ABSTRACT

The purpose of this chapter is to hazard an explanation as to what reflexivity in diplomatic practice would entail. The chapter demonstrates how the tendency to view diplomacy as especially resistant to ethical considerations is due to a singularly political conception that underlies most conventional accounts of diplomacy in the international research (IR) literature. The moral basis of diplomacy provides diplomats and students of diplomacy with sufficient resources for self-examination of both diplomatic discourse and practice. Diplomacy itself is a form of existence in international society. The deeper and more expansive conception of diplomacy, however, further compounds the relationship between diplomacy and reflexivity. Reflexivity in diplomacy, if it is to be prized as a necessary exercise, must demonstrate its instrumental as well as intrinsic values as regards the all-important burden of coexistence in a pluralistic international society. The moral conception of diplomacy provides a critical framework for reflexive interventions into the study and practice of diplomacy in international society.