Universiteit Leiden

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Third Conference of the New Diplomatic History Network: Bridging Divides

Wednesday 24 October 2018 - Friday 26 October 2018
Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS)
Abdij 8
4330 LA Middelburg

The Network for New Diplomatic History is a group of scholars whose work focuses broadly on the historical study of diplomats, their methods, and their cultural, political and social milieux. Diplomatic history as a discipline is now being rediscovered as historians have become more receptive to trends in cultural studies, to advances in the social sciences, and to the mutual incorporation of state and non-state actors into the study of global, international, and transnational history. This in turn is transforming our understanding of ‘diplomacy’ and the identity of ‘the diplomat’.

Globalization is broadening the field of diplomacy, which now involves a host of state and non-state actors, working at multiple levels to shape forms of global, regional, and local governance. While the nation-state continues to function as the cornerstone of the international order, an increasingly crowded environment has forced adaptations and alterations to all levels of diplomatic practice. Diplomatic studies has duly followed these developments, broadening its scope and theoretical approach in the process.

Yet is this expansion of the diplomatic field only confined to the recent era of globalization? Has diplomacy not always involved a range of actors and interests, even during the heyday of statist diplomacy in recent centuries? Was the state-led modern era unique in the long history of diplomatic practice? How have institutional frameworks altered the poise of diplomacy over time? What are the precedents for the condition of diplomacy in the early 21st century?

As the main meeting point for the New Diplomatic History network, this conference aims to bring together scholars working on diplomacy from different historical periods and from different disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. It intends to link the study of diplomacy across the early modern, modern and post-modern eras, and test the application of investigative concepts across space and time, inviting comparisons across both geographical regions and historical periods.

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