Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (6th ed.): Online updating by chapter

(Palgrave-Macmillan: Basingstoke and New York, 2022), ISBN 978-3-030-85931-2

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Key ‘diplomacy theory’ into Google Scholar to see the number of citations. Recommended reading for US Foreign Affairs Professionals

  1. Chapter 1: The Foreign Ministry
  2. Chapter 2: Prenegotiations
  3. Chapter 3: ‘Around the Table’ Negotiations
  4. Chapter 4: Diplomatic Momentum
  5. Chapter 5: Packaging Agreements
  6. Chapter 6: Following Up
  7. Chapter 7: Embassies
  8. Chapter 8: Telecommunications
  9. Chapter 9: Consulates
  10. Chapter 10: Secret Intelligence
  11. Chapter 11: Conferences
  12. Chapter 12: Summits
  13. Chapter 13: Public Diplomacy
  14. Chapter 14: Embassy Substitutes
  15. Chapter 15: Special Missions
  16. Chapter 16: Mediation

Some comments on previous editions:

‘We read for you ‘Diplomacy – Theory and Practice‘, written by Professor G. R. Berridge, which you can borrow at the Central Library.

This book is one of the most highly regarded introductory books on diplomacy. It is used by universities and institutions with courses on diplomacy, international studies and related subjects, as well as in introductory classes for young diplomats in ministries of foreign affairs. It provides a brief and concise introduction to the subject, combining theory with details of how diplomacy and negotiation work in practice. Even though its content is dense and specialised, the author tries to use plain language and he avoids overloading the reader with a verbose prose style.

The 5th edition of this book has just been published. It is divided into three parts: the first is devoted to ‘The Art of Negotiation’; the second concentrates on ‘Diplomatic Relations’; while the third, entitled ‘Diplomacy without Diplomatic Relations’, is an interesting account of unofficial channels.

This new edition is not just an update. It also includes new chapters on ‘Secret Intelligence’ (chapter 10) and ‘Economic and Commercial Diplomacy’ (chapter 14).

A particularly interesting and valuable chapter of the book is the one on pre-negotiations (also referred to as ‘preliminaries’ or ‘talks about talks’). In the era of public diplomacy (a topic covered chapter 13), Professor Berridge recalls that it is important not to forget that the stage of pre-negotiations is often more important, and sometimes more difficult, than the actual phase of negotiations.

We enjoyed the variety of anecdotes the author provides in the book. Among the most thought-provoking are those involving the use of telephone diplomacy to orchestrate the response of friends and allies to a crisis. Also of great interest is the chapter on ‘diplomatic momentum’ (chapter 4), in which the author describes how negotiators operate in order to get the best result. In this respect, he presents a kind of catalogue of deadlines (self-imposed deadlines, external deadlines, symbolic deadlines, overlapping deadlines).

We hope you enjoy the book too!’
Council of the European Union, Library Blog, 5 January 2016

‘… an excellent text-book which fills a gap in the current writing on diplomacy,’ Lord Wright of Richmond (Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, 1986-91)

‘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)

As advertised in the book’s prelims, I am updating its text on this site as regularly as possible, with a separate page dedicated to each chapter. Among other things, I am using them to make corrections, add further reflections and details of recent developments, and provide links to relevant Internet sites and new references. Where I give no source in support of some comment on recent events it can be assumed that it is based on contemporary press reports available on the Internet, although more and more recent ones are facing paywalls (The Guardian is a notable exception). If any links mentioned on these pages subsequently expire or move to a different address, I would be most grateful to be informed because I cannot always be checking them.

I have no page dedicated here to updating the short historical Introduction, so must here shamelessly take the opportunity to recommend my ebook, The Diplomacy of Ancient Greece: A Short Introduction (DiploFoundation: 2018). I conclude this by saying that ‘I am inclined to agree with Adam Watson that the ancient Greeks produced ‘one of the most developed periods of diplomacy before our time.’ For a very modest sum, the book is available on Amazon here.