Origins and Evolution of Diplomacy

  • Yolanda Kemp SpiesEmail author


This chapter provides an overview of the historical evolution of diplomacy, tracing it back to the dawn of humanity in Africa. Spies condenses millennia of history by highlighting only the trends and events that shaped diplomatic practice as we now know it. She describes the diplomatic principles inculcated by various civilisations during antiquity and explains how the institution became bureaucratised and professionalised in Europe. Attention is then given to the major formative impact of the twentieth century: the efforts of the ‘New World’ to pry open the exclusive, opaque world of Eurocentric diplomacy; the devastating impact of large-scale ideological experiments; and the unprecedented ‘diplomacy of development’ that followed the mass diplomatic emancipation of the Developing World.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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