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At Home with the Diplomats: Inside a European Foreign Ministry - Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge (Paperback)Iver B. Neumann (author)
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The 2010 WikiLeaks release of 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables has made it eminently clear that there is a vast gulf between the public face of diplomacy and the opinions and actions that take place behind embassy doors. In At Home with the Diplomats, Iver B. Neumann offers unprecedented access to the inner workings of a foreign ministry. Neumann worked for several years at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he had an up-close view of how diplomats conduct their business and how they perceive their own practices. In this book he shows us how diplomacy is conducted on a day-to-day basis.
Approaching contemporary diplomacy from an anthropological perspective, Neumann examines the various aspects of diplomatic work and practice, including immunity, permanent representation, diplomatic sociability, accreditation, and issues of gender equality. Neumann shows that the diplomat working abroad and the diplomat at home are engaged in two different modes of knowledge production. Diplomats in the field focus primarily on gathering and processing information. In contrast, the diplomat based in his or her home capital is caught up in the seemingly endless production of texts: reports, speeches, position papers, and the like. Neumann leaves the reader with a keen sense of the practices of diplomacy: relations with foreign ministries, mediating between other people's positions while integrating personal and professional into a cohesive whole, adherence to compulsory routines and agendas, and, above all, the generation of knowledge. Yet even as they come to master such quotidian tasks, diplomats are regularly called upon to do exceptional things, such as negotiating peace.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"... Iver Neumann presents a bold new approach: the study of diplomacy as anthropology.... Neumann is well suited to parsing the grammar of this shared culture as a participant-observer of the diplomatic tribe.... By retrieving what this world looks and feels like, Neumann's work poses a series of questions that point the way to an exciting agenda for further research."-- Nigel Gould-Davis * International Affairs *
"With this bookNeumannthe recently appointed Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Sciencetakes on the ambitious task of providing a 'historically informed ethnography of diplomacyin which I ask what diplomats do and how they come to do it'. Based primarily on his experience at the Norwegian MFAand deploying an anthropologist's perspectivethe result is a readableslim volume that is informativeintriguing and thought-provoking.... At Home with the Diplomats is in many ways a ground-breaking book.... And it is fun at the same time. If that is not a sin, then this is a book worth reading."-- Jeremy Cresswell * The Hague Journal of Diplomacy *
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