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The Ambassador, Between Light and Shade: The Emergence of Secrecy as the Norm of International Negotiation

Aurélien Colson ()

No DR 07023, ESSEC Working Papers from ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School

Abstract: The aim of this research paper is to analyse to what extent secrecy emerged as the uncontested norm for international negotiations after the Renaissance. The first section (1) introduces six key negotiation practitioners in 17th century Europe, including some of the earliest writers on negotiation: Hotman, Mazarini, Wicquefort, Rousseau de Chamoy, Callières, and Pecquet. Through an analysis of their original writings – most of which are no longer available in print – the following sections demonstrate that if an ambassador had to appear in the bright light of royal Court (2), his constant preoccupation was secrecy (3). How to protect his own secrets from third-parties (4) and uncover others’ secrets (5) were central focal points, establishing secrecy as the paradigm for modern international negotiation.

Keywords: Ambassador; Callières; Hotman; International Relations; Mazarini; Negotiation (history of); Pecquet; Rousseau de Chamoy; Secrecy; Wicquefort (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2007-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
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