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The Old and New Significance of Political Economy in Diplomacy

Hudson, D; Lee, D; (2004) The Old and New Significance of Political Economy in Diplomacy. Review of International Studies , 30 (3) pp. 343-360. 10.1017/S0260210504006102. Green open access


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In a growing number of countries diplomatic systems are being overhauled so that the commercial activities of diplomatic services have been centralised, the commercial activities of diplomats have been extended, and business interests have been formally integrated within diplomatic systems. These changes result directly from the tendency of governments to reorganise, and in many cases merge, their trade and foreign ministries, as well as the strategy of building formal business–government links within diplomatic institutions. While none of these features is unfamiliar to previous diplomatic systems, what is exceptional is the relative neglect of the commercial aspects of diplomacy within diplomatic studies. This lack of attention to the commercial and business elements of diplomacy in traditional theories of diplomacy means that we find ourselves trying to analyse contemporary changes to diplomatic organisation and practice without a suitable conceptual and analytical framework. Highlighting the significance of a political economy approach to diplomacy, and also engaging with orthodox approaches to diplomacy, this article begins to develop some analytical and conceptual tools to better identify, explain and understand changes in diplomatic systems as well as the increased influence of private interests in diplomatic practice now under way.

Type: Article
Title: The Old and New Significance of Political Economy in Diplomacy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0260210504006102
Publisher version: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstra...
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Political Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/12044
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