When I started the blog, I did not know a lot of articles and studies about consular diplomacy. I have compiled some resources about the subject in the last two years. The focus is on consular activities related to diplomacy and foreign policy, with a Mexican tilt. Below are some of the works I have identified, which I will update every few months.
This list is in alphabetical order but incomplete, and I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Please feel free to send them in the comments section below or via email.
I apologize for not using any reference-management software, but I do not know how to integrate it into the blog.
Berridge, G.R. (2022). Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. 6th edition. Palgrave Macmillan and the DiploFoundation.
Carrigan, W.D. and Webb, C. (2013). Forgotten Dead: Mob violence against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928. Oxford University Press.
Casey, C. A. (2020). Nationals Abroad Globalization, Individual Rights, and the Making of Modern International Law. Cambridge University Press
Délano Alonso, A. (2018). From here and there: Diaspora Policies, Integration, and Social Rights Beyond Borders. Oxford University Press.
De Goey, F. (2014). Consuls and the Institutions of Global Capitalism. Routledge.
Fernández de Castro, R, (coord.). (2018). La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump. El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Gómez Arnau, R. (1990). México y la proteccion de sus nacionales en Estados Unidos. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Estados Unidos de América, UNAM. (IN SPANISH)
Græger, N. and Leira, H. (eds.). (2020). The Duty of Care in International Relations: Protecting Citizens Beyond the Border. Routledge.
Heinsen-Roach, E. (2019). Consuls and Captives: Dutch-North African Diplomacy in the Early Modern Mediterranean. University of Rochester Press.
Hernández Joseph, D. (2015). Protección Consular Mexicana. Ford Foundation & Miguel Ángel Porrúa. (IN SPANISH)
Herz, M. F. (1983). The Consular Dimension of Diplomacy: A Symposium. Institute of the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University.
Hofstadter, C. G. (2020). Modern Consuls, Local Communities and Globalization. Palgrave Pivot.
Melissen, J. (2005). The New Public Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice. In J. Melissen (ed.), The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations. (pp. 3-27). Palgrave MacMillan.
Melissen, J. and Fernandez, A. M., (eds.) (2011). Consular Affairs and Diplomacy. Martinus Nijhoff.
Moyano Pahissa, Á. (1989). Antología Protección Consular a Mexicanos en los Estados Unidos 1849-1900.Archivo Histórico Diplomático Mexicano, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores. (IN SPANISH)
Muñoz Martinez, M. (2018). The Injustice Never Leaves You: Ant-Mexican Violence in Texas. Harvard University Press.
Calva Ruíz, V. (2018). Diplomacia Consular y acercamiento con socios estratégicos. In R. Fernández de Castro (coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 205-216). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
De Moya, M. & Bravo, V. (2021). Conclusion: Lessons Learned and Future Research. In V. Bravo & M. De Moya (eds), Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy, (pp. 311-324). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74564-6_13
Fernández de Castro, R. & Hernández Hernández, A. (2018). Introducción. In R. Fernández de Castro(coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 17-25). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Fernández Pasarin, A. M. (2016). Consulates and Consular Diplomacy. In C. Constantinou, P. Kerr & P. Sharp (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Diplomacy. Sage Publishing.
Gómez Zapata, T. (2021). Civil Society as an Advocate of Mexicans and Latinos in the United States: The Chicago Case. In V. Bravo & M. De Moya (eds.), Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy, (pp. 189-213). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74564-6_8
González Gutiérrez, C. (2006). Del acercamiento a la inclusión institucional: la experiencia del Insittuto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. In C. Gónzalez Gutiérrez (coord.), Relaciones Estado-diáspora: aproximaciones desde cuatro continentes, Tomo 1, (pp. 181-220). Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores. (IN SPANISH)
González Gutiérrez, C. (2018). El significado de una relación especial: las relaciones de México con Texas a la luz de su experiencia en California. In R. Fernández de Castro (coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 253-269). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Heijmans, M. y Melissen, J. (2007). MFAs and the Rising Challenge of Consular Affairs Cinderella in the Limelight. En K.S. Rana y J. Kurbalija (eds.), Foreign Ministries Managing Diplomatic Networks and Optimizing Value (pp. 192-206). Malta: DiploFoundation.
