Beastly Diplomacy

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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Even if beastly iconography has been pervasive in international politics, the study of diplomacy has traditionally focused solely on man as a political animal. Animals in diplomacy have been treated as a curiosity. This article stakes a claim for a more serious engagement with beastly diplomacy, arguing that animals matter through their ontic status; by representing states; as diplomatic subjects; and as objects of diplomacy. The article places particular emphasis on how animals are a special kind of diplomatic gift, with a variety of meanings and functions. Taking animals seriously implies a rethinking of both the process and the outcomes of diplomacy.

Beastly Diplomacy

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy




A major exception is Frans de WaalChimpanzee Politics: Sex and Power among Apes (New York: Harper and Row1982).


Fudge‘A Left-Handed Blow’ p. 7; and Chris Philo and Chris Wilbert ‘Animal Spaces Beastly Places: An Introduction’ in Chris Philo and Chris Wilbert (eds.) Animal Spaces Beastly Places: New Geographies of HumanAnimal Relations (London: Routledge 2000) p. 2.


Kersty Hobson‘Political Animals? On Animals as Subjects in an Enlarged Political Geography’Political Geographyvol. 26 no. 3 (2007) pp. 250-267; and Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard Critical Animal Geographies: Politics Intersections and Hierarchies in a Multispecies World (Abingdon: Routledge 2015).


Erika Cudworth and Stephen HobdenPosthuman International Relations: Complexity Ecologism and Global Politics (London: Zed Books2011); Erika Cudworth and Stephen Hobden ‘Complexity Ecologism and Posthuman Politics’ Review of International Studies vol. 39 no. 3 (2012) pp. 643-664; Erika Cudworth and Stephen Hobden ‘Civilization and the Domination of the Animal’ Millennium vol. 42 no. 3 (2014) pp. 746-766; Rafi Youatt ‘Interspecies Relations International Relations: Rethinking Anthropocentric Politics’ Millennium vol. 43 no. 1 (2014) pp. 207-223; and Antoine Bousquet ‘Prolegomena to Post-Anthropocentric International Relations: Biosphere and Technosphere in the Age of Global Complexity’ in Emilian Kavalski (ed.) World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Reflections on Complexity and Global Life (New York: suny Press 2015) pp. 189-207.


Falk Hartig‘Panda Diplomacy: The Cutest Part of China’s Public Diplomacy’The Hague Journal of Diplomacyvol. 8 no. 1 (2013) pp. 49-78.


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Mariana BelozerskayaThe Medici Giraffe and Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power (New York: Little, Brown & Company2006) pp. 147-154.


TodorovThe Conquest of America pp. 38 and 42-43.


TodorovThe Conquest of America p. 76.


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Seed‘“Are These Not Also Men?”’ p. 638.


Naeem Inayatullah and David. L. BlaneyInternational Relations and the Problem of Difference (London: Routledge2004) chapter 2 et passim.


Nick Vaughan-Williams‘“We Are Not Animals!” Humanitarian Border Security and Zoopolitical Spaces in Europe’Political Geographyvol. 45 (2015) pp. 1-10; and Kathryn Denning ‘Regarding the Zoo: On the Deployment of a Metaphor’ International Journal of Heritage Studies vol. 14 no. 1 (2008) pp. 60-73.


Steve BakerPicturing the Beast: Animals Identity and Representation (Manchester: Manchester University Press1993) p. 55 et passim.


Nancy Cushing and Kevin Markwell‘Platypus Diplomacy: Animal Gifts in International Relations’Journal of Australian Studiesvol. 33 no. 3 (2009) pp. 255-271.


Sarah Cheang‘Women, Pets and Imperialism: The British Pekingese Dog and Nostalgia for Old China’Journal of British Studiesvol. 45 no. 2 (2006) pp. 359-387.


Cheang‘Women Pets and Imperialism’ pp. 366-367.


Cheang‘Women Pets and Imperialism’ pp. 261 376 and 383.


