Summary‘A diplomat these days is nothing but a head waiter who is occasionally allowed to sit’, the actor Peter Ustinov once quipped. The paradox is that at the height of the current phase of globalisation, diplomacy and diplomats were sidelined rather than recognised for their key roles as ‘hinges’ of this process. Will the COVID-19 pandemic, with its cutting back on travel and (most likely) the budgets of ministries of foreign affairs, and the blistering attacks of populists on diplomats lead to their further marginalisation? Looking at the newly emerging role of Chinese ambassadors, this essay argues that may not necessarily be the case.
The Hague Journal of Diplomacy – Brill
Published: Oct 8, 2020