'The Pope's Own Hand Outstretched': Holy See Diplomacy as a Hybrid Mode of Diplomatic Agency
British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 20, no. 3 (2018), 521-539
19 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2017 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018
Date Written: August 3, 2017
The unconventional nature of the Holy See diplomats rests in the hybrid character of their ecclesiastical role as the Pope’s representatives and their legal diplomatic status and commencement to ordinary diplomatic practice. Holy See diplomacy is a form of conduct created by a set of mixed secular and religious standards in which agents are guided by practices. I locate my argument within a classical English School and a conventional practice understanding of diplomacy and agency while incorporating constructivist understandings of the diplomat as a stranger. The article situates Holy See diplomat’s mode of agency as a hybrid one by nature, located at the intersections of political and religious modes of agency and substantial and relational conceptions of international politics. I probe this conceptual framework of hybrid agency by analyzing historical episodes involving papal diplomats in turmoil ridden historical episodes and unstructured interviews and correspondence with informed agents and nuncios.
Keywords: Holy See, Diplomacy, Pope, International Relations
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