International Pecking Orders: The Politics and Practice of Multilateral Diplomacy

International Pecking Orders: The Politics and Practice of Multilateral Diplomacy

by Vincent Pouliot


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In any multilateral setting, some state representatives weigh much more heavily than others. Practitioners often refer to this form of diplomatic hierarchy as the 'international pecking order'. This book is a study of international hierarchy in practice, as it emerges out of the multilateral diplomatic process. Building on the social theories of Erving Goffman and Pierre Bourdieu, it argues that diplomacy produces inequality. Delving into the politics and inner dynamics of NATO and the UN as case studies, Vincent Pouliot shows that pecking orders are eminently complex social forms: contingent yet durable; constraining but also full of agency; operating at different levels, depending on issues; and defined in significant part locally, in and through the practice of multilateral diplomacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107143432
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/10/2016
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Vincent Pouliot is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He is the author of International Security in Practice: The Politics of NATO-Russia Diplomacy (Cambridge, 2010) and the co-editor of Diplomacy and the Making of World Politics (Cambridge, 2015) and International Practices (Cambridge, 2011).

Table of Contents

Introduction: all the world's a stage; Part I. Situations: 1. The politics of multilateral diplomacy; 2. A practice theory of social stratification; Part II. Dispositions: 3. The diplomatic sense of place; 4. A working consensus: the negotiation of the 2010 Strategic Concept and the NATO pecking order; Part III. Relations: 5. Permanent representation: relational structure and practical logics; 6. Clan politics: Security Council reform and the UN pecking order; Part IV. Positions: 7. State practices and multilateral fields; 8. The field logics of multilateral pecking orders: NATO and the UN compared; Conclusion: the miracle of multilateral pecking orders; Appendix: research design, methods and data.

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