Executors or creative deal-makers? : the role of the diplomats in the making of the Helsinki CSCE
Title: Executors or creative deal-makers? : the role of the diplomats in the making of the Helsinki CSCE
Citation: Nicolas BADALASSI and Sarah B. SNYDER (eds), The CSCE and the end of the Cold War : diplomacy, societies and human rights, 1972-1990, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2019, pp. 43–73
ISBN: 9781789200263; 9781789200270
This chapter focuses on the division of labour between capitals and delegates to the negotiations in order to appreciate diplomats’ impact on the outcome of the CSCE. The analysis here proposed is part of a complex research project that aims to assess whether diplomats on the ground and their interactions can be counted among the factors making the CSCE ‘work’. More specifically, it hypothesises that they served as vital communication channels, mediators and ‘trouble shooters’, forming connections across the delegations of the participating states. The authors scrutinize a variety of sources and employ prosopographical methods in order to relate CSCE diplomats’ personal and career trajectories to their diplomatic action on site. In this chapter, they focus on two case studies – France and the United Kingdom – in order to explain their methodological approach and offer preliminary arguments. The UK case elucidates both the division of labour between politicians and officials in capitals and diplomats on the ground and the latter’s leeway in conducting the negotiations. The French case proves that research concerned with exploring relations among diplomats from delegations of different participating states can bring to the fore the meaningful impact of the ‘human and socialisation factor’ in determining the successful outcome of the CSCE.
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