View Segments Segment :

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Help
  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Help
Successfully saved clip
Find all your clips in My Lists
Failed to save clip
  • Transcript
  • Transcript

    Auto-Scroll: ONOFF 
    • 00:10

      IVER B. NEUMANN: Only that which hasno history can be defined in the sensethat something will mean one thing in one historical periodand it will mean something else in another historical period.But if we try something trans-historical,I would say that diplomacy is the handling of difference

    • 00:32

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: between polities.So it is the hands-on side of the relationbetween different polities.And a polity is simply a political unit.It can be states.It can be empires.It can be city-states.And they always, any known polity in worldhistory existed together with other polities,

    • 00:55

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: not necessarily on a par with them.There wasn't necessarily power symmetry,but there were asymmetries, whichmeans that diplomacy has been around for as longas we've had polities.There are three different functions,and functions here simply means tasks

    • 01:16

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that diplomats do when they're abroad.And that could be that they represent the sovereign, thatis the head of state.Then they gather information and report home.So this would be the sort of knowledge producingside of things.And then they negotiate.

    • 01:37

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: And there was more negotiation by diplomats abroad before.Now we have the logistical means to travel, so heads of stateswill often travel themselves, or foreign ministerswill go abroad or go to some third partyto do the negotiation, and diplomatsdon't have to do it for them.But even so, they will need sherpas.

    • 02:01

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Sherpas are usually the ones taking youup the mountains in Nepal.But in this case, it will be peoplewho will sort of make ready for the summits-- not the mountainsummits, of course, but the meetings on the top,as the saying goes.So diplomats would be involved in everythingthat goes before the actual meetingbetween the politicians.So even if they're not negotiating and clinching

    • 02:24

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: the deal, they're still negotiating.So those would be the three functions.The tools that you need in order to do that kind of workincludes absolutely everything except war.But it includes everything up to the threat of war.So this whole idea that diplomacy

    • 02:45

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: is the opposite of war I think is simply mistaken.Because diplomacy goes up to the outbreak of war.When there is war, diplomacy still goes on in the wings.And diplomacy then continues after the war.So the opposite of diplomacy is not war.It is not talking to the enemy.

    • 03:08

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So as Winston Churchill put it, jaw-jaw is better than war.So I suppose many of us study diplomacybecause we like the idea that there are alternatives to war.Success in diplomacy means getting to yes,

    • 03:29

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: means establishing consensus.If diplomacy is defined as relations between polities,obviously good relations are successfuland bad relations are not so successful.So the tools again of diplomacy, whatyou used in order to get to success,

    • 03:50

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: would be talk and documents.Talk is the sort of stock in trade of diplomats,the jaw-jaw part, as it were.A good diplomat will have contactseverywhere in the country he or she is posted to.If they only hang with one set of people,

    • 04:10

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: they will not be able to report back in a satisfactory manner.I'll give an example of how that can go from my own country.It happens to be Norway.Up to 1905, Norway was in union with Sweden,and Norway tried to get out of that union.And since the diplomats, the English diplomats,were posted to Stockholm and only hung

    • 04:31

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: with Swedish aristocracy, they thoughtthat this whole Norwegian independencething was a joke, because the Swedish aristocracy didn'ttake it seriously.So when it happened, it took the British diplomats back.So there's a price to pay not to gather your informationon a broad social scale and on a broad social front,

    • 04:54

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: you have to have-- the good diplomat,they will know the artistic world.They will definitely know the political world, but alsothe economic elites and more specialized elites,and of course people who are elite at all.That's very important.And they have to get out of the capital.In a number of countries, the capital

    • 05:15

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: is very different from the rest of the place.The US is an obvious example.Inside the beltway is not the US.London is-- I work in London, and Londonis a different planet from what isoutside of the M25, which is the local ring road, as it were.So a diplomat has to know the whole caboodle.

    • 05:37

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Since drawing up documents is a success criterion of diplomacy,it means that a meaningful document is a big success.A waffling document is OK.It's not a roaring success, but it's fine.But failing to come up with a document.

