Figurational account of early modern diplomacy

Dear list members,

Can someone point me to studies of early modern diplomacy that take a figurational approach or that might facilitate such an approach (i.e. account of state formation combined with the redefinition of the ambassador’s function etc.).

Case studies of particular courts are also of interest to me in this regard.

I have already consulted some sources: Mattingly, Picavet, Bély, Roosen etc.

I can read works in French, German, and Spanish.

Many thanks!

Colin Keaveney
Department of French and Italian
Los Angeles, CA 90089

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One Response to Figurational account of early modern diplomacy

  1. Stephen Mennell says:

    Dear Colin

    How good to hear from you after a long break. I had a note years ago to expect a contribution to Figurations on your then research. It’s never too late!!

    On your current question, you should certainly consult two things: Willem Mastenbroek’s writings on the sociogenesis of negotiations, and Wilbert van Vree’s great book Meetings, Manners and Civilisation: The Development of Modern Meeting Behaviour (1999), which won the second Norbert Elias Prize.

    I don’t have a complete list of Willem Mastenbroek’s work, but these are bits that I found in back issues of Figurations:

    Ad van Iterson, Willem Mastenbroek, Tim Newton and Dennis Smith, eds, The Civilised Organisation: Norbert Elias and the Future of Organisation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003. 251 pp. ISBN: 1-58811-277-2 (hb); 1-58811-278-0 (pb). [Book version of special issue of Organisation 8 (1) 2001 on ‘Elias and Organisations’ – which was mentioned in Figurations 13.]

    Annette Treibel, Helmut Kuzmics and Reinhard Blomert, eds, Zivilisationstheorie in der Bilanz: Beiträge zum 100. Geburstag von Norbert Elias. Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 2000. 331 pp. ISBN: 3-8100-2038-9. [Figurationen: Schriften zur Zivilisations- und Prozesstheorie 1]

    Willem Mastenbroek ‘Negotiating as Emotion Management’ Theory, Culture and Society, 16 (4) 1999: 49 – 73.

    The study of the sociogenesis of negotiating skills demonstrates the civilising of emotions. Courtly civilising processes were supplemented by an intercourtly process that worked towards the renunciation of violence, deceit and humiliation. The changing ways in which people learn to deal with emotions were crucial. Over the years people learnt to become more versatile, they learnt to deal with their feelings and responses. Our understanding of this individual learning process can be improved by clarifying the collective learning process as it has developed over the past twenty centuries in the West.

    This paper describes how negotiating was experienced in early days. Luckily, some authors from ancient times provide us with penetrating insights. Their testimonies clarify in what direction behaviour and underlying emotions changed over time. Negotiating has become common practice in some societies. Actual problems in the theory and practice of negotiating are better understood when we recognise the changing pattern of emotion management in the development of this precarious skill.

    Best wishes for 2006

    Professor Stephen Mennell
    School of Sociology
    University College Dublin
    Belfield, Dublin 4, IRELAND

    Tel.: +353-1-716 8504
    Fax: +353-1-716 1125

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