Mission London: A Mini Handbook of Diplomatic Practice

4.50   (6 гласа)

attachés like military, commercial and others, consuls etc.) are in

the midst of this complicated matrix of political and social relations.

Hence, they have to be well educated and skilled, familiar

with all possible kinds of political interests as well as with silly

small troubles that people face while travelling abroad. Generally

speaking, diplomats are not saved from anything that people

face in their lives. This includes also crime, corruption, scandals,

love and other intrigues as well as affaires. They have to deal with

them, but are also part of some of these activities, since at the end

of the day they are people and citizens like everybody else. But

with the difference to the latter, a diplomat’s stand is tense: “In his

line of work, healthy nerves were like ropes for a mountaineer.”

(Popov, 2014,15)

Without going into the fable of Mission London, the book

includes and deals with all these aspects of human life. However,

for our analysis the most important is that this novel deals

with diplomatic life as such – the episode starts with the arrival

of Varadin Dimitrov, the new Bulgarian Ambassador to London

in the middle of the 90s of the previous century and develops

then accordingly along the path of his mission. One should also

point out that – in spite of having the Bulgarian Embassy as the

central focus – the story could be applicable to any Embassy as

such. The profession has its own rules and ways of functioning

and their nuances could be found everywhere in the diplomatic

corps; they are universal. This fact adds to the importance of the

novel and brings it to the level of the de facto mini diplomatic

handbook as well.

There are many guides through the diplomatic work like Barston

(2006), Berridge and James (2003), Petrič (2013), Sen (1988)

and Watson (1991). Practically all of them include basic diplomatic

topics like diplomacy, ministry of foreign affairs, diplomatic

mission, protocol, bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and

conferences. These are all areas that each diplomat has to be familiar

with, regardless of the fact where he or she is employed

within the ministry and posted abroad. We will analyze and comment

Mission London and compare or back up with primarily

four in the Introduction pointed out handbooks (but also with

other references) through the following areas of diplomatic work:

protocol and diplomatic events; professional atmosphere and

diplomatic psychology; international conferences; connections

and their settlement. We do not comment relations of diplomats

with their diaspora; nevertheless they are an important part

of diplomatic work and life as well as a part of the novels’ story.

With each comment we will

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