Broadly speaking, they resisted the logic of the national security state and believed in the foundational tenets of diplomacy, in which power matters more than ideology, foreign policy and domestic politics are considered mutually exclusive, and diplomats, rather than the military, forge and maintain a stable international order. In the ensuing decades, diplomats would experience a more systematic form of marginalization that reflected the nature of U. The later chapters, in particular, present new material in a subtle and provocative way. The Dissent Papers recovers the invaluable perspective of these individuals and their commitment to the transformative power of diplomatic writing. In American foreign relations, he lamented, there was no room for traditional methods of diplomacy, nor for the peculiar finesse and subtlety of mind of the diplomat.
Especially at the high ranks, the Foreign Service was still mostly composed of the social elite. To get out of it and speak the truth would be a refreshing experience. I have no doubt that the seeds of my current endeavors were planted at the kitchen table, where I was introduced to pressing social, political, and cultural debates. The diplomats who occupied the highest posts in the diplomatic corps hailed almost entirely from the white male aristocratic elite. In the following pages, I examine diplomatic dissent in four pivotal moments in U. Thanks to Kairos, Karen, Adela and Chris, Greg and Kim, Ellen and David, Patricia and Manu, Eugene, Felicity, and Michele for the many hours of eating, drinking, and library camaraderie over the years.
So declared Hans Morgenthau in Politics Among Nations, the classic theory of international relations written in the aftermath of the Second World War. More importantly, it is with him that I continue to learn about and experience the world. I am thankful to Nick Thompson, Fred Logevall, and the editors and anonymous reviewers at Diplomatic History and the Journal of Contemporary History for reading and commenting on earlier versions of various chapters. Gurman categorizes diplomatic dissenters according to different styles they adopt in their diplomatic writing, most importantly whom they choose as their audience. In 1883, Congress passed the Civil Service Reform, or Pendleton Act, which took steps toward transforming the federal government into a modern merit-based bureaucracy.
I thank him for his keen and clarifying insights into the nature and direction of my project, for teaching me how to think and research as a diplomatic historian, and for believing that I could offer something to the scholarship of U. Gurman follows the circulation of documents within the State Department, the National Security Council, the C. More important than the abstract idea of diplomacy were actual diplomats, who, he believed, understood international conflicts from the ground up as well as from a conceptual grounding in a realistic view of international affairs. A combination of presidential hostility toward the diplomatic corps, congressional isolationism, and economic disaster made the late 1920s and 1930s an especially low moment in the morale of the Foreign Service. Several other people read and reviewed the whole or parts of this book at various stages of its development. We can stay on hoping that things will be better, that our experience can be productive of some good.
On the other hand, somebody has to carry on with the job. Forged and maintained by diplomats, these alliances were designed to balance and temper the struggle for power between states. Known for his formative role in shaping U. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to American Diplomacy Author: Dr. ¹¹ As the diplomatic establishment grew over the course of the nineteenth century, a new layer of career diplomats emerged. As in other elite institutions that claimed to be merit-based, undesirables, including Jews, Catholics, and women, were typically weeded out in the oral interview.
In 2003 Brady Kiesling, the U. The department expanded further in World War One, after which the position of undersecretary of state was established. Their success came from knowing when to withhold or dilute their dissent. No wonder that the dissenters, often sidelined by those more powerful less naïve? As the arc of The Dissent Papers suggests, the evolution of diplomatic writing is directly related to both the ongoing process of bureaucratization and the evolving relationship between the diplomatic establishment and the White House in a given administration. Third, the dissenters were, above all, diplomats who put their voices in writing. Kennan—who extolled the indispensability of both—would thus have cheered this book, although he certainly. She brings disparate yet connected stories together to show how diplomats used the primary tool given to them: language.
Most intriguing of all, Gurman profiles how Kennan made important shifts and adjustments in his reporting to ensure that his recommendations would be well received by policymakers. Diplomats, wrote Morgenthau, ought to be the fingertips of foreign policy. State Department writing was most influential in the years immediately following the Second World War. The problem, as Eikenberry concluded, was how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt. I know of no work that treats the issue in the synoptic manner provided in this account. Brown, a Foreign Service officer for more than 20 years, currently is Adjunct Professor of Liberal Studies at Georgetown University, where he teaches about public diplomacy.