This conference (German Historical Institute London, 23 and 24 September 2005) will deal with the nature of the diplomatic service in the century between the Congress of Vienna and the outbreak of the First World War. In this period the internationally expanding system of permanent diplomatic missions was increasingly confronted by internal and external changes. Internally the diplomatic services in most states were under considerable pressure to reform, which eventually made diplomacy more bureaucratic and professional. Externally diplomats in the age of the (emerging) nation state and industrialisation had to cope with far-reaching political, social and technological changes. Using a comparative and supranational approach the conference will investigate the effects of these internal and external developments on the role and function of the diplomatic service and indeed on the behaviour and self-perception of the diplomats. The conference would thus aim to contribute to a cultural history of diplomacy.
The call is for papers dealing with the diplomatic service, the missions and their staff in the period from 1815 to 1914. We are particularly interested in papers that describe changes within the diplomatic service on an empirical basis and look at them in broader institutional, cultural, social and political contexts. In this way the traditional focus on the functional role of diplomacy in international relations should be extended and diversified. The conference will seek to examine aspects such as the effects of nationalisation or internationalisation on the nature of the diplomatic service, diplomatsí symbolic behaviour and symbolic subtext of their actions, perception and self-perception as a foreign diplomat, and the ability of diplomatic institutions to adapt or endure in a changing environment. Aspects that deal with the diplomatsí every-day life more particularly are, for example, the consequences of the communications revolution of the 19th century or the importance of social contacts and networks. Biographical case studies could also be included in the conference. Papers that concentrate on areas outside Europe and comparative studies are particularly welcome.
Proposals should be submitted with a 1-2 page abstract and a brief C.V. by 15 February 2005.
The conference language will be English. Travel expenses can be covered by the GHI London by arrangement.
Dr. Markus Moesslang and Dr. Torsten Riotte
German Historical Institute London
17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
Tel.: 020 7309 2050
Fax: 020 7309 2078
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