Dag Hammarskjöld: An International Civil Servant Uniting Mystics and Realistic Diplomatic Engagement
Diplomacy & Statecraft 21, no. 3 (2010), 434-450
25 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2010
The UN’s secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, whose spiritual set of beliefs influenced his political activity, was searching for universality and solidarity, just as it is written down in the charter of the UN. While in office, Hammarskjöld was able to unite personal belief and political ratio. This is the main reason why he became a respected and true international civil servant. Hammarskjöld was neither a pure idealist nor a pure realist. The article examines the moral but not moralistic life and legacy of Hammarskjöld who united mystics and realistic political engagement. In doing so it draws on the lessons learned from a “practical mystical” and international civil servant. This is chiefly done by using the English School approach of international relations theory while at same time pointing out the impact of positive mimesis. By devoting his private life to God, Hammarskjöld was able to devote his political life to the UN.
Keywords: Dag Hammarskjöld, English School, ethics, mimesis, mystics, religion, Secretary-General, United Nations, world society
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation