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Diplomacy, a word derived from the Greek word “diploma” which is an official document
emanating from princes; a diploma is understood to be a document by which a privilege is
conferred. Some scholars have argued that the origin of diplomacy is hard to trace. According
to them, the major subject of concern in the field of diplomacy has been its practice, rather
than its origins (Der Deriam, 1987:2). Diplomacy as predicating the art of representation and
representation is as old as human society itself. Nicolson (1969:6) argues that even in prehistory there must have come moments when one group of savages wished to negotiate with
another group of savages, if only for the purpose of indicating, that they had had enough of
the day‟s battle and would like a pause in which to collect their wounded, and to bury their
dead. The fact that these savages did not spend all their time fighting, in Nicolson‟s view, is
diplomacy. The nature and the nearness to one another of the numerous Greek city/states
encouraged the development of inter-state relations. The political and commercial relations
among the states gave rise to the cause of the states they represented in the popular
assemblies of the other city-states. These intermediaries or „pourpaleurs‟ as they were called
had to be orators and they enjoyed certain privileges and immunities such as the inviolability
of their person.
Diplomacy in the era of the Greeks was far from perfect. Ambassadors were appointed on an
ad-hoc basis and for specific purpose. This led to the appointment of many ambassadors from
a state to another at the same time. The contributions of the Romans, to the development of
diplomacy were more in theory, in the realm of international law, than in practice. Their
determination to impose “Pax Romana” on the world meant the ascendancy of force over
diplomacy. In spite of this, however, the idea of appointing people with very high status
started with them. Renaissance diplomacy was introduced which increased the functions of
ambassadors. They were no longer political emissaries but also commercial agents. They
needed to gather general information relating to the political, social and economic activities
of the state to which they were accredited. Renaissance diplomacy suffered serious
shortcomings. There was no agreed order of precedence, either in presenting credentials or in
signing treaties, and each of these activities often led to unseemly wrangles, sometimes
resulting into physical combat. Besides, it was noted for its immorality. Ambassadors were
not paid well, yet they had to cater for their staff. They often had to resort into bribery,
pinching and converting funds into their own pockets.
After the congress of Vietnam in 1815 the array of the shortcomings of Renaissance
diplomacy were removed. The Regalement of 19 March, 1815 and the subsequent regulation
of the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle settled the issue of precedence and the hierarchy of
diplomatic representation. Precedence was no longer based on the prestige and status of an
ambassadors sovereign but on the priority of the ambassador‟s appointment.(Olusola Ojo,
Amadu Sesay,1988:203). However, ancient Greece and Roman history and literature are
replete with records and references to “diplomatic” activities. The growing interdependence
of states as well as the two World Wars have shaped and continue to affect the development
of diplomacy. The common features of diplomacy in the contemporary system includes;
“open”, “parliamentary” and “multilateral diplomacy”. Open diplomacy means the
negotiations and discussions carried out in handling affairs without arousing hostility. It is
usually carried on with free access to interested observers and members of the press. It refers
to the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations.
Multilateral diplomacy can be defined as the practice of involving more than two nations or
parties in achieving diplomatic situations to supranational problems (Kishore Mahbubani,
2013). Multilateral diplomacy also known as “conference diplomacy” involves relations
between more than two states. Within the European system of states, there were multilateral
conferences related to peace settlement or congress in the 17th century. Multilateral
diplomacy began in its modern form in the early 19th century, following the end of the
Napoleonic wars, congress of Vienna in 1815. Multilateral diplomacy blossomed in the 20th
century because they were essential to the conducts of negotiation when states became too
numerous. Multilateral diplomacy brings together all the parties whose agreement is
necessary. Multilateral diplomacy also holds its popularity to the fact that conferences in the
European system of that time were essentially conferences of the great powers. It was a
device for identifying and advertising membership of the great power club, but small states
were also allowed to attend if their vital interests were concerned but they were usually
condemned to margins. Conference diplomacy also became popular because it also gives
impetus to bilateral diplomacy in two ways (Tunji, 2014). Hence, a multilateral conference
can provide opportunities for participants to discuss matters outside the formal agenda. For
example: (a) A conference at the UN is an opportunity for states to hold bilateral talk (b)
Powerful mediators can hold a multilateral conference to kick-start under “discreet cover” a
series of essentially bilateral negotiations.
