Between statecraft and humanism: Diplomacy and its forms of knowledge
AuthorConstantinou, Costas M.
SourceInternational Studies Review
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Diplomacy is concomitant with humanity's highest hopes and deepest frustrations. Complex global problems demand - but 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 contexts - and 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. © 2013 International Studies Association.