Why diplomacy?

Jennifer Mori

in The Culture of Diplomacy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780719082726
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702703 | DOI:
Why diplomacy?

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Diplomacy has always been a lifestyle requiring its disciples to abandon some of the customary distinctions between public and private life. Diplomacy, as a profession, had a much higher social and political standing in Europe than in Britain, a fact attributable to the often direct involvement of ‘absolute’ monarchs, be it in terms of appointment, instruction, negotiation or policy formation. Prospects for social and political advancement were also open to those of genteel extraction who belonged to the kinship, friendship or clientage networks of powerful English political clans. Diplomacy, as this suggests, relies a good deal on the exercise of discretion, the morality of which accords poorly with an emerging code of public ethics that prioritized transparency and merit over secrecy and privilege.

Keywords: diplomacy; political advancement; public ethics; discretion; kinship; absolute monarchs; policy formation

Chapter.  9226 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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