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'Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.' -  Winston Churchill, Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom.

Introduction and Definition

The art of diplomacy is regarded to be a key essential feature of International Politics. The term diplomacy has been used to convey a variety of ideas.

According to Harold Nicolson, the term diplomacy is employed in different meanings.

  • Synonym for 'Foreign Policy' by means of digression, where the policy makers themselves start acting as policy managers.
  • Refers to the 'negotiations' carried out in order to solve a problem.
  • Denotes the 'process and machinery' by which negotiations are carried out.
  • Foreign office of a country.
  • Abstract quality or gift which implies 'skill' in the conduct of international negotiations.

Harold Nicolson has emphasised on the 'business or the art of the diplomat'.

  • Sir Earnest Satow defines, 'diplomacy as the 'application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between government of independent states, extending sometimes also to their relations with vassal states.'
  • According to Quincy Wright, 'Diplomacy can be defined at two levels; in the popular sense; 'employment of tact, shrewdness and skill in any negotiation; in order to achieve the maximum of group objectives with a minimum of costs'. In the particular sense, diplomacy implies devotion on the part of it's practitioners of the national interest.

Diplomacy operates in an area where possibilities of coercion exist; and the function of diplomacy is to avert such possibilities of war. The purpose of diplomacy is to reach an agreement. Diplomacy is irrelevant in areas of complete agreement and complete disagreement. Diplomacy is used to negotiate a solution where there are areas of disagreement or misunderstanding. However, agreement and disagreement are not static phenomena in the international society and it is possible that agreement on a particular issue may show some signs of disagreement and similarly a disagreement may also show some signs of agreement. Hence, diplomacy has significant relevance in this dynamic international environment.

Negotiations is one of the methods of influencing others. It is only the 'means of persuasion' that is available to diplomacy. They are restricted to the use of hard means or 'means of enforcement'. The activities of diplomats are always limited by the policies of their governments. Diplomats are not free to shape the foreign policy. The public opinion especially in the modern democracies has affected diplomacy as the general population also affects the activities going on in international politics with the help of their 'determining voice'. The acts and activities of diplomats are also affected by the strength, potential and efficiency available to a state. Like, the American diplomacy is largely effective due to the American wealth and power. America has a greater say in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a large funding in the institution is accredited to America.

Success in diplomacy is viewed in two senses broadly:

  • Victory in winning other nations over to one's own point of view.
  • Success in diplomacy means the conclusion of a specific agreement between the negotiating parties. The success of diplomacy is ascertained by the conclusion of a long-lasting agreement.

When disagreements are non-serious, persuasion may help to resolve a difference. But when these disagreements take a serious turn, negotiations of any kind prove of no avail. The success of diplomacy is not completely due to the qualities of diplomats but to a certain extent the nature of foreign policy also attributes for the same. Hence, A.F.K. Organski says that diplomacy shouldn't be expected to be capable of playing a spectacular role. Diplomacy as a means of expanding the national interest has to pay certain obligation to the international law, as a condition of its own relevance or effectiveness. It is the technique of adjusting the conflicting interests of different states in such a way that our own national interest is not hindered. Diplomacy though opposed to the concept of war ( complete disagreement ) and international law ( complete agreement ) is closely related to both of them.

Lester Pearson's writes that foreign policy and diplomacy are the same by 'means of digression' of their functions, activities and scope. Diplomacy is regarded an instrument of Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy is 'What you do' and Diplomacy is 'How you do.'

Evolution of the Concept of Diplomacy:

The history of diplomacy is as old as the history of international relations. In the Egyptian, Chinese and Indian records, diplomatic behaviour is available. In the ancient times, Greece and Byzantine Empire contributed much to the evolution of diplomacy. Professional embassies were not popular at time. The Romans didn't do much to advance the concept. Here, everything was dependent on the king's interests. In the medieval ages, diplomacy came out of palaces. From Italy, the practice of diplomacy spread to other countries of Europe. Later, the modern developments has discussed on all aspects of diplomatic activities.

