An introduction and advanced analysis is provided of global diplomatic practice, one of the most important institutionalised activities within the international system. The focus is predominantly state-centric, although the growing impact of non-state entities on the form and substance of diplomacy is accommodated. Aspects such as the evolution, modes, styles, legal framework and institutions of diplomacy are investigated, as well as the specific roles and functions of diplomats and emerging areas of diplomatic specialisation. An African perspective on all of the above is prioritised, and in this regard specific emphasis is placed on mediation - a diplomatic mode and specialisation that is crucial within the context of African diplomatic practice.
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