Accreditation and Performance
This chapter discusses diplomatic accreditations as a set of performances that were inspired and driven by the colonial archive. For the diplomats involved, accreditation was a process of becoming. But, as with many other instances of gradation, the destination of that process was open-ended. In Kabul, appointed colonial officers took part in a diplomatic ritual that outwardly turned them into accredited diplomats in an international setting. And yet, like the Legation as a whole, British Ministers existed in liminal temporal, spatial and ontological conditions. They never fully completed the transition from the authoritarianism of colonial governance to the reciprocity and equality of international diplomacy as long as the colonial archive provided diplomacy’s performative blueprints.