Still head waiters who are occasionally allowed to sit? Heads of mission after COVID-19
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Citation (published version)Jorge Heine. 2020. "Still Head Waiters Who Are Occasionally Allowed to Sit? Heads of Mission after COVID-19." The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp. 648 - 658. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191x-bja10038
Summary: ‘A diplomat these days is nothing but a head waiter who is occasionally allowed to sit’, the actor Peter Ustinov once quipped. The paradox is that at the height of the current phase of globalization, diplomacy and diplomats were sidelined rather than recognized for their key roles as ‘hinges’ of this process. Will the COVID-19 pandemic, with its cutting back on travel and (most likely) the budgets of ministries of foreign affairs, and the blistering attacks of populists on diplomats lead to their further marginalization? Looking at the newly emerging role of Chinese ambassadors, this essay argues that may not necessarily be the case.