Culture, Diplomacy and Power Transition

Gaskarth, Jamie (2022). Culture, Diplomacy and Power Transition. In: Knudsen, Tonny Brems and Navari, Cornelia eds. Power Transition in the Anarchical Society: Rising Powers, Institutional Change and the New World Order. Palgrave Studies in International Relations (PSIR). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 203–230.



English School theory rooted diplomacy in a common culture, while much of the discussion about diplomacy, and international society, revolves around the idea of culture. This chapter provides a detailed discussion of culture before considering how cultural differences might impact the way diplomacy functions. The argument begins by looking at definitions of culture to clarify some of its constitutive elements. It points to the six markers seen as salient when considering differences between cultures and looks at how individual policymakers may be affected by cultural differences, in terms of their sense of self, their interaction with others, their goals and values. Distinguishing between High Context and Low Context cultures, it links these to the study of the institutions of international society, in particular diplomacy, in the context of power transition.

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