On The Way To Diplomacy, by Costas Constantinou

I picked this up aaaages ago about a year after I started working for Independent Diplomat, and did not get around to reading it until about a year after I stopped working for Independent Diplomat. I don’t think the lack of having read it impacted my work; it’s a rather philosophical book, analysing diplomacy as communication from the point of view of aesthetics and political theory – it begins with a long analysis of Holbein’s The Ambassadors, drawing attention to the controversy over its attribution and subjects, which is all very well but only marginally connected to diplomacy as it is practiced these days. I find myself once again confirmed in my view that anthropology is much more useful to me in my daily life as a political actor than any amount of political theory or philosophy.

The came to the top of my TBR pile as the shortest book of those acquired in 2009 that I had not yet read. Actually it was second on that list as I couldn’t lay my hands on the one that actually was the shortest. But then I found that one too and will write it up tomorrow.

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