The types of multilateral diplomacy includes: plurilateral diplomacy, para-diplomacy,
parliamentary diplomacy, conference diplomacy, and associative diplomacy to mention but a
few. In conclusion, multilateral diplomacy is challenging and often underappreciated. The
dynamics are often more complex because one is dealing with multiple players. Following
from the forgoing, in contemporary times, the machinery of diplomacy is made up of two
components. First, there is the home government ministry called various names in various
countries. In Nigeria, it is called the Ministry of Foreign affairs‟, in Britain, it is called the
Foreign Office, and in the United States, it is called the Department of State. The second is
the numerous diplomatic missions abroad, the embassies and the high commissions and
consulates. The diplomatic mission which is the centre of all diplomatic activity is headed by
an Ambassador which is the eyes, ears and mouth of the ministry of external affairs. Hence,
the functions of diplomats can be divided into four broad categories: negotiation,
representation, reporting and protection of national interest and subjects. A good diplomat is
sported with the following qualities: Specialist knowledge, professional skills and Personal
qualities (Tunji, 2014).
On the other hand, the term conflict in international relations generally refers to armed
conflict (Goldstein and Pevehouse, 2010:157). Conflict is the universal framework of the
society. Its origin is derived from: economic differentiation, social change, cultural
formation, psychological development and political organization. Conflicts are dynamic as
they escalate and de-escalate and are constituted by a complex interplay of attitudes and
behaviors that can assume a reality of their own. Conflicts have been variously defined in
relations to fights, games and To some people, conflict has been used to refer both to
„consensual‟ conflicts over interests (disputants want the same thing) and to „dissension‟
conflict over values (disputants do not want the same thing) (Aubert, 1963 In Oliver et al,
2012: 9); others however have called the former „disputes‟ that require settlement and have
reserved the term conflict for deeper struggles over unsatisfied human needs that require
resolution (Burton, 1990a in Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, Hugh Miall 2012: 9).
Conflict is defined as an irreconcilable contention between two or more parties such as
political ideologies, religious differences ethnic and social differences. Likewise, conflict
management is the effective ways to deal with conflict, peacemaking, negotiation skills and
all aspects of influential communication.
Conflict resolution started in the 1950s and 1960s. This was at the height of the Cold War,
when the development of nuclear weapons and the conflict between the superpowers seemed
to threaten human survival (Oliver et al 2012: 4). In 1980, conflict resolution ideas were
increasingly making a difference in real conflicts. Examples of countries where conflict
resolutions ideas were making a difference as at 1980 include South Africa, Middle East and
Northern Ireland. As a result of this development, war-torn regions of Africa and South-East
Asia, development workers and humanitarian agencies were seeing the need to take account
of conflict resolution as an integral part of their activities.(oliver Ramsbotham, Tom
woodhouse, Hugh Miall 2012: 4)
Conflict management is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while
increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhance
learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in organizational
setting (Ra him 2002: 208 retrieved January 3rd, 2015). The inevitability of
conflict whose history can be traced to the beginning of mankind/creation has shaped us into
what we are and who we are today. Conflict also has it basis from the disparity between
social classes: the “haves” and the “have-nots.” It is however, universally admitted that
despite the shortcomings of diplomacy and its methods, it has been historically proven that no
other firm basis for the settlement of differences has so far been invented to replace
diplomacy. Wars, blockades, and other methods of coercion like sanctions employed at times,
have proved to lead to dead ends that diplomats are once again called to solve.
In the field of „Peace and conflict management” diplomacy in relation to conflict
management can be likened to the concept of “Non violence Resistance” It is considered to
be the art of the feasible, because it embodies the elements of understanding, convention and
compromise which are the only elements normally leading to the finding of solutions and
ensure for people the much desired peace, via the conjunction of common interests and away
from inopportune publicity an chauvinistic loud tones and rivalries that surely lead to
conflicts, particularly in areas characterized by the lack of balance in the post-bipolar era.
Since the end of the Cold War the international community through international institutions
has been focusing on preventive diplomacy whose action is to prevent disputes from arising
between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the
spread of the latter when they occur. By and large, the concepts of Diplomacy and conflict
management are inseparable and interrelated concepts. In the context of this project,
Diplomacy shall be critically examined broadly in conflict management and specifically in
the Russia and Ukraine crisis.
The Russia-Ukraine crisis over Crimea has its basis to the aftermath of the orange revolution.
The crisis is an international crisis majorly involving Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea.
Crimea peninsula was never historically a part of Ukraine, Its population was Tatar. It was
invaded and annexed by Russia in 18th century. In 1940-s, the Soviets expelled all Tatar
population from Crimea, Only after collapse of Soviet Union they were permitted to return.
Crimea was administratively joined with Ukraine only in the second half of 20th century.
