Multilateral Diplomacy: Diplomacy in Congress

  • Yolanda Kemp Spies


The focus of this chapter is multilateral diplomacy, a mode that has developed exponentially over the past century for a variety of practical, normative and symbolic reasons. The expansion and diversification of international society, in particular the emergence of the Global South, has fed the phenomenon. Spies identifies the contemporary manifestations of multilateral diplomacy: the traditional distinction between conference and parliamentary diplomacy; new concepts such as ‘minilateral’, ‘network’ and ‘club’ diplomacy; as well as multilateral-within-multilateral diplomacy, i.e. different forms of ‘plurilateral’ diplomacy. Attention is given to the role of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) because they create hubs of multilateral diplomacy and they are important diplomatic actors in their own right. The opportunities and challenges inherent to multilateral diplomacy are explored from the state-centric perspective of foreign ministries.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolanda Kemp Spies
    • 1
  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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