Laveaga Rendón, R. (2018). Mantenerse a la Vanguardia: Desafío para los Consulados de México en Estados Unidos. In R. Fernández de Castro (coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 231-251). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Leira, H. & Græger, N. (2020). Introduction: The Duty of Care in International Relations. In N. Græger & H. Leira (eds.), The Duty of Care in International Relations: Protecting Citizens Beyond the Border, (pp. 1-17). Routledge.
Leira, H. & Neumann, I. B. (2011). The Many Past Lives of the Consul. In J. Melissen & A. M. Fernández, (eds.), Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, (pp. 223-246). Martinus Nijhoff. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004188761.i-334.69
Leira, H. & Neumann, I. B. (2017). Consular Diplomacy. In P. Kerr & G. Wiseman (eds.), Diplomacy in a globalizing world: Theories and Practice. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
Melissen, J. (2011). Introduction The Consular Dimension of Diplomacy. In J. Melissen & A. M. Fernández, (eds.), Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, (pp. 1-17). Martinus Nijhoff. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004188761.i-334.6
Mendoza Sánchez, J. C., & Cespedes Cantú, A. (2021). Innovating through Engagement: Mexico’s Model to Support Its Diaspora. In L. Kennedy (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Diaspora Diplomacy. Routledge.
Neumann, I. and Leira, H. (2020). The evolution of the consular institution. In I. Neumann, Diplomatic Tense,(pp. 8-25). Manchester University Press.
Okano-Heijmans, M. (2011). Changes in Consular Assistance and the Emergence of Consular Diplomacy. In J. Melissen & A. M. Fernández, (eds.), Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, (pp. 21-41). Martinus Nijhoff. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004188761.i-334.13
Okano-Heijmans, M. (2013). Consular Affairs. In A. Cooper et al., (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, (pp. 473-492). Oxford University Press.
Rana, K. S. (2011). The New Consular Diplomacy. In K. S. Rana, 21st Century Diplomacy. A Practitioners Guide. Continuum.
Schiavon, J. A. & Ordorica R., G. (2018). Las sinergias con otras comunidades: el caso Tricamex. In R.Fernández de Castro (coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 185-203). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Torres Mendivil, R. (2018). La diplomacia consular: un paradigma de la relación México-Estados Unidos. In R.Fernández de Castro (coord.), La Diplomacia Consular Mexicana en tiempos de Trump, (pp. 109-124). El Colegio de la Frontera Norte & El Colegio de San Luis. (IN SPANISH)
Ulbert, J. (2011). A History of the French Consular Services. In J. Melissen & A. M. Fernández, (eds.),Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, (pp. 303-324). Martinus Nijhoff. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004188761.i-334.96
Valenzuela-Moreno, K. A. (2021). Transnational Social Protection and the Role of Countries of Origin: The Cases of Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Ecuador. In V. Bravo & M. De Moya (eds.), Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy, (pp. 27-51). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74564-6_2
Bada, X., & Gleeson, S. (2015). A New Approach to Migrant Labor Rights Enforcement. Labor Studies Journal,40(1), 32-53. https://doi.org/10.1177/0160449X14565112.
Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). Duty of Care: Consular Diplomacy Response of Baltic and Nordic Countries to COVID-19. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 17(2022), 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191x-bja10115.
Bravo, V., & De Moya, M. (2018). Mexico’s public diplomacy efforts to engage its diaspora across the border: Case study of the programs, messages and strategies employed by the Mexican Embassy in the United States. Rising Powers Quarterly, 3(3), 173-193.
Cárdenas Suárez, H. (2019). La política consular en Estados Unidos: protección, documentación y vinculacion con las comunidades mexicanas en el exterior. Foro Internacional, LIX(3-4), 1077-1113. https://doi.org/10.24201/fi.v59i3-4.2652. (IN SPANISH)
Crosbie, W. (2018). A Consular Code to Supplement the VCCR. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 13(2), 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-11302019
Délano, A. (2009). From Limited to Active Engagement: Mexico’s Emigration Policies from a Foreign Policy Perspective. International Migration Review, 43(4), 764-814. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2009.00784.x.
Délano, A. (2014). The diffusion of diaspora engagement policies: A Latin American agenda. Political Geography, 41, 90-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2013.11.007.
