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Theorizing a More-than-Human Diplomacy: Assembling the British Foreign Office, 1839–1874

Dittmer, J; (2016) Theorizing a More-than-Human Diplomacy: Assembling the British Foreign Office, 1839–1874. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy , 11 (1) pp. 78-104. 10.1163/1871191X-12341319. Green open access

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Abstract

This article emphasizes the more-than-human nature of foreign policy formation and diplomatic practice, as found in an examination of nineteenth-century Parliament Select Committee testimony regarding the intersection of everyday bureaucratic practice and the material context of the British Foreign Office. These records indicate both how the changing world of diplomacy at this time (including new states and communication technologies) materially impacted the Foreign Office, as well as the affective atmosphere experienced by its employees through an excess of paper. Debates over how the new Foreign Office ought to be built reveal concerns about the circulation of paper, bodies, light and air in a drive for efficiency. These historical materialities speak to our understanding of contemporary changes occurring within the world of diplomacy, including the rise of digital technologies and the new skills needed among diplomats, as well as inform our understanding of the exercise of power within assemblages.

Type: Article
Title: Theorizing a More-than-Human Diplomacy: Assembling the British Foreign Office, 1839–1874
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/1871191X-12341319
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-12341319
Language: English
Additional information: © jason dittmer 2015 doi 10.1163/1871191X-12341319 This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Assemblage, materiality, affect, efficiency, paper, Parliament
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470221
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