Academic article

The Intercity Origins of Diplomacy: Consuls, Empires, and the Sea

Published: 2 Aug 2021

City diplomacy is a fairly new topic in the study of diplomacy, and, many would argue,
a fairly recent empirical phenomenon. A counterpoint to this could be to reference
how the alleged origin of diplomacy in Greek antiquity was city-centered, as were
the earliest forms of Renaissance diplomacy in Italy. In this article we want to probe
the connections between cities and diplomacy through problematizing what has
counted as diplomacy. Our starting point is that cities have always mattered to what we
could analytically refer to as diplomatic practice. Being conscious of the conceptual
ambiguities, we are thus not starting from a specific definition of “city diplomacy,” but
from a conviction that cities have mattered and continue to matter to the practice of