Introduction Foreign Ministries: Redefining the Gatekeeper Role

  • Brian Hocking
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy book series


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


European Union Foreign Policy Foreign Affair International Policy Foreign Ministry 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Hocking

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