Modern Diplomacy


Modern Diplomacy

Dr. Noam Kochavi


Course description

This course introduces the student to the multifaceted and complex practice of modern diplomacy. Four complementary dimensions are presented. The first highlights the impact of the international setting on diplomacy, focusing primarily on structural and inter-cultural aspects. The second stresses the imperative of managing domestic and international opinion and the challenges posed by domestic competitors. The third features basic diplomatic strategies. The fourth and closing section investigates some of the problems inherent in what remains a principal diplomatic mission: enhancing the management (and, whenever possible, resolution) of conflicts. Though attention will be paid to diplomatic institutions, the emphasis will be on the behavioral dimension, that is, what makes for effective diplomacy in today's globalized world. Throughout, the analytical framework for discussion is illustrated by critical case studies, derived from both the global and the Middle Eastern contexts.


1.     Introduction: The Transformation of Diplomacy

*Ralph Blessing, "A Changing Diplomatic World," in Gordon Martel, A Companion to Ianternational History 1900-2001 (Wiley-Blackwell: Madsen, 2010), 65-77.

*John Robert Kelley, "The New Diplomacy: Evolution of a Revolution," Diplomacy and Statecraft 21:2 (2010), 286-305.


A. The International Setting

2.     Structure, Status and Foreign Policy Identities

*Peter Katzenstein, ed, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), pp. 1-32.

*Michael Hunt, "Ideology," in Hogan and Paterson, Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 2004).

*Alan Dowty, "Israeli Foreign Policy and the Jewish Question," MERIA Journal, 3/1, March 1999, pp. 1-13

Emmanuel Adler, "Israel's Unsettled Relations with the World: Causes and Consequences," in Adler, ed., Israel in the World: Legitimacy and Exceptionalism (New York and London: Routledge, 2013).


3. Intercultural communication

*Raymond Cohen, Negotiating Across Cultures: Communication Obstacles in International Diplomacy, 2nd ed. (Washington D.C.: the US Institute of Peace Press, 1997), pp. 19-32, 215-226.


B. Domestic challenges

4.     The Technological Revolution, the Media and Public Opinion

*Melvin Small, “Public Opinion,” in Hogan, Explaining the History, 1st edition, 165-176.

*Christer Jonsson, "Diplomatic Signaling in the Television Age," in Jonsson and Langhorne, Diplomacy, vol. 3 (London: Sage, 2004), 121-136.

Erez Manela, "Imagining Woodrow Wilson in Asia: Dreams of East-West Harmony and the Revolt against Empire in 1919," American Historical Review 111: 5 (December 2006), pp. 1327-1351.


5.     Foreign Ministries and their Bureaucratic Competitors

*J. Garry Clifford, Bureaucratic Politics, in Hogan, Explaining the History, 1st edition, 41-50.

*Robert Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010), chap. 4.

*Charles D. Freilich, Zion's Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), pp. 60-71.


6. Diplomacy, legitimacy, analogies and groupthink: The Bush Family encounters Iraq

*Thomas Preston, The President and his Inner Circle: Leadership Style and the Advisory Process in Foreign Affairs (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), chap. 6.

*Yaacov I. Vertzberger, The World in their Minds: Information Processing, Cognition, and Perception in Foreign Policy Decision making (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), chap. 6.

James Fallows, "Blind into Baghdad," The Atlantic (January 2004) (Internet access).


C. Basic Strategies

7. Coercive Diplomacy

*Richard N. Lebow, The Art of Bargaining (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1996), chap. 8.

*Frank Ninkovich, The Wilsonian Century: U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1900 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), Chap.2.


8. Persuasion and Accommodation

*Lebow, The Art of Bargaining, chap. 7.

Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), pp. 394-423.


9. Crisis Diplomacy, tacit bargaining and Learning: The Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Raymond L. Garthoff, “On Estimating and Imputing Intentions.” International Security 2:3 (Winter 1978): 22-32.

*Lebow, The Art of Bargaining, 168-184.

*Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd edition (New York: Longman, 1999), chap. 7.


10. Centralized Diplomacy, Triangular Diplomacy and Summitry: Nixon, Kissinger and Détente.

*David H. Dunn, "The Lure of Summitry: International Dialogue at the Highest Levels," in Jonsson and Langhorne, Diplomacy, vol. 3 (London: Sage, 2004), 137-169.

 *Robert Schulzinger, "Détente in the Nixon-Ford Years," The Cambridge History of the Cold War (2010), pp. 373-394. (M)


D. Conflict Management and Mediation

11. Mediation and Conflict Ripeness: Kissinger in the Middle East

*William Zartman, "Ripeness: The Hurting Stalemate and Beyond," in Paul Stern & Daniel Druckman, eds., International Conflict Resolution after the Cold War. Washington: National Academy Press.

*Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard U. Press, 2009), 248-274.

"The October War and U.S. Policy," a National Security Archive document collection (


12. Track Two Diplomacy and Conflict Management: Oslo

*Oren Barak, "The Failure of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, 1993-2000," Journal of Peace Research, 42:6 (2005): 719-736.

*Arie M. Kacowicz, "Rashomon in the Middle East: Clashing Narratives, Images and Frames in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Cooperation and Conflict 40:3 (2005), 343-360.

Ron Pundak, "From Oslo to Taba: What Went Wrong?" Survival 43:3 (2001): 31-45.


13. Conclusion: Lessons from the recent Past

Dan Kurtzer, William Quandt, Harold Saunders, "Panel: Based on the U.S. Diplomacy of the 1970s, Our Advice to Secretary of State Kerry," The Yom Kippur War: a Launching Pad for U.S. Middle East Policy, 10 September 2013 (INSS webcast),

Martin Indyk, Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009), chap. 21.



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