Calls for papers


International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy
International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy


Special Issue on: "Commercial Diplomacy and International Business"

Guest Editors:
Huub Ruel, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Donna Lee, University of Birmingham, UK
Geoff Pigman, Bennington College, USA

Governments have a major interest in supporting business abroad as it may lead to domestic job creation, tax revenue increase and a stable economy (Naray, 2010). As a consequence, a change in the current practice of diplomacy towards more commercial activities can be observed (Kostecki & Naray, 2007). According to Lee and Hudson (2004: 343), “commercial activities of diplomatic services have been centralized, […] extended, and business interests have been formally integrated within diplomatic systems”.

Commercial diplomacy has thereby become a foreign policy priority of governments. Activities within the field of commercial diplomacy aim at “encouraging business development” (Naray, 2010: 122), “the development of socially beneficial international business ventures” (Kostecki & Naray, 2007: 1), and “national economic development” (Saner & Yiu, 2003: 1).

The spectrum of actors in commercial diplomacy ranges from the high-policy level (head of state or prime minister to ambassador) to the lower level of specialised diplomatic envoy, such as trade representative, commercial attaché or commercial diplomat.

But more and more private actors are involved, especially international business representatives. “Many of the global challenges now confronting international business are issues and matters of diplomacy”, as Muldoon (2005, p. 355) puts it. Terms such as business diplomacy (Muldoon, 2005), the business-government interface (Hillman & Keim, 1995), corporate diplomacy (Ordeix-Rigo and Duarte, 2009), strategic political management (Hillman, 2003) and corporate political strategy (Oliver & Holzinger, 2008) have been proposed in the literature to label and describe international business’ involvement in diplomatic activity.

But whereas the commercial aspect seems to be gaining importance in diplomatic practice, the body of literature on the subject is still rather limited. The literature “fails to identify, explain and understand […] the increased influence of private interests in diplomacy” (Lee & Hudson, 2004: 344), and hardly draws a complete picture of all its aspects.

This special issue aims to contribute to expanding the body of literature on the relationship between commercial diplomacy and international business. This call for papers therefore invites conceptual as well as empirical (quantitative and qualitative) work.

Hillman, A.J. (2003). Determinants of political strategies in U.S. Multinationals. Business & Society. 42 (4): 455-484.
Hillman, A., Keim, G. (1995). International variation in the business-government interface: institutional and organizational considerations. Academy of Management Review. 20 (1): 193-214.
Kostecki M., Naray O. (2007). Commercial Diplomacy and International Business, Clingendael Discussion Paper in Diplomacy, The Hague, Clingendael Institute, April 2007.
Lee, D., Hudson, D. 2004. The Old en new significance of political economy in diplomacy. Review of International Studies, 30, 343 – 360.
Naray, O. (2010a). Commercial Diplomats in the context of International Business. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 6, 121-148.
Muldoon, J.P. (2005). The Diplomacy of Business. Diplomacy and Statecraft. 16: 341-359.
Ordeix-Rigo, E., Duarte, J. (2009). From Public diplomacy to corporate diplomacy: increasing corporation’s legitimacy and influence. American Behavioral Scientist. 53 (4): 549-564.
Oliver, C., Holzinger, I. (2008). The Effectiveness of Strategic Political Management: A Dynamic Capabilities Framework. Academy of Management Review. 33 (2), 496–520.
Potter, E. 2004. Branding Canada : The Renaissance of Canada’s Commercial Diplomacy, International Studies Perspectives, 5, 55-60.
Saner, & Yiu, L. (2003). International economic diplomacy: Mutations in post-modern times. The Hague : Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael", January, -37p.
Yakop, M. & Bergeijk, P.A.G. van (2009). The weight of economic and commercial diplomacy. International Institute of Social Studies, working paper 478; available at:

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • The relationship between commercial diplomats and international business representatives
  • The value of commercial diplomacy for international business
  • The role of international business in commercial diplomacy's effectiveness
  • International business networks and commercial diplomats
  • Commercial diplomats' competence for international business collaboration
  • Foreign policy, economic policy, and international justice
  • Corporate social responsibility and commercial diplomacy
  • Commercial diplomacy instruments for international business support
  • Theory development on the commercial diplomacy and international business relationship
  • International business' involvement in commercial diplomacy
  • Research methodology for studying the commercial diplomacy and international business relationship

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Extended abstract due: 1 March, 2012 (by email)

First paper submission due: 1 April, 2012 (online submission)

Notification of acceptance/Reviews: 1 June, 2012

Final paper submission due: 1 September, 2012