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Monavia’s Handbook for Roleplaying Diplomacy [REVISED]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The State of Monavia
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Monavia’s Handbook for Roleplaying Diplomacy [REVISED]

Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:28 pm

MONAVIA’S HANDBOOK FOR ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY

THIRD EDITION (2019)


PREFACE


The NationStates “universe” plays host to what may arguably be the vastest array of fictional civilizations, cultures, and countries ever dreamed up by roleplayers who share a common interest in statecraft. Though most NS roleplayers focus on writing political fiction, their unique characters, settings, and story plots form a body of fiction that encompasses numerous genres and themes. Unless you confine your NS experience to answering issues and telegrams, raiding and defending regions, WA shenanigans, or forum lurking, your virtual nation will interact with others like it the moment you start roleplaying on this forum. Since diplomacy between fictional countries and organizations tends to follow the same basic logical principles as it does between real-life countries and organizations, it helps to have a handy guide you can use to walk yourself through the process of making diplomacy happen in a way that you and your fellow roleplayers will hopefully enjoy for years to come.


THE STATE OF MONAVIA
July 2017





INTRODUCTION


Multiple NS users have already written guides for roleplaying diplomacy since NationStates was founded in 2002. While these guides have been effective at teaching new players some elementary principles for roleplaying diplomacy, they tend to fall short on a number of accounts. Most of them narrowly focus on specialized aspects of roleplaying diplomacy (such as writing communiqués and organizing embassies) to the exclusion of other subjects and the few guides that try to offer a “big picture” view have omitted a number of critical topics and suffer from a tendency to avoid addressing any of their topics in depth. For all of their merits, both the narrow, specialized guides and the broad, general ones spend some time describing the norms we follow in roleplaying diplomacy, but often do little to explain why people adhere to those norms. Most critically of all, older diplomacy roleplay guides often lack the concrete examples and demonstrations they need to illustrate their key points in an effective manner.

In an attempt to build upon the foundations laid by the authors of earlier guides on this subject, I have designed this document to serve as a comprehensive, one-stop advice handbook for roleplaying a broad range of diplomatic activities. I have taken care to include numerous NS and real-life examples that you can use as starting points for developing your own roleplaying style and paid special attention to defining and explaining important terminology (which you will find set in boldface type). More importantly, I have designed this guide to complement the threads that others have posted on this subject instead of superseding them. As imperfect as older guides have proven to be, they have benefited countless members of our roleplaying community and improved their understanding of the means by which governments and organizations interact through both official and unofficial channels. This document therefore stands not as an instrument for overshadowing their work and accomplishments, but as a monument to their example. It is in honor of their contributions that I dedicate this text.

The Structure of This Text

Each chapter of this text explains how you can roleplay a particular facet of diplomacy within the NS environment. They are arranged as follows:


  • Chapter 1: The Diplomat’s Environment introduces the entities that perform diplomacy and the reasons they do so.
  • Chapter 2: Diplomatic Personnel describes the process of inventing characters for diplomatic roleplay threads and covers topics like education and training, and specialization.
  • Chapter 3: Diplomatic Missions and Facilities explains what a mission is, what the different types of facilities are, and how extraterritoriality and diplomatic immunity work.
  • Chapter 4: Exchanging Diplomats covers the nuts and bolts of setting up and managing an exchange program, and organizing and deploying missions.
  • Chapter 5: Diplomatic Law explains how diplomatic immunity and asylum work.
  • Chapter 6: Diplomatic Protocol, Gifts, and Insignia explains the international norms governing diplomatic interactions, gifts, and the insignia diplomats use in the field.
  • Chapter 7: Conferences and Summits describes the OOC and IC mechanics of organizing, conducting, and securing both bilateral and multilateral diplomatic conferences.
  • Chapter 8: Official Correspondence lays out basic principles for writing, formatting, and addressing fictional official documents and furnishes readers with detailed examples.
  • Chapter 9: Negotiating and Writing Treaties describes the different types of treaties countries create and the OOC and IC mechanics of negotiating, writing, formatting, and ratifying treaties.
  • Chapter 10: Coercive Diplomacy explains the concepts of compellence and deterrence, the function and execution of sanctions, ultimatums, and declarations of war.
  • Chapter 11: Miscellaneous Topics covers miscellaneous forms of diplomacy and schools of foreign policy.
  • Chapter 12: Suggestions for Further Reading provides readers with directions for locating additional resources on this general subject.




CHAPTER 1
The Diplomat’s Environment


Entities that Perform Diplomacy

Most new roleplayers assume that independent sovereign states are the only entities that engage in diplomatic intercourse, usually because that is all they see happening in NS roleplay. In fact, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the World Assembly (WA), IC treaty organizations, and supranational unions can send and receive diplomats the same way countries do. Likewise, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as charity and disaster relief agencies, religious bodies, and various political, scientific, and cultural programs can send and receive official representatives who will often receive the same courtesies, rights, and protections as regular diplomats under select circumstances. With these facts in mind, here follows a brief overview of the characteristics that define each group.

Independent sovereign states are what we often colloquially refer to as countries. A state is a self-governing entity that is fully entitled to act autonomously in charting its own destiny. An independent country is a state, but its internal administrative subdivisions (e.g. cities, counties, etc.) are not states. States have two basic attributes:

  • Sovereignty: In most cases, a state is sovereign (i.e. it completely governs itself and does not answer to any superior legal or political authority). If members of a commonwealth or supranational union can act as they please with only token or symbolic interference from above, they are sovereign. If their actions have to be ratified by some external superior authority to remain valid, they are only partially sovereign. If a supranational union or commonwealth directly controls a majority of what happens within their member states, then the union is sovereign and the member states are not. Only sovereign states have the ability to enter into contractual agreements (i.e. treaties) with other countries, so national governments tend to get upset when one of their internal subdivisions tries to negotiate an agreement with a foreign state (e.g. California trying to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement) as if it is its own country.
  • Independence: A state is independent if it can govern and economically support itself without going bankrupt or needing to be placed into receivership by the international community. A country that can make its own laws, make treaties with other countries, send and receive diplomats, engage in trade, enforce its vital interests, and raise and maintain armed forces to ensure its own security is independent. A country that has to be occupied and “babysat” by other countries to sustain its basic internal functions may still be sovereign, but it is not independent—on the contrary, it is dependent.

A country can either be a nation-state, which is a state created from a single nation (i.e. an ethnically homogenous population), or an empire, which is a state containing multiple nations. Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia are real-life nation-states. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a de facto empire. The various Native American nations were nation-states back when they had sovereignty over their own territory. Now they are merely ethnic components of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which are de facto empires containing loads of distinct ethnic groups. China, Russia, Brazil, and India are de facto empires, even if they do not call themselves such. Real-life nation-states include Japan (Nipponese ethnicity), France (Gallic ethnicity), Iran (Persian ethnicity), Germany (Teutonic ethnicity), and Israel (Judaism, since the Jews view their nation in religious rather than genetic terms).

