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Marsden, Magnus; Ibañez-Tirado, Diana; Henig, David (2016)
Publisher: Berghahn
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: GN
This article assesses debates concerning the relevance of an ethnographic approach towards the study of diplomacy. By drawing upon recent developments across the disciplines of anthropology, diplomatic studies, geopolitics, political geography, and global history we critically reassess the ongoing assumption that in the modern world diplomacy is separated from other domains of human life. We build on work in anthropology and related disciplines that has argued for the need to move beyond the that the only actors authorised and able to conduct diplomacy are the nation-state’s representatives. Having outlined recent theoretical interventions concerning the turn towards the study of everyday, unofficial and grassroots forms of diplomacy, the paper suggests postulation some of the ways in which ethnography can be deployed in order to understand how individuals and communities affected by geopolitical processes develop and pursue diplomatic modes of agency and ask how they relate to, evaluate, and arbitrate between the geopolitical realms that affect their lives. In so doing, we propose an analytical heuristic - everyday diplomacy - to attend to the ways individuals and communities engage with and influence decisions about world-affairs.
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