Regular, flag-flying embassies might well disappear when diplomatic relations are severed, but diplomatic functions might still be performed by as many as four kinds of irregular resident mission — some more irregular, and therefore more heavily disguised, than others. These are interests sections, consulates, representative offices, and front missions — the last being analogous to the ‘front organizations’, typically businesses of one sort or another, employed to conceal espionage activities during the Cold War. This chapter will consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of these disguised embassies, and why one is preferred to another in different circumstances. It will also consider whether the differences between formally accredited embassies and at least some of these missions (especially interests sections and representative offices) are merely nominal.
KeywordsVienna Convention Diplomatic Relation Interest Section Representative Office Diplomatic Mission
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Cross, Charles T., Born a Foreigner: A memoir of the American presence in Asia (Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD, 1999): ch. 19, on Taiwan.Google Scholar
- Franklin, W. M., Protection of Foreign Interests: A study in diplomatic and consular practice (US Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1947).Google Scholar
- Hertz, Martin F. (ed.), The Consular Dimension of Diplomacy (University Press of America: Lanham, MD, 1983).Google Scholar
- James, Alan, ‘Diplomatic relations and contacts’, British Yearbook of International Law 1991, Volume 62 (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1992): 347–87.Google Scholar
- Kissinger, Henry A., Years of Upheaval (Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 1982): 60–3.Google Scholar
- Lee, Luke T. and John Quigley, Consular Law and Practice, 3rd edn (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2008): ch. 36.Google Scholar
- Lowe, V., ‘Diplomatic law: protecting powers’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 39(2), April, 1990.Google Scholar
- Melissen, Jan (ed.), Innovation in Diplomatic Practice (Macmillan — now Palgrave: Basingstoke, 1999): ch. 13.Google Scholar
- Newsom, David E. (ed.), Diplomacy under a Foreign Flag: The protecting power and the interests section (Hurst: London, 1990; St Martin’s Press — now Palgrave: New York, 1990, for the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy).Google Scholar
- OIG, Report of Inspection: U.S. Interests Section Havana, Cuba, July 2007 [www].Google Scholar
- Sullivan, Joseph G. (ed.), Embassies Under Siege (Brassey’s for the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy: Washington, DC, 1995).Google Scholar
- Whiteman, M. M., ‘Diplomatic missions and embassy, protection of interests by third states’, Digest of International Law (1970): 450–1.Google Scholar
- Wylie, Neville, ‘Protecting powers in a changing world’, Politorbis, 40(1), 2006: 6–14 [www].Google Scholar