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Between Statecraft and Humanism: Diplomacy and Its Forms of Knowledge
International Studies Review (2013)
  • Costas M. Constantinou, University of Cyprus
Diplomacy is concomitant with humanity’s highest hopes and deepest
frustrations. Complex global problems demandbut might not receive
deep understanding, skilled advocacy, and sustained negotiation and
innovation. Diplomatic method, this article argues, emerges by combining
advocacy and reflexivity, and in modernity as dialectic between
statecraft and humanism. Statecraft is currently dominant, but humanist
aspirations remain pertinent, if often repressed. By examining the issue
of diplomatic knowledge in functional and historical contextsand crucially
by looking at it beyond information and intelligence gathering
the article examines how humanism becomes a usable praxis in diplomacy.
Specifically, how humanist praxis aspires to provoke thinking and
encourage the production of knowledge that can bring about changes
in diplomatic perspective and policy. Practitioners can thus connect to
diplomacy not merely as passive servants of policy but as active humans
pursuing more than restricted technical goals. This enhances not simply
a top-down, policy implementation practice, but a bottom-up diplomacy
from different places, utilizing the increasingly globalized “new common
knowledge” to share insights, define action, and support diverse
initiatives. The humanist legacy, in short, highlights diplomacy as a
knowledge practice, pursuing a range of national, cross-national, and
postnational goals, negotiating interests but also social meaning and
identity, something that encourages its revisiting as a mode of living.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Costas M. Constantinou. "Between Statecraft and Humanism: Diplomacy and Its Forms of Knowledge" International Studies Review Vol. 15 Iss. 2 (2013)
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