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Spaces of Diplomacy

Jason Dittmer co-organises AHRC Workshop at UCL

Spaces of Diplomacy

At the Spaces of Diplomacy workshop, organised by Dr Jason Dittmer (UCL) and Dr Fiona McConnell (Newcastle) at UCL on 21-22 June, scholars and practitioners of diplomacy from the UK, Europe, and North America converged to discuss the role of spatiality in diplomacy.

The workshop focused on the spaces within and through which diplomatic culture is articulated and translated. In diplomacy, spatiality is integral to any practice of ameliorating estrangement. This has traditionally involved topological studies of diplomatic connections between places, systematic reviews of the location of diplomacy, or case studies of particular diplomatic contexts. Contemporary conditions, however, beg new questions. How do digital spaces produce new and different forms of diplomacy? Can ‘old’ diplomatic practices be translated for these ‘new’ spaces or does it require an entirely new theorisation? How are diplomatic spaces produced through the ritualised performance of actors? How does space shape the formation of diplomatic consensus?

The keynote speakers were Professor Iver Neumann, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics; Professor John Watkins, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of English at the University of Minnesota; and Professor Herman van der Wusten,  Emeritus Professor of Political Geography at the University of Amsterdam.

The Workshop, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) via their Translating Cultures theme, considered a range of diplomatic spaces, such as the embassy, the theatre, multilateral summits, and Twitter. The workshop also incorporated the insights of practitioners from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US.

For the workshop structure and an audio of its contents:

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Dr Jason Dittmer

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