Accueil > Diplomatic practices in the world


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The aims and objectives of this course is to provide to a group of 25 students max intellectual challenge about diplomatic practices in the world. Contrary to some courses on diplomacy, this one is not delivered by a practitioner who is telling about his experience. Prof. Lequesne is an academic who studies diplomatic practices from a purely academic point of view. He belongs to a group of scholars like Iver Neumann at LSE, Vincent Pouliot at Mc Gill or Rebeca Adler Nielsen in University of Copenhagen who studies diplomatic practices as a social activity, using mostly the tools of sociology and sometimes anthropology.
Each course will be divided in two parts: a lecture by the professor on a particular topic and a discussion of a reading presented by a group of two students.


LEQUESNE, Christian (Reserchear director CERI, Sciences Po)

Course validation

Students will be required to write an essay (3000 words) for the end of the Fall Semester. The purpose of this essay is to provide experience of engaging with reading and oral material on a topic dealing with diplomatic practices.

Required reading

Please refer to the syllabus

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Lecture 1: Practice theory and the study of diplomacy
  • Lecture 2: The emergence of modern diplomacy in Europe in the 17th Century
  • Lecture 3: State politicians and diplomacy
  • Lecture 4: The Foreign Services in the world
  • Lecture 5: The career diplomat: bureaucrat, mediator and hero
  • Lecture 6: When other ministries than the FSs are making diplomacy
  • Lecture 7: The re-politicization of consular affairs
  • Lecture 8: Sub-state diplomacies and the emergence of paradiplomacy
  • Lecture 9: State diplomacies and new actors of diplomacy
  • Lecture 10: The role of speech and public discourse in diplomacy
  • Lecture 11: The use of ceremonials, social life and food in diplomacy
  • Lecture 12: Conclusion: What do we learn about diplomacy in this course?

Preliminary Readings

(other will be provided to students with the detailed course outline)

  • Anderson, M.S. (1993) The Rise of Modern Diplomacy 1450-1919. London: Longman.
  • Berridge, G. R. (1995) Diplomacy. Theory and Practice. London: Prentice Hall.
  • Berridge G.R., Keens-Soper M., Otte T. (eds.) (2001) Diplomatic Theory from Machiavelli to Kissinger. Houndmills: Palgrave.
  • Callières, (2006) De la manière de négocier avec les souverains. Paris : Nouveau Monde Editions. Constantinou CM., Kerr J., Sharp, P. (eds) (2016) The Sage Handbook of Diplomacy, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Cooper, A.J., Heine J., Thakur R. (eds) (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford : OUP.
  • Cooperation and Conflict (2015), special issue « Diplomacy in Theory and Practice » September, vol. 15, n° 3.
  • Der Derian, J. (1987) On Diplomacy. A Genealogy of Western Estrangement. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Hamilton, K., and Langhorne R. (1995) The Practice of Diplomacy: Its Evolution, Theory and Administration. London: Routledge.
  • Jönsson, C. and Hall M. (2005) Essence of Diplomacy. London: Palgrave.
  • Kessler, MC (2013) Les Ambassadeurs. Paris : Presses de Sciences Po.
  • Kissinger, H (1995), Diplomacy. New York: Simon and Schuester.
  • Lequesne, C (2017) Ethnographie du Quai d’Orsay. Les pratiques des diplomates français. Paris: CNRS Editions.
  • Murray, C. (2006) Dirty Diplomacy. The Rough-and-Tumble Adventures of a Scotch-Drinking, Skirt-Chasing, Dictator-Busting and Thoroughly Unrepentant Ambassador Stuck on the Frontline of the War against Terror. New York, NY: Scribner.
  • Neumann, I. B. (2012) At Home with the Diplomats: Inside a European Foreign Ministry Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Ross, C. (2007) Independent Diplomat. Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice edited by Lord Gore-Booth. London: Longman (several editions available since 1917).
  • Sharp, P. (2009) Diplomatic Theory of International Relations Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Biographical Information

Christian Lequesne, Ph.D, is professor of political science at the Department of Political Science of Sciences Po. He has published extensively on European Union politics and institutions before re-focusing his research on the sociology of diplomacy. He is the author of a recent book on French Diplomacy: Ethnographie du Quai d’Orsay. Les pratiques des Diplomates Français (2017). Prof. Lequesne was Director of the Center of International Research (CERI) at Sciences Po from 2009 to 2014. He was also the Director of the Center for Social Sciences Research (CEFRES) in Prague from 2003 to 2006, and LSE-Sciences Po Alliance Professor at the London School of Economics from 2006 to 2008.  He has been visiting professor in many universities in the world and is currently the chief editor of the European Review of International Studies (ERIS).