Introduction: the long international history of women and diplomacy

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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explains how hard it is to overestimate the initiatives that women in the past took to engage in the larger questions that underscored foreign policy, namely war and peace. Women, Diplomacy and International Politics since 1500 introduces the long history of women acting as diplomatic agents in diverse ways across the Western world from 1500 to the late twentieth century. It puts on display the historical diversity of women's activities, the significance of their contributions, as well as the historically specific limitations of their agency. The focus on women raises critical historical questions about the changing and consistent ways in which political power was wielded over the centuries in relationships between sovereign polities and opens the field to a broader interpretation of diplomatic work and the nature of modern international politics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen, Diplomacy and International Politics Since 1500
EditorsGlenda Sluga, Carolyn James
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781317497028
ISBN (Print)9780415714648
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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