This article considers the relevance of an ethnographic approach towards the study of diplomacy. By drawing upon recent interdisciplinary developments we critically reassess the ongoing assumption that in the modern world diplomacy is separated from other domains of human life, and that the only actors authorized and able to conduct diplomacy are the nation-state’s representatives. Having outlined recent theoretical interventions concerning the turn towards the study of everyday, unofficial and grass-roots forms of diplomacy, the article suggests some of the ways in which ethnography can be deployed in order to understand how individuals and communities affected by geopolitical processes develop and pursue diplomatic modes of agency and ask how they relate to, evaluate and arbitrate between the geopolitical realms that affect their lives. In so doing, we propose an analytical heuristic – ‘everyday diplomacy’ – to attend to the ways individuals and communities engage with and influence decisions about world affairs.
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