Shaping diplomacy between low and high politics
In the past, editions of diplomatic documents have been considered as written monuments, documenting high politics of state actors. The recent interest in new approaches to diplomatic history have influenced the editions from two perspectives. Existing and new editions are analysed by historians with a new focus on formerly unstudied actors and processes, including commercial and trading interests and their many uses in the grey area between actions of heads of state and government and the consular activities usually associated with low politics. Editors increasingly include documents that demonstrate the interconnectedness between low and high politics as well as the networks between governmental and non-governmental actors. This panel therefore seeks to build a bridge between editors of diplomatic documents and researchers using such editions, to construct a new history of diplomacy that incorporates low politics as a formative element of international relations between states.
The panel intends to discuss this interplay of low and high politics with a special focus on diplomatic activities in the 20th century. This includes a wide range of possible topics like economic or social issues as well as the role of specialized stakeholders, for example in the agricultural sector. Papers focusing on the role of international organizations or the influence and networks of second row diplomats will also be appreciated.