Diplomacy pp 142-160 | Cite as


  • G. R. Berridge


If the role of the resident ambassador was modified in the course of the twentieth century, this is, in part, because of the explosion in the number of conferences attended by three or more states — multilateral diplomacy. These conferences vary hugely in subject, scope, size, level of attendance, longevity, and extent of bureaucratization. At one extreme is an ad hoc conference on a mundane topic lasting perhaps for a week, and attended at the level of officials and experts; in between will be found an ‘informal forum’ such as the Group of 20 (see Box 9.1); and, at the other extreme, a major permanent conference, or international organization, such as the United Nations, grappling with many topics of major importance. In 1909, there were already 37 international organizations and, by 1962, the number had risen to 163. In 1985, a peak was reached when the existence of 378 was recorded (lO: 2357). This chapter will consider why this enormous expansion has occurred, and look at the characteristic procedures associated with what, in the earlier decades of the twentieth century, was inevitably called the ‘new diplomacy’.


Security Council Great Power Weighted Vote Diplomatic Relation Permanent Secretariat 
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© G. R. Berridge 2010

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  • G. R. Berridge

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