Essence of Diplomacy explores essential, timeless features of diplomacy, drawing on the richly documented history of diplomacy from the Ancient Near East to today. Viewing diplomacy as a perennial international institution, the authors aim to make international relations (IR) theory relevant to diplomacy and diplomacy relevant to IR theory. Insights and concepts from such fields as representation, ritual, communication and institutionalization as well as historical sociology are used in their effort to formulate a pre-theory of diplomacy. The authors propose that diplomacy, at a high level of abstraction, can be analyzed as the mediation of universalism and particularism, and identify three essential dimensions of diplomacy: communication, representation and the reproduction of international society.

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