From ArticleWorld

Diplomacy is the delicate negotiation between nations involving subtle and skillful handling of situations as well as wisdom in management of public affairs. On another level it is the formal and regularized communication between nations that allows them to conduct their business with each other peacefully.

Three tiers

The first kind of diplomacy and the simplest kind involves just two nations having different trade and other agreements. This is the bilateral diplomacy. Such diplomacy may be said to exist between the Canada and the US and their treaties of free trade agreements. The second kind of diplomacy is the multilateral diplomacy which involves many countries. Most of our modern treaties (like the WTO or WHO or the many test ban treaties) entail multilateral diplomacy. In this regard, the United Nations plays a very important role.

There is the third kind of diplomacy said to exist between same region countries who form alliances for mutual benefit and gain. SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation) is a fine example of one such diplomacy.


Although the world’s first diplomats, to give them more leverage, used to belong to the ruling families of a country, diplomacy was recognised as a profession in the 15th century when the states of the then divided Italy appointed permanent ambassadors for the first time. By the 1780s most West European powers had set up embassies and established offices in foreign countries. Later, this trend spread to Russia and East Europe and by 1815, the year of the Vienna convention, diplomacy had come of age. Nowadays, diplomatic practice is in many ways different from what it was in the beginning of this century. The reason lies in the multiple and sophisticated means of communication introduced during the last decades. Indeed, communication has improved such an extent, that it has been suggested that diplomacy now has nothing to offer to international relations.

Diplomat - guarantor and spy

In the Middle Eastern countries diplomats were almost held to ransom as guarantee for good behavior by host countries. Both overt as well as covert spying is carried on in the embassies; the discovery of undercover spies who are deported or sent to prison in the host country is not an uncommon occurrence. Sometimes governments engage in protracted academic and scientific dialogues which go a long way in easing the relationship between two nations. This is called Track II diplomacy.