Bringing the Diplomat Back In: Elements of a New Historical Research Agenda
In the 20th century and since 1945 in particular the institution of diplomacy has changed. While traditional bilateral diplomatic relations have expanded rapidly as a consequence of decolonisation, other developments have challenged the very nature of existing diplomatic practices. The overall aim of this paper is to reflect on how, from a historical starting point, one can grapple with the changes diplomacy has undergone in an increasingly interconnected and institutionally integrated world. It argues that in order to do so it is necessary to bring the historical study of diplomacy into dialogue with recent transnational perspectives and to draw inspiration from the political and social sciences. It tentatively attempts to develop such a new historical approach and it conducts a pilot study into how increased regional European economic cooperation in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to reshaping diplomatic roles and patterns of actions in the Danish Foreign Service.
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