• Yolanda Kemp SpiesEmail author


In her concluding chapter, Spies explains the exponential increase in diplomacy (in practice more so than in scholarly attention) over the past century. The reason is a global diplomatic arena crowded with growing numbers of actors and issues. The chapter revisits the various contexts of diplomacy: conceptual, historical, legal, institutional (bureaucratic) and cultural, and summarises the importance of each context to the study of diplomacy. Spies concludes that diplomacy is the ‘currency’ of international society. Its enduring value is vested in two considerations, symbolism and utility, neither of which is in decline. This applies to all states, regardless of their relative capabilities. It is also reflected in the growing interest shown by non-state actors in joining diplomatic processes and obtaining the skills and expertise inherent to formal diplomacy.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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