    • 05:59

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: If, for example, an international trade negotiationhappens with no end document, which frequently happens,that's not good.That's failure.So winging it is much better than not having anything.The semblance of a consensus is much better than no consensusat all, because at least that means

    • 06:21

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that the dialogue continues.It's like One Thousand and One Nights.You remember Shahryar keeps alive by talking.So she tells a story, and then she ends it the next dayand starts a new one.That's diplomacy.Sometimes it can be tedious studying diplomacybecause you will wade through these meaningless documents.But you know that that is what it

    • 06:42

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: takes to hold things on the burnerto keep the conversation afoot.Since diplomacy is also about avoiding war,everything that makes war avoidable is a success.But it's very important here to remember that thatis war in the long run.

    • 07:03

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: If you give away a piece of territory in order to avoid warand you then have the war anyway 60 years later or two yearslater, that is not a success.That is obviously not a success.So this whole idea that diplomats are inherentlypeaceful is simply wrong.It's just that they trade in peace.They're not necessarily peaceful people themselves.

    • 07:25

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: They will have to be able to extend a threat if that'swhat it takes.So, a typical example in the literature of whetheror not you should avoid war would be the appeasement policyof Chamberlain.Now, when Chamberlain came back to London,he said, we have two years to get ready.

    • 07:47

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So it seems that in his mind therewas no doubt that what he was doingwas simply buying some breathing space.But it has come down-- appeasementhas come down in the literature as a no-no,as the thing you don't do because you're justpostponing the inevitable.So these are the kinds of balancing acts

    • 08:07

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that diplomats often have to do, not necessarily to avoid war,because that's the biggie, right?But minor examples of the same thing happen every day.One example of avoiding war would be the Dayton Agreementin the mid-'90s, when Richard Holbrooke demonstratedto Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian negotiators what the US

    • 08:33

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: could do from the air.And that had a sobering effect on the three parties.So that would be an example of armtwisting as a successful diplomatic tactic.

    • 08:54

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Traditionally, diplomacy was studiedby diplomats themselves, and particularlyby pensioned-off diplomats.There is a book by Nicolson, which is absolutely fantastic,from the end of the 1930s simply called Diplomacy,and that is probably still the most famous bookon diplomacy ever.And if there is one thing that unites the different diplomats

    • 09:15

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: who've been writing on their metier,it would be the non-interest in theory.Diplomats are famously non-theoretical people.And that is because they trade in a specific kindof knowledge, what the ancient Greeks called phronesis, whichmeans you take the world as you find it,and you try to fix something.And you don't worry too much about the larger picture.

    • 09:38

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: You have to have an eye on precedence.You don't want to lay down a precedent thatcould ensnare you later on.But except for that, it's dealing with the here and now.Theory, on the other hand, is the kindof knowledge production that the ancient Greekscalled episteme, which is trying to come up

    • 09:59

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: with generalized snapshots of a specific kind of situation,or a specific area, or a specific practice.And diplomats aren't particularly interestedin that.Over the last three decades, new scholars had taken on diplomacy

    • 10:19

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: and tried to theorize it from a couple of standpoints.But this is very much work in progress.So that is one of the challenges for usas students of diplomacy to try and theorize it.Not because diplomats themselves willbe particularly interested in it,but because diplomacy is a social form.

    • 10:40

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: And it's a very important social form.I would argue that diplomacy is, after all, the stuff thatgoes on in the engine room of international relations,of the global polity, if you like.So it needs theorizing.

    • 11:01

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: I think the most successful theorization of diplomacyto date came in 1987 when a young American researcher wrotea doctorate with Heldey Bull at Oxford.And it was published under the title On Diplomacy,and the author was James Der Derian.And he brought continental theory to diplomacy

    • 11:25

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: and wrote the genealogy.That is a history of the present.He looked at the different installmentsof diplomacy-- Western diplomacy, that is--and how European diplomacy became global diplomacyand how we ended up where we are today.And that, I think, is still the one to beat.So there is a book that just came out, edited by Ole Jacob

    • 11:50

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Sending, where he asks different people from doing workon different aspects of international relationsto take their concerns, be that international lawor international political economy,to the study of diplomacy in orderto theorize it from, should we say, outside.And that's also an important development.But I think for those of us who study diplomacy,

    • 12:12

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: theory is an important concern, but it's not the only concern.The problem with previous studies of diplomacydo not stop by them being under-theorized.It's also that they looked at the European experienceof diplomacy.And they were partially warrantedin doing so because European diplomacy went onto become global diplomacy.

