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The traditional agenda: States, war and law
Geoffrey Wiseman, Professor and the Director of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University,
Paul Sharp, Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
This chapter makes three main arguments. First, ideas and practices of diplomacy have a multi-millennial history – much longer than is generally thought. Second, this long history has been characterised by both continuity and change. As a result, diplomacy has been as much adaptive as resistant to change. Third, diplomacy is not diminishing in importance and both it and the diplomats who carry it out should be regarded as evolving and as important to the theory and practice of international relations. To assess these claims, the chapter first addresses the issue of defining diplomacy, before examining the evolution of diplomacy in terms that may be characterised broadly as pre-modern, modern and postmodern. The relationship between diplomacy and the study of international relations (IR) is then evaluated.
BOX 20.1: TERMINOLOGY
Some definitions of diplomacy
Diplomacy is the application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between the governments of independent states, extending sometimes also to their relations with vassal states; or, more briefly still, the conduct of business between states by peaceful means. (Satow 1979 : 1)
Diplomacy is the management of international relations by negotiation; the method by which these relations are adjusted and managed by ambassadors and envoys; the business or art of the diplomatist. (Harold Nicolson 1969 : 4–5)
[Diplomacy is] the conduct of relations between states and other entities with standing in world politics by official agents and by peaceful means. (Bull 1977: 162)
Diplomacy is concerned with the management of relations between states and other actors. From a state perspective diplomacy is concerned with advising, shaping and implementing foreign policy. (Barston 1988: 1)
Diplomacy is the conduct of international relations by negotiation rather than by force, propaganda, or recourse to law, and by other peaceful means (such as gathering information or engendering goodwill) which are either directly or indirectly designed to promote negotiation. (Berridge 2015: 1)
Diplomacy is the peaceful conduct of relations amongst political entities, their principals and accredited agents. (Hamilton and Langhorne 2011: 1)
Diplomacy is conventionally said to refer to the processes and institutions by which states [and others with standing] represent themselves and their interests in the conduct of their relations with one another. (Sharp 2019: 1)
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines of glaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI was created with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but a limited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the ~198 000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2. Satellite imagery from 1999–2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as 726 800 ± 34 000 km2. The uncertainty, about ±5%, is derived from careful single-glacier and basin-scale uncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The main contributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover. These errors appear not to be normally distributed, and quantifying them reliably is an unsolved problem. Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be combined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers. The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates of glacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.
β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), a leucine metabolite, has long been supplemented as a Ca salt (Ca-HMB) to increase strength and performance gains with exercise and to reduce recovery time. Recently, the free acid form of HMB (HMB-FA) has become commercially available in capsule form (gelcap). The current study was conducted to compare the bioavailability of HMB using the two commercially available capsule forms of HMB-FA and Ca-HMB. We also compared the pharmacokinetics of each form when administered mixed in water. Ten human subjects (five male and five female) were studied in a randomised crossover design. There was no significant sex by treatment interaction for any of the pharmacokinetic parameters measured. HMB-FA administered in capsules was more efficient than Ca-HMB capsule at HMB delivery with a 37 % increase in plasma clearance rate (74·8 (sem 4·0) v. 54·5 (sem 3·2) ml/min, P<0·0001) and a 76 % increase in peak plasma HMB concentration (270·2 (sem 17·8) v. 153·9 (sem 17·9) μmol/l, P<0·006), which was reached in one-third the time (P<0·009). When HMB-FA and Ca-HMB were administered in water, the differences still favoured HMB-FA, albeit to a lesser degree. Plasma HMB with HMB-FA administered in water was greater during the early phase of absorption (up to 45 min postadministration, P<0·05); this resulted in increased AUC during the first 60 min after administration, when compared with Ca-HMB mixed in water (P<0·03). In conclusion, HMB-FA in capsule form improves clearance rate and availability of HMB compared with Ca-HMB in capsule form.
Inequality refers to unequal access to welfare as manifested in consumption, health, life expectancy and schooling. It is usually allied to inequality of income. However, income is not an end but a means of acquiring a good life, which has a number of attributes apart from consumption. Needless to say, income is an imperfect guide to welfare distribution because some aspects of welfare are only vaguely linked to income. For example, income inequality on a world scale went on increasing until recent decades while inequality in terms of literacy has fallen sharply since 1950. The dramatic fall in child mortality during the last two centuries is also only remotely linked to income, and inequality in terms of life expectancy across nations has fallen. In the advanced welfare states of Europe, a growing number of services such as health, childcare, schooling and access to cultural sites such as theatres is provided at subsidized rates that again weaken the link between income and actual consumption. Despite these reservations, income inequality is an important, although insufficient, guide to welfare distribution.
The major sources of income are work, acquired or inherited wealth and, from the twentieth century onward, transfers such as pensions. Excluding property income, the income inequality we observe is closely related to skills acquired through formal education and on-the-job training. However, throughout history we have seen that discrimination can distort the relationship between skill and reward. Property income is not necessarily related to one's own efforts in the past but simply to the sheer luck of being born well endowed.
