Scandia utblick: New Diplomatic History. Its History and Nordic Future


  • Joachim Östlund



New Diplomatic History, consular diplomacy, early modern, global history, Nordic history


Diplomatic history is one of the giants of historical scholarship, which has often been questioned and challenged throughout its lifetime. This article discusses the field of New Diplomatic History centered on definitions of diplomacy in general and specifically on research on the early modern period during the last decades. Special focus is placed on Nordic early modern diplomatic history through a number of research projects that have been and are active at the Historical Department at Lund University. These projects
reflect the general turn towards social, cultural, and global analyses that characterize new diplomatic history. The article argues that criticism of the older diplomatic history’s macro-historical perspective should be seen in a more nuanced or creative light with the global historical turn, and above all that Nordic diplomatic history has an important role to play in balancing theoretical models developed primarily on examples from Continental Europe. Depending on the approaches chosen, continued studies on Nordic diplomatic history in the early modern era can offer great opportunities to rethink international diplomacy – its centers and peripheries, actors and interconnectivities.