear, as it were, when shifting from one kind to another. But if one is to make these distinctions there is another kind of diplomacy which should be mentioned, namely personal diplomacy, the influence of one or more persons on the UN by virtue of their character and/or experience quite regardless of the size or importance of the countries they represent. … Colin Crowe, sometime British permanent representative at the UN.