Diplomacy in general. Definition and methods

Essay, 2021

14 Pages


Table of Content


01. What is Diplomacy?
1.1. The Rule of Effective Diplomacy

02. Functions of Diplomacy
2.1. Observing and Reporting
2.2. Diplomacy as a communication process
2.3. Recognition
2.4. Diplomatic relations: Establish and Maintain.
2.5. Using coercion or rewards to gain agreements



We have to conduct negotiations with the other states because we are in a globalized world. So then we have a competition with each other for the stand as an independent country. Therefore every nation-state has been used foreign policies to fulfil its national interests. In this situation, the nation-states have practiced using diplomatic methods to reach their national interests. For using diplomatic methods, it should be good or bad. Those methods are; signaling, conferences, agreements, make propagandas, get the rewards, coercions and negotiation. The methods of diplomacy always depend on the world leader’s hands. That's why we need to studying diplomacy as an art of conducting negotiations by one state with other states to maintain good relations.

Key words; Diplomacy / conducting negotiations / The nation sates

01. What is Diplomacy?

The world is changing in breathtaking space! The reality is one of the most important things to us to understand about international politics. We should know how the nation states conduct their relations with other states and what are the main ways that nation states are taking to conducting negotiations with each other. In that sense, diplomacy is a most important factor for every state, because of that we are in a globalized world and then nation states should have to deal with other nation states very carefully. Therefore, diplomacy is the main way to the nation states for conducting their negotiations.

The term of diplomacy is defined from the 18th century French term ‘Diplomat’, based on the ancient Greek diploma, which roughly means “an object folded in two.” To influence the behavior of other states, governments have a number of traditional policy tools and they use three most important tools. There are.

- Diplomacy
- Economic Leverage
- Military power (Bealey, Frank., Chapman, Richard A and Sheehan, Michael, 1999: 335)

However, when we describe the term of diplomacy it is used in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it’s described as “The art of telling lies on behalf of the nation” or “As instrument for employing deceit and duplicity in international relations.” In that sense, we can identify diplomacy as a peace making method (http://www.jstor.com).

Social scientists struggle to define diplomacy and exactly how it works. Harold Nicholson, defined diplomacy like that. He had mentioned,

“Diplomacy is the management of international relations by means of negotiations; the method by with these relations are adjusted and managed by ambassadors and envoys the business or art of the diplomat” (http://www.youarticlelibrary.com).

According to that definition, Harold Nicholas defined diplomacy as a management method, which is used to conduct good relations among the nation state and ambassador is the main managerial officer, who has a duty to not only manage the relations but also adjust the relations. Therefore, ambassadors, envoys and foreign ministers have to act as main rolls for their countries.

In addition to that, Hans J. Morgenthau has defined diplomacy in this way.

“Diplomacy is the promotion of the national interest by peaceful means” ( http://www.youarticlelibrary.com ).

In that sense Morgenthau has focused national interests. Indeed, in traditional diplomacy national interest is a main part of diplomacy. Further, Hans J. Morgenthau emphasized world Peace. In that point, he has defined diplomacy as the way of conducting good negotiations with the nation state with peace.

And also, even ‘Padelford and Lincoln, Sir Ernest Satow and K.M. Panikar’ also defined diplomacy.

“Diplomacy is the art of forwarding one’s interests in relation to other countries.” (K.M. Panikar)

“Diplomacy is the application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between governments of independent states.” (Sir Ernest Satow)

Diplomacy can be divided into two parts. First one is Traditional diplomacy and second one is Modern diplomacy. Therefore, we can conceive about the history of diplomacy. Actually, diplomacy has a long history like this.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The oldest surviving diplomatic document is, a cuneiform tablet written about 2500 B.C. It is a message sent by ‘Ibubu’, chief minister to the king of ‘Ebla (in modern Lebanon), to king Zizi of Hamazi (in modern Iran) some 1200 miles away. In it Ibubu pledges goodwill, relates that he is sending Zizi a quantity of rare wood, and says that he wants him to “give me good mercenaries, please send them” (Rourke, John T., 2005: 248).

