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A prehistorical evolutionary view of diplomacy

Iver B. Neumann ()
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Iver B. Neumann: University of Oslo

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 2018, vol. 14, issue 1, 4-10

Abstract: Abstract Extant discussions of diplomacy understood as a social institution take the form of either histories or genealogies. This chapter attempts to complement these discussions by understanding the emergence of diplomacy in terms of evolutions. Specifically, I draw on Eldredge and Gould’s idea of punctuated equilibria or tipping points, understood as the culmination of long-term trends. Taking note of the importance of big game hunting as a precondition for human cooperation generally, I go on to identify five more tipping points. These are classificatory kinship as a template for regular cooperation; regular and ritualised contacts between culturally similar small-scale polities; regular and ritualised contacts between culturally different large-scale polities; permanent bilateral diplomacy and permanent multilateral diplomacy. In conclusion, I discuss what seems to be a trend on its way to become a new tipping point, namely that states increasingly hybridise their diplomacy by working with and through non-state actors.

Keywords: Diplomacy; Evolution; Kinship; Non-state actors; Religion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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