Diplomacy and International Law:

Quincy Wright has enumerated the various types of relationship which international law has or can have with diplomacy.

  • International law serves as an assumption and presumption of diplomacy: Diplomacy that is interaction between states take place in the medium of international law as the parties to negotiations presume that their diplomatic representatives will enjoy all the diplomatic privileges and immunities. It also presumes that mutual good faith and mutual confidence between the parties acting as the backbone of international law. Rules of truthfulness are essential in reaching agreements. Diplomacy is greatly facilitated if negotiating parties states can assume that each state accepts and acts according to the principles of international law. Example, the Cold War was a result of lack of confidence between the two superpowers. The principle of 'pacta sunt servanda' ( agreements must be kept ) is importance for the success of diplomacy.

  • International law serves as an instrument of diplomacy: The task of diplomats gets simplified when there is the observance of forms and procedures of international law. The international law helps in providing the diplomats the precise knowledge of forms and procedures. Furthermore, the international law also provided the arguments with which a diplomat can support his case. He may also create appeals based on international law ( principles of morality, humanity and global interest etc. ). Both international law and diplomacy are closely related as both of them work to append the national interest of the country. International law also strengthens the diplomatic alliances and international organisations. International law acts as a guiding factor for upcoming moves when diplomacy fails.

  • International law is a result of diplomacy in many ways: Diplomacy played a very significant role in evolution and codification of international law. Diplomacy as it's function; resolves differences by negotiations and by doing so; it has been producing international conventions. Manley Hudson calls these agreements as the 'corpus of international law.' Diplomacy can be exercised by making use of international court to solve the disputes through arbitration or adjudication. Diplomatic correspondences and formal declarations on the subject also contribute to the development of international law. The 'Digests of International Law' for USA is a compilation of declarations and correspondences. The development of international law is not a primary function of diplomacy rather it's a by-product in the action of practice of diplomacy. In the contemporary situation, national interest of every state can be secured by just surrendering only a part of their

sovereignty to the effective international order. Diplomacy will lose its own relevance after it's function is delivered that is the conclusion of an agreement. A state of international tension; differences between country in political, social, economic and cultural respects reveal that diplomacy will retain it's relevance in the long run.

Diplomatic methods are different with different nations. Hence, it is important to understand various types of diplomacy.

Styles of Diplomacy:

The distinction between Shopkeeper and Warrior diplomacy has been given by Organski.

(1) Shopkeeper diplomacy:

It is the 'cautious, peaceable and reasonable approach of the shopkeeper.' The attitude of some nations in diplomacy is compromising; conciliatory; devoid of sensational extremes. In this type of diplomacy, the shopkeeper advances his arguments in a calm, polite and courteous language. He approaches the man on the other side of the table like a shopkeeper; in all moderation and observing all norms of business principles. He never shows the excitement but always indicates the other party, what it gets in the deal. This diplomacy is more successful as the nations get what they wanted in the long run. The shopkeeper never thrust it's demands on others but tries to make it's place by the psychological methods. Harold Nicolson had opined that the success of British diplomacy can be explained by the fact that it is founded on the sound business principles of moderation, fair dealing, reasonableness, credit and compromise. The Suez Canal Crisis of 1956 reflects that the success of shopkeeper diplomacy is also dependent upon the power of the state.

(2) Warrior Diplomacy:

 It is also called 'Totalitarian Diplomacy'. It is the brilliant, quarrelsome and dynamic approach of the warrior. It is the reverse of Shopkeeper Diplomacy. It is unreasonable in negotiations as it always attempts to change the status-quo and international order in its own favour. It follows a pugnacious approach in the conclusion of agreements. The states advocating this diplomacy adopt a arrogant attitude like the Nazi Germany, Stalin's USSR and Fascist Italy. They thrust their own interests and demands on the other party.

'Mussolini hated courteousness and politeness and briefed his diplomats that they should be always rude, shocking, disgraceful before their counterparts; so that the latter becomes nervous.'

