Diplomacy Bilateral Multilateral

Chapter 19
I. Diplomacy – Official political contact among governments.
A. Bilateral = involves 2 countries
B. Multilateral = involves several countries
C. Cannot be unilateral = 1 country acting without consultation
D. “Third-party diplomacy” – A neutral country mediates between 2 disputing
E. Summit diplomacy = Heads of government, not foreign ministers, meet
F. Success depends on countries’ willingness to compromise
II. How do countries contact each other using diplomacy?
A. Embassies = Chief diplomatic representation of one country to another.
1. Headed by an Ambassador = Diplomatic official of the highest rank
sent by one sovereign state to another as its resident representative.
2. Located in capital cities
B. Consulates = Branch of the embassy with limited functions (i.e. visas)
1. Located in other cities
2. Consulate general = big consulate
C. Diplomatic immunity = diplomats enjoy immunity from arrest, trial, or
1. Worst punishment is to declare someone persona non grata (unwanted
person) and order them to leave the country within a few days.
III. Is Diplomacy Dying?
A. Yes
1. Succeeded in preserving the balance of power before the French
Revolution, but less successful in dealing with nationalist governments
and totalitarian dictatorships
2. Modern telecommunications (e-mail, fax, phone) allow foreign
ministries (branch of national gov’t dealing with IR) to contact each other
much quicker than before.
3. Summit diplomacy handles big issues
4. Pressure to report only good news – “Old China Hands”
B. No
1. Diplomatic recognition gives a country legitimacy and sovereignty
2. Diplomacy has headed off numerous conflicts (Egypt v. Israel,
Namibia, Yugoslavia, and China’s negotiations to get N. Korea to drop
nuclear weapons program)
IV. Are diplomacy and war mutually exclusive?
A. Countries that have no military power will not be taken seriously.
B. Countries guided by their militaries without diplomatic guidance operate
blindly without foresight.
C. War should only be used to achieve clearly defined goals that could not be
reached otherwise.