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At Home with the DiplomatsInside a European Foreign Ministry$
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Iver B. Neumann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449932

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449932.001.0001

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The Emergence of Permanent Diplomacy

(p.18) 1 Abroad
At Home with the Diplomats

Iver B. Neumann

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at the discourse of diplomacy. It begins by discussing the traditional European understanding of diplomacy's history. It then discusses four basic problems with this understanding, all of which will be immediately familiar from general historiographical debates: (i) a privileging of its Greek origin; (ii) an elision of ancient Greek and European diplomacy; (iii) an erasure of what happened in the millennium in between; and (iv) a blindness to what happened outside Europe and to how polities interacting with European ones experienced those interactions. In discussing diplomats' implicit understanding of the history of their profession and presenting the ongoing discussions within the field of diplomatic studies, the chapter also situates the book within those discussions. It concludes by returning to the question of information gathering, which is the key knowledge-producing practice anchored by permanent diplomacy.

Keywords:   diplomats, discourse, Greek diplomacy, European diplomacy, diplomatic profession, information gathering

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