No small undertaking - Encyclopedia of Diplomacy

31 August 2018

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ANU Emeritus Fellow

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Dr Pauline Kerr, Emeritus Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD), hopes to influence holistic understandings of diplomacy with the release of the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Diplomacy.

The recently published 4-volume Encyclopedia of Diplomacy published by Wiley-Blackwell is a complete and authoritative compendium of the most important events, people and terms associated with diplomacy and international relations from ancient times to the present, from a global perspective.

The encyclopedia includes a chapter on the Coral Bell School building’s namesake - Hedley Bull. The chapter is written by Dr Pauline Kerr, Emeritus Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy. She highlights the decision by ANU to name the architectural-award winning building after Bull is just one indication of his continuing stature as an internationally recognised scholar.

Pauline was one of several contributing editors who assisted in the compilation of the encyclopedia, which was a massive undertaking by the main editor Gordon Martel, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Northern British Columbia and Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria.

For anyone interested in diplomacy, its history, and the relations between states, it is an invaluable resource. For example, it includes scholarship on the role of non-state organisations, including the UN and Médecins Sans Frontières, and the exercise of soft power, as well as issues of globalisation and climate change. Its A-Z format makes it is easy to use.

Pauline is already using the encyclopedia in her teaching this year, for example chapters on historical periods of diplomacy (Roman, Byzantine, and Italian Renaissance), on contemporary issues (such as public diplomacy and soft power), and on theoretical arguments (including the relationship between Diplomatic Studies and International Relations).

Now, combined with her other recent publications as well as the proliferation in Diplomatic Studies publications, there is, as Pauline says, “a treasure trove of diplomatic studies literature for our students and researchers”.

Pauline also agrees with her APCD colleagues that “there has never been a better time to study diplomacy” and “there has never been a time when measured diplomacy is more needed. I think that Nicholas Burns (former US Under-Secretary of State, Ambassador to NATO and now Harvard Professor) is spot on when he writes in the back-cover blurb of my 2018 co-edited book with my colleague APCD Director Professor Geoffrey Wiseman, that ‘Diplomacy is critical for the twenty-first world’”.

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