Page 67 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

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Westphalia in 1648, its practitioners
considered it an art rather than a pro-
fession until around the turn of the
20th century.
Starting then, the diplomatic serv-
ices of most countries began to profes-
sionalize themselves. Entry examina-
tions became common and a formal
Civil Service with ranks and organiza-
tional structures emerged. Along sim-
ilar lines, in 1924 the United States
combined its consular and diplomatic
services into a single career Foreign
Ever since Sir Ernest Mason Satow
published his landmark manual,
to Diplomatic Practice
, in 1917, nu-
merous authors have focused on the
conduct of foreign policy from a variety
of perspectives. In contrast, tradecraft
has not received much attention, even
though most diplomatic services of any
size have created training facilities like
our own Foreign Service Institute.
This relative neglect largely stems
from the fact that apprenticeship has
always been the primary method by
which new diplomats acquire expert-
ise, facilitated by a tradition of men-
torship by senior colleagues. In other
words, diplomats grew; they were not
Still, over the years formal educa-
tion and training for diplomats have
become increasingly widespread and
comprehensive. In that tradition, re-
tired Indian Ambassador Kishan S.
21st-Century Diplomacy: A
Practitioner’s Guide
is a thorough,
useful introduction to the profession.
It not only explains the theory of
diplomacy, but shows new members
how to practice their craft from the
first day they walk into the foreign
ministry or chancery.
Even as he makes an eloquent
case for the continuing relevance of
bilateral diplomacy in the 21st cen-
tury, Ambassador Rana acknowledges
the impact of the changing world
environment and, especially, the
technological revolution in commu-
nications. But he contends that those
developments call for adjustments to
diplomatic approaches and practices,
not wholesale change.
That said, he emphasizes the real-
ity that the Department of State and
its counterparts in other capitals are
no longer the sole custodians of
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