An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is a legal entity created by collaborative agreements between two or more governments. An IGO can be bilateral, such as a joint border-control agency, or multilateral, like the WA and various IC treaty coalitions. IGOs are oftentimes sponsored by different governments and usually receive a lot of the privileges that governments extend to one another. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are generally private not-for-profit entities that function a lot like multinational corporations and oftentimes must comply with the same rules that businesses and religious bodies are bound to obey. While IGOs and NGOs are “self-governing” in the sense that they are administratively capable of managing their own operations, they are neither sovereign nor independent. Both must obey the laws that different governments impose on them (except for exceptions carved out by treaties) and neither can raise funds by levying taxes, maintain security forces without government permission, or otherwise act like countries.

The Reason Diplomacy Happens

Having taken a moment to explain who performs diplomacy, it is prudent to spend a moment explaining why diplomacy even happens at all. No population inhabits a vacuum—either in NationStates or the real world. Humanity is psychologically hardwired for exploration and travel just as it is for acquisition and reproduction. People have a natural desire for new material resources with which to raise their standard of living and additional territory in which to raise new families. Whenever a group of people grows large enough to establish a division of labor, the group’s members begin to specialize in different economic tasks and thus create a diversified economy that raises its standard of living, accelerates its technological progress, and enables faster territorial expansion. At some point or another, this process of exploration and expansion inevitably leads people from one society to encounter people from another (even if they originated on opposite sides of the globe, they will meet each other if given sufficient time). When that happens, they begin exchanging knowledge, technology, and resources in order to improve their own material positions (this is how international trade happens and globalization began).

A society will typically develop a complex culture and infrastructure by the time it is materially advanced enough to engage in long-distance trade. Someone has to have power to resolve internal disputes, enforce property rights, and otherwise establish a climate of law and order is society is to progress further, so society creates the public entity we call government to perform these administrative tasks. In ancient times, governments were the only entities with enough funds and manpower to protect traders from brigands who lurked in the countryside and pirates who prowled the high seas, so ancient civilizations often ended up using their armed forces to secure their frontiers. Whenever two civilizations expanded to the point where their territorial claims met and started overlapping, their governments had to formally agree on the position of their border to avoid the expensive and ruinous prospect of armed conflict. Thus it was that governments developed the habit of appointing official representatives to conduct business with one another in a legally binding fashion. These agents came to be called diplomats because the documents that granted them authority to engage in negotiations were traditionally folded in half (the word diplomat came from diploma, a Greek word which means “folded paper”).

With that brief overview of diplomacy’s origins now out of the way, we can turn from discussing why diplomacy happens to how diplomacy happens. Governments appoint emissaries to travel around marketing their country’s values, ideas, culture, and political opinions the same way companies appoint sales agents to travel around marketing products and services to potential customers. In fact, both of these processes simultaneously occur whenever two countries choose to interact with one another—their governments interact on an official level while their citizens interact on a private level. These interactions can be formal or informal, bilateral or multilateral, and solicited or unsolicited. For instance, Country A’s leader invites Country B’s leader to a private ball (informal, bilateral, and unsolicited by the recipient), while in another case, Country C’s leader hosts a region-wide conference to form an mutual defense coalition at the request of other countries in the region (formal, multilateral, and solicited by the others).





CHAPTER 2
Diplomatic Personnel


Character Creation

If the first chapter of this treatise addresses the settings in which your country’s diplomatic sagas transpire, then this chapter is dedicated to explaining the basics of creating the characters you need to make your roleplay threads come alive. Diplomacy is one of the most heavily character-driven aspects of NS roleplay. While you can reliably roleplay trade and war in terms of sending a trainload of coal to one country or a carrier flotilla to another, the art of roleplaying diplomacy depends a lot more on the actions of individual characters. Put another way, it is simply difficult and awkward to roleplay diplomacy if you have no characters to populate your stories. Of course, it goes without saying that this information is also applicable to the general business of character creation throughout fiction writing.

While there are many different ways you can start creating these characters, if you are new to NS you will have the easiest time starting this process imagining what sort of personality traits you want them to have. Is your latest trusty emissary an introvert or an extrovert? Is she a hoarder or a neat freak? Does he have any unique quirks and idiosyncrasies that can play a role in the plot of a future roleplay thread? After you have sketched a mental picture of the sort of person you want a new character to be, you can brainstorm a background story that complements your new character’s personality. Ask yourself how your characters became diplomats in the first place—did your country’s leader make Dr. Trustworthy a diplomat because she was a lawyer who can write a treaty or because she was a corporate executive who knows how to make a trade deal?

The work of inventing a new character should ideally include dreaming up details that enable readers to know what he or she looks and sounds like in a given story (e.g. physical appearance, voice, and taste in fashion) and details that explain his or her behavior. For example, ask if you want the diplomat in your new roleplay thread to be a rookie or a veteran. Whenever you dive into the exciting business of creating these characters, you will also need to think about the ways your character’s personality, prejudices, and professional experience might affect his or her interactions with foreigners out in the field. Again, your goal in roleplaying diplomacy (and anything else on NS) is to make things happen by writing a story about it!

Education, Training, and Appointment

Your country’s diplomats need a broad set of talents to conduct productive business with their foreign counterparts—for instance, they must be capable of traveling, learn respect for the customs and etiquette of their hosts, make efforts to understand their host country’s culture, and in most cases, they must fluently speak their host country’s language. Specialized academies and training programs can teach new ambassadors how to manage an embassy’s budget, process and file paperwork, or observe security clearances, but cannot teach them things that they can only learn by observation and experience. The best diplomats possess high degrees of social intelligence in a variety of fields, and social intelligence, much like tact, charm, and other personality traits, is not something your characters can learn from a textbook. In some cases, experience proves to be the best teacher, such as the incident where U.S. Ambassador to the UN Warren R. Austin asked the Arabs and Jews to “settle this problem in a true Christian spirit” in 1948.

When dreaming up your characters’ educational backgrounds, your consular staff, clerical secretaries, and the like will realistically need undergraduate degrees in their areas of specialization and related fields to qualify for admission to a diplomatic academy. A legal attaché will have a law degree and perhaps even a doctorate in jurisprudence. A trade attaché will typically be either a professional economist or a professor of economics. A military attaché will always be a commissioned military officer while an embassy’s security chief will probably be a former senior noncommissioned officer with some past command experience. A full ambassador may either have one or more doctorates in fields ranging from international relations to political science, though nothing says you cannot roleplay your country as a place where the head of state hands out diplomatic posts to his biggest re-election donors. This actually happens in real life!

