I list below, in categories corresponding roughly to the chapters in my textbook, Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed (2022), books (and a few articles) that I believe valuable to all students of diplomacy. Those dealing with embassy substitutes, such as representative offices, are included under ‘Modern bilateral diplomacy’. The list is obviously not exhaustive. I have tried to restrict myself to recommending my own books to categories where I think other works are a bit thin on the ground. See also my Book Reviews and the ‘Further reading’ at the bottom of the ‘Updating’ pages for each chapter of the textbook.

This page also contains sections on ‘Novels by Former Diplomats and Intelligence Officers’ and ‘Political Thrillers and Historical Novels (by other writers)’.

Bercovitch, Jacob and J. Z. Rubin (eds), Mediation in International Relations new edition (1994). A good collection of essays by established figures in the field.

Bercovitch, J., ‘International Mediation and Intractable Conflict’, January 2004, Beyond Intractability. This is a short, crisp piece.

Crocker, Chester A. and others (eds), Herding Cats: Multiparty mediation in a complex world (1999). I have reviewed this here.

Diamond, Louise and John McDonald, Multi-Track Diplomacy: A systems approach to peace 3rd ed (1996). One of the most popular books supporting this approach to mediation. Read in conjunction with Crocker et al, Herding Cats, above.

Holbrooke, Richard, To End a War (1998). Holbrooke headed the US team that grabbed the mediation in the Balkans and produced the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. This is the memoir of a muscular mediation.

Kleiboer, Marieke, ‘Understanding success and failure of international mediation’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 40(2), June 1996. A lengthy trailer for the book (see below); very acute.

Kleiboer, Marieke, The Multiple Realities of International Mediation (1998).

Quandt, W. B., Camp David: Peacemaking and politics (1986). A masterful insider account of US President Jimmy Carter’s mediation between the Israeli and Egyptian governments that produced the peace treaty between them in 1979 and the return of Sinai (with conditions) to Egypt.

Sick, Gary, All Fall Down: America’s fateful encounter with Iran (2001). Sick was the chief White House official handling the hostage crisis. As a result, this is a valuable primary source on the Algerian mediation that ended it.

Touval, Saadia, The Peace Brokers: Mediators in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-79 (1982); and Mediation in the Yugoslav Wars (2001). Touval is the scholar most closely associated with the mistaken view that successful mediators do not need to be impartial; but his work is interesting and needs to be taken seriously.

USIP, The Peacemaker’s Toolkit. This extremely valuable site provides free PDF downloads of numerous ‘best practice’ handbooks on key aspects of mediation, including its timing, working with ‘groups of friends’, and track two; find here.

Whitfield, Teresa, Working with Groups of Friends (2010). Clear and  authoritative; find here.