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Fiona McConnell

Space and place matter to diplomacy, yet surprisingly little analytical attention has been paid to geographical approaches and questions. This intervention sketches out the potentially productive lens that a geographical approach to diplomacy can offer in terms of diversifying conceptual framings, widening the empirical lens so that a broader range of practices, actors and objects come into view when we consider “diplomacy,” and embracing an open and integrative approach to interdisciplinary thinking about diplomacy.

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Costas M. Constantinou, Noé Cornago and Fiona McConnell

Diplomacy is no longer restricted to a single vocation nor implemented exclusively through interaction amongst official representatives. In exploring the challenges that these transformations produce, this work surveys firstly, the genealogy of diplomacy as a profession, tracing how it changed from a civic duty into a vocation requiring training and the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills. Secondly, using the lens of the sociology of professions, the development of diplomacy as a distinctive profession is examined, including its importance for the consolidation of the power of modern nation-states. Thirdly, it examines how the landscape of professional diplomacy is being diversified and, we argue, enriched by a series of non-state actors, with their corresponding professionals, transforming the phenomenology of contemporary diplomacy. Rather than seeing this pluralization of diplomatic actors in negative terms as the deprofessionalization of diplomacy, we frame these trends as transprofessionalization, that is, as a productive development that reflects the expanded diplomatic space and the intensified pace of global interconnections and networks, and the new possibilities they unleash for practising diplomacy in different milieus.

Costas M. Constantinou, Noé Cornago and Fiona McConnell

Diplomacy is no longer restricted to a single vocation nor implemented exclusively through interaction amongst official representatives. In exploring the challenges that these transformations produce, this work surveys firstly, the genealogy of diplomacy as a profession, tracing how it changed from a civic duty into a vocation requiring training and the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills. Secondly, using the lens of the sociology of professions, the development of diplomacy as a distinctive profession is examined, including its importance for the consolidation of the power of modern nation-states. Thirdly, it examines how the landscape of professional diplomacy is being diversified and enriched by a series of non-state actors, with their corresponding professionals, transforming the phenomenology of contemporary diplomacy. Rather than seeing this pluralization of diplomatic actors in negative terms as the deprofessionalization of diplomacy, we frame these trends as transprofessionalization, that is, as a productive development that reflects the expanded diplomatic space and the intensified pace of global interconnections and networks, and the new possibilities they unleash for practising diplomacy in different milieus.