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Perspectives Review: The Sociology of Diplomacy: A General Outline with Some Aspects and Dilemmas (by Milan Jazbec)

Original article by: Assoc. Prof. Milan Jazbec, Ph.D., an author of this article and many other books on sociology of diplomacy and diplomatic relations, is an Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia. He was State Secretary at the Slovene Ministry of Defense (2000–2004) and the first Slovene Consul in Klagenfurt, Austria. Review by: Jana Kotasová, PR assistant at IIR

Have you always tried to understand what diplomacy is? Captivate its definition? Have you? And what if we bring sociology in? How do you think those two fields bond? These are just a few questions that could be answered reading the article written by Professor Jazbec for the latest issue of Perspectives.

Diplomacy itself has various definitions; we can look at it as ‘an art, a skill, expertise, a set of tools, an activity, an organization, knowledge, a science, or foreign policy.’ However, as professor Jazbec postulates, diplomacy also bears certain similarities with several “special sociologies” – namely of work, organization, law, globalization, and international relations – and he proceeds to study the connections. What is subsequently performed is an account of diplomacy as seen from a sociologist’s point of view, unveiling a new discipline referred to as “the Sociology of Diplomacy.”

Professor Jazbec takes this “special sociology” and subjects it to the reasoning usually encountered within the field. Now, what does this exactly mean? First, from the sociological viewpoint we must take into account that ‘diplomacy is in a function of a concrete social and historical situation, which means that it both depends on and originates from the situation, which in turn means that such a situation determines the concrete mode, form and substance of the diplomacy as well as its output.‘ Then he embarks on a voyage to discover the relevant parameters and aspects specifically elaborating on globalization as one of the former. Dilemmas that naturally arise from implementing a new approach are identified as well, building a balanced and persuasive argument why we should identify the sociology of diplomacy as a new category within sociology.

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Then, do not hesitate and read ‘The Sociology of Diplomacy’ article and sate your curiosity.