It is regarded as a negative form of diplomacy. The totalitarian diplomats don't hesitate to pursue the hard moves in the process of negotiation. According to them, morality and it's values are useless. They adopt a abusive and offending attitude in their negotiations. Such ambasadors are agents of double dealings, conquest and espionage. They consider the act of 'gesture of friendliness' either as weakness or as a garb for sinister designs. They don't respect the diplomatic rules and conduct at all. It works against the assumption of international law. They also don't validate the international treaties and organisations. The totalitarian diplomats are moreover propagandists. They develop an atmosphere of chaos and anarchy so that they extract advantage in such a situation. They pursue the nationalistic ambitions in order to pursue their self-interest. The Warrior or the Totalitarian Diplomacy is the main cause of decline of diplomacy.

(3) Classical and Modern Diplomacy:

Harold Nicolson has discussed three diplomatic methods that have contributed to the process and evolution of diplomatic practice; Greek method, Italian method and the French method. The French method of diplomacy is regarded to be as the oldest form of diplomacy. It was first developed by Richelieu ( Prime Minister of Louis XIII of France )

Characteristics of Old Diplomacy:

  • Old diplomacy was Eurocentric: Continents like Latin America, Asia and Africa were not independent previously. America was isolated from European politics up till 1897 under the influence of 'Munroe Doctrine'. As international politics in those days was European politics; so diplomacy was European diplomacy.
  •  Greater significance of large states: To quote Edwin Dickinson, 'The Great Powers rearranged the map of Europe, restored dynasties, confirmed the partition of Poland, united Belgium with Holland, neutralized Switzerland; created the German confederation and prescribed rules of international law.' Old diplomacy rested on the assumption that the Great powers had lager interests and responsibilities. They were working to establish peace. The small states weren't allowed in diplomatic conferences. The evidence for the aforementioned lies in the Congress of Vienna, Concert of Europe and Paris Peace Conference.
  • A professional diplomatic service was established in every European country with tenets of the aristocracy.
  • There was secrecy in negotiations as a characteristic of Old Diplomacy. Espionage was a chief characteristic of Old Diplomacy.
  • Due to lack of a sophisticated communication system, the negotiations used to be 'bilateral' in character.

Thus, Old Diplomacy is the art of internal negotiations practiced by trained and professional diplomats of European powers with the assumption that diplomacy must always be a secret and a continuing process, with an awareness of responsibility on the part of diplomats for the preservation of peace.

As a result of secrecy in negotiations, Old Diplomacy is also called 'Secret Diplomacy'. Following are it's characteristics and the grounds of defence in the international politics.

a) The public opinion was both unaware and not allowed to be a part of negotiations. The anbassords used to say that they knew their people the best, hence, it was not necessary to consult them. Open negotiations can lead to public controversy and agitations as diplomatic negotiations are a matter of concessions and counter-concessions, difficult for a common man to understand.

b) According to Cambon, 'The day secrecy is abolished, negotiation of any kind will become impossible.'

c) The secret character of old diplomacy provided ample opportunity for reflection in events of deadlock.

d) The secret diplomacy is much successful as it is carried out in an atmosphere of realism. It has much flexibility and adaptability in negotiations.

e) The secret diplomacy is saved from any propaganda; as if the details of negotiations are going to be made public; would allow the diplomats to act as propagandists. They want that the negotiations should be secret only, as if they are made public, the diplomats will adhere to them for the sake of their own reputation, even if it injures the state's interests. They argue that secrecy as one of the pre-requisite of international diplomacy's success.

f) They believe that the agreements should be secretly arrived at. After when the agreement is concluded, it can be presented before the public for discussion and ratification purpose. Complete secrecy during negotiations is as it is rendered difficult as the press converts every secrets into semi-secrets. The defenders of secret diplomacy contend that negotiations weren't ever a secret affair rather it was under information of all those on whom the authority of the state rested.

  • According to Palmer and Perkins, 'Secret diplomacy does not contradict democratic norms as democratic negotiations does not means the negotiations to go public; rather the diplomacy should work in the interest of welfare of people.'

