In this chapter, Spies discusses the aims and ideational framework of the book. She explains the relationship between diplomacy—a practice as old as humanity—and international society, which is a subjective construct favoured by the majority of contemporary diplomatic scholars. The massive scope and complexity of diplomatic studies are described, and the imperative stressed that such studies require a practice-theory nexus. Spies appeals for more contributions to diplomatic theory by scholars and practitioners from the Global South so as to reflect the rich diversity of contemporary international society. The remainder of this chapter provides a preview of the book, which is divided into chapters that each offers a different context to the study of diplomacy: conceptual, historical, legal, institutional (bureaucratic) and cultural.