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Introduction Foreign Ministries: Redefining the Gatekeeper Role

  • Brian Hocking
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy book series

Abstract

Given the fact that the foreign ministry has come to be viewed from several perspectives as being in a state of relative decline, a book devoted to it might be regarded as a strange enterprise. There are, however, several reasons why this is not so. Firstly, despite arguments which suggest that fundamental changes in the nature of the international and domestic environments within which governments conduct their foreign policies have undermined the rationale of a department devoted to ‘international’ issues, foreign ministries are still a significant part of the bureaucratic landscape. Certainly, they confront increasing pressures, not least those imposed by resource constraints, but many of these are shared by most agencies of government and should not, of themselves, be regarded as an indicator of decline. The fact that foreign ministries continue to exist, then, in what is often assumed to be a hostile environment, of itself invites an examination of their responses to change and the roles that they are performing

Keywords

European Union Foreign Policy Foreign Affair International Policy Foreign Ministry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See, for example, P. Hirst and G. Thompson, Globalization in question: the international economy and the possibilities of governance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    This point is developed in E. B. Kapstein, Governing the global economy: international finance and the state (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    K. Hamilton and R. Langhorne, The practice of diplomacy: its evolution, theory and administration (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 73.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See G. Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, (Harmondsworth: Penguin University Books, 1973)Google Scholar
  5. S. J. Kobrin, ‘Back to the future: neomedievalism and the postmodern digital world economy’, Journal of International Affairs, 51(2), Spring 1998, pp. 362–86.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Sir John Tilley and S. Gaselee, The Foreign Office (London: Putnam’s, 1933), pp. 26–49Google Scholar
  7. N. Hart, The foreign secretary (Lavenham: Dalton, 1987), pp. 9–27Google Scholar
  8. V. Cromwell, ‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’, in Z. Steiner (ed.), The Times survey of foreign ministries of the world (London: Times Books, 1982), pp. 542–51.Google Scholar
  9. 6.
    E. Maisel, The Foreign Office and foreign policy, 1919–1926 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1994), p. 63.Google Scholar
  10. 7.
    See S. Strange, ‘States, firms and diplomacy’, International Affairs, 68(1), January 1992.Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    B. Hocking, Localizing foreign policy: non-central governments and multilayered diplomacy (London: Macmillan, 1993).Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    On the changing nature of the foreign policy environment see B. Hocking and M. Smith, Beyond foreign economic policy: the United States, the Single European Market and the changing world economy (London: Pinter, 1997). ch. 1.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    S. Eldon, From quill pen to satellite: foreign ministries in the information age (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs), 1994, p. 22.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    R. Hale and P. Whitlam, Towards the virtual organization, (Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill, 1997) p. 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Hocking

There are no affiliations available

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