Scales of Diplomacy: Austria-Hungary, the United States, and Statecraft in Unlikely Places

AHA Session 330
Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations 3
Sunday, January 8, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Centennial Ballroom G (Hyatt Regency Denver, Third Floor)
Guenter J. Bischof, University of New Orleans
Nicole M. Phelps, University of Vermont

Session Abstract

This panel aims to challenge conventional boundaries in the study of diplomacy both methodologically and geographically by considering alternative scales of analysis. Through case studies in diplomacy between the United States and Austria-Hungary (including its antecedents and successors), we find stories that take place not primarily in the established channels of bilateral foreign ministry/State Department interactions, but rather in other realms of government and in the private sphere. Methodologically, we explore when, where, and how diplomacy has operated outside of the traditional scale of high international politics, contributing to the mission of broadening the scope of agents in the definition of "diplomatic history." What impact did non-traditional diplomatic agents, activities, and contexts have on the diplomatic relations in established channels? To what extent did the foreign ministry/State Department succeed in its mission to monopolize interactions with other governments/countries? What were the benefits and consequences of diplomacy at these alternative different scales?

We also reconsider the geographical scale of United States and Austro-Hungarian diplomacy. Each of our participants’ papers points towards this theme through a long chronological spread ranging from the American Revolution to the Cold War period. All point to the significance of the broader European and transatlantic political context in influencing US-Austro-Hungarian bilateral relations -- whether related to issues of revolution, migration, or minority/human rights -- and the underappreciated importance of the politics of neighboring states as a factor in bilateral diplomacy.

See more of: AHA Sessions