When a country’s leader appoints someone to a diplomatic position, he or she issues the newly-minted emissary a diplomatic commission and a letter of credence, examples of which can be found in Chapter 11. The commission is the certificate that makes somebody a diplomat the same way a military commission makes someone an officer. The letter of credence, which is also known as the diplomat’s credentials, is the piece of paper that assigns him or her to a specific post. Whenever a diplomat arrives at a new post for the first time, the first thing he or she does is present a sealed copy of this letter to the receiving country’s leader (specifically the head of state in countries where ceremonial and administrative leader ship are segregated between separate heads of state and government). A country’s head of state will often give an incoming consul a document called an exequatur that recognizes his or her consular rights and guarantees that they will be protected.

In the event that a government feels it necessary to recall (i.e. withdraw) a diplomat from a specific post, it will send a letter of recall to the government of the diplomat’s host country (or organization) to announce his or her withdrawal. Governments typically recall their diplomats to reassign them to new posts where their talents and expertise can be put to better use, but sometime they will recall diplomats as an act of protest against actions taken by the host country’s government.

Diplomatic Ranks and Titles

Unless you roleplay as an NS nation with a radical egalitarian society, your country’s diplomatic corps will contain an internal hierarchy. In most RL countries, the head of state makes ambassadorial appointments while leaving the head of his or her foreign relations department in charge of hiring and firing the officials who administer diplomatic academies, provide diplomatic security services, process embassy permits, and so on. Both your NS country’s foreign relations department and the teams of emissaries it sends out should contain some form of internal organization, a division of responsibilities, and a clear understanding of who answers to whom if it is to function effectively.

Diplomatic hierarchies have a long history in the real world, where the present system established by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations largely represents a re-codification of the Western system that emerged following the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. The old system had four ranks: ambassadors, legates, and nuncios occupied the top rank, envoys and ministers occupied the second rank, ministers resident occupied the third rank, and chargés d’affaires occupied the bottom rank. The current real-life system has three ranks: ambassadors, ministers (partially obsolete in practice), and chargés d’affaires. Although you are perfectly free to devise and roleplay your own unique system of diplomatic ranks, titles, and positions as you see fit, you will serve yourself well if you spend some time studying the three modern ranks:

  • An ambassador is an emissary that a country’s leader appoints to represent the sending country before the government of another country and is almost always more properly known as an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. The term plenipotentiary comes from the Latin words plenus (full) and potentias (powers) and refers to the fact that a plenipotentiary representative has the authority to negotiate on behalf of his or her country’s head of government (traditionally the sovereign). Prior to the 1961 Vienna Convention countries sometimes had “ordinary” ambassadors with limited powers who were issued temporary assignments but these have pretty much disappeared in RL and I have never seen them in NS. An ambassador who is appointed to represent his or her country before multiple countries is called an ambassador-at-large. Ambassadors will sometimes come in various grades of seniority within their own diplomatic corps or may be limited in number within a given diplomatic corps (e.g. the Italian government only allows about thirty of their plenipotentiaries to have the title of “Ambassador”).
  • A minister (more properly known as an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary and often simply called an envoy) is an official who is assigned to serve as the sending country’s chief official representative whenever the receiving country was “not important enough” to deserve an ambassador. Envoys were oftentimes referred to as “ministers” (e.g. United States Minister to France) in the years between 1815 and 1961. During the late 1960s, many countries replaced their envoys with ambassadors, partly as an affirmation of sovereign equality between independent states and partly (in my own opinion) to avoid confusion with cabinet ministers. This rank is not totally obsolete, however, as it lives on in the form of the special envoy. A special envoy is a diplomat appointed by one country to address a specific task, problem, situation, or challenge. For example, a diplomat appointed by Country A’s leader to settle a dispute between Country B and Country C will usually be granted the title of special envoy.
  • A chargé d’affaires (the female equivalent is chargée d’affaires) is an official who heads a diplomatic mission but has a lower rank than an envoy. A chargé d’affaires can either be a permanent head of mission (en pied, as between two countries that have not agreed to exchange ambassadors or have poor relations) or a temporary head of mission (ad interim) who takes over for an ambassador. The term literally means “charged with [handling] matters.” A chargé d’affaires en pied is permanently assigned and therefore always outranks a chargé d’affaires ad interim, who is only a placeholder for a permanent head of mission. In addition, a chargé d’affaires en pied is typically accredited by his country’s foreign minister rather than his country’s leader and a country’s leader can demonstrate displeasure towards another country by replacing his ambassador there with a chargé d’affaires en pied.

An entity’s chief official representative in a given jurisdiction will not always bear one of the titles named in the preceding paragraphs. While an emissary between one country and another is called an ambassador, an emissary sent from a government to an IGO like the WA is called a permanent representative. Conversely, an emissary sent from an IGO or NGO to a country’s government is called a resident representative. Both are the ranked equivalent of ambassadors but typically have inferior seniority.

Roleplayers who decide to roleplay as any number of NS equivalents to the Holy See have a few special rules to play by. The first is the use of special terminology—papal ambassadors are called Apostolic Nuncios, papal envoys are called Apostolic Internuncios, and the Pope’s personal representatives are called Apostolic legates. A Nuncio’s office is called a nunciature. If you want to properly roleplay the Roman Catholic faith as your NS nation’s state religion, then you need to grant Apostolic Nuncios automatic seniority over other countries’ ambassadors (as in RL). Wikipedia’s article on Nuncios offers more detail on this subject if you want to read more.

Specialization

Every team of diplomats has specific missions to complete, purposes to fulfill, and objectives to achieve. A team sent to negotiate a peace settlement will be composed of different people than a team created to negotiate a trade treaty. Delegates to a conference on scientific collaboration between governments will probably be scientists while delegates to a global summit on copyright laws are likely to be patent and trademark lawyers. In any case, think about the context in which you are roleplaying a diplomatic activity as you go about deciding which characters to put into your stories.





CHAPTER 3
Diplomatic Missions and Facilities


Introduction

A diplomatic mission is a team of emissaries that a country’s leaders organize and send out to represent their interests when meeting foreigners. A mission can represent a country (e.g. the Monavian Empire), its sovereign (e.g. the Monavian Crown), an IGO (e.g. the World Assembly or the Fegosian Union) or an NGO (e.g. the Monavian Orthodox Church). If Country A permanently stations a diplomatic mission in Country B’s seat of government, Country A’s leaders will assign their diplomatic mission a number of objectives, such as building friendly relations with Country B’s leaders, negotiating trade agreements with Country B’s government, or simply keeping an official finger on the pulse of Country B’s political scene.