De la Vega Wood, D. A. (2014). Diplomacia consular para el desarrollo humano: una visión desde la agenda democrática. Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior 101, May-August, 167-185. (IN SPANISH)
Durand, J., Massey, D. S. & Parrado, E. A. (1999). The New Era of Mexican Migration to the United States. The Journal of American History, 86(2), 518-536.
Gómez Maganda, G. and Kerber Palma, A. (2016). Atención con perspectiva de género para las comunidades mexicanas en el exterior. Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior, No. 107, May-August, 185-202. (IN SPANISH)
González Gutiérrez, C. (1999). Fostering Identities: México´s Relations with Its Diaspora. The Journal of American History, 86(2), 545-567. https://doi.org/10.2307/2567045
Græger, N. & Lindgren, W. Y. (2018). The Duty of Care for Citizens Abroad: Security and Responsibility in the In Amenas and Fukushima Crises. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 13(2), 188-210. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-11302009
Hernández Joseph, D. (2012). Mexico’s Concentration Consular Services. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy,7(2), 227-236. https://doi.org/10.1163/187119112X625556.
Haugevic, K. (2018). Parental Child Abduction and the State: Identity, Diplomacy and the Duty of Care. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 13(2), 167-187. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-11302010
Leira, H. (2018). Caring and Carers: Diplomatic Personnel and the Duty of Care. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 13(2), 147-166. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-11302007
Leira, H. and de Carvalho, B. (2021). The Intercity Origins of Diplomacy: Consuls, Empires, and the Sea. Diplomatica 3 (1), 147-156. https://doi.org/10.1163/25891774-03010008
Lottaz, P. (2020). Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia. Traverse: Zeitschrift für Geschichte = Revue d´historie 27(1), 23-34.
Marina Valle, V., Gandoy Vázquez, W. L., and Valenzuela Moreno, K. A. (2020). Ventanillas de Salud: Defeating challenges in healthcare access for Mexican immigrants in the United States. Estudios Fronterizos, 21 (e043). https://doi.org/10.1080/23340460.2020.1714462
Márquez Lartigue, R. (2023). Beyond Traditional Boundaries: The Origins and Features of the Public-Consular Diplomacy of Mexico. Journal of Public Diplomacy 2(2), 48-68.
Martínez-Schuldt, R. D. (2020). Mexican Consular Protection Services across the United States: How Local Social, Economic, and Political Conditions Structure the Sociolegal Support of Emigrants. International Migration Review, 54(4), 1016-1044.
Melissen, J. (2020). Consular diplomacy's first challenge: Communicating assistance to nationals abroad. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, 7(2), 217-228. https://doi.org/10.1002/app5.298
Melissen, J. & Okano-Heijmans, M. (2018). Introduction. Diplomacy and the Duty of Care. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 13(2), 137-145. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-23032072
Navarro Bernachi, A. (2014). La perspectiva transversal y multilateral de la protección consular. Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior (101), May-August, 81-97. (IN SPANISH)
Necochea López, R. (2018). Mexico´s health diplomacy and the Ventanilla de Salud program. Latino Studies(16), 482-502. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41276-018-0145-8
Okano-Heijmans, M. & Price, C. (2019). Providing consular services to low-skilled migrant workers: partnerships that care. Global Affairs, 5(4-5) 427-443. https://doi.org/10.1080/23340460.2020.1714462
Rangel Gomez, M. G., Tonda, J., Zapata, G. R., Flynn, M., Gany, F., Lara, J., Shapiro, I, & Ballesteros Rosales, C. (2017). Ventanillas de Salud: A Collaborative and Binational Health Access and Preventive Care Program. Frontiers in Public Health 5. 30 June. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00151.
Schiavon, J. A. & Cárdenas Alaminos, N. (2014). La proteccón consular de la diáspora mexicana. Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior (101), May-August, 43-67. (IN SPANISH)
Torres Mendivil, R. (2014). Morfología, tradición y futuro de la práctica consular mexicana. Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior 101, May-August, 69-79. (IN SPANISH)
Tsinovoi, A. and Adler-Nissen, R. (2018) Inversion of the “Duty of Care”: Diplomacy and the protection of Citizens Abroad, from Pastoral Care to neoliberal Governmentality. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (13) 2, 211-232. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-11302017
Xia, L. (2021). Consular Protection with Chinese Characteristics: Challenges and Solutions. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 16 (2-3), 253-274. https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-BJA10068.
