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Rituals and Diplomacy

  • Thierry BalzacqEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)

Abstract

This chapter examines the role that rituals play in diplomatic relations. To do so, it builds upon a formal, that is non-substantial, definition of rituals. I argue that the study of rituals brings two benefits in its wake. First, it enables us to rediscover the importance of micro-interactions (not only relations) in the development and maintenance of a diplomatic order. Second, it shows how a focus on “situations” links diplomatic time and space. We illustrate this argument by briefly examining the structuring effect of iconic handshakes. This work is set within the broader context of diplomatic protocols. By drawing on recent advances in neurosciences, our analysis provides a foil for a novel approach to ritual, one which has the potential to advance our understanding of both its meaning and efficacy.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sciences PoParisFrance

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