    • 12:34

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: But that didn't happen without therebeing a lot of hybridization along the way.Certain institutions of diplomacywere activity shaped by the meeting between Europeansand non-Europeans.And then we have examples of diplomatic systemsthat are not European at all.

    • 12:58

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: The most ancient system we know is the so-called Amarna systemfrom the second millennium before our era, whichconsisted of polities like Egypt, Hatti, Mitanni.I mean, this is the Bronze Age in the Middle Eastand in Anatolia.And we have stone tablets detailing

    • 13:20

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: correspondence and practices.So that's a diplomatic system that needs studying.And then we have what to me is super interesting,the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois,were keeping up a diplomatic system probablyfrom the early 1300s and all the way

    • 13:40

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: until the Europeans arrived.And they had specific diplomatic institutions.And you could go on, include the Mayans, the Incas.And all these cases are interesting because theyare, by definition, untouched by European diplomatic systemsso that studying those means that we will have

    • 14:02

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: a handful of different diplomatic systemsthat are not entangled into one another,so you can study them as a seriesand try to find the trans-historical elements,if any, of diplomacy.And I think there are two.One thing is that diplomats tend to talk to one anotherin terms of kinship-- dear sister, dear brother, cousins,

    • 14:28

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: father.In the Amarna system, for example, the whole goalwas to get the Egyptian pharaoh to call you brother and not sonbecause that would establish a symmetry of power.So kinship would be one seeminglytrans-historical element.And I think that is because kinship is good to think.We all come into this world with some kind of parentage

    • 14:52

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: and some kind of kinship system that weknow from-- we become sentient.And we use that in order to talk about the world.The other element that I've been able to findin my study of different diplomatic systemswould be religion.And I think it's telling that the first peace treaty that we

    • 15:15

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: still have is a peace treaty not only between twopolities-- Egypt and Hatti-- that is the Hittites polity.But it's also a treaty between their gods.So it's specified that the gods are also keenon having this peace treaty.

    • 15:37

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: And I think that speaks through recent concerns,this whole idea of the meaning of religionand the importance of religion to diplomacy.It's always there.So in addition to theory and the study of diplomatic systems,there is the study of non-European, non-Westerndiplomatic forms.

    • 15:57

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: There is work now, for example, afootby an LSE PhD student called Deepak Nair whois doing a study of the ASEAN secretariat.So it's the study of non-Western multilateral diplomacy.And that is important for all of usbecause we can then look at which elementsare specific to Southeast Asia and which elements are general,

    • 16:23

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: global.And we get more solid knowledge of the social form of diplomacywhen we can perspective it from other places than the West.I've been interested in looking at very specific aspectsof diplomacy, like what is being eaten?

    • 16:43

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: How do you eat it?And all the things that go with meals.Anthropologists talk about commensality.There is something very basically human about intakeof food stuff and drink.Every four hours or so, we need to do it.And this is something that we all have in common.

    • 17:05

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: But we have very different cultural ways of doing it,right?And that you can see in diplomacyand look at all the work that goes into planning a meal.And this is not frivolous.This is super important, because the meal is alsothe place where the ambiance lends itselfto good conversation, good information

    • 17:27

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: exchange, good negotiation, all the rest of it.Sartorial aspects, first I am the Japanese.We're abroad on diplomatic mission.We're in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,after the war with Russia.The United States offered itself as a third party

    • 17:51

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: to host the peace negotiations.And the Japanese delegation came in their swimming robes,in their court attire, which madethem look to the Western eye a bit like Sumo wrestlers.And the West were not exactly politicallycorrect in those days.So the Japanese just never, ever appeared in that again.