Valenzuela-Moreno, K. (2019). Los consulados mexicanos en Estados Unidos: Una aproximación desde la protección social. INTERdisciplina, 7(18), 59-79. https://www.revistas.unam.mx/index.php/inter/article/view/68460/61387.
Batalova, J. (2008). Mexican Immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. 23 April. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/mexican-immigrants-united-states-2006.
Bruno, A. y Storrs, K. L. (2005). Consular Identification Cards: Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications, the Mexican Case, and Related Legislation. Congressional Research Services. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/RL32094.pdf.
González, C., Martínez, A. & Purcell, J. (2015). Report: Global Consular Forum 2015, Wilton Park, July. Global Consular Forum.
Israel, E. & Batalova, J. (2020). Mexican Immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. 5 November. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/mexican-immigrants-united-states-2019.
Kunz, R. (2008). Mobilising diasporas: A governmentality analysis of the case of Mexico. Working Paper Series, “Glocal Governance and Democracy” 3. Institute of Political Science, University of Lucerne. https://zenodo.org/record/48764?ln=en#.YyZZyC2xBaR.
Laglagaron, L. (2010). Protection through Integration: The Mexican Government’s Efforts to Aid Migrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/publications/IME_FINAL.pdf
Márquez Lartigue, R. (2021). El surgimiento de la Diplomacia Consular: su interpretación desde México. Unpublished essay. (IN SPANISH)
Murray, L. (2013). Conference report: Contemporary consular practice trends and challenges, Wilton Park, October. Global Consular Forum.
Noe-Bustamante, L., Flores, A. & Shah, S. (2019). Facts on Hispanics of Mexican origin in the United States, 2017. Pew Hispanic Center. 16 September. https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/fact-sheet/u-s-hispanics-facts-on-mexican-origin-latinos/.
Global Consular Forum. (2016). Seoul Consensus Statement on Consular Cooperation, 27 October.
Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. (2018). Población Mexicana en el Mundo: Estadística de la población mexicana en el mundo 2017. 23 July.http://www.ime.gob.mx/estadisticas/mundo/estadistica_poblacion_pruebas.html.
Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. (2021). ‘Revista “Casa de México”’. 22 January.
Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores. (2019). Fortalecimiento de la Atención a Mexicanos en el Exterior, Libro Blanco 2012-2018. (IN SPANISH)
OTHER BLOG POSTS (BESIDES THIS BLOG)
Márquez Lartigue, R. (2021). Public-Consular Diplomacy at its Best: The case of the Mexican Consular ID card program. CPD Blog. 4 February. https://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/blog/public-consular-diplomacy-its-best-case-mexican-consular-id-card-program.
Márquez Lartigue, R. (2021). Public-Consular Diplomacy That Works: Mexico’s Labor Rights Week in the U.S. CPD Blog. 6 October. https://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/blog/public-consular-diplomacy-works-mexicos-labor-rights-week-us.
Márquez Lartigue, R. (2022). Public-Consular Diplomacy That Heals: Binational Health Week Program. CPD Blog. 8 June. https://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/blog/public-consular-diplomacy-heals-binational-health-week-program.
Following up on my previous post, “Recent studies on consular diplomacy: reevaluating the consular institution,” about recent works on consular diplomacy, I want to share two great articles I just finished reading.
But first, I want to share that the Journal of Public Diplomacy recently published my practitioner's essay titled Beyond Traditional Boundaries: The Origins and Features of the Public-Consular Diplomacy of Mexico. It is open access, so I invite you to read it too.
The first article I just read is titled “Duty of Care: Consular Diplomacy Response on Baltic and Nordic Countries to COVID-19”, and was published by the Hague Journal of Diplomacy (open source article).[i]
The second is “Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia”, written by Pascal Lottaz and focuses on opening Swiss consular offices in the Far East in the 1860s.
