In this Book

summary

Although diplomats negotiate more and more aspects of world affairs—from trade and security issues to health, human rights, and the environment—we have little idea of, and even less control over, what they are doing in our name. In Independent Diplomat, Carne Ross provides a compelling account of what's wrong with contemporary diplomacy and offers a bold new vision of how it might be put right.

For more than fifteen years, Ross was a British diplomat on the frontlines of numerous international crises, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Afghanistan, and the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, over which he eventually resigned from the British civil service. In 2005, he founded Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit advisory firm that offers diplomatic advice and assistance to poor, politically marginalized or inexperienced governments and political groups, including Kosovo, Somaliland, and the Polisario movement in the Western Sahara, as well as to NGOs and other international institutions.

Drawing on vivid episodes from his career in Oslo, Bonn, Kabul, and at the UN Security Council, Ross reveals that many of the assumptions that laypersons and even government officials hold about the diplomatic corps are wrong. He argues passionately and persuasively that the institutions of contemporary diplomacy—foreign ministries, the UN, the EU, and the like—often exclude those they most affect. He exposes the very limited range of evidence upon which diplomats base their reports, and the profoundly closed and undemocratic nature of the world's diplomatic forums.

As a diplomat, Ross was encouraged to see the world in a narrow way in which the power of states and interests overwhelmed or excluded more complex, sophisticated ways of understanding. As Ross demonstrates, however, the reality of diplomatic negotiations, whether at the UN or among the warlords of Afghanistan, shows different forces at play, factors ignored in reductionist descriptions and academic theories of "international relations." To cope with the complexities of today's world, diplomats must open their doors—and minds—to a far wider range of individuals and groups, concerns and ideas, than the current and increasingly dysfunctional system allows.

Although diplomats negotiate more and more aspects of world affairs—from trade and security issues to health, human rights, and the environment—we have little idea of, and even less control over, what they are doing in our name. In Independent Diplomat, Carne Ross provides a compelling account of what's wrong with contemporary diplomacy and offers a bold new vision of how it might be put right.For more than fifteen years, Ross was a British diplomat on the frontlines of numerous international crises, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Afghanistan, and the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, over which he eventually resigned from the British civil service. In 2005, he founded Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit advisory firm that offers diplomatic advice and assistance to poor, politically marginalized or inexperienced governments and political groups, including Kosovo, Somaliland, and the Polisario movement in the Western Sahara, as well as to NGOs and other international institutions.Drawing on vivid episodes from his career in Oslo, Bonn, Kabul, and at the UN Security Council, Ross reveals that many of the assumptions that laypersons and even government officials hold about the diplomatic corps are wrong. He argues passionately and persuasively that the institutions of contemporary diplomacy—foreign ministries, the UN, the EU, and the like—often exclude those they most affect. He exposes the very limited range of evidence upon which diplomats base their reports, and the profoundly closed and undemocratic nature of the world's diplomatic forums. As a diplomat, Ross was encouraged to see the world in a narrow way in which the power of states and interests overwhelmed or excluded more complex, sophisticated ways of understanding.As Ross demonstrates, however, the reality of diplomatic negotiations, whether at the UN or among the warlords of Afghanistan, shows different forces at play, factors ignored in reductionist descriptions and academic theories of "international relations." To cope with the complexities of today's world, diplomats must open their doors—and minds—to a far wider range of individuals and groups, concerns and ideas, than the current and increasingly dysfunctional system allows.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. vii-x
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-26
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 2. The Embassy
  2. pp. 27-48
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 3. The Negotiation (1)
  2. pp. 49-70
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 4. War Stories
  2. pp. 71-82
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 5. Them and Us
  2. pp. 83-106
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 6. The Telegram or How To Be Ignored
  2. pp. 107-128
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 7. The Ambassador
  2. pp. 129-150
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 8. Star Trek, Wittgenstein and the Problem with Foreign Policy
  2. pp. 151-164
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 9. The Negotiation (2)
  2. pp. 165-186
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 10. Independent Diplomat or the Other Side of the Table
  2. pp. 187-202
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 11. Conclusion –– The End of “Diplomacy”?
  2. pp. 203-226
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 227-238
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-243
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents

Additional Information

ISBN
9780801459870
Related ISBN
9780801445576
MARC Record
OCLC
1017612949
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.