    • 18:16

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So to this day, they will come in suitsor in a black or white tie, whatever.But then again, there will be thingslike communist regimes, for example, can come in suits,but they never use a black tie, never use a white tie.One of the big no-nos when you plan a diplomatic eventis not to serve food that sends the wrong message.So if you serve food stuff that is

    • 18:38

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: taboo in the country of origin of your visitors,that's not a particularly good idea.And if you have a landlocked country,you don't serve them fish, basically, not even river fish,because you don't want to run that risk.Then you have the whole thing about meeting,

    • 18:58

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: about greeting forms.In a number of places in the world,males will not shake hands with females.And if there is a Western female diplomat involved,that can be interesting.You have the whole question of whatyou shall do when you meet the Japanese emperor.A Japanese subject would never, ever

    • 19:18

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: shake the hand of the emperor.They would touch their knees and make a bow, whereas Westernerswould shake hands.All these things are important.And even amongst seemingly close countrieswith common origins like the US and Britain, in Britain

    • 19:41

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: you don't shake hands.In this country, it's very rude not to shake handswhen you meet an old friend or an old colleaguein the streets.And you can imagine how that workswhen the cultural dissonance is much, much larger.There are three practices that are sort of reasonably

    • 20:03

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: new that I think are of particular interest.One is multilateral diplomacy, which stretches backto the post-Napoleonic War period when one set upsmall institutions to take care of rivers and trade routeson rivers.This was intensified in the late 19th century when

    • 20:25

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: you had different organizations that took care of posts,the telegraph, the telephone.And then after the First World War,there was the League of Nations, followed, of course,after the Second World War with the United Nations.And the number of United Nation agencieswhere diplomats from a number of different countries meet

    • 20:48

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: is enormous.But you also have a whole plethoraof other international organizations.You have thousands of international organizationsthat are now sites for diplomacy.And this becomes only more and more and more important.And the reason why that is so importantis that once something happens in an issue area,

    • 21:09

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: there will be organizations ready to deal with it,so you don't have to start from scratch every time.And that changes the entire idea of diplomacy.It becomes more of an iterative game.It's not a one-off.The basic thing there is that it's harder to fool peopleif you meet them all the time.It's much easier to teach someonethat you know you probably won't ever see again.

    • 21:32

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: The cost is much lower.So that's very good for diplomacy,that it's institutionalized in that way.A second new practice would be so-called public diplomacy.That is, diplomacy will not be directed only at other states,but they will be directed at the population in that state

    • 21:55

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: as well in order to sort of get a boomerang effect wherethe population itself will be more interested in, perhapseven have warmer feelings for another state in question.The US is big on this.They use films, for example, video games, all these kindsof things, Coca Cola, just to stagea presence in other countries.

    • 22:17

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So they're present even when absent, as it were.They're represented.That's what representation is, presence.The number of people working in public diplomacyis increasing exponentially.So, there are very interesting confluences

    • 22:37

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: between branding and diplomacy for example.Britain is, yet again, a good example.There was a campaign some years ago about cool Britannia.And when London hosted the summer Olympicsa couple of years ago, the opening ceremonywas just one big film roll of British popular culture.

    • 23:01

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: It was all there-- Harry Potter, the Beatles, James Bond.That would never have happened 20 years ago,where all this stuff was supposed to be a bit tainted,that popular diplomacy and cultural diplomacywas about symphony orchestras and all the rest of it.Well, not anymore.When you look at the people around the world studying

    • 23:21

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Japanese, for example, a high percentage of thosewould study that because they've become interestedin anime and manga-- that is in film and comics.So there are many ways of influencingthe rest of the world, and public diplomacyis, as it were, the umbrella term for how that happens.

    • 23:45

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: In addition to multilateral diplomacy and the,should we say, spin doctor side of things, the public diplomacything, are, you have the whole questionof in what degree diplomacy is spreading to other actors.An obvious example would be development organizations,

    • 24:06

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Oxfam, for example, or Save the Children, or AmnestyInternational.A number of these would have expats.And they will organize their expatsin ways that are suspiciously similar to how diplomacyhas been organizing their course over the last centuries.You will find transnational companies

    • 24:27

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that will hire pensioned off diplomatsor even poach them from active serviceto use them to run their relationswith states and with other transnational companies.So, I think diplomacy as a social form is actuallybeing reproduced in new and interesting places.

