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Negotiating peace in early modern Europe: Diplomatic ceremonial as opportunity and obstacle in the peace process

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Radcliffe Humanities
Seminar Room

In addition to information and negotiation, representation was one of the main tasks of early modern diplomats. Therefore, envoys spent much time on the correct treatment in the diplomatic ceremonial. But is this general statement valid over the entire early modern period? To answer this question, this paper traces the development of the diplomatic ceremonial at the international peace conferences from the late 16th to the 18th century. As the spheres of negotiation and representation were inseparable in the pre-modern peace process, my analysis will first focus on how the diplomatic ceremonial became a system of inclusion and exclusion that determined with whom official negotiations were possible.

However, the dynamics that contributed significantly to the shaping of the early modern diplomatic ceremonial concern not only the princely representation but also personal status. How did  contemporaries react to this double problem? How did this influence the evolution of the diplomatic ceremonial in early modern Europe?

Speaker: Dr Niels May (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris)

Contact name: 
Ruggero Sciuto
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