Diplomacy concerns relations between states; it is characterized by contact between recognized representatives and by the non-use of excessive force.

A diplomat – for instance, an ambassador – is a person who has been appointed to represent the government of his or her country in relations with other countries. Understanding diplomacy is essential for understanding today’s nation-state system, because it is primarily diplomats who carry out the basic work in international politics. NUPI research on diplomacy examines the growth of diplomatic institutions like envoys, the diplomatic corps and ministries of foreign affairs. We also study diplomatic practices, such as information gathering, reporting and negotiations.  

Research questions within the field of diplomacy can include:

  • What kind of people  become diplomats?
  • How are diplomats trained, and where do they work?
  • What is the relationship between diplomacy and other international institutions, such as international law?