Different Types of Missions and Facilities

Missions can assume a number of forms. A mission can be temporary or permanent. It is called an embassy if it is headed by an ambassador or a legation if it is headed by an envoy. If a mission is permanently stationed in the receiving country, it is called a resident mission, but if it is only stationed there temporarily, it is termed a non-resident mission. Though NS roleplayers have always been at liberty to devise any new type of mission they desire, they almost universally stick to sending and receiving permanent resident embassies. If you are lucky enough to encounter someone who sends or receives legations, give him or her a virtual cookie.

When a country receives diplomats from another country, the receiving country’s government will typically allow the sending country’s government to rent or purchase one or more pieces of real estate in which to house its diplomats for the duration of their posting. Generally speaking, this real estate is called a chancery if it houses an embassy or legation, and a consulate if it houses a consul and his or her staff.

A chancery will typically house the sending country’s ambassador and subordinate emissaries, the ambassador’s close family, and appropriate managerial, security, support, and miscellaneous staff. Depending on the nature and significance of the relationship between the sending and receiving countries, the sending country’s chancery might also house relatives of the subordinate diplomats, personal domestic servants, computer technicians, mechanics, gardeners, and other professionals that keep the chancery’s buildings, grounds, equipment, and vehicles in working order. Consulates are simpler since they frequently contain no living quarters at all and the entire consular staff lives in property purchased or rented from citizens of their host country. In many respects, consulates function as a chancery’s “branch offices” in its host country by representing it remotely.

The scale, funding, complexity, and composition of a diplomatic mission and the facilities it occupies will depend on the nature of the relationship between the sending country and the receiving country. In general, a country will invest a lot of resources in a diplomatic mission if it has major interests in the country where it is stationing its mission. Conversely, your NS nation’s leaders are not going to build an artificial city in some impoverished backwater country where their influence is not welcomed. New Hayesalia’s exquisite guide on missions illustrates my point far better than I can:

The largest Embassy ever created in real life was the Embassy of the United States in Baghdad, Iraq, which had a diplomatic staff of around 2,000 people and a total staff (including contractors) of over 16,000 people. The Embassy is the size of the entire Vatican City, and has it's [sic] own power generation, military barracks, apartments, Olympic size swimming pools, and so on and so forth. Put in perspective, this 1994 article humorously observes that in Minsk, Belarus, the UK and German embassies to the country shared one building. The Germans had the kitchen and, unironically, the living space; and the sole British diplomatic representative to Belarus had one room lit by candles.


Realistically speaking, you are very likely to roleplay more with your region mates than anyone else and thus your fictional leaders will pay closer attention to their immediate neighbors than they will to some country on the other side of the globe. Put another way, if you roleplay your NS nation sharing a border with another NS nation, chances are that your neighbor will be a major trading partner since different populations have a natural propensity to trade most with the neighboring populations closest to them. Either way, your NS nation will generally need to maintain a more significant presence in countries you roleplay with a lot than it will elsewhere.

Internal Structure of Missions

Regardless of whatever form a mission takes, its personnel will be organized into a distinct hierarchy. The head-of-mission (or chief of mission) serves as the mission’s administrator and is responsible for managing its internal operations. Most missions also have a deputy head or deputy chief tasked with assisting the ambassador, envoy, or other mission chief in various ways. Both the head and deputy head will usually have one or more private assistants, secretaries, and similar employees who help them perform their professional duties and may or may not employ private servants separately from the mission’s service staff. Depending on the customs and regulations of the sending country, a mission’s chain of command may contain one or more additional ranks of senior administrators below the deputy head-of-mission.

Diplomatic officials are oftentimes organized into functional departments which enjoy some degree of autonomy and are managed by semi-independent department heads who usually hold senior diplomatic ranks and titles such as counselor, secretary, etc. Departments will oftentimes contain their own internal hierarchies and divisions of labor as needed. Generic examples include:

  • Administrative department: manages the internal functioning of the mission (e.g. accounting, employee recruitment and training, information storage, maintenance, transportation).
  • Communications and press department: manages a mission’s Web site and social media presence, sends and receives messages, interfaces with local journalists, issues announcements and official statements.
  • Cultural department: provides the host country’s citizens with information about the sending country’s culture and language.
  • Economic and Trade department: represents the sending country’s economic interests in the host country.
  • Legal department: the mission’s lawyers and paralegal staff are tasked with tracking developments in international law and the laws of the host country, provide the mission with legal advice, and may even provide consular services.
  • Political department: keeps the mission’s leaders informed of all political changes in the host country and the host country’s officials informed of changes in the sending country’s policies and laws.
  • Security department: institutes security procedures, manages and trains security staff.

Every mission will typically contain different variations of these departments and might refer to them as sections or units or divisions. Some missions might not have all of these internal divisions while others may have more, especially if they have specific needs to meet. In any case, these departments can prove highly useful in roleplaying a story by giving your ambassadors and ministers something to do other than conduct every last piece of political business happening between two countries.

Functions of Diplomatic Missions

The primary function of any diplomatic mission is to represent its native country’s interests and opinions in the presence of its host country’s government. In more concrete terms, Country A’s leaders sends diplomats to Country B to keep Country B’s leaders informed of Country A’s (material) interests in Country B’s sphere of influence. As I stated at the end of Chapter 1, diplomacy is how one country’s leaders persuasively “sell” their bargaining position to another country’s leaders as often as needed.

A diplomatic mission plays its role as a communications interface in both directions. Its members not only share information with their host country’s government; they also function as their native country’s eyes and ears within the host country. Your NS nation’s emissaries will both conduct negotiations with their host government and provide their superiors with a steady flow of news and intelligence. The interface role also encompasses logistical and administrative functions such as arranging meetings between officials from both countries and helping organize state visits.

In addition to negotiating international agreements, exchanging information, and arranging meetings, missions also provide valuable services to individual persons traveling between countries. An embassy or legation will can usually:

  • Assist citizens of your nation with securing travel visa access.
  • Help your citizens replace lost passports and travel documents in the host country.
  • Offer your citizens and nationals protection in the event of local unrest and domestic violence.
  • Help evacuate your country’s citizens from a disaster site in the host country.
  • Help your own nationals and persons affiliated with third parties gain asylum.
  • Process travel and citizenship paperwork.
  • Host intelligence officers (i.e. spies) assigned to operate in the host country.

Consulates often provide a variety of specialized services to your nationals while they are in the host country. Consulates serve as information centers from which the host country’s citizens can obtain information about traveling to and doing business with the consul’s home country. A consulate’s staff will help people obtain passports, process applications for them, and replace them when they are lost or stolen. Consular staff will notarize vital records (e.g. birth, marriage, and death certificates) for their country’s nationals in the host country; offer their nationals assistance with finding counsel when accused of crimes in the host country, and assist in processing paperwork by which their nationals change their citizenship. Like embassy and legation staff, consular staff can sometimes assist with disaster-related evacuations and provide other emergency services. In short, they can make a multitude of different things happen.