    • 24:49

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: And our understanding of that is not adequate.We are not quite up to the task of understandingwhat is actually a success story for diplomacy.Everybody says diplomacy is in crisis.Diplomacy is withering.Simply because there are so many other intersticesbetween polities.I think this is exactly the wrong way of thinking about it.

    • 25:11

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: I think what happens here is that this is new.This is a set of new arenas for diplomacy.And it is more sand for the diplomatic machines to grind.But it is, of course, also a challenge to diplomacybecause they have to do it in other ways than they used to.The argument to the fact that diplomacy is in crisis

    • 25:34

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: is that you have summits between top politicianswhere things happen that are outsideof the professional diplomats' control,that there are other ministries than the foreign ministry thathave international departments where stuff happens.All EU members will have delegations in Brussels.

    • 25:55

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: But most of those delegations willhave representatives from all the different departmentsof a state and all the different ministries of a state,not only the Foreign Ministry but alsothe Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Trade,the Ministry of Children if there issuch a thing, the whole thing.And again, you will see that international organizations

    • 26:18

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: become not only arenas but producers of policy.And then the argument goes that diplomacy is in crisisbecause it happens everywhere.So how can foreign ministries keep on top of all this?I think this is the wrong way of thinking about it,because diplomacy is about coordination.Diplomacy is about getting stuff that does not really

    • 26:41

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: go together, make it seem to go togetherand at least find some kind of modus vivendiwhere it seems to be moving.This is what diplomacy does.And it now has to do it in a lot of new placesand in many new ways.But the social form of diplomacy is spreading.

    • 27:03

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: That means diplomacy is a success.We need it.The subfield of diplomacy doesn't reallyhave one big defining debate these days.It's more like two camps.I mean, there is the camp that isinterested in mediation and negotiationand signaling that tend to be rationalists.

    • 27:25

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: And then there is the camp that isinterested in diplomacy as a social form,diplomacy as a social institution,and how that becomes a more and more regulated areaof human activity.And these two camps are not at loggerheadsbecause they do not speak all that much to one another.

    • 27:46

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So, at some point, there will be a debate between those.There is also a very interesting developmentwhere public diplomacy is being studied in different waysthan other aspects of diplomacy.I don't think that's a good idea.Public diplomacy is, first and foremost,diplomacy, and only then public.

    • 28:07

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Diplomacy is the noun.Public is the adjective.So it should be firmly within the general study of diplomacy.It should not be a study of branding,for example, or marketing.Methods have not been discussed much in the diplomatic research

    • 28:30

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: because there has been enough to do,and people have simply used different kindsof textual readings.In my own research, I've done ethnographic work on diplomats.There are other people doing that.And observation would be an obvious wayof studying diplomats.The problem with this is that in order to get there,

    • 28:53

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: you quite often have to study your own back yard, as it were.You have to do this study, conduct this researchin your own society for the simple reasonthat it's much easier to get accessto diplomats from the country of which youyourself are a citizen for obvious reasons

    • 29:13

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that have to do with security.So observation is an important study.I mentioned textual studies.I mentioned that James Der Deriandid the genealogy of diplomacy.People doing communication signaling

    • 29:33

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: are also doing quantitative work on diplomacy.So the situation so far has been a live and let live situation.And I think that's going to hold.But at some point, of course, the general debatesin social sciences about quantitativeversus qualitative and positivist workversus post-positivist, et cetera, will kick in.

    • 29:59

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Like other people, diplomats are interested in readingabout themselves.So there is a narcissistic aspect to the interestthat diplomats take in diplomacy studies,particularly when they themselves are there as agents.But all in all, diplomats are notparticularly interested in the theorizing

    • 30:20

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: of what they're doing.They just want to get on with it.The big exception would be technical knowledgeabout diplomacy.How can you organize more efficiently?How can you sort of get more toolsin order to get more information in orderto write better reports?So works on diplomacy that handle those technical aspects

    • 30:45

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: are quite popular amongst diplomats.One place to start, if you want to lookat the literature on diplomacy, would be the seven volumesthat have been published by Sage on different aspects

    • 31:07

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: of diplomacy, different journal articles and book chapters.If that's too much, another place to startmight be Ole Jacob Sending's The Future of Diplomacy.If one is interested in simply having a look,

    • 31:30

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: it might also be a good idea to peepthrough The Hague Journal of Diplomacy,which is the journal that is mostup to speed on what's going on in the fieldof diplomatic studies.I'm a hands-on person myself.I like practices.And one good belletristic work on diplomacy

    • 31:57

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: and what it's like to be a diplomatwould be William Boyd's novel A Good Man in Africa.You have this bumbling over-sexed young mancoming to an African country that is, of course,not specified, and basically doing everything wrong.But he still comes across as a somewhat competent diplomat.