Characteristics of New Diplomacy:

The attack on Old Diplomacy was led by Woodrow Wilson as he attributed the cause of World War I to the secret treaties and organisations. Wilson in his 14 Points said, 'Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at; after which there shall be no private understanding of any kind but diplomacy shall always proceed frankly and in the public view.'

Wilson has been called the 'Father of New Diplomacy'.

Characteristics for the Rise of New Diplomacy:

a) Revolution in Means of Technology and Communication: Earlier, the despatches sent by the home country took a long time to reach their ambassadors. Hence, the ambassadors used to pursue their personal policy. A famous diplomat, Lord Malmesbury; wrote; 'I never received an instruction that was worth reading'. The statement doesn't reflect arrogance but the vulnerable plight of the ambassadors in the old times. Not all the ambassadors used to practice their personal policy even in cases of dire necessity. Earlier, the ambassadors used to supply 'information' to the home government. Now, this function is being performed by press. The activities of negotiations of diplomats are being taken over by the political executive of the state. Hence, it is said that the diplomats have been pushed aside by these modern developments. Now the revolution in technology and communication brings in a jiffy the orders from the home country to their respective ambassadors.

b) Multilateral Diplomacy or more appropriately 'Coalition Diplomacy' has become significant as the state sits together for negotiations on issues of joint interest. The presence of multiplayer in the international arena has shifted the prominence from Europe to the world at large.

c) Open talks or open negotiations is also a part of this type of diplomacy. Due to the transformation of political society from aristocracies to democracies has enlightened the importance of public opinion in state affairs.

d) The role of professional diplomats has been curtailed rather the experts in the field have become directly eligible for the authorization of the function in modern democracies.

e) The diplomatic negotiations and agreements should conform to the desires of public opinion. The people should have the 'right to know', the international commitments their government is entering into with the other states. As in the case of a deadlock or a failure, the people of that country will be asked to sacrifice something or the other in pledge for fulfillment of those commitments.

f) They are against the secret provisions of the treaty. It is not opposed to the ' closed-door negotiations.'

g) The exponents of secret diplomacy contend that demoratic control over diplomacy would ensure greater peace.

The Secret Diplomacy of Past may be described as the Old Style of Open Diplomacy.

Changing Character of Wilsonian Diplomacy

Democratic Diplomacy:

Participation of people in the politics of state and importance of public opinion led to the democratisation of diplomacy.


  • Monopoly of professional aristocratic diplomatic fields ended. It is a field open for all those who are eligible, meritorious, and expert in the field.
  • Diplomacy is accountable not only to the government's but also to the people.
  • All the negotiations are placed before the public so that they may also express their views on it and the government taking the hint can take the decisions accordingly. Diplomacy has a transparent character with the inclusion of public opinion as opposed to secrecy.
  • It is also being largely affected by media, press and pressure groups etc.

Disadvantages of Democratic Diplomacy:

  • Can lead to public controversy and agitation:- If the secrecy of the negotiations is going to be ended, the public may not able to understand the process of negotiations arousing controversy, delay and agitation thereby
  • The system of reverse accountability is absent. In case of failure of deadlock in negotiations, the responsibility for the failure is with none.
  • According to Palmer and Perkins, 'foreign affairs are too foreign to be handled by the citizens of a state.' According to them, diplomacy is a field difficult for a common man to enter.
  • Decline of diplomatic craft available to the diplomats that are the power of 'flexibility and adaptability to mold the decisions and situations.
According to Palmer and Perkins, 'Democratic processes serve the people best when they make it possible to hold leaders to a strict accountability for results and objectives but not to an obligation to negotiate on the television screens of a million homes'.
According to Hans J. Morgenthau, 'Demorcatic diplomacy is the very negation of diplomacy'.