Extraterritoriality

When a diplomatic mission occupies a piece of real estate, the host government having jurisdiction over the property will typically grant it extraterritoriality, a status in which the host country’s laws do not apply so that the laws of the mission’s country can apply there instead. Put another way, if a piece of property has extraterritoriality, it acts as if it is the territory of the country posting its mission there without actually ceasing to be the territory of the host country. A diplomatic mission’s host government will typically bestow this status on the mission’s official facilities (i.e. chanceries and consulates) and any private residences that the sending country’s ambassador owns in the host country. All diplomatic missions must pay utility fees and either purchase or pay rent on any properties they occupy regardless of their legal status. While most countries will extend this legal privilege to a mission’s vehicle fleet, it usually only applies to the ones used by the mission head and other senior officials and not to vehicles used by security and support staff.

There are limits to how far extraterritoriality can be honored. No country is technically required to grant diplomatic facilities extraterritorial status unless it either promises to do so in treaty with the mission’s government or signs an international convention requiring it to do so. Even in these instances, host countries retain substantial rights and can usually revoke a facility’s extraterritorial status in cases of flagrant abuse (e.g. nationals from the mission’s country use the facility to attack the host country). Most roleplayers make a point of covering this subject in the rules for their mission exchange programs (for example, TurtleShroom has very detailed extraterritoriality regulations). There are also rare cases in which NS countries do not allow extraterritoriality at all (the most famous example is Holy Marsh, a theocratic civilization that regards the act of waiving its laws within part of its own territory as tantamount to ceding sovereignty over the territory in which the laws are waived).





CHAPTER 4
Exchanging Diplomats


Setting up an Exchange Program

There is nothing inherently difficult about roleplaying diplomatic tours and deployments, but there inevitably comes a point where so many roleplayers want to send embassies to your nation that keeping track of them all becomes a hassle. You can easily overcome this hurdle by creating a centralized diplomatic exchange thread in which other players can roleplay sending embassies to your country’s seat of government and you can roleplay the process of receiving them. Remember, diplomatic exchange threads are in-character threads, so treat them accordingly. The process of creating an exchange requires just as much preparation as any other multilateral RP, but as with other RPs around here, the effort you put into creating your exchange thread will influence others to put in a similar amount of effort when posting replies.

The first step in creating a diplomatic exchange program is to write the opening post of the thread in a word processor that has a spellchecker. If your thread contains a lot of spelling and grammar errors, visitors might not take you seriously and decide to move on without posting anything. In my personal opinion, your opening post should start with an OOC disclaimer warning visitors to keep posts in character and avoid spamming your thread with OOC chatter, though I will not think less of you if you decide such a note is not necessary. The remainder of your post should contain these items:

  • An in-character introduction below the title
  • A list of locations where foreign diplomats can open chanceries and consulates (group these by city if you allow them in multiple cities)
  • The rules and regulations foreign diplomats must follow when setting up facilities and using them
  • Travel and customs regulations
  • A facility application form and instructions for submitting it

I began setting up my own Diplomatic Exchange Program by looking at the most popular and well-organized “embassy threads” that other roleplayers had posted in the past and consulting The New Guide to Embassies and Consulates to aid myself in brainstorming various formatting and content ideas and coming up with the most thorough code of regulations I could. I learned a lot of valuable concepts from studying what others had done well in the past, such as what subjects a code of regulations had to cover and what sort of items should be featured in an application form. Once I was done cherry-picking the best ideas I could find around the community, I made a point of giving credit where it was due in my OOC disclaimer and avoided hiding these acknowledgements inside a spoiler. My introductory section provides a brief overview of what the Imperial Federation is like and my roster of available and occupied locations relies on tables to keep everything organized efficiently.

Remember to save the file and back it up! Nothing sucks more than spending three hours writing a post in your Web browser only to watch it get eaten so you have to start over from the beginning—nothing, that is except losing your factbooks and mission-critical embassy rosters because your nation account got deleted by Moderation for repeated trolling in NS General.

Managing Your Exchange Program

After you have posted and opened your exchange program, you will eventually begin receiving facility applications from other players. Responding to applications can be a lot of work if your exchange thread becomes highly popular, so my number one tip is to create form letter templates on a word processor and save them somewhere. This way, every time you accept or reject an application you only have to rewrite a few parts of the letters between your characters. You will still need to invest some effort in the rest of your writing, however. If an applicant takes the time to write out a good roleplay post, it is polite for you to write out an equivalent post in reply, even if it takes you a while. Applicants will appreciate the time you spent developing stories in your thread (again, exchange threads are IC) and might even enjoy your writing enough to plan a new roleplay thread with you later.

My other tips in this area include:

  • Process applications promptly when possible. Applicants will appreciate good treatment.
  • Process multiple applications in one post whenever possible. This will minimize the number of posts that accumulate in a thread and reduce page count creep.
  • When rejecting an application, clearly state the reasons for rejection so that the applicant can make appropriate corrections. This is especially true in cases where an applicant files an incomplete form or simply fails to read your rules and tries to apply for a facility containing a large helicopter squadron, tank battalion, or missile silo complex.
  • In the event that your exchange breaks down or becomes inactive for long periods of time, consider launching a new exchange thread. Just be sure to import all of your existing facility date (i.e. who you approved and what spaces they claimed) into your new exchange thread and post a link to the previous one.

Organizing and Deploying Missions

If you have identified an NS nation in which you would like to have a permanent mission, find out if the player behind the account has set up an exchange program thread and take some time to read it if one exists. Before posting an application, ask yourself if you have any intention of roleplaying with the owner of the exchange program in the future. If the answer is no and you are simply a let’s-exchange-embassies-and-call-it-a-day fellow, please move on and refraining from claiming spaces that other players will actually roleplay with in the future.

Assuming that you are interested in roleplaying an exchange of missions, take some time to read their rules, find the application form template, and fill it out completely. Be sure to ask for a vacant lot and try not to flout regulations just to be cheeky. Most importantly, never display immaturity when submitting an application unless you want to receive this type of response. In determining what to say on your application form, ask yourself these types of questions:

  • How important will this nation be to my canon? In other words, how much time do I want to invest in creating new characters and posting in this thread?
  • How many people would my NS nation’s leaders want to send and who would they prefer to appoint based on what the host country is like in character?
  • What sort of IC relationship do I expect my NS nation to have with the host nation?
  • Does it make sense for my characters to hire locally?
  • How many attachés should I send?
  • How many vehicles will my personnel need?
  • Based on how safe the host country is, what security measures do my characters need?

