Diplomacy and the CFSP

With new hands on the wheel, have we something that’s real? 1

Authored by: Geoffrey Edwards


Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415588287
eBook ISBN: 9780203098417
Adobe ISBN: 9781136226953


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Diplomacy and its role in the international system have been under continuous challenge from changes in the structure of the system, particularly from the advent of new technologies as well as new actors. Traditionally, diplomacy has been defined as the organized dialogue between states, its practices embedded in a Westphalian inter-state system. New challenges have meant that international relations, in the words of Der Derian, have been shifting ‘from a realm defined by sovereign places, impermeable borders and rigid geopolitics, to a site of accelerating flows, contested borders and fluid chronopolitics. In short, pace displacing space’ (Der Derian, 1992: 129). Within that reconstructed space, Europe, far from being any longer the ‘centre of international gravity’ that characterized Harold Nicolson’s ‘old diplomacy’ (Nicolson, 1953: 77), has, nonetheless, assumed a new actorness.

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