Parliamentary Diplomacy:

It is a type of Democratic Diplomacy. It is the means by which two or more parliaments conduct an ongoing dialogue with regard to key international issues. In this type of diplomacy, there is the inclusion of parliamentary procedures. It is seeking to contribute a parliamentary perspective to global governance and works to promote peace. Example- General Assembly of UN

Conference Diplomacy:

This is a type of diplomacy which is the result of international meetings and multilateral negotiations. Various states come together to discuss areas of joint interest. It acts as an example of Coalition Diplomacy. It is not a new type of diplomacy. Since the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), Congress of Vienna, and Concert of Europe, many conferences had been organised. Modern times have brought an aspect of 'public access' in Conference Diplomacy. Meetings are held at both regional and international levels. It has made the structure of diplomacy more federal. Example:- UN is a permanent standing diplomatic conference.

Personal Diplomacy:

In this type of diplomacy, the foreign ministers, prime ministers of state directly participate in diplomatic negotiations. This type of diplomacy is warranted seriously in matters of great concern. It was most common after the World War II, such as Potsdam and Yalta

Conferences ( 1945 ). The state representatives are guided by experts of different branches updating them on the contemporary situations. Since it is carried out by the state representatives chosen by the public, it is sure to be ratified by the public. It complements the democratic control over diplomacy.

Summit Diplomacy:

Involves negotiations between direct participation of Foreign Ministers, Head of State, Head of Government's etc. It involves negotiations of both regional and international interest. In the contemporary times, the summit diplomacy has become highly popular. It is a mixed form of Personal and Conference Diplomacy. Examples:- Paris Summit ( 1960 ) & Vienna Summit ( 1961 ) etc.

Diplomacy of Pacification:

 This type of diplomacy is based on the essence where states negotiate to curtail the aggressive intentions of a third party. Example:- England and France held negotiations to resist the aggressive spirit of Hitler.

Gunboat's Diplomacy:

 This type of diplomacy consists of demonstrating naval strength to achieve foreign policy goals. Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State in Nixon's administration of USA commented, 'an aircraft carrier is 1 lakh tonnes of diplomacy'.

Chequebook Diplomacy:

 It is used to describe foreign policy which openly uses economic aid and investment between countries to ensure it's interest. Example:- Belt and Road Initiative( BRI ) of China in many countries.

People's Diplomacy:

It includes all official efforts to convince targeted sectors of public opinion in a foreign state to support or tolerate a government's policy or objective. Example: US government through persuasions (diplomacy) persuaded the western part of the European continent to accept the capitalist alternatives over communist alternatives.

Track 1 Diplomacy:

Negotiations between official state actors.

Track 2 Diplomacy:

Negotiations between non-governmental, informal, and unofficial contacts.

Track 1.5 Diplomacy:

official and non-official actors engage in negotiation cooperate in a conflict resolution.

Cultural Diplomacy:

It is a type of public diplomacy that includes the exchange of ideas, information, art, language, culture among nations to foster mutual understanding. The ties of India with South East Asia.

Economic Diplomacy:

It is the use of government resources establishing commercial negotiations between states.

Shuttle Diplomacy:

Movement of diplomats between countries whose leaders refused to talk directly to each other in order to settle the disputes between them. Example:- UN mediators are conducting shuttle diplomacy.

Role of Diplomacy

a) Instrument of Statecraft: Since the beginning of human civilisation, diplomacy has been the most popular state craft. Example:- Kautilya's Arthshashtra; Role of Sri Krishna in Mahabharata; the diplomatic mission of Mahabharata, diplomatic mission of Angada to dissuade Ravana from participating in a crisis, Sukra Niti are monumental works of diplomacy. Greek city-states had regular diplomatic intercourse. Romans didn't do much to advance the art of diplomacy. Since, the Treaty of Westphalia ( 1648), the state uses diplomacy to secure its interests.

b) Balance of Power system: Earlier, the sovereign states used to maintain their national interest through the system of 'balance of power.' Today, after the decline of this system, diplomacy works to protect the state's interests

c) Diplomacy works to achieve Collective Security (Collective Goals of the State).

d) It works to avert the possibilities of war and in the conclusion of an agreement. It works towards the attainment of peace.

e) It plays a significant role in the evolution and codification of international law. International law is shaped in different diplomatic conferences and correspondents.

f) Harold Nicolson had opined that 'outbreak of war is the failure of diplomacy.' According to Palmer and Perkins, diplomacy has an expanded function in times of war that is a quick conclusion of an agreement. The all the more important 'advisory' function of diplomats has been retained in all of the times.

