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.
Should America have intervened in Libya? Done more? Done less? Done it differently? The editor of Foreign Affairs, Gideon Rose, explains the tension that lies at the heart of every American foreign policy decision.
The foreign affairs commentator explains why US presidents have less room to manoeuvre on foreign policy than they think, and why President Obama had to set aside his “minimalist” inclinations.
The writer and historian Ian Buruma selects five Western perspectives of the East, including a novel of colonial India, a travelogue of disappearing Japan, and the collection of essays that lifted the veil on Mao’s China.
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)
The perception that disasters are isolated events beyond our control is simply not true, says the disaster research expert Dr Ilan Kelman. We – governments and others – have a greater role in creating them than we wish to acknowledge.
The former chief of staff to Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, tells us about his experience of negotiating in Northern Ireland, and explains why it’s important never to lose your temper except on purpose
The changing relationship between China and America will be one of the defining foreign policy issues of our times. To understand its dynamic, says sinologist Orville Schell, we must take account of China’s lingering sense of victimhood.
Our political and economic systems are inadequate and failing. But what can we do? The author of a new book on the subject tells us what inspired his involvement in the Occupy movement and how a leaderless revolution could work
Veteran diplomat Michael Palliser discusses his friend Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic skills and says his experiences in post-war Germany made him a committed European
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.
U.S. government adviser and Dean of the American University School of Public Affairs leads a book-bound tour that takes us from the Bacardi dynasty in Cuba to American military interventions in Central America
Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis points to research showing that, contrary to widespread belief, Mao was regularly briefed on the famine he had caused
Duke University professor choose fives books on war and foreign policy and says that neoconservative veneration of nationalism leads to a foreign policy of perpetual war overseas
Former British diplomat Mike Maclay chooses five books on the glamour, the reality and the future of the people trained in the canny art of diplomacy
The veteran British diplomat Jeremy Greenstock talks about the history and future of diplomacy. On Iraq: ‘The magnificent work that was done was largely wasted, and lives with it – both Iraqi and outsiders’
The author discusses a varied selection of books about young women living abroad. Draws on her own experiences as a Diplomat’s Wife. Features Out of Africa and The Jewel In The Crown with three more travel classics
The Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations discusses diplomacy versus coercion and selects five essential books on international relations.
Academic and author of textbooks on the field tells us that diplomacy can well do without rank amateurs “in the same way that medicine can do without snake-oil merchants”
The senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, chooses books on the real pioneers of British and American espionage – flawed men who saved lives and made a difference.
The international relations professor tells us about the special relationship between America and Israel – how it came about, what it means, and how it should change
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.