Anthropology and diplomacy 
David Henig (University of Kent)
Magnus Marsden (University of Sussex)
Diana Ibanez Tirado (SOAS, University of London)
Madeleine Reeves (University of Manchester)
Room 4
Start time:
14 April, 2015 at 9:15 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

We invite contributions that will deploy the umbrella concept 'everyday modes of diplomacy' to ethnographically examine the repertoires of practices, skills, and moral registers through which individuals and communities engage in and influence international affairs and geopolitics today.

Long Abstract

There is an ongoing assumption in much writing that the most influential modes of conducting diplomacy in the world today are those that take place behind the closed doors of presidential offices and embassies. This perspective assumes that in the modern world diplomacy has been separated from other domains of life. This leads to the assumption that the only actors authorised/able to conduct diplomacy - i.e. to act on behalf os, speak for, and mediate between players at the international stage - are the nation state's representatives. Existing scholarship thereby treats community involvement in geopolitical processes as of secondary importance. Another approach recognises that local communities play a role in such processes but as unthinking automatons deceived by nation states. This is clearly the case in depictions of Russia's recent interventions in the Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe. This panel will turn attention away from the use of diplomatic strategies by nation states and ask instead how communities affected by such processes relate to, evaluate, and arbitrate between such processes. We look to solicit papers that address the types of diplomatic skill cultivated in particular communities. We are interested in how such forms of diplomacy merely reflect official types of international diplomacy or do they provide a window into other types of diplomatic practice? How far is the concept of everyday modes of diplomacy helpful in analysing such modes of behaving? Do everyday modes of diplomacy allow communities to engage in and influence international affairs?

Accepted papers: