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One of the largest and most renowned variants in the Internet Diplomacy community is Europa Renovatio, a massive variant by vdiplomacy.com user Technostar. Set in 1450, players lead one of 36 different nations in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. The variant is based on the map of Europa Universalis IV, which is set in 1444.
Modern diplomatic methods, practices, and principles originated largely from 17th-century European custom. Beginning in the early 20th century, diplomacy became professionalized; the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ratified by most of the world's sovereign states, provides a framework for diplomatic procedures, methods, and conduct. Most diplomacy is now conducted by accredited officials, such as envoys and ambassadors, through a dedicated foreign affairs office. Diplomats operate through diplomatic missions, most commonly consulates and embassies, and rely on a number of support staff; the term diplomat is thus sometimes applied broadly to diplomatic and consular personnel and foreign ministry officials.
The term diplomacy is derived from the 18th-century French term diplomate ("diplomat" or "diplomatist"), based on the ancient Greek diplōma, which roughly means "an object folded in two". This reflected the practice of sovereigns providing a folded document to confer some sort of official privilege; prior to invention of the envelope, folding a document served to protect the privacy of its contents. The term was later applied to all official documents, such as those containing agreements between governments, and thus became identified with international relations.
The ancient Greek city-states on some occasions dispatched envoys to negotiate specific issues, such as war and peace or commercial relations, but did not have diplomatic representatives regularly posted in each other's territory. However, some of the functions given to modern diplomatic representatives were fulfilled by a proxenos, a citizen of the host city who had friendly relations with another city, often through familial ties. In times of peace, diplomacy was even conducted with non-Hellenistic rivals such as the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, through it was ultimately conquered by Alexander the Great of Macedon. Alexander was also adept at diplomacy, realizing that the conquest of foreign cultures would be better achieved by having his Macedonian and Greek subjects intermingle and intermarry with native populations. For instance, Alexander took as his wife a Sogdian woman of Bactria, Roxana, after the siege of the Sogdian Rock, in order to placate the rebelling populace. Diplomacy remained a necessary tool of statecraft for the great Hellenistic states that succeeded Alexander's empire, such as the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, which fought several wars in the Near East and often negotiated peace treaties through marriage alliances.
Relations with the Ottoman Empire were particularly important to Italian states, to which the Ottoman government was known as the Sublime Porte. The maritime republics of Genoa and Venice depended less and less upon their nautical capabilities, and more and more upon the perpetuation of good relations with the Ottomans. Interactions between various merchants, diplomats and clergymen hailing from the Italian and Ottoman empires helped inaugurate and create new forms of diplomacy and statecraft. Eventually the primary purpose of a diplomat, which was originally a negotiator, evolved into a persona that represented an autonomous state in all aspects of political affairs. It became evident that all other sovereigns felt the need to accommodate themselves diplomatically, due to the emergence of the powerful political environment of the Ottoman Empire. One could come to the conclusion that the atmosphere of diplomacy within the early modern period revolved around a foundation of conformity to Ottoman culture.
Ancient India, with its kingdoms and dynasties, had a long tradition of diplomacy. The oldest treatise on statecraft and diplomacy, Arthashastra, is attributed to Kautilya (also known as Chanakya), who was the principal adviser to Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya dynasty who ruled in the 3rd century BC. It incorporates a theory of diplomacy, of how in a situation of mutually contesting kingdoms, the wise king builds alliances and tries to checkmate his adversaries. The envoys sent at the time to the courts of other kingdoms tended to reside for extended periods of time, and Arthashastra contains advice on the deportment of the envoy, including the trenchant suggestion that "he should sleep alone". The highest morality for the king is that his kingdom should prosper.
The key challenge to the Byzantine Empire was to maintain a set of relations between itself and its sundry neighbors, including the Georgians, Iberians, the Germanic peoples, the Bulgars, the Slavs, the Armenians, the Huns, the Avars, the Franks, the Lombards, and the Arabs, that embodied and so maintained its imperial status. All these neighbors lacked a key resource that Byzantium had taken over from Rome, namely a formalized legal structure. When they set about forging formal political institutions, they were dependent on the empire. Whereas classical writers are fond of making a sharp distinction between peace and war, for the Byzantines diplomacy was a form of war by other means. With a regular army of 120,000-140,000 men after the losses of the 7th century, the empire's security depended on activist diplomacy.
In Europe, early modern diplomacy's origins are often traced to the states of Northern Italy in the early Renaissance, with the first embassies being established in the 13th century. Milan played a leading role, especially under Francesco Sforza who established permanent embassies to the other city states of Northern Italy. Tuscany and Venice were also flourishing centres of diplomacy from the 14th century onwards. It was in the Italian Peninsula that many of the traditions of modern diplomacy began, such as the presentation of an ambassador's credentials to the head of state.
Between 1500 and 1700 rules of modern diplomacy were further developed. French replaced Latin from about 1715. The top rank of representatives was an ambassador. At that time an ambassador was a nobleman, the rank of the noble assigned varying with the prestige of the country he was delegated to. Strict standards developed for ambassadors, requiring they have large residences, host lavish parties, and play an important role in the court life of their host nation. In Rome, the most prized posting for a Catholic ambassador, the French and Spanish representatives would have a retinue of up to a hundred. Even in smaller posts, ambassadors were very expensive. Smaller states would send and receive envoys, who were a rung below ambassador. Somewhere between the two was the position of minister plenipotentiary.
Ambassadors were often nobles with little foreign experience and no expectation of a career in diplomacy. They were supported by their embassy staff. These professionals would be sent on longer assignments and would be far more knowledgeable than the higher-ranking officials about the host country. Embassy staff would include a wide range of employees, including some dedicated to espionage. The need for skilled individuals to staff embassies was met by the graduates of universities, and this led to a great increase in the study of international law, French, and history at universities throughout Europe.
The elements of modern diplomacy slowly spread to Eastern Europe and Russia, arriving by the early 18th century. The entire edifice would be greatly disrupted by the French Revolution and the subsequent years of warfare. The revolution would see commoners take over the diplomacy of the French state, and of those conquered by revolutionary armies. Ranks of precedence were abolished. Napoleon also refused to acknowledge diplomatic immunity, imprisoning several British diplomats accused of scheming against France.
After the fall of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 established an international system of diplomatic rank. Disputes on precedence among nations (and therefore the appropriate diplomatic ranks used) were first addressed at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818, but persisted for over a century until after World War II, when the rank of ambassador became the norm. In between that time, figures such as the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck were renowned for international diplomacy.
In times of hostility, diplomats are often withdrawn for reasons of personal safety, as well as in some cases when the host country is friendly but there is a perceived threat from internal dissidents. Ambassadors and other diplomats are sometimes recalled temporarily by their home countries as a way to express displeasure with the host country. In both cases, lower-level employees still remain to actually do the business of diplomacy.
The information gathered by spies plays an increasingly important role in diplomacy. Arms-control treaties would be impossible without the power of reconnaissance satellites and agents to monitor compliance. Information gleaned from espionage is useful in almost all forms of diplomacy, everything from trade agreements to border disputes.
Small state diplomacy is receiving increasing attention in diplomatic studies and international relations. Small states are particularly affected by developments which are determined beyond their borders such as climate change, water security and shifts in the global economy. Diplomacy is the main vehicle by which small states are able to ensure that their goals are addressed in the global arena. These factors mean that small states have strong incentives to support international cooperation. But with limited resources at their disposal, conducting effective diplomacy poses unique challenges for small states. 2b1af7f3a8