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Diplomatic Leadership in Times of International Crisis: The Maverick, the Congregator and the Pragmatist

Diplomatic Leadership in Times of International Crisis: The Maverick, the Congregator and the... Does it make sense to talk about leadership in the context of international diplomacy? After all, diplomacy is a tightly scripted profession, which thrives on diplomats closely following bureaucratic protocols, artfully reinforcing tacit conventions and scrupulously subscribing to international legal norms. As Neumann points out, being a diplomat is essentially a matter of juggling different scripts that are being constantly thrown upon oneself by one’s diplomatic responsibilities and encounters. 1 If leadership is indeed to be understood as a way of ‘providing solutions to common problems [. . .] and mobilizing the energies of others to follow these courses of action’, 2 diplomacy is probably not a good place to look for individuals capable of inspiring and mobilizing others for collective purposes. That being said, we should also be careful not to associate diplomacy exclusively with a rule-following process driven by institutional pressure and political self-effacement. The Renaissance humanist tradition from which modern diplomacy draws much of its form and substance 3 also prized a reflexive mode of knowledge production that embraced ‘the incredulity toward certainties, boxed thinking, and exclusive ways of doing things’. 4 In other words, to be a diplomatic subject is not only about reproducing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Brill

Diplomatic Leadership in Times of International Crisis: The Maverick, the Congregator and the Pragmatist

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy , Volume 10 (1): 4 – Jan 27, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Forum
ISSN
1871-1901
eISSN
1871-191X
DOI
10.1163/1871191X-12341300
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Does it make sense to talk about leadership in the context of international diplomacy? After all, diplomacy is a tightly scripted profession, which thrives on diplomats closely following bureaucratic protocols, artfully reinforcing tacit conventions and scrupulously subscribing to international legal norms. As Neumann points out, being a diplomat is essentially a matter of juggling different scripts that are being constantly thrown upon oneself by one’s diplomatic responsibilities and encounters. 1 If leadership is indeed to be understood as a way of ‘providing solutions to common problems [. . .] and mobilizing the energies of others to follow these courses of action’, 2 diplomacy is probably not a good place to look for individuals capable of inspiring and mobilizing others for collective purposes. That being said, we should also be careful not to associate diplomacy exclusively with a rule-following process driven by institutional pressure and political self-effacement. The Renaissance humanist tradition from which modern diplomacy draws much of its form and substance 3 also prized a reflexive mode of knowledge production that embraced ‘the incredulity toward certainties, boxed thinking, and exclusive ways of doing things’. 4 In other words, to be a diplomatic subject is not only about reproducing

Journal

The Hague Journal of DiplomacyBrill

Published: Jan 27, 2015

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