When determining what security measures are appropriate, remember that while ambassadors and envoys are very important people who need to be protected so they can perform their official duties, they are not heads of state. Likewise, while you do not want to see any of your chanceries and consulates suffer deliberate mishaps, you do not need an armored division to secure a diplomatic facility unless you just converted it into a command post for an invasion force. Some NS countries (e.g. Monavia and Alfegos) actually publish explicit prohibitions against designing facilities to resist military assaults, so full-perimeter fortifications, moats, landmines, and machine gun emplacements are not smart ideas. Please consult New Hayesalia’s detailed post on this topic for more in-depth information.

Generally speaking, a small cadre of armed guards will keep your facilities perfectly safe using little more than small arms (e.g. handguns, carbines, rifles, SMGs) and the occasional can of pepper spray or police baton. Most real-life countries have a national department, bureau, or agency that handles diplomatic security (e.g. the U.S. has its Diplomatic Security Service, the British have Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection, and the Russians have their Federal Protective Service). Regardless of whether you prefer to rely on soldiers, marines, gendarmes, specialized diplomatic security agents, or a combination of each, your guards need to meet stringent security clearance requirements since they will be responsible for destroying sensitive documents in the event of a major security breach. Diplomatic facility guards must also undergo special training in protocol since they may be called upon to perform ceremonial duties.

There are few ruder things you can do to someone who spent hours setting up a mission exchange than ignore the owner’s instructions and submit an invalid form on purpose. You end up wasting the other person’s time and clog up a thread that might be filled with other player requests. For example, back in the Jolt era, I posted an exchange program that contained only forty lots but some Hell-themed nation didn’t bother reading anything and simply submitted an ersatz application form requesting lot number 666. Upon informing him of his invalid submission, he simply ignored me.

If your facility application is approved, congratulations! The next step in the process is to roleplay your mission’s arrival in the host country. In many cases, you can simply make a single arrival post in the exchange thread and call it a day. In other cases, such as this one in which I got to roleplay a first contact scenario with another user who later joined my region, you can gain access to an excellent roleplaying opportunity.





CHAPTER 5
Diplomatic Law


Overview

Diplomatic law comes from a variety of sources. As I previously wrote in Chapter 2, real-life diplomatic law is principally derived from the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Other major sources of diplomatic law include customary international law and country-specific legislation created to bestow appropriate legal status on foreign emissaries. Customary international law largely consists of norms and practices (such as the laws and customs of war or the sanctity of diplomatic personnel and visiting heads of state) that cultures throughout the world have traditionally honored for much of their respective histories. Diplomatic immunity and diplomatic asylum are two of the most hallowed legal principles that countries have created treaties to codify.

Diplomatic Immunity

Whenever one country sends emissaries to another country, the host country will typically grant the emissaries and their staff varying degrees of diplomatic immunity, which the U.S. Department of State defines as “a principle of international law by which certain foreign government officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of local courts and other authorities for both their official and, to a large extent, their personal activities.” In other words, it is a legal privilege which shields diplomats and their staff from detention, arrest, prosecution, civil liability, and a variety of other legal consequences for violating their host country’s laws and regulations.

Diplomatic immunity is an ancient legal concept rooted in the traditions of Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. The Mongols held the privileges of emissaries so sacrosanct that officials found guilty of mistreating foreign diplomats were severely punished and foreigners who mistreated Mongol diplomats found themselves gruesomely executed in response. As our friends at the State Department further explain, “In 1708, the British Parliament formally recognized diplomatic immunity and banned the arrest of foreign envoys. In 1790, the United States passed similar legislation that provided absolute immunity for diplomats and their families and servants, as well as for lower ranking diplomatic mission personnel.” Today most real-life countries abide by the immunity rules laid down by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

While every NS nation has its own diplomatic immunity rules, many abide by the WA’s Diplomatic Protection Act (2008). In most countries, the head of a mission (i.e. an ambassador, envoy, or chargé d’affaires) and his or her spouse will be granted “full” immunity while emissaries of inferior rank, their close relatives, and diplomatic staffers will receive any number of inferior grades of immunity. For example, we have the Monavian government’s diplomatic immunity code:

§1: Eligibility: Ambassadors of all ranks, envoys, consuls, attachés, consular officers, honorary diplomatic officers, and foreign nationals employed at diplomatic facilities are eligible for diplomatic immunity. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reserves the right to grant diplomatic immunity to other persons at its discretion. All eligible persons are free to invoke diplomatic immunity in connection with official actions not taking the form of violent crimes or actions calculated to injure the interests of the Monavian state.

§2. Grades of Immunity: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established three grades of diplomatic immunity (full, partial, and limited). Ambassadors of all ranks, envoys, and consuls shall enjoy full immunity. Attachés, consular officers, honorary consuls, and administrative staff shall enjoy partial immunity. Consular staff, service staff, and security staff shall enjoy limited immunity.

A. Full immunity shall consist of freedom from detention apart from traffic stops, freedom from arrest, freedom from search of person and property, freedom from compulsion to testify in court, and immunity from prosecution for misdemeanors.
B. Partial immunity shall consist of freedom from detention apart from traffic stops, freedom from arrest, freedom from search of person and property, and freedom from compulsion to testify in court.
C. Limited immunity shall consist of freedom from detention apart from traffic stops, freedom from arrest, and freedom from search of person and property.

§3. Restrictions on Prohibited Persons: All persons who meet any of the criteria listed in this section shall be automatically declared persona non grata and deported no less than five days after exhausting all permitted appeals or choosing not to pursue appeals further.

A. Any foreign national who is convicted of a felony by a Monavian court.
B. Any foreign national who is deemed to represent a security threat to the Monavian Empire or its territories.
C. Any foreign national who is found to have been previously convicted of felonies in his or her home country and has not been pardoned (political crimes excepted).

§4. Traffic Laws: All diplomatic, support, and security personnel and their vehicles shall be subject to Monavian traffic laws. Pursuant to current Ministry of Transportation regulations, no local jurisdiction shall renew the registration of any diplomatic vehicle for which traffic violation fines remain unpaid. All jurisdictions that issue driving licenses can suspend or revoke the licensure of any person convicted of repeatedly violating traffic laws.


Diplomatic immunity does not exist to provide diplomats with a license to flout laws and regulations or escape liability for the consequences of improper behavior, but rather exists to ensure that diplomats are free to perform the work their governments assign to them without having to worry about unnecessary interference from host country governments. Nonetheless, diplomatic immunity can be abused to the point that a host government will expel a rogue diplomat from its territory and declare him or her persona non grata (Lat. “person not appreciated,” i.e. banned from returning).