So, let´s start with the comparative study of the Baltic and Nordic countries´ consular diplomacy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Duty of Care: Consular Diplomacy Response on Baltic and Nordic Countries to COVID-19”
The article is a must-read for anybody interested in the latest developments in diplomatic practices. It includes discussions on the evolution from consular services into consular diplomacy through the expansion into foreign policy, digital diplomacy, and citizen-centric initiatives.[ii]
There are few comparative studies of consular diplomacy; therefore, this essay is very much welcomed. It also showcases the different responses to the biggest-ever challenge for consular assistance, as the pandemic was once in a millennia occurrence that closed down the entire world.
Birka, Klavinš, and Kits explain the concept of “Duty of Care” and the importance of the state–society relationship in implementing consular assistance to citizens abroad in the real world. They classify this responsibility into two categories the “pastoral care concept [in] which citizens are objects to be protected [and the] neoliberal governmentality conception where citizens are expected to take on more responsibility for their own well-being.”[iii]
The authors define the concept “as the assistance and protection of citizens through guidance and information provision, enabling citizens to make informed decisions and care for themselves. However, when faced with the pandemic, all states made minor adjustments to this approach and assumed some level of a pastoral DoC role by exceeding normal consular services provision.”[iv]
Birka, Klavinš, and Kits also discuss the changes in consular affairs, particularly the refocusing of ministries of foreign affairs into a greater engagement with its citizens and the inclusion of new diplomatic tools such as digital and diaspora diplomacies into their primary functions. The rise of consular diplomacy is part of these transformations and was put to a big test with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The evaluation and comparison of the response of the Nordic and Baltic countries to the pandemic is a significant contribution to the field of consular diplomacy studies. Despite their similarities, the eight countries have essential differences in their consular emergency responses.
The categorization of the countries' consular responses to the pandemic, reflected in tables 2 ”extent of pastoral care provided”[v] and 3 “aspects of consular diplomacy,”[vi] could be applied in other comparative or single-country case studies.
A key highlight of “Duty of Care: Consular Diplomacy Response on Baltic and Nordic Countries to COVID-19”, is the importance of having robust relationships among different MFAs to be able to evolve from consular coordination schemes to full-fledged consular diplomacy, which happened among the Nordic states but not in the Baltic region.
Regarding innovative approaches, Lithuania and Denmark stand out. By using their established connections with their diasporas, the two countries were able to mobilize them to assist their nationals in the first months of the pandemic.[viii] Citizens' active participation in helping governments distribute valuable information and their assistance to some people showcases the new role of citizens in diplomacy and consular assistance.
The study underscores the significant contributions of information and communications technologies to diplomacy. Having a smartphone application with hundreds of thousands of users and being able to send SMS messages to all citizens abroad underline their vital role in today´s consular diplomacy. Even traditional MFAs webpages were crucial in disseminating information to people stuck overseas and their family members in the home country.
Birka, Klavinš, and Kits successfully explain the critical elements of today´s consular diplomacy, and I am sure their comparative study will be highly cited work in the field. It is a must-read for everybody interested in today´s diplomacy, not only consular affairs.
Now, let´s move on to the historical essay on Switzerland's consular diplomacy in the late 19th century.
“Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia”
From the onset, it is hard to imagine why a small land-locked country like Switzerland would be interested in opening consulates in Asia. However, after reading the article, it all makes sense; therefore, this essay is also a valuable contribution to the field of consular diplomacy.
It is fascinating to learn about how trade interests pushed the opening of Swiss consulates in Manila (1862), Batavia (now Jakarta) in 1863, and Yokohama and Nagasaki (Japan) a year later. Back then, the Alps´ nation had only three embassies -Paris, Vienna, and Turin (its three big neighbors)- but had 77 honorary consulates; therefore, most of its foreign activities were conducted by non-official consular officers rather than state diplomats.[ix]
“Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia” showcases the linkage between colonial powers and small European countries in their trade expansion two centuries ago. Switzerland was able to open two new consulates with the assistance of Spain and the Netherlands. Besides, the U.S. and the Dutch helped Swiss diplomats sign a friendship treaty with Japan in 1864 after a failed attempt.[x]
Lottaz identifies the need for new markets for Swiss manufactured goods as the main objective in expanding relations with the Far East, which was driven mainly by a few tycoons, also called “Federal Barons.”[xi] He also ascertains that the expansion resulted from “the opportunity structure of the colonial era.”[xii]
Another issue that surfaced in this research was the concern about giving an advantage to a company with the designation of honorary consul abroad, issue that later was overturned, as the Swiss government designated the same person the second time around.[xiii] This subject still matters today, as demonstrated by the recent investigation into honorary consuls´ criminal activities and nefarious behaviors (See below).