Objectives of Diplomacy

Primary Objectives:

The primary objectives of diplomacy are further subdivided into political and non-political.

  • The 'primary political objective of diplomacy' is to influence the activities of the governments and diplomats of other states in the capacity of influencing the minds of others; that would facilitate and promote one's own national interest. Example: People's Diplomacy practiced by USA. Hence, objectives of diplomacy are to increase one's own spheres of influence.
  • The 'primary non-political objective of diplomacy' is the promotion of commercial and economic interests of the state. It can be equated as 'Commercial Diplomacy'. Example- German diplomacy to establish control over the Balkan resources.

Secondary Objectives:

  • Maintenance of routine diplomatic ties or behaviour to maintain the diplomatic relations on a constant basis. The visit of state dignitaries to strengthen the relations is also motivated by this objective.
  • Through diplomatic conferences and propaganda, the rivals are discredited in the international scenario.

According to Morgenthau, diplomacy has a four-fold task:

  • Determine the objectives in light of 'power and potential' available for the pursuit of objectives.
  • Must assess the objectives of other nations and the power and potential available to them for the attainment of objectives.
  • Must determine to what extent the objectives are compatible with each other.
  • Must employ the means suited to pursue the objectives.

According to Palmer and Perkins and J.R. Childs:

The following are the functions of diplomacy:

a) Representation: The diplomat represents his home government in the ceremonial and social affairs in the country where he is accredited to. He is responsible for maintaining good relations between his country and the country where he is accredited to. He also maintains close links with people of high social prominence in the country where he is accredited to. Sir Harold Seyrmour used to say that a 'good dinner goes a great way in diplomacy'. A diplomat represents his country symbolically, legally and politically as elaborated by Morgenthau. A diplomat is called 'eyes and ears' of his state in other's state but in the view of Morgenthau, they are the 'mouthpiece' of their state in other's state.

b) Observation and Reporting: The diplomats observe, analyse and report the developments of the state to which he is accredited to. When reporting is done by the diplomat on a transparent basis, it is called 'diplomatic reporting' while the reporting done on a hidden basis is 'espionage'. Reports from the diplomats cover a wide range of subjects. The reports of the diplomats serve as the raw material for foreign policy and help in determining the attitude of the country and vice-versa.

c) Negotiation: This is the oldest function of diplomacy. Negotiation covers the drafting of a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral agreements embodies an economic and social nature. A diplomat has to find a workable and non-imposable agreement on both sides. In a state of conflicting interests, negotiation can harmonise the situation.

d) Protection and Promotion of Interests: The diplomat looks after the interests of his nation and protects his national interest in the country where he is accredited to.

According to Morgenthau, there are two types of functions performed by diplomats:

a) Routine (Legal, Political and Symbolic Representation)
b) Substantive (Negotiation, Reporting, and Representation).

The Vienna Summit of 1961 has defined the functions of diplomats:

  • To represent it's own state in the state where it is accredited to.
  • To protect the interests of citizens of his own state; as per norms of international law.
  • To establish friendly relations between his state and the state he is accredited to in economic, cultural, and scientific arenas.
  • To observe, report, and analyse the developments of the state where he is accredited to.
  • To have a discussion with the other states on various subjects.

Merits of Diplomacy:

  • Helps in arbitration and mediation.
  • Ensures International peace via soft methods.
  • Promotes universal brotherhood.
  • Dispute Resolution.
  • Representing the national interest in the international forum.