If a foreign diplomat performs a criminal act in his or her host country, the host country’s government can ask the sending country’s government to waive the offender’s immunity so that he or she can be prosecuted. Officials tend to be cautious about making such requests so that their own diplomats are not treated harshly in event of criminal misbehavior. Even if the sending country rejects a waiver request, the host country’s government can still cancel the offender’s visa.

Diplomatic Asylum

Real-life international law does not recognize a right to claim or enjoy asylum by entering diplomatic facilities. Having made this point, it is useful to note that customary international law does contain a principle known as non-refoulement “which forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution” (Wikipedia). While every country has its own asylum laws, it is generally accepted that a country cannot forcibly remove an asylum-seeker from an extraterritorial facility if the diplomatic mission domiciled there chooses to grant asylum. For some real-life examples, consult the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum.
Last edited by The State of Monavia on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

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The State of Monavia
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Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:30 pm

CHAPTER 6
Diplomatic Protocol, Gifts, and Insignia


Protocol

Protocol is a type of etiquette that governs the way people conduct themselves in official settings, such as a courtroom, legislative chamber, or an official audience with a country’s leader. Put another way, it is the type of etiquette people should use when conducting business with civic or religious dignitaries, attending public ceremonies at which they are present, or interacting with them at a social engagement. (In this context, “dignitaries” include diplomats and official representatives of both IGOs and NGOs.) While the distinction between everyday etiquette and protocol etiquette is very important, it is equally important to spend a moment explaining why past generations invented protocol in the first place before explaining its workings in further detail.

Every culture contains unique standards of conduct, politeness, and communication that either have no equivalent in other cultures or differ markedly from the standards that other cultures contain, which is why people cannot fruitfully interact with people from other cultures unless they can learn and respect the standards by which others live. Please note that respecting another culture does not mean imitating said culture. Writing at length about this subject, Bargaining Without Borders author Dean Allen Foster states:

“When in Rome do as the Romans.” I like to call attention to the fact that this saying is not, “When in Rome, be a Roman.” Therein lies all the difference. We cannot be who we are not. In fact, there is probably nothing more ridiculous, and certainly nothing more apt to fail, then an American trying to act French, Chinese, Arab, or whatever. Our cultural identity restricts us, yes, but that restriction also defines us. Remember the two sides to ethnocentrism. There is perhaps nothing more unnerving, or downright insulting, to a Mexican than an American trying to imitate his or her manners and mannerisms. In fact, in Japan, a non-Japanese will always, for all intents and purposes, remain a gaijin, or foreigner, no matter how well he or she may adapt to Japan or how many years a person lives there. That is not only accepted in Japan; it is expected.


Even when people possess high degrees of intercultural competence, there are limits to how quickly they can learn how one culture’s values and social expectations differ from those of another and sometimes they sometimes simply lack the time and resources to do so. In an attempt to work around this problem, real-life diplomats from all over the world gradually invented a set of diplomatic customs and standards of behavior that they could follow wherever they went without having to worry about the sort of cross-cultural misunderstandings that had caused serious diplomatic incidents in the past. Whenever people talk about “diplomatic protocol” (as opposed to protocol in the more general sense), they are referring to this common set of rules and customs.

Anytime a person travels from one country to another, he or she implicitly represents the culture and values of his or her home country. Diplomats and national leaders explicitly represent their countries in an official capacity, so it is even more vital for them to adhere to protocol than it is for private persons to do so. While every country is entitled to adopt its own local customs and internal protocol, the following items that I have drawn from Protocol for the Modern Diplomat represent a number of protocol practices that often get overlooked when roleplayers write their posts:

  • When formally introducing one person to another for the first time, the person performing the introductions must always introduce the person of lower status to the person of higher status. This means that a younger person is introduced to an older person, a gentleman is introduced to a lady, and a person of lower rank or seniority is introduced to a person of higher rank or seniority.
  • Anytime a diplomat visits a foreign country, he or she should comply with its local greeting and leave-taking customs. For example, some countries prefer that people bow while others insist on handshakes.
  • To directly quote the aforementioned text, “As they do when a woman enters the room, men should rise when being introduced to a woman. In some countries, a man kisses a married woman’s hand. Men also rise when being introduced to another man. Women should rise when being introduced to another woman for whom she wishes to show great respect, such as the hostess, a very distinguished woman, or much older woman. In some countries, women rise when introduced to all others.”
  • Diplomats should address people using their proper courtesy titles and acknowledge their ranks. This rule applies to both spoken and written communication.
  • If you do not know how your characters should address another roleplayer’s characters, send the other person a telegram and ask him or her for this sort of information.
  • Diplomats arriving at a new post for the first time should write to the chief of their mission in advance and call on him or her after arriving. Additionally, new arrivals should contact the mission’s staff to arrange help with logistical concerns such as transporting baggage.
  • If a married couple is invited to a social function, the husband enters ahead of the wife unless the wife holds a political office, at which point she is the one who enters first.

One aspect of protocol that merits special attention is orders of precedence. In diplomacy, an order of precedence is an organized system for ranking officials according to the degree of honor they ought to receive at ceremonial functions. Orders of precedence are typically used to determine seating arrangements and the order in which people walk in processions. Wikipedia’s article on the subject contains links to the orders of precedence of several dozen real-life countries and other jurisdictions. When hosting multiple heads of state at the same function, they should be ranked in the order they assumed office (you can find the current real-life order of precedence for heads of state here). While every country is free to determine its own internal order of precedence, it is generally accepted that monarchies will rank hereditary sovereigns above elected heads of state and some Roman Catholic countries place the Pope ahead of all secular rulers.

If you have any interest in examining this subject further, the protocol guide I just cited will concisely explain a wide variety of topics, such as entertaining guests, exchanging gifts, calling on other diplomats, setting tables, respecting dietary restrictions, religious traditions, and dress codes. Please note that every diplomatic mission and head of state will usually have a protocol officer on hand.

Gifts

No discussion of diplomatic laws and customs can be complete without taking a moment to cover the subject of gifts. The practice of exchanging gifts to demonstrate goodwill, build trust, or send symbolic messages is one of the oldest customs in diplomacy and remains very important to this day. Elements of this custom include investing substantial amounts of time or money in obtaining something valuable and reciprocating gifts from others. Much like other public officials, diplomats are often required by anti-corruption laws to accept gifts only on behalf of their governments or countries and may have a hard time finding legal ways to accept personal gifts.

Different cultures assign different symbolism to the same objects, so anytime leaders or their representatives exchange gifts, they will often consult a protocol officer to ensure that whatever they offer will not send an inappropriate message. Many of history’s worst diplomatic missteps resulted from one side presenting a gift that the other found insulting; in some select cases these insults were serious enough to spark armed conflicts.

