de Wicquefort (1606-1682)
- relatively unknown; a diplomat of the "second
order" [never an ambassador]
- present at the Congress of Westphalia (1648) that
ended the Thirty Years' War
- a historian and writer who often found himself too
close to political intelligence
he wrote his most famous work while he was in prison
– The Embassador and His Functions (1681)
he identified the resident ambassador as the
principal institutional device for the conduct of foreign policy
- imprisoned in the Bastille in France in 1659
- imprisoned (like Grotius)
in Holland in 1675
II. A Guide to
- AW looks at diplomatic issues through a modern lens –
no reliance upon the ancient [classical] authors for wisdom, but rather, a
healthy dose of political realism
- resident diplomacy had become the norm among the
major powers, and AW wanted to understand the mechanics of this process
- AW is very critical of the many diplomatic texts that
had been written earlier – some were too archaic and others were too
- no such thing as "ideal" conduct for a
diplomat – circumstances will be the driving force here
- accomplishment is what is most important
- a "perfect
ambassador" ... is someone steeped in a knowledge of the long-term
interests of his and other states, and possessed of honesty, loyalty,
prudence and good judgment.
- Unlike Grotius, AW seeks to
find evidence for international law in the conduct of states [rather than
in natural law and reasoning]
- AW believed that the law of nations was > civil
law and canon law
- stressed the importance in the collection and
publication of books of existing treaties
III. Rules of Conduct.
- much focus on the representational significance
- sending and receiving ambassadors is a powerful
symbol of statehood
- the power of protocol...
"it was all an opera"
- role of the diplomat as actor – great qt. pg. 94
- Who makes a good ambassador? Not nobility, clergy,
scholars, businessmen... who is left?
- trust is important if the "civil society"
is to be maintained
IV. Useful Knowledge and the
Limits of Exposition.
- AW's book is designed as a
handbook or "how to" guide for doing diplomacy
- are diplomats born or made?
– can this stuff be taught?
- at odds with the philosophical notions of the
scientific revolution of his day – not everything can be made into a
- experience is the key – on
the job training – school of hard knocks, etc.
V. Political Necessity and
- diplomacy is a risky business – one becomes "an honourable spy"
- diplomatic immunity is . . . grounded in the general
consent of those who expect to gain from its provisions
- presentation of letter of credence forms "a kind
of agreement or tacit contract"
VI. Diplomacy and the
Constitution of a States-system.
- the power of words will work most of the time, but
not always – force of arms may be needed
- patience is important as is control of wits and
- getting too absorbed in court intrigue can be
dangerous; do not abuse bribery
- diplomacy [esp. post-war] cultivates a condition of
- a difference between what is and what ought to be