On a world scale we note that the poor in poor nations are usually much poorer than the poor in rich nations, while the rich in poor nations are almost as rich as the rich in rich nations, although less numerous.
This edition has been thoroughly revised and a large amount of new material has been added reflecting new research results and the recent development of the European economy. Paul Sharp, my former PhD student and now Professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, has assisted me in this work and he has the principal responsibility for Chapters 8 and 9.
We thank Marc Klemp for revising the Glossary and for his comments and suggestions on Chapter 3.
Claudia Riani has contributed to the development of the companion website and we thank Martin Lundrup Ingerslev for research assistance.
Efficiency in the use of resources shapes the wealth of nations
Economic history is concerned with how well mankind, over time, has used resources to create wealth, food and shelter, bread and roses. Nature provides resources and man transforms these resources into goods and services to meet human needs. Some resources remain in fixed supply, such as land, but the fertility of land can and must be restored after harvest. Over thousands of years of agriculture, mankind learned how animal dung, rotation of crops and the introduction of nitrogen-fixing crops could increase the yearly harvest. Natural resources such as coal, oil and iron ore are, however, non-renewable. Other resources are made by mankind. Capital, for example factory buildings and machinery and tools, is therefore renewable. Labour, finally, is a resource whose supply relies on how well mankind uses the other resources at hand. But labour has been in increasing supply since the transition from hunter-gatherer technology to agriculture about ten thousand years ago. The skills of labour, so-called human capital, were primarily based on learning by doing, and it is only since the nineteenth century that formal education has played an important role.
Efficiency is determined by the technology of production and by the institutions that give access to the use of resources. A convenient way of measuring efficiency is total factor productivity. The more output you get from a given amount of resources the higher the level of total factor productivity in an economy. You can measure the growth of total factor productivity by the growth in output which is not caused by an increase in inputs in production. Total factor productivity growth is caused by better use of resources due to new technological knowledge and better organization of production.
Institutions can be understood as the rules of the game for economic life. Institutions or principles such as the Rights of Man matter because if labour is not free to move it is unlikely that labour will find its most productive employment.
This book evolved over the years from the lectures I have given and give to my students at the Department of Economics in Copenhagen. I have, however, attempted to write a book for a wider audience who are searching for a very concise introduction to European economic history which is in tune with recent research. I make use of a few basic and simple economic tools which turn out to be very effective in the interpretation of history. The book offers a panoramic view rather than close-ups. However, the analytical framework will be useful in further studies of the specialized literature. For readers with little background knowledge in economics I provide a glossary defining key concepts, which are marked in bold, for example barter. Economic ideas demanding more attention are explained in the text or in appendices.
This is a work of synthesis, but it attempts to give challenging and new insights. I am indebted to generations of economic historians as well as to a great many of my contemporaries. That normally shows itself in endless footnotes, which not only interrupt the narrative flow but also drown the general historical trends amidst all the details. Instead, I have chosen to end each chapter with a selective list of references which is also a suggestion for further reading. Authors I am particularly influenced by are referred to in the main text.
A large number of colleagues have guided me. Cormac Ó Gráda has as usual been a very stimulating critic and Paul Sharp has not only saved me from embarrassing grammatical errors but is also the co-author of two chapters. I would also like to thank Carl-Johan Dalgaard, Bodil Ejrnæs, Giovanni Federico, Christian Groth, Tim Guinnane, Ingrid Henriksen, Derek Keene, Markus Lampe, Barbro Nedstam and Jacob Weisdorf for helpful comments and suggestions.
Mette Bjarnholt was my research assistant during the initial phase of the project and Marc Klemp and Mekdim D. Regassa in the final stage and they have all been enthusiastic and good to have around.
The comparative advantage argument for free trade and its consequences
David Ricardo (1772–1823) put forward the idea that countries trade in order to gain from their comparative advantages. In his model, countries differed only in the productivity of their labour for producing different goods, and the country that was relatively efficient at producing something should export this good. So, for example, England should export cloth to Portugal and import wine. An important implication of this theory is that countries should trade even if they do not have an absolute advantage in the production of goods: it is not whether a country is better at producing something than another that decides whether or not it should export it, but whether it is relatively better in comparison with other goods. The argument relates to the concept of opportunity costs and is the same idea as that we met in Chapters 2 and 4 as one of the bases of pre-industrial growth. When population or the ‘extent of the market’ expands, specialization is possible. Trade allows the ‘extent of the market’ to cross international borders and for countries to specialize.
The concept of comparative advantage is often considered to be one of the most difficult to grasp in economics, and yet its understanding is crucial. In short, producing a good diverts labour from producing other goods, which are thus lost (the opportunity cost). Of course, in the absence of trade it is necessary to produce all goods, and this is unavoidable. However, with trade it is best for a country to focus on the goods it produces relatively well, because by so doing it can produce most. This extra output can then be traded for the goods it is relatively poor at producing and hence enhance the level of consumer welfare. This is the classic idea of ‘gains from trade’. A numerical example is given in the appendix.
