Friday, 15 October 2010

The evolution of diplomacy

As everything in life, diplomacy has evolved too during the centuries and the processes of its changes through time have outlined two main ‘periods’ in its evolution. These two stages are recognized today under the terms ‘traditional’ and ‘new diplomacy’. The traditional diplomacy had its classical and most recognizable characteristics in the 19th century. Furthermore, in these ages the most relevant characteristics, features and roles of the traditional diplomacy were formed and outlined. Later on, in the first half of the 20th century the First World War gave place to the rising and forming of the ‘new’ diplomacy which had to adapt the post-war world to the new demands of people, states and governments. These two stages in the evolution of the diplomacy have many differences. However, seen the fact that the new form has derived from the traditional one, they have various characteristics in common too.
In addition to this, the most considerable change in diplomacy can be shown as the tendency of higher openness; this is raising public security and control. In the ‘new’ diplomacy the public was given more information about the world of politics and the processes and issues that take place on first hand. This led to imminent public interest in politic matters and people started to express their own opinion about the current situations and the extent to which politics and diplomats were able to deal with them. This change in the ‘new’ diplomacy led to a public ‘control’ but not in the sense that people had the authority to control directly the politics. They were able to express their opinion out load and this rising ‘public voice’ eminently had its consequence in the concert of modern politics about the public opinion regarding their actions and decisions. Moreover, dissimilarity from the ‘new’ diplomacy, in the ‘traditional’ one we are able to witness excessive secrecy and restriction and limitation of the circle of people who were initiated in the secrets of the diplomatic world. In the 19th century it was desirable to choose aristocrats for diplomats. Utter secrecy was required in order to keep successful negotiations with the other states and people were not devoted to the current issues. All in all, from this main disparity between the
‘traditional’ and the ‘new’ diplomacy, we can recognize the ‘traditional’ one as a process of communication only between states and diplomats who were charged to represent them; and the “new” one as a process of negotiation which can be seen as an open process for the public sphere.
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  1. Very clear content, maybe you could divide in paragraphs? And remember we're supposed to include illustrations! Anyway I think it's very well-written :)

  2. Thank you very much for your honest comment! I wanted to upload an illustration but I cound not do it and I am trying evety single day but I just cannot do it.

  3. I thought your distinction between the secrecy of 'traditional diplomacy' and the openness of the 'new diplomacy' was well drawn. However, it is questionable just how far openness has extended in diplomatic practice. The new diplomacy that Woodrow Wilson spoke of was a project, a mission to change diplomacy - just announcing it didn't make it a reality.

    I should like to hear your opinions of the writers who discuss these issues. Which author do you think has the best account of these issues and why?

    Finally, to insert images in your postings, you have to hit the 'add image' icon next to the spell check icon, and then locate on your computer the image you want to upload. Please see me if you still have problems with this.