Diplomacy pp 5-21 | Cite as

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • G. R. Berridge


It is difficult to find a state today that does not have, in addition to a diplomatic service, a ministry dedicated to directing and administering it. This is usually known as the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) or, for short, foreign ministry. It is easy to forget that this was not always the case and that the MFA came relatively late onto the scene. In fact, as commonly defined, its appearance in Europe post-dated the arrival of the resident diplomatic mission by between two and three centuries. This chapter will begin by looking briefly at the origins and development of the foreign ministry, and then examine its different roles. These include staffing and supporting missions abroad, policy advice and implementation, policy coordination, dealing with foreign diplomats at home, and building domestic support.


Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Foreign Ministry Legal Adviser Foreign Relation 
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Further reading

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© G. R. Berridge 2010

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  • G. R. Berridge

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