What constitutes good diplomacy and how can you tell if it’s been a success? Here academics and practicing diplomats offer their views on every aspect of the diplomat’s craft and recommend the best books on diplomacy.
Geoff Berridge talks about why we need diplomats. Jeremy Greenstock, the UK’s former Special Representative for Iraq, talks about the diplomat’s craft and what went wrong—but could have gone right—in the US invasion of Iraq. Another former British diplomat, Mike Maclay, talks about what it is that makes diplomacy interesting. Academic Ilan Kelman chooses his best books on disaster diplomacy and Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, discusses negotiation. Another former senior British diplomat, Sir Michael Palliser, discusses the different diplomatic styles of Kissinger, Talleyrand and de Gaulle among others. Looking at the diplomat’s wife is Brigid Keenan, author and one herself.
On particular aspects of diplomacy, Professor Charles Kupchan discusses grand strategy, Professor John David Lewis considers war and foreign policy and academic and Vietnam vet David Cortright looks at non-military solutions to political conflicts.
We also have some country-specific interviews, particularly focused on books related to the US and diplomacy. Gideon Rose, who served on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, looks at US foreign policy, while Lawrence Kaplan considers US intervention and Stephen Glain US militarism. Steven Walt discusses US-Israel relations and Orville Schell China and the US. William LeoGrande talks about US relations with Latin America. Ian Buruma, the writer and academic, talks about east and west. And Edward Mortimer, former Director of Communications to UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan, chooses his best books on the UN.
American presidents may not want to send troops into battle or militarise foreign policy but, in the end, most of them do. The author and journalist explains how this happens, and why it’s not even the military that’s to blame. He picks the best books on American militarism.
The City and the Stars
by Arthur C Clarke
by Ben Wisner, Piers Blaikie & Terry Cannon and Ian Davis
An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen
Development in Disaster-Prone Places: Studies of Vulnerability
by James Lewis
The Politics of Natural Disaster: The Case of the Sahel Drought
by Michael H Glantz (ed)
David Cortright, Notre Dame peace studies expert, identifies and rejects one of the myths about non-violent action: that it only works in liberal democracies. He outlines that non-violent protests can achieve their aims, that terrorism can only cease through negotiation, and that wars rarely have winners.
Edward Mortimer, the former Director of Communications to Kofi Annan talks about the need for reform, how when the Camp David talks broke down “the whole atmosphere in the organization became poison”, and his boss. He picks the best five books on the United Nations.