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)’.
Bailey, Thomas A., The Art of Diplomacy: The American experience (1968). A clear and authoritative collection of wise maxims on diplomacy by a well known diplomatic historian. Though its examples are now somewhat dated it is still well worth reading. Teachers might cull it in order to fashion exam questions and students pore over it in order to know what to expect: “‘Great powers can afford to lose face.’ Discuss.” (Answer? Yes, but on some issues more than others, and on none continually.)
Cohen, Raymond, Negotiating across Cultures: International communication in an interdependent world, 2nd ed (1997). The best book on the subject; published by the US Institute of Peace Press. Particularly interesting on the impact of cultural differences on Arab-Israeli relations.
Cradock, Percy, Experiences of China (1994). Instructive on, among other things, the Anglo-Chinese negotiations that produced the Hong Kong agreement. Cradock was British Ambassador at Beijing 1978–84 and from 1984 to 1992 the prime minister’s foreign policy adviser.
Gross-Stein, J. (ed), Getting to the Table: The process of international pre-negotiation (1989). One of the few books on this important subject.
Keene, Edward, ‘The Treaty-Making Revolution of the Nineteenth Century’, The International History Review, vol. 34 (3), 2012. A very careful and suggestive descriptive account.
Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (1980). A well-regarded, accessible book on a complex subject. I found this very instructive for the development of my argument on ‘metaphors of movement’ in the chapter in my textbook on diplomatic momentum.
Lantis, Jeffrey S., The Life and Death of International Treaties: Double-edged diplomacy and the politics of ratification in comparative perspective (2009). Or how treaties need to be negotiated with key ministries and agencies at home as well as with parties abroad.
Quandt, William B., Camp David: Peacemaking and Politics (1986). A detailed insider account of the negotiations in 1977–9 that issued in the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. Also includes an outstanding analysis of the implications for US foreign policy and diplomacy of the presidential electoral cycle (Ch. 2), and useful documentary appendices (incl. side letters).
Salem, Elie A., Violence and Diplomacy in Lebanon: The Troubled Years, 1982–1988 (1995). Salem was Lebanon’s foreign minister from 1982 until 1984, and then adviser to its president until 1988. His account of the prenegotiations on Israel’s military withdrawal from his country is highly illuminating; see especially Ch.2.
Zartman, I. William and Maureen Berman, The Practical Negotiator (1982). Still a useful text for its general analysis. Well organized by stages of negotiation.