undertaken, under the flag of its embassy, by nationals of the state which has theoretically been expelled. The United States first employed interests sections in the Middle East following the Six-Day War, when various Arab states, alleging U.S. complicity in the Israeli offensive, severed relations with it.
Other disguised embassies include offices with nondiplomatic covers, such as trade missions and travel agencies; representative offices (sometimes known as liaison offices), which are useful where recognition is a problem, as in Sino-American relations between 1973 and 1979; and consulates or the consular sections of embassies; which are usually employed to deal with the problems of individual citizens abroad. Consulates are sometimes exploited for purposes of political communication as well because they operate under their own legal regime, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963. As a result, consulates may survive a breach in diplomatic relations or be createdas in Soviet-Israeli relations in 1990-91-as a first step towards their full restoration.
Since diplomacy is by definition an international activity and is substantially regulated by an international regime ratified by almost every state, it is hardly surprising that variations in practice are not considerable. Nevertheless, some may be noted.
In Negotiating Across Cultures ( 1991), Raymond Cohen has argued that there are significant differences between the negotiating styles of states such as the United States and Israel with a predominantly individualistic and rationalistic ethos ("low context" cultures), and those such as China, Egypt, and Japan with a more collectivist character attaching importance to form and hierarchy ("high context" cultures). Among other things, the former tend to adopt a nononsense problem-solving approach emphasizing the importance of detail, while the latter -- disliking explicit confrontation -- are more inclined to indirectness and to stress the importance of agreement on broad principle. Against this is the view advanced by I. W. Zartman and M. R. Berman in The Practical Negotiator ( 1982) that diplomats, irrespective of their country of origin, are members of an international community with its own distinctive subculture.
As for the channels through which negotiations are conducted, these appear to vary (other than by character of relationship and diplomatic ends sought) chiefly with levels of wealth and only marginally with character of political regime. Poor states tend to employ an ambassador based in a major capital such as Paris to handle relations with any number of neighboring states (multiple accreditation); they also rely more for the conduct of bilateral relations on their permanent missions to international organizations such as the UN. Political regimes with executives who chafe under the influence of strong legislatures and the drag of sprawling bureaucracies, as in the United States, have a strong incentive to resort to informal modes of diplomacy: personal rather than official envoys, and back channels rather than regular ones. In the end, in other words, diplomacy always finds a way.
GEOFFREY R. BERRIDGE
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DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES. The special rights given to formally accredited diplomatic officials that make them immune from the civil and criminal laws of the state to which they are assigned. These rights are a means for maintaining order in the international system. They facilitate the practice of diplomacy, the system of official communication between and among states. States recognize each other formally through the exchange of ambassadors and other diplomatic personnel. Diplomatic immunities assure sending states that their diplomats will be able to discharge their duties in receiving states without fear of harm or legal reprisal.
Interstate relations are steadily expanding beyond the traditional realm of military and political issues. More and more, economic and quality of life issue areas (e.g., trade, environmental degradation, immigration, etc.) are areas where the majority of diplomatic maneuvering by states is taking place. The existence of diplomatic immunities clearly puts members of the international community on notice that receiving states have no right under interna-