Multilateral Diplomacy

  • Franck PetitevilleEmail author
  • Delphine Placidi-Frot
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


This chapter traces back the history of multilateral diplomacy since 1648, which first took the form of ad hoc conference diplomacy aimed at restoring peace after recurrent wars in Europe. It then shows that contemporary diplomacy has been institutionalized since the creation of the League of Nations and of the United Nations, leading states to adapt their diplomatic practices to the proliferation of international organizations. The chapter concludes by analyzing the features of contemporary multilateral negotiations: The high number of states and other actors involved, the technicality of issues at stake, the frequent research for consensus, and the added value of “soft leadership” and coalition building.


  1. Devin, Guillaume, “Paroles de diplomates: comment les négociations multilatérales changent la diplomatie,” in Franck Petiteville, Delphine Placidi-Frot (eds.), Négociations internationales, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2013, pp. 77–104.Google Scholar
  2. Keohane, Robert, International Institutions and State Power, Boulder (CO), Westview, 1989.Google Scholar
  3. Pouliot, Vincent, L’Ordre hiérarchique international, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2017.Google Scholar
  4. Schelling, Thomas C., Stratégie du conflit, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1986.Google Scholar
  5. Winham, Gilbert, “Negotiation as a Management Process,” World Politics, 30 (1), 1977: 86–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Zartman, William I., “La multilatéralité internationale: essai de modélisation,” Négociations, 17 (1), 2012: 37–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.University Paris-SaclaySaint-AubinFrance

Personalised recommendations