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Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations 0th Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1588266552
ISBN-10: 1588266559
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Editorial Reviews


A tour de force.... Refreshing, insightful, innovative.... Finally, a new generation of diplomacy for a new generation of students of diplomacy. --R.S. Zaharna, American University<br \><br \>Thoughtful, provocative, and essential reading on the conduct of foreign policy and diplomacy in the globalized international system.... This cogent and well-directed book is linked by an underlying set of questions relating to the methods, policy role, and skills needed by a new breed of contemporary diplomat. --Ronald Barston, The Diplomatic Academy, London<br \><br \>Witty and wise and with a sobering dose of warning, Daryl Copeland has penned a masterly manual for navigating the diplomatic rapids of the twenty-first century. --Nicolas J. Cull, University of Southern California

Truly enjoyable to read.... A tool for navigation through a complex and intertwined system of multiple actors, levels, and problems and a guideline for advancing the role of diplomacy in a changed world. --Katharina H ne, DiploNews

Young and aspiring diplomats should find this essential reading. --Library Journal

About the Author

Daryl Copeland is senior adviser for strategic policy and planning in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers (May 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588266559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588266552
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,515,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally purchased this book based on the heavy favorable exposure it received in the Foreign Service Journal and from AFSA (the American Foreign Service Association). The reviews and discussions centered around some of the author's basic premises for "guerrilla diplomacy" and the need for a transformed version of diplomacy to return to center stage in world affairs. Specifically, it promotes the idea of a diplomat as being able to (and indeed being required to) "move among the people" and obtain different points of view, information beyond the headlines, etc. Public Diplomacy (i.e. public outreach activities) in the author's view is what future diplomacy should be centered around, with Guerrilla Diplomacy a subset of it.

Given this initial premise (and the non-ideological book jacket quotes) it all sounds quite fascinating, or at least thought-provoking. The first part of the book then comes as something of a rude shock, as after an intriguing but somewhat vague introduction to the concepts of Guerrilla Diplomacy, the entire first half of the book is then given over to a retread of Cold War and 1990s "globalization" history, essentially from the point of view of dependency theory (a somewhat more sophisticated and modern Marxist-related ideology, for those not aware of it). Not exactly breaking new ground here, plus it is tiresome to slog through neverending blame of the United States for all the ills of the Cold War and "globalization" (which the author uses in its negative, exploitative sense rather than a neutral, factual one). Nary a mention of gulags, Prague Spring, or Tiananmen Square, but lots about Vietnam, the "missile gap", exploitative corporations, and other lowlights in U.S. foreign affairs history, some of which are cited in questionable or at best misleading ways.
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Format: Paperback
I was told that I should read this book, as someone who has spent some time in the trenches of public diplomacy at one time. I found that there is much here that is new in approaching a field that is rooted in some time-bound (hide-bound) attitudes and approaches. I was particularly interested to read the author's ideas about how the impact of globalization can be framed in a way that has since its publication, become known as 'heterpolarity'--not local, not multi-or bi-polar relations. His framework based on four conditions that can be found within countries, regions, power blocs and societies in general, brings to light a fresh way of thinking about these challenges. The book also makes a forceful argument for re-tooling the 'second oldest profession' from the ground up. The chapters that break this out take on not only diplomacy in the context of rapidly changing nternational relations but also what a foreign ministry and the professionals who work in that realm themselves have to do. Given that now nation states are only one among many players internationally, this is a timely analysis. Finally, the impact of 'wicked' issues that bedevil our world are, as the author points out, 'rooted in science and driven by changes in technology'--especially web-based, social media. All this argues strongly for more 'jaw, jaw' as opposed to 'war, war', which means diplomacy, diplomats and the publics that support them need to be thinking more like 'guerrilla diplomats' in the 21st century. The author has only started this conversation, but it's well written and something that anyone with an interest in diplomacy and its many current discontents can find many nuggets to gnaw on.
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Format: Paperback
Copeland posits that development is the new security. This stands to reason; with the advent of commerce supplanting war as the long-game pastime, being there to develop and trade means you spend time hanging out, and thereby, inevitably, staying over for supper, and all that entails as to trust.

This is a book within a book. Guerrilla Diplomacy is elicited as a finessed and souplessed way of getting what you want in the interest of your nation and its nation-brand - albeit in near-career-limiting ways for operators not of Copeland's calibre and moxy (so buyer beware) - but buried in the shell of this ostensible and rather estimable diplomacy-how-to for a new generation of arguably beleaguered advancers of non-explosive means of conflict resolution, is Book 2.0 wherein he elicits the framework of heteropolarity, and the deterritorialized ACTE model where enumerated worlds including First and Third are put aside, and a new model takes shape. Interesting.

I would argue there is too much background reminding folks of diplomacy's past failures in this tome and in the Guerrilla Diplomacy tenets - but this in a however-admirable effort to be academically thorough and near-demodedly fair. Ask not what diplomacy failed at before countries were rent asunder in the past, rather, ask what diplomacy can do to square the axes of geo-political out-of-control spin today. And Copeland advances this last well.
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Copeland's book is engaging and interesting. One wonders how many of his recommendations will actually be put into practice, and he is light on explaining this in detail. However, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in diplomacy and how it is evolving in the new communication age.
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