In A History of Diplomacy, historian Jeremy Black challenges the conventional account of the development of diplomacy, devoting more attention to non-Western traditions and to the medieval West than is usually the case. By the nineteenth century a system of diplomacy was increasingly formalized. Black charts the course and evolution of 'diplomacy' in all its incarnations, concluding with the ideological diplomatic conflicts of the twentieth century and the situation today. The role of modern inter- and non-governmental organizations - from the United Nations and NATO to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch - in diplomatic relations is assessed, and the challenges facing diplomacy in the future are identified and investigated. A History of Diplomacy presents a detailed and engaging study into the ever-changing phenomenon of diplomacy: its aims, its achievements, its successes and failures, against a historical and cultural background. An essential read for students and scholars of history and politics, it will also be of interest to anyone intrigued by the forces that have shaped international relations throughout history.
Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is the author of more than 80 books, including Maps and Politics (1997), Why Wars Happen (1998), War since 1945 (2004), Britain since the Seventies (2004) and Altered States: America since the Sixties (2004), all published by Reaktion.