International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

and sounding board for over 40 years ( 1940-1989). According to Marlene Provost of the Public Administration Program at the University of Vermont, those who knew Dimock intimately attribute his success to the Dimocks' unique personal and professional relationship.



The following represent some of the best of Dimock's timeless work in public administration:

Dimock, Marshall E., 1958. A Philosophy of Administration. New York: Harper and Brothers.

-----, 1959. Administrative Vitality. New York: Harper and Brothers.

-----, 1961. Business and Government. 4th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

-----, 1991. "Crisis Management: Shoring Up America's Economy and Government". International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 14, no. 4: 499-762.

DIPLOMACY. The conduct of international relations by negotiation and other peaceful means (such as clarifying intentions and gathering information) that are either directly or indirectly, immediately or in due course, designed to promote negotiation. Diplomacy develops where power is dispersed and a shared culture facilitates communication. The foreign policy which diplomacy serves may, of course, be belligerent rather than peaceful, as when alliances are negotiated in preparation for war or cemented by diplomacy for its duration.

Diplomacy with recognizably modern features (most critically the immunity of the envoy) existed in the ancient world, the best early evidence of this being the archive of diplomatic correspondence of the Egyptian court in El-Amarna generated in the fourteenth century B.C.E. Records from Greece, India, and China dated roughly a thousand years later provide more copious evidence of familiar diplomatic forms, as do those from Europe in the Middle Ages. By this time, diplomacy had been placed principally in the hands of a nuncius or, with growing frequency after the late twelfth century, a plenipotentiary. The former was simply a "living letter" whereas the latter had full powers -- plena potestas -- to negotiate on behalf of and bind his principal, but both remained temporary envoys who were required to return home when their narrowly focused tasks were completed. It was not until the middle of the fifteenth century, in the relations between the city-states of Italy, that we find the origins of the most characteristic of all modern diplomatic practices: the resident embassy. (Though it should be noted that in ancient Greece a city-state might employ as a diplomatic representative and grant citizenship to a resident of a city with which it had to deal; such a person was known as a proxenos.)

The Origins and Development of the Resident Embassy

The resident ambassador, who did not of course altogether replace the temporary envoy, was a response to the intensification of diplomatic activity in Italy in the fifteenth century. This made the financial costs of using ad hoc missions increasingly hard to bear and, while travel remained slow and hazardous, their practical drawbacks increasingly obvious. However, the appearance of the permanent mission also signalled a new awareness, clearly expressed in the political testament of Cardinal Richelieu ( 1585-1642), first minister of the French king, Louis XIII, that diplomacy functions best when it is a continuous rather than episodic process: maximum familiarity with local conditions is achieved, openings to develop a policy are more readily grasped, and diplomatic initiatives can be launched without attracting the attention characteristically accompanying the arrival of a special envoy.

Developing in Italy, the resident embassy spread northwards over the Alps and became the key mode of diplomatic activity until the early twentieth century. Despite its origins, it was described as the "French system of diplomacy" in The Evolution of Diplomatic Method ( 1954) by Harold Nicolson, probably the most well-known writer on diplomacy in the English language. This description was legitimate because it was the French who cleaned up and professionalized the Italian inheritance during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; French writers, notably François de Callières ( 1645-1717), who were the most important theorists of this diplomatic system; and the French language which replaced Latin as its lingua franca.

In the first half of the twentieth century the French system came to be known more commonly as the "old diplomacy." In addition to major reliance on permanent embassies with special immunities from local jurisdiction, its characteristic features were secrecy, elaborate ceremonial, careful protocol, honesty, and -- at least by this time -- professionalism. Secret negotiation prevented the making of concessions from being sabotaged by foreign friends and domestic constituences before they could be presented alongside any gains. Ceremonial was used to burnish the prestige of a prince, flatter allies, and solemnize any agreements which might be reached. Protocol brought order to diplomatic encounters. Honesty made it more likely that agreements would be negotiated on the basis of a true estimate of interests and that states would be regarded as worthy negotiating partners in the future. For its part, the professionalization of diplomacy, which was not seriously under way, even in France, until well into the nineteenth century, eventually broadened the recruitment of diplomats and improved their training. Their classic manual, which in revised form is still in print, was published in 1917 as A Guide to Diplomatic Practice by the distinguished British diplomat, Sir Ernest Satow ( 1843-1929).


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