The formation of Europe was a long historical process which involved political, cultural and economic forces. The most striking fact is the geo-economic persistence and continuity of Europe during the last two millennia. We will deal with the integrative impact of trade as well as its border-maintaining effect in shaping and maintaining Europe. Trade was the cohesive force when political, religious and military conflicts threatened to tear Europe apart.
If we let the core of Europe be defined by the borders of the European Union, we can trace back the origins of that geographical entity to the Roman and Carolingian empires, the latter emerging in the ninth century, several centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire. (See Maps 1.1–1.3.) About 80 per cent of the total population of the Roman Empire around the year 100 AD lived within the present (2010) borders of the European Union. It stretched from the Atlantic coast to the Black Sea. Ireland, the northern periphery of Europe, Scandinavia and Russia were touched by neither the Roman nor the Carolingian rulers. Russia's relationship to Europe has remained ambivalent throughout its history, with periods of self-imposed isolation as well as enthusiastic embracing of European ideals, and Scandinavia was late in joining the European Union; in fact Norway is still making up its mind whether to join or not.
The Carolingian Empire represented the revival of political order after the disintegration of the Roman Empire, and also the emergence on the political scene of Germanic peoples, who amalgamated their own traditions with the adopted culture, law and language of their Roman predecessors in their south and westward push. Germanic tribes also advanced towards the east, but kept their own language and pushed the Slavic languages back eastward when they subjected the indigenous peoples and their land.
Industrial Revolution, Industrious Revolution and Industrial Enlightenment
The pre-industrial era witnessed a number of ground-breaking innovations and improvements, but they were typically generated by learning by doing. Producers learned that things worked, but had limited understanding of why things worked. From the seventeenth century, decisive efforts were directed towards gaining more and better knowledge of the ‘laws of nature’. However, it is wrong to believe that the British Industrial Revolution, the period 1770–1830, was based on scientific discoveries. Decisive steps were taken in that period towards a more profound understanding of nature, but these accomplishments had little immediate impact on production technologies. The iconic invention of the eighteenth century, the steam engine, is the exception that confirms this rule. The steam engine developed by Thomas Newcomen (1663–1729) relied on the results of scientific inquiry from the preceding century by the Italians Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) and Evangelista Torricelli (1608–97), the Dutchman Christiaan Huygens (1629–95), and Otto von Guericke (1602–86), a German, regarding atmospheric pressure, the weight of air and the nature of a vacuum. Contemporaries of Newcomen made significant contributions, in particular the French inventor Denis Papin (1647–1712?), who invented the piston. In the first generation of steam engines, the steam was condensed in a cylinder, which created a vacuum, and then the piston was pushed into the cylinder by atmospheric pressure.
The massive breakthrough of technologies, which sprang out of abstract theoretical inquiry coupled with empirical testing, did not arrive until the second half of the nineteenth century and mostly in the closing decades of that century. There is no denying, however, that systematic experiments, often combined with limited or flawed theoretical knowledge, became more common before and during the Industrial Revolution.
These misconceptions regarding the role of science contributed to very optimistic assessments of economic growth in the traditional historical narrative of what made Britain ‘the first industrial nation’.
Institutions are the rules of the game. Some are upheld by law, others by mutual and spontaneous consent and quite a few by the (brute) force of privileged elites. Some institutions are informal, such as trust and commitment, while others – say, the limited liability corporation – needed coordinated action by lawmakers to get established as they did by the end of the nineteenth century.
Modern economic historians tend to explain institutions by pointing at their efficiency-enhancing effects. That works well for a large number of institutions and this is how we shall explain the emergence and persistent use of money as well as the evolution of banks in Chapter 7. Welfare State institutions are explained by the way they resolve potential market failures in private insurance and capital markets (Chapter 10). Private property rights can be seen as solving the inefficiencies of communal property rights; this is known as the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons is a metaphor for the waste of resources that may occur if there are no restrictions on the use of resources. If all have access to a resource – a forest, say – it will be over-exploited unless there are centrally planned restrictions on its use. The over-exploitation stems from the fact that each individual user generates a cost to others, what is technically known as an externality. If an individual logs timber for her own use, she will reduce the future availability of timber not only for herself but for others as well. But the cost to others does not affect or restrain the individual user because that cost does not enter as a private cost. The social costs of individual action are larger than the private costs. Deforestation is a serious problem in large parts of Africa at present because households need wood for cooking their meals.
This revised and extended edition of the leading textbook on European economic history has been updated to take account of contemporary economic developments and the latest research and debates. A concise and accessible introduction that covers the full sweep of the European history, the book focuses on the interplay between the development of institutions and the generation and diffusion of knowledge-based technologies. With simple explanations of key economic principles, the book is an ideal introduction for students in history and economics. Revised textboxes and figures, an extensive glossary, suggestions for further reading and a suite of online resources lead students to a comprehensive understanding of the subject. New material covers contemporary economic developments such as the financial crises of 2007/2008, the Eurozone crisis, new trends in inequality and the austerity debates. This remains the only textbook students need to understand Europe's unique economic development and its global context.