However, a new era began in the history of diplomacy in the world with the adoption on 14th April 1961 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, as the outcome of the and United Nations conference on diplomatic intercourses and immunities which was convened in Vienna from 2nd March to 14th April 1961 and was adopted by the latter on 14th April 1961.

1.1. The Rule of Effective Diplomacy

If diplomacy is an art it must have various faces, because when we study diplomacy we can recognize effective rules of that. State leaders are working with open minds. They are using all of their powers for fulfilling their national interests. That’s why they have been using that effective rules for conducting negotiations with the other nation states.

- Be realistic,
- Be careful about what you say,
- Seek common ground.
- Be flexible,
- Understand the other side.
- Be patient,
- Leave avenues of retreat open. (Bealey, Frank., Chapman, Richard A and Sheehan, Michael, 1999: 256-257)

According to the above details, we can explain diplomacy is a technique which is used by state officers like foreign ministers, ambassadors and envoys to conduct good negotiation with other nation states. And also in that sense, the nation states are using those methods to protect their national interest. Therefore, each state is using various kinds of methods to deal with others.

02. Functions of Diplomacy

Definitely, diplomacy is an art conducting negotiations with the other nation states, because state leaders can decide their own conducting methods. Therefore, we can easily find out that diplomacy is an art. For an example, when we look at world history Adolf Hitler used his own diplomatic methods to fulfill his nation interests. It was a very harmful method, and he was promoting war and ideology of Fascism among the people.

Rather than, when we look at The United State of America and The United Kingdom they are always promoting their own diplomatic methods to conducting negotiations. Always those countries deal with liberal democratic theory.

China and Russia also used their own diplomatic methods for conducting relationships with other countries. Since the 19th century to now, those countries are using Communist theory and especially according to their political policies they have been shaping their other policies.

So, each nation state has the right to implement their diplomatic methods, but at that movement we have a global bond with each other. Therefore, we have to respect each other’s security policies, international laws and finally we must secure freedom and peace in the whole world. That is the important thing we must keep in our mind. Furthermore, we must keep in our mind, and we are members of the United Nation Organization which is the largest international organization for diplomacy.

Frank Bealey, Richard A. Chapman and Micheal Sheehan had mentioned four key functions of diplomacy in their book that is “Political elements.”

- “It facilitates communications between political leaders and other entities in international relations.
- It makes possible the negotiation of agreements when the differing interests of states are perceived to overlap.
- It enables the gathering of intelligence or information about other countries. A state’s foreign policy can be no better than the information which it is based.
- It reduces the effects of clashes of interest in international relations” (Bealey, Frank., Chapman, Richard A and Sheehan, Michael, 1999: 336)

Addition to that, we can recognize major functions of diplomacy like this.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


2.1. Observing and Reporting

Always, diplomats have to gather information and impressions to analyze them and to report back to the home office. This is a main function of diplomacy. As usual, diplomacy is a method to build up good relationships with states. Every diplomat’s first duty is reporting the true details for their state. Many countries use intelligence officers to do that. And also the method, it is an important fact to policy makers for making foreign policies to foreign affairs.

Example: “North Korea is more difficult to ascertain, because many countries including The United State, do not have embassies in Pyongyang. In that situation, this lack of good information was particularly worrisome during the events of 1993 and 1994. That involved North Korea’s nuclear program.”

2.2. Diplomacy as a communication process

Diplomacy is a communication process. It involves communicating to one or more other countries or other actors what your goals, demands, requests and other objectives are. The diplomatic communication process is carried out through negotiation, signaling, treaty/agreements, propaganda and conferences. Simply, those things have been showing us the implementation of the diplomacy process. Therefore, we can get a deep idea about the nature of diplomacy.

2.2.1. Negotiations occur.

When two or more parties communicate with one other, either directly or indirectly through an intermediary. To building trusting relationships with nation states, these basic components are compulsory.

- Prepare.
- Exchange
- Bargain
- Conclude.
- Executive (www.google.com)


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Diplomacy in general. Definition and methods
University of Peradeniya  (Postgraduate Institute)
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
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diplomacy, definition
Quote paper
J.H.S.T. Jayamaha (Author), 2021, Diplomacy in general. Definition and methods, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1005710


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