RI-SP116 | Autumn | 3 ECTS

Diplomatic Encounters

The notion of international negotiations as meetings between 'states' distracts from the fact that diplomacy is a large and complex social event. Multi- and bilateral diplomacy involves myriads of interactions among individuals (e.g., diplomats, international bureaucrats, experts, and private actors). These interactions are further mediated through technologies (e.g., ICT), artefacts (e.g., documents, architecture), the physical limitations of human bodies, social concepts that frame individuals in general and diplomats in particular (such as gender), and many more. This course sheds light on the various interactions among these elements in order to better understand diplomacy and negotiation dynamics. Questions include: who is involved in these diplomatic interactions? (How) do national capacities, technologies, artefacts, and the social and physical attributes of the diplomat's body shape diplomatic interactions? How do these interactions sum up to produce international treaties? And, most importantly: what mechanisms of power run through these interactions?