Relevance of Diplomacy:

The role of diplomacy in the dynastic period largely catered to the narrow interests of the king. It largely depended upon the sweet-will of the king. Diplomacy in those times was a highly personal business. The role of diplomacy in the medieval era brought the interest of the middle class into force. The potential of diplomacy were challenged in the modern period. For the study of international relations, the study of the history of diplomacy holds paramount importance. Diplomacy had no existence in Cold War as there was complete disagreement between USA and USSR. Diplomacy is the cheapest means available to all the states.

The behaviouralist school of thought emphasised the scientific attitude of diplomacy. Assuming that each state will follow the world society, values and interests thereby not indulging in power-politics will help in processing diplomacy to secure national interest and peace always.

Diplomatic Exchanges and Personnel:

The diplomatic activities are carried out at two levels:- a) Higher b) Lower. The 'higher' level activities are concerned with the formulation of foreign policy. Higher state officials participate in this. The 'lower' level activities are concerned with the routine behaviour that exists between professional diplomats. Diplomats include two broad categories, Diplomatic Officer and Consular Officer. Diplomatic exchanges are established between two states on the basis of 'mutual consent'.

In the Vienna Summit of 1961, the diplomatic personnel has been divided into three categories in hierarchial rank order, Ambassadors, Minister Resident, and Charged affairs. In order to end the diplomatic exchanges, the following can be pursued such as recalling back the representative, getting neutral of any exchanges, resignation of the diplomat, throwing out the representative of other state, etc. The class of the diplomats of all the states in capital is termed as 'diplomatic corps'. The suite is the number of officials appointed in an embassy to assist the envoy in the discharge of his functions.

Privileges and Immunities:

For the successful discharge of their duties, the diplomatic envoys have been given the following privileges and immunities, some of them are:

  • Immunity from the jurisdiction of civil and criminal courts.
  • Freedom of correspondence.
  • Personal inviolability
  • Exemption from Taxes.

It is based on the functional theory of diplomatic law. It is based on the thesis that diplomatic agents could successfully perform their function in the country where they are accredited; only if they are protected or shielded with the immunity and privileges in the receiving nation. This is called the 'sanctity of embassy'.

Success of Diplomacy:

Negotiations in the international scenario are decided by a majority vote but the minority veto can end the scope for negotiations. Diplomacy can be successful only on the realisation of the idea of 'mutual co-existence'. Diplomacy must work for an agreement which is in the interest of all the parties involved in the process of negotiation.

Decline of Diplomacy

a) The growth of modern means of transport and communication has adversely reduced the 'discretionary powers' of the diplomats. Hotline diplomacy (point-to-point communications link has reduced the role of diplomats).

b) The secrecy in negotiations has been diluted due to the democratic control over diplomacy.

c) Globe-trotting by state representatives has shunted the role of permanent diplomatic representatives.

d) Crusading spirit of powers has rendered the scope for negotiations impossible: Morgenthau says, 'It is not the sensitive, flexible and versatile mind of the diplomat; but the rigid; relentless and one-track mind of the crusader that guides the destiny of nations. The crusading mind knows nothing of persuasion and compromise. It knows only of victory and defeat.

e) Low Esteems for Diplomacy: In the entire history of diplomacy, a diplomat has been considered dishonest, devious, insidious. It is said that his 'words and acts stand poles apart'. Stalin used to say, 'A diplomat's word must have no relation to actions; otherwise what kind of diplomacy is it. Words are one thing; actions other. Good words are masks for the concealment of bad deeds. Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron.' An English ambassador said, 'A diplomat is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country'. During WWI, it was mainly responsible for the war.

f) Diplomacy has become a tool of malicious propaganda. It is reduced to espionage and sabotage.

Although, diplomacy is declining, it is an important instrument to appetise the national interest of every nation. It has evolved global governance. It is related to the multitude of interests of different states. It has a key role both in times of war and diplomacy. It provides limited use of force. It functions through a lot of foreign offices, embassies, consulate, special delegations all over the world. Diplomacy is like a machine neither moral nor immoral, its utility depends upon the motives and merits of the users. Diplomacy can be well summarized by the following statement,

'To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy'. -  Will Durant. 

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