|Title of host publication||The SAGE Handbook of Political Science|
|Editors||D Berg-Schlosser, B Badie & L Morlino|
|Place of Publication||London, United Kingdom|
|Publisher||SAGE Publications Ltd|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
Diplomacy is conventionally understood as the processes and institutions by which the interests and identities of sovereign states are represented to one another (Wiseman and Sharp, 2017: 297). This chapter makes five inter-related arguments about diplomacy. First, ideas and practices of diplomacy have a multi-millennial history, much longer than is generally thought. Second, this long history has been characterized by perpetual and productive tension between continuity and change, with diplomacy's critics under-estimating its capacity for adaptation. Third, nowadays, traditional diplomacy, as a coherent set of state-based, distinctive practices – and the diplomats who carry it out – is not diminishing, but growing, in importance. Fourth, diplomacy has become increasingly more ‘complex’ than at any time in history – we can now claim that in both theory and practice it is more multifaceted, involving four dimensions: traditional bilateral diplomacy (state–state relations), multilateral diplomacy (three or more states), polylateral diplomacy (state–non-state relations), and omnilateral diplomacy (relations between non-state entities).1 Fifth, and finally, Diplomatic Studies is now, in the words of the editors of The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy, a ‘rich and expanding’ academic subfield within the field of International Relations (Constantinou et al., 2016a: 1) and indeed within the still broader, global discipline of Political Science.