ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

Friday 29 January 2021

BOOK: Maurits EBBEN & Louis SICKING (Eds.), Beyond Ambassadors. Consuls, Missionaries, and Spies in Premodern Diplomacy (Leiden: Brill, 2021), 223 p. ISBN: 9789004438842, € 99.00

 (Source: Brill)


Series: Rulers & Elites, Volume: 19. Contributors are: Maurits Ebben, Dante Fedele, Alan Marshall, Jacques Paviot, Felicia Roșu, Jean-Baptiste Santamaria, Louis Sicking, and John Watkins.

Because of the overarching shadow of ‘the state’ in all things diplomatic, traditional diplomatic history has neglected the study of any actors in foreign relations other than state diplomats, such as ambassadors. This volume focuses on the question of how and why consuls, missionaries, and spies not formally tied to the state or a prince could play a role in premodern diplomatic relations. It highlights their multiple loyalties, their volatility, and the porous boundaries of diplomatic activity. Historical research on non-state actors – in the context of the so-called new diplomatic history – is all the more urgent as it demonstrates their undeniably significant contributions to the formation of Europe’s international relations. 


Maurits Ebben (1955) is a lecturer at Leiden University, Ph.D. Leiden University 1996. He is currently working on a new volume entitled Ambassadors, Consuls and Commerce: The Dutch Diplomatic Service in the Later Seventeenth Century, 1648-1700. 

Louis Sicking is the Aemilius Papinianus professor of history of public international law at VU University and lecturer in history at the University of Leiden. He is presently working on a book on conflict management in pre-modern Atlantic Europe.


List of Maps and Table 
Notes on Contributors 
  Maurits Ebben and Louis Sicking 
Part I
Theoretical Challenges 
1. Premodern Non-State Agency: the Theoretical, Historical, and Legal Challenge 
  John Watkins 
2. Plurality of Diplomatic Agents in Premodern Literature on the Ambassador 
  Dante Fedele 
Part II
3. Space, Agency, and Conflict Management in the Late Medieval Baltic: Urban Colonies and Representatives of Hanse Towns at Scania 
Louis Sicking 
4. Your High and Mighty Lordships’ Most Humble Servants: Dutch Consuls and the States General’s Diplomacy in Spain, 1648–1661 
Maurits Ebben 
Part 3 
5. The Mendicant Friars: Actors in Diplomatic Encounters with the Mongols 
  Jacques Paviot 
6. The New Indies, the Desired Indies: Antonio Possevino and the Jesuits between Diplomacy and Missionarism in Northeastern Europe, 1577–1587 
  Felicia Roșu 
Part IV
7. Secrets, Diplomatics, and Spies in Late Medieval France and in the Burgundian State: Parallel Practices and Undercover Operations 
  Jean-Baptiste Santamaria 
8. ‘Secret Wheeles’: Clandestine Information, Espionage, and European Intelligence 
  Alan Marshall 
Index of Names 

More information with the publisher