M.J. McFall-Ngai‘Negotiations between Animals and Bacteria: The “Diplomacy” of the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis’Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part Avol. 126 no. 4 (2000) p. 471.


Aafke Komter‘Gifts and Social Relations: The Mechanisms of Reciprocity’International Sociologyvol. 22 no. 1 (2007) pp. 93-107.


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Stanley J. Olsen‘The Camel in Ancient China and an Osteology of the Camel’Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphiavol. 140 no. 1 (1988) p. 22.


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Byung-Joon Kim‘Trade and Tribute along the Silk Road before the Third Century AD’Journal of Central Eurasian Studiesvol. 2 (May 2011) p. 9.


Kim‘Trade and Tribute along the Silk Road before the Third Century AD’ p. 13.


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BelozerskayaThe Medici Giraffe and Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power p. 6.


Leslie Brubaker‘The Elephant and the Ark: Cultural and Material Interchange across the Mediterranean in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries’Dumbarton Oaks Papersvol. 58 (2004) p. 176.


Brubaker‘The Elephant and the Ark’ p. 176.


Olivier Lagueux‘Geoffroy’s Giraffe: The Hagiography of a Charismatic Mammal’Journal of the History of Biologyvol. 36 no. 2 (2003) p. 229 note 13.


BelozerskayaThe Medici Giraffe and Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power pp. 118-119 and 125-127.


BediniThe Pope’s Elephant p. 125.


BediniThe Pope’s Elephant p. 125. The rhinoceros had already been a diplomatic gift twice first given from the Sultan of Cambay as a reciprocal gift to Alfonso de Albuquerque the governor of Portuguese India and then as a gift of submission from Albuquerque to King Manuel i. It became immortalized when Albrecht Dürer made a woodcut of it.


Erik Ringmar‘Audience for a Giraffe: European Expansionism and the Quest for the Exotic’Journal of World Historyvol. 17 no. 4 (2006) p. 380.


Egmond‘Precious Nature’ p. 50.


Rosamond McKitterickCharlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2008) p. 286.


Ringmar‘Audience for a Giraffe’ pp. 390-392.


BelozerskayaThe Medici Giraffe and Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power pp. 142-143.


Egmond‘Precious Nature’ p. 51.


Ringmar‘Audience for a Giraffe’ pp. 396-397.


Lagueux‘Geoffroy’s Giraffe’ pp. 230-231.


Edward Keene‘A Case Study of the Construction of International Hierarchy: British Treaty-Making against the Slave Trade in the Early Nineteenth Century’International Organizationvol. 61 no. 2 (2007) pp. 311-339.


Lagueux‘Geoffroy’s Giraffe’ p. 231.


See Cushing and Markwell‘Platypus Diplomacy’; and Natalie Lawrence, ‘The Prime Minister and the Platypus: A Paradox Goes to War’Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciencesvol. 43 no. 1 (2012) pp. 290-297.


Charles Homans‘Zoopolitics’Foreign Policy (26 May 2010).


Cornelius Holtorf‘Zoos as Heritage: An Archaeological Perspective’International Journal of Heritage Studiesvol. 14 no. 1 (2008) p. 6.


Hartig‘Panda Diplomacy’ p. 53 note 25.


Iver B. Neumann and Halvard LeiraAktiv og avventende i hundre år: Utenrikstjenestens liv 1905-2005 (Oslo: Pax2005).


Larry Winter RoederDiplomacy Funding and Animal Welfare (Berlin: Springer2011).


Linda J. Lowenstine‘Long Distance Pathology, or Will the Mountain Gorilla Fit in the Diplomatic Pouch?’ in Proceedings of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (South Padre Island tx: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Press 1990) pp. 178-185.


Arne KallandUnveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling (Oxford: Berghahn2009).


Rosemary-Claire Collard‘Panda Politics’The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien vol. 57 no. 2 (2013) p. 228.

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