• Christer Jönsson
  • Martin Hall
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


Observers and practitioners alike testify to the vital role of communication in diplomacy. In fact, diplomacy is often defined in terms of communication—as “a regulated process of communication”3 or “the communication system of the international society,”4 to mention but two examples. “The pristine form of diplomacy,” argues Hedley Bull, “is the transmitting of messages between one independent political community and another.”5 Etymologically, the word “diplomacy” is derived from the Greek verb diploun, “to double,” and from the Greek noun diploma, which refers to an official document written on double leaves joined together and folded.6 Diploma has the double connotations of a secret message and an official paper conferring certain rights to the bearer. Symbolic representations of diplomacy, too, tend to highlight its communicative aspects. For instance, the illustrations in Byzantine manuscripts of a scroll handed from a bowing envoy to a seated figure are “a clear shorthand for an embassy.”7


Body Language Public Diplomacy Bride Price Nonverbal Signaling Patron Saint 
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Copyright information

© Christer Jönsson and Martin Hall 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christer Jönsson
    • 1
  • Martin Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden

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