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Our Diplomacy Textbook

As governments and universities seek to prepare the next generation of diplomats to manage international affairs, they finally have a teaching tool focusing on the practical knowledge and skills that in the past could be learned only on the job.

Published by Cambridge University Press and edited and co-written by Nicholas Kralev, WIDA’s founder, “Diplomatic Tradecraft” brings together 18 career diplomats with decades of experience to lift the curtain on a mysterious but vital profession, and to pass on the insights and abilities they gained to those who will succeed them.

With compelling narratives, case studies and exercises, the chapters on various aspects of diplomatic practice form a cohesive and comprehensive volume, written in an accessible and engaging style.

Praise for 'Diplomatic Tradecraft'

“Nicholas Kralev has assembled a group of superbly qualified practitioners to relate from personal experience manifold perspectives of diplomatic conduct and practice. They offer us the kind of ground truth about diplomacy that cannot be found in ivory towers. This is a very practical guide for those interested in better understanding the workings of our profession.”

John Negroponte, former U.S. deputy secretary of state and former permanent representative to the United Nations

“An indispensable tool, ‘Diplomatic Tradecraft’ encourages bright, eager-to-learn minds to enter the diplomatic field. It helps to develop complex skills in new generations of Foreign Service officers and facilitates understanding of a profession that is too often hidden behind clichés, stereotypes or misconceptions.”

Cristina Gallach, former U.N. undersecretary general and former deputy foreign minister of Spain

“Kralev has done more than anyone else to understand what diplomats — and American diplomats in particular — actually do. It is a world quite apart from the abstract removes of international relations theorists. In this volume, he draws on a team of outstanding veteran diplomats. Topic by topic, they not only review the character of the work; they share lifetimes of insights about how to do it. There is no better introduction currently in print. It deserves to become a standard text for would-be professionals, starting with America’s own trainees.”

Philip Zelikow, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former counselor of the State Department

“It’s not simply that we have more armed conflict in today’s world. It’s also that these fights involve so many governments, each with its idiosyncratic political culture and its unique set of interests. This is why the world so badly needs more thoughtful and expertly trained diplomats, and why Kralev’s ‘Diplomatic Tradecraft’ is such a valuable addition to their education and ongoing work.”

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group

“Kralev has devoted much of his career to improving and developing the practice of diplomacy, and to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Foreign Service and our national security agencies. In this superb book, he brings together perspectives and recommendations from some of the greatest diplomatic leaders and thinkers that our country has produced.”

Eric Rubin, former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria and former president of the American Foreign Service Association

“This book presents an illuminating inside look at all aspects of diplomatic service through a student-centric approach. The knowledge and wisdom of 18 career diplomats embedded in this volume provide a comprehensive and engaging experiential learning environment for readers to develop skills necessary for future diplomatic service and for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Baktybek Abdrisaev, lecturer at Utah Valley University and former Kyrgyz ambassador to the United States and Canada

“Kralev’s comprehensive and lively volume is a much needed addition to the literature on the making of U.S. foreign policy. The book should be required reading for all aspiring U.S. Foreign Service officers, as well as required reading in university courses on international relations and American foreign policy. It’s the best reality-based study of diplomacy I’ve read.”

Derek Shearer, professor of diplomacy at Occidental College and former U.S. ambassador to Finland

“This is an elegantly written and thorough introduction to diplomacy in practice. Timely and lucid, free of jargon and salted with memorable and revealing anecdotes, it’s a pleasure to read. The authors have taken a complex and tangled profession and made its essentials clear, digestible and memorable. They have also taken the trouble to give budding diplomats concrete and actionable career advice. This book will be invaluable to academics trying to help our students begin careers in a profession almost as confusing to us as it is to them.”

Richard Jordan, assistant professor of political science at Baylor University

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