    • 32:18

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: That is a good popular culture approachto the study of diplomacy.And then it's up to the reader to decide for him or herselfhow much of that will actually be close to realityand how much would be therefore, should we say, artistic effect.

    • 32:42

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: I'm giving a course in diplomacy over 10 weeks.And the key challenge, I think, for the studentsis to understand why the minutia of diplomacyis so important, how it can be that such a thing as servingsomeone the wrong drink may actually end upbeing a minor catastrophe.So, the whole question of cultural understanding

    • 33:04

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: is a challenge, particularly to those studentswho haven't been living in other parts of the worldand who aren't speaking any other language than their own.That's something to work on if you want to understanddiplomacy as a practice.Another thing is diplomacy has not alwaysbeen about the same stuff and has not always

    • 33:27

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: been done in the same way that so-called permanent diplomacy--that is diplomacy carried out in stationsplaced around the world-- is a fairly new thing.It has antecedents, but it comes on

    • 33:48

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: in force only in the 15th century.Then there is the whole question of understandinghow things look from somebody else's point of view.My own experience when it comes to disseminating my research

    • 34:09

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: for a wider public is that newspapers quite often call meup and want background on how diplomats thinkand what diplomats do in the context of a specific thing.Only last week I had a call saying,President Putin of Russia went to Cairo

    • 34:31

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: and presented his opposite number with a Kalashnikovas a gift.And then I could fill them in on the historyof the diplomatic gift and why I thoughtthe Kalashnikov was the gift.That's probably a hint to the relationship between Russia--or then the Soviet Union-- and Egypt

    • 34:51

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: pre-1973, when the Soviet Union gave thema lot of support to build the Aswan Dam, et cetera.And my reading of that would be that this is a hint-- nota very subtle hint, but then again,Russians, when Russians hint, theydon't hint subtly-- that maybe we could sell you some arms.Maybe we could have tighter relations

    • 35:13

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: when it comes to fighting terrorists and other things,other interests that we have in common.So the diplomatic gift is very important,and you could give background like that in orderto explain that to a wider public.But I don't think we should alwaysask about the applied aspect of knowledge.

    • 35:36

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: It has a value in itself to understandhow certain ways of being in the world workand how they relate to other ways of being in the world.The production of knowledge about the socialis also an end in itself.It is not only a question of beinguseful to politicians or bureaucrats or journalists

    • 35:57

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: or whatever.There is an interesting tendency in diplomacywhere diplomats are taking it unto themselves to negotiatestuff that does not directly concern them,for example, civil wars in places like Colombia,

    • 36:20

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: Sri Lanka, et cetera.And this is an extension of something diplomatshave often done before, so-called third-party rolesthat they offer their good offices, as we say.But the extent to which it happensand that it happens within the borders of a certain statebetween parties to a war inside that state,

    • 36:43

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: that is a new development, and quite exciting.What we see here is diplomacy goingfrom being about negotiation between parties to becominga question of governance.Diplomats do stuff-- for example,stop a civil war-- in ways that impingeon the relative power of the different parties, which

    • 37:05

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: means that they actually shape social life in the countryin which they work.That is not how we used to think about diplomacy.We used to think about diplomacy as representation.Two agents that did not sort of meld into one anotheremerged and become hybridized.But that is what happens when a third party actuallymediates in a civil war.

    • 37:27

      IVER B. NEUMANN [continued]: So the stakes change.It's not only a question of negotiation.It's a question of governing the place.


View Segments Segment :


Professor Iver B. Neumann discusses the history of international diplomacy and identifies techniques used in the field.

SAGE Video Experts

Professor Iver B. Neumann discusses the history of international diplomacy and identifies techniques used in the field.

Back to Top