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The Revitalization of Diplomatic History: Renewed Reflections

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Diplomacy is one of the oldest human institutions, with diplomatic records dating back to some of the earliest civilizations. At present, the methods and content of diplomatic history have much to offer modern scholars, but the field as a whole suffers from being out of step, philosophically, with the mainstream of historical and political-scientific study. The departure of diplomatic history from the philosophical mainstream both of political science and of history in general has left the field in dire straits. Fallen from its former grace, diplomatic history requires a new vision: not a groundbreaking, original vision, but a vision informed by previous generations, adapting their foundational principles to the ideals and demands of the twenty-first century academy. It is thus not only the Grand Tradition itself, but its ethos that must be preserved, in order to retain the distinguishing character and methods of diplomatic and military history as independent, politically moderate academic disciplines, regardless of their reputation among neighboring fields.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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