Here are some topics that came up in the conclusions of the article which could be further studied:
The article reinforces the idea that most of the consular activities in the 19th century were focused on protecting trade interests, which were part of the national interest, rather than individual citizens. This perspective differs in the case of Mexico, which early on focused on protecting citizens in distress in the U.S. that had no trade connections.
“Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia” is a worthwhile contribution to understanding the links between trade and diplomacy and the merging of consular and diplomatic functions into what is known today as consular diplomacy.
A brief comment on Consuls and Captives: Dutch-North African Diplomacy in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Before finishing, I just want to briefly comment on the book Consuls and Captives: Dutch-North African Diplomacy in the Early Modern Mediterranean by Erica Heinsen-Roach. It is not new, but it is fascinating historical research that demonstrates that diplomacy is not a uniquely European creation. The fact is that for nearly 300 hundred years, Maghribi corsairs and rulers in Morocco, Algiers, and Tunis, were able to deal on their own terms with European powers, mainly under the title of consuls, who performed diplomatic duties.
The book has a human dimension as it centers on the adventurous lives of Dutch consuls and a couple of non-resident ambassadors stationed on the African shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It provides an excellent example of the role of consuls in diplomacy.
One of the defining elements of consular diplomacy is high-visibility consular cases[xiv]; therefore, what is more relevant than the enslavement of Dutch nationals in the Mediterranean and the government’s efforts to release them?
As seen in the Swiss expansion to Asia, in this case, consular protection of citizens in distress was mainly related to trade interests, as the corsairs’ seizure of Dutch vessels and citizens in the Mediterranean affected the national interests. However, it seems that there is also a humanitarian responsibility, described as “duty of care” by the Dutch authorities, to look after its nationals abroad, particularly in these situations where the government's action made the difference between freedom and slavery.
A final note on the honorary consuls’ global investigation.
Recently, ProPublica and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists launched a global investigation on honorary consuls titled “Shadow diplomats: The Global Threat of Rogue Diplomacy.”
This study is unique as consular affairs are typically covered by the media on crises or high-visibility consular cases, not the consular officials´ performance and activities. Sadly, it focuses on the “rogue” side rather than honorary consuls´ substantial contributions, especially in assisting distressed citizens abroad and promoting greater ties between nations.
Most of the cases described in the research would still exist, as honorary consular usually are citizens of the host country rather than foreigners. The only, and important difference is their status as consular officers granted by both the receiving and the sending governments´. Of course, any criminal activity should be prosecuted, and abuses should be reported and sanctioned.
[i] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). Duty of Care: Consular Diplomacy Response of Baltic and Nordic Countries to COVID-19. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 17(2022), 1-32.
[ii] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022).
[iii] Tsinovoi A. and Adler-Nissen, R. (2018) Inversion of the “Duty of Care”: Diplomacy and the protection of Citizens Abroad, from Pastoral Care to neoliberal Governmentality. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (13) 2, cited in Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). p. 7.
[iv] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). p. 26.
[v] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). p. 16.
[vi] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). pp. 23-24.
[vii] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). pp. 22-24.
[viii] Birka, I., Klavinš D., & Kits, R. (2022). pp. 22-24.
[ix] Lottaz, P. (2020). Going East: Switzerland´s east consular diplomacy toward East and Southeast Asia. Traverse: Zeitschrift für Geschichte = Revue d´historie 27(1), p. 23-24.
[x] Lottaz, P. (2020). p. 28.
[xi] Lottaz, P. (2020). pp. 25-26.
[xii] Lottaz, P. (2020). p. 24.
[xiii] Lottaz, P. (2020). pp. 24 and 30.
[xiv] See Maaike Okano-Heijmans. (2011). Changes in Consular Assistance and the Emergence of Consular Diplomacy. In Jan Melissen and Ana Mar Fernandez (eds.) Consular Affairs and Diplomacy, pp. 21-41.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of any other authority, agency, organization, employer, or company.
Rodrigo Márquez Lartigue
Diplomat interested in the development of Consular and Public Diplomacies.