Most of the non-Tatar population is Russian. Crimean Peninsula is controlled by the Russian
Federation, a status which is not recognized by the United Nations. Crimea is populated by
an ethnic Russian majority and a minority of both ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.
Prior to the crisis, Crimea comprised Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the
administratively separate municipality of Sevastopol. The Russian Federation has organized
them as the Crimean Federal District.
The crisis unfolded in the aftermath of the Ukrainian Revolution. On 21 February
2014 President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine fled Kiev, the capital. The Ukrainian
parliament deposed him the next day, and the next week appointed an interim President
( Arseniy Yatsenyuk), and formed an interim government which was recognized by the
United States and the European union. Beginning on February 26, pro-Russian forces began
to gradually take control of the Crimean peninsula. While troops occupied or guarded
Crimea’s parliament building, the Crimean parliament voted to dismiss the Crimean
government, replace its Prime Minister, and call a referendum on Crimea’s autonomy.
A referendum on whether to join Russia had an official turnout of 83% and resulted in a
96.77% (Crimea) and 95.6% (Sevastopol) affirmative vote, but was condemned by the EU,
the US, Ukrainian and some Crimean Tatar officials as violating Ukraine’s constitution and
international law. On March 17, the Crimean Parliament declared independence from
Ukraine and asked to join the Russian Federation. On March 18 Russia and Crimea signed
a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation.
On March 27, the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding Resolution 68/262 that
declared the Crimean referendum invalid and the incorporation of Crimea into Russia illegal.
On April 15, the Ukrainian parliament declared Crimea as a territory temporarily occupied by
Russia, trying to salvage its lost influence in Ukraine, invaded and annexed Crimea. In April
2014, pro-Russia separatist rebels began seizing territory in eastern Ukraine. The rebels shot
down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 on July 17, killing 298 people, probably accidentally.
Fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian military intensified, the rebels started losing,
and, in August, the Russian army overtly invaded eastern Ukraine to support the rebels. This
has all brought the relationship between Russia and the West to its lowest point since the
Cold War. Sanctions are pushing the Russian economy to the brink of recession, and more
than 2,500 Ukrainians have been killed (Kendall 2014 Retrieved 5th
January, 2015).
Diplomacy is central in every conflict management and prevention situation and thus every
effort geared towards managing and preventing the Russia and Ukraine crisis is an act of
diplomacy. The anarchical nature of the international system makes states prone to conflict
and when conflict arises, they result to peaceful means of resolving such conflict. Diplomacy,
the major tool for resolving conflict is considered to have failed when states result into war to
resolve their differences. Several diplomatic measures has been made in ensuring that the
Russia and Ukraine crisis does not escalate, to curb the excesses of Russia and its president
(Vladimir Putin) as well as to reverse specific actions that will escalate the crisis. In the
Russia and Ukraine crisis, there are five stakeholders and prominent diplomats. They are:
Russia, Ukraine, The United Nations, the European Union and the United states. These
diplomats have contributed immensely in conflict management in Russia and Ukraine crisis.
Examples of diplomatic measures in managing the Russia and Ukraine crisis include: the
March 24th, 2014 G7 meeting in Brussels, instead of a cancelled summit in Russia as a blow
to Russian president Vladimir Putin ( Retrieved 5th January, 2015). Restrictive
measures includes: asset freezes and visa bans, economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed
on Russia by the United states and European Union, the June 6th G7 meeting in Brussels; the
first meeting without Russia in 17years as world leader condemn Putin‟s actions
( Retrieved 5th January, 2015). The United States and UK pile pressure
on Russia President, Barrack Obama‟s phone call to president Vladimir Putin over the Russia
and Ukraine crisis, the G7 submit in Hague on march 24th
, 2014 where the G7 leaders talk
about what extra sanctions they can take in response to Russia on the seizure of an Ukrainian
airbase on the peninsula ( Retrieved 3rd January, 2015). The EU-Russia
summit was cancelled and EU member states decided not to hold regular bilateral summits.
Bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the New Agreement between the EU
and Russia were suspended, 17 March 2014 the EU imposed the first travel bans and asset
freezes against Russian and Ukrainian officials following Russia‟s illegal annexation of
The anarchical structure of the world, the struggle for power within the international system
and most especially, the inherent evil within man is the basis of conflict. In this vein, the
concept of diplomacy cannot be left un-emphasized. The world today is surrounded by
various violent conflicts namely; The Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Syrian war, the Turkey
conflict, Israeli-Palestinian war, Israeli-Gaza crisis, to mention but a few. Most conflicting
parties result into violence means of conflict resolution which is the root cause of the
disrupted international peace today. Most diplomats of a country are non career diplomats
with little or no experience in the field of diplomacy; hence the result is failed diplomacy
Diplomacy as an important approach in conflict management and prevention has been
employed by various conflicting individuals, communities as well as nations states/countries
and have achieved maximum result. They include: late Norwegian minister of foreign affairs:
“Johan Jorgen Holst”, Nelson Mandela, and Kofi Anan amongst many others. A lot of
research has been carried out on diplomacy as an important tool for conflict management but
most of these researches have not really described the importance of diplomacy and also they
have failed to look at the various ways in which diplomacy is carried out. Therefore, this
work considers it important to undertake howbeit compendiously, a historical excursion into
the art and practice of diplomacy globally. This it is hoped will shed light into our
understanding of diplomacy as practiced by states within the international system. This
project will enlighten the reader on the efficacy of diplomats as well as diplomacy in conflict
management and various ways in which diplomacy can be effected.
Amongst the various means of conflict management tools in both contemporary and
anachronous times, this project‟s main objective is to examine the roles of diplomacy in
conflict management and prevention. The specific objectives of the study are;
i) To examine the historical relevance of diplomacy in conflict management and
ii) To identify the roles and significance of diplomats in the Russia-Ukraine crisis;
iii) To assess the effects and impacts of diplomacy in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The following research questions are derived from the research objectives of this study.
i) To what extent has diplomacy served as an effective tool in conflict management
and prevention?
ii) What specific roles did diplomats play in managing Russia-Ukraine crisis?
iii) How effective was diplomacy in managing the Russia-Ukraine crisis?
 Diplomacy is an effective means of preventing and managing conflict
 Diplomacy is necessary in redressing power conflict
 Diplomacy is an important tool in realizing peace and stability in the society
 The role of diplomacy is underrated and underestimated within the international
 No other firm basis for the settlement of conflict has so far been invented to replace
This work analyzes diplomacy as a mechanism for easing hostility, diffusing, preventing and
managing conflict amongst states within the international system. This study majorly gives a
compact assessment on the Russia and Ukraine crisis that unfolded in the aftermath of the
Ukrainian Revolution on 21 February 2014.
This research work is divided into five different chapters. The first chapter discusses the
following: Background to the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study,
hypothesis, research questions and operational definition of term. Furthermore, the scope of
study and the limitations are also discussed. The second chapter of this project work is
concentrated on conceptual clarification and theoretical framework with the aim of providing
fundamental and historical background to the study of roles of diplomacy in conflict
management and prevention.
The third chapter of this research takes cognizance of the research methodology, research
design, research population, sample and sampling technique(s), research instrument(s)
validity and reliability of instrument(s). Validity and reliability of instruments, data collection
technique and finally the data analysis technique(s) that will be employed in the research on
its part, Chapter four discusses analysis and assessment of data collected.
In conclusion, the fifth chapter, being the last chapter of this project contains the
summary, research findings and conclusion of research work as well as recommendation on
how problems mentioned can be solved.
Diplomacy is a political process under which political entities states are interconnected with
official relations in the framework of the international environment (E.Plischke 1990 Retrieved 5th January, 2015). Diplomacy is the business of making
agreements, treaties and negotiation between countries. It is the business of looking after the
affairs of one‟s country in a foreign country. Simply put, diplomacy is the use of tact, skills
and intelligence in dealing with people.
Conflict has been used to refer both to „consensual‟ conflicts over interests (disputants want
the same thing) and to „dissension‟ conflict over values (disputants do not want the same
thing) (Aubert, 1963 In Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, Hugh Miall 2012: 9); others
however have called the former „disputes‟ that require settlement and have reserved the term
conflict for deeper struggles over unsatisfied human needs that require resolution (Burton,
1990a in Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, Hugh Miall 2012: 9) An emotional or
mental disturbance resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually
exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies( Conflict is defined as an
irreconcilable contention between two or more parties such as political ideologies, religious
differences ethnic and social differences. Conflict occurs between two or more people who
disagree on an issue that threatens their respective goals, values or needs. Conflict can take
many different forms. They include: Structural, data, values, relationship and interest.
Nonviolence is usually defined in opposition to physical violence. Physical violence is “the
use of physical force against another‟s body, against that person‟s will, and that is expected to
inflict physical injury or death upon that person” Bond (1994) Thus nonviolence is a direct
substitute of violent behavior; it implies deliberate restraint from expected violence, in a
context of contention between two or more adversaries. Nonviolence is a philosophy and
strategy for social change that rejects the use of physical violence


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