Diplomatic Insignia

Governments, IGOs, and NGOs often require their official personnel to use and display insignia that distinctly identifies them in certain situations. Chanceries and consulates will invariably fly the sending country’s flag and their architectural designs usually include representations of the sending country’s seal, coat of arms, or other identifying emblems. Ambassadors and consuls of various ranks are often entitled to fly distinctive flags representing their offices and official vehicles usually bear diplomatic license plates and have variations of the owning country’s flag affixed to their exterior surfaces. Accredited diplomats and their families will typically possess special diplomatic passports. A chancery or consulate’s employees usually receive official letterhead for producing official documents and members of the diplomatic mission may use special custom stationery that has their title preprinted on it.

Diplomatic uniforms are one subject that rarely gets addressed on NS because real-life diplomatic uniforms largely went out of fashion in the middle of the twentieth century. They are far from dead, however, since some RL countries still use them for ceremonial occasions, such as the meeting at which a new head of mission presents his or her credentials to the receiving country’s head of government. Wikipedia’s article on this subject even states that “A photo of the 2001 New Year's reception at the Vatican shows the ambassadors of Monaco, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and Belgium all clad in diplomatic uniform.” RL diplomatic uniforms were historically modeled after court dress and featured heavy embroidery designed to indicate rank.

Many NS nations do in fact feel a need to dress their diplomats in fanciful costumes befitting the dignity of their countries. Kravenite diplomats are infamous for being attired in military-style garb and TurtleShroom’s new exchange program requires diplomats to wear powder blue robes and badges issued by the host government. To offer some more examples, Monavian diplomatic uniforms consist of a white, single-breasted tunic with crimson cuffs and gold buttons, black trousers (or skirt) with a single vertical gold stripe on either side (two stripes for heads of missions), a broad diagonal sash of crimson silk embroidered with gold thread, white gloves, and a crimson belt with a dress sword. The evening dress variant replaces the tunic with a crimson tailcoat decorated with golden embroidery and the cold weather variant replaces the tunic with a double-breasted white overcoat.

Players can use any number of resources to produce diplomatic insignia. Microsoft Paint is good for lineart and most basic illustrations. Inkscape, Adobe Photoshop, Fedora, and other software are also reliable if you have access to them and a willingness to spend time learning how they work. If you are unable to use these resources, there are plenty of NS users in this thread who can produce images for you at no charge. You might have to endure waiting, however, as these hardworking fellows tend to get swamped with requests.





CHAPTER 7
Conferences and Summits


Introduction

I spent the first six chapters of this treatise describing the environment in which diplomats live and work, the process for creating characters with which to roleplay diplomacy, the art of organizing and exchanging diplomatic missions, and the laws and customs that apply when roleplaying diplomacy. While the business of running a diplomatic exchange program counts as one form of roleplaying diplomacy, NS roleplayers who write that they want a “diplomatic RP” are usually asking to either have an exchange of messages, characters, or both revolving around a specific event. This chapter is dedicated to explaining what happens when the official representatives of two or more countries actually meet to conduct official business with one another. Since Chapter 8 covers the art of writing and exchanging official messages, this chapter solely focuses on the way characters from different NS nations meet in person.

Types of Official Meetings

Most “diplomatic RP” threads assume of the form of summits between two or more heads of government or multilateral conferences between diplomats whose countries share a common subject of concern. A summit (more properly termed a summit meeting) is a formal meeting between the leaders of the involved countries and typically features high degrees of publicity. A conference is a formal meeting between diplomats from various countries and may or may not feature the occasional leader. Conferences usually feature whole delegations from each country. Official meetings can also take on several other forms. Diplomatic receptions are ceremonies in which diplomats introduce themselves to the receiving country’s head of state and present their credentials to them. A state visit is an occasion in which one country’s head of state formally visits another country’s head of state, usually by invitation. Official meetings can also take other forms, but in the interests of brevity I have decided to focus on just the four main variations I named here.

Organizing Diplomatic Meeting Threads

Anytime you want to successfully roleplay something, you need to make appropriate OOC preparations first. Regardless of whether you are organizing a bilateral engagement or a multilateral engagement, your first step is to invite others to pitch your new roleplay idea to potential participants (usually via telegram) and invite those who express interest. Alternatively, you can simply reach out to parties who have already expressed interest in diplomatic roleplay and solicit their aid in brainstorming relevant ideas. If you are planning to roleplay a bilateral engagement, a multilateral engagement with only a few participants, or any engagement where you do not expect to have enough OOC chatter for you to need an OOC thread, you can conduct all OOC business via telegram. If you feel you will need an OOC thread, then you need to create it before you do anything else.

Once you have posted your diplomatic RP’s OOC thread, your next order of business is to post any IC thread rules and background information that the involved parties need to know before posting in the IC thread. You also need to provide the OOC thread’s URL to the other participants via telegram and make sure that the opening posts of the both the OOC and IC threads contain links to one another. Remember, not only is the OOC thread a necessary source of player information that helps the participants understand whatever you have going on, but it can also function as a gatekeeping mechanism for limiting the number of participants. If you want other roleplayers to submit an application to join your IC thread, you must post the application form and IC thread rules in the OOC thread’s opening post (here is an example). Remember to avoid posting an IC thread until all of the participants have had time to read the OOC thread and ask relevant questions.

If you are planning to roleplay as the host of a diplomatic meeting (especially a multilateral conference), you are responsible by default for posting the IC thread and will typically be responsible for posting the OOC thread unless you have someone else perform the organizing and OOC setup on your behalf. If a meeting takes the form of a conference or summit, the host party is responsible for determining the agenda and ensuring that all attendees receive copies in advance. From an OOC perspective, the player hosting the IC thread should post an agenda outline in the OOC thread (if he or she has one) so that other participants can refer to it as needed and suggest changes and amendments before getting the IC thread started.

Regardless of the form your setup process takes, you will probably spend more time writing the opening post of the IC thread than you will writing most of the other posts that follow since the opening post is the place where you provide the other participants with the in-character exposition needed to launch the thread’s story. Telling others not to roleplay their characters’ arrivals is sometimes a smart idea, but other times it works out poorly because some players use the dialogue and character interactions in an arrival scene to introduce new characters for the first time or perform character development that would happen awkwardly if it took place elsewhere in the thread.

Security

Anytime a country’s government hosts a diplomatic meeting (and especially when it hosts a state visit or a multilateral conference), the host nation is always responsible for providing adequate security. If you are roleplaying as the host nation for such an engagement, your local law enforcement and security officials are responsible for directing traffic, screening visitors, clearing press personnel, deterring potential disruption, monitoring demonstrations, and otherwise ensuring that nobody can disrupt or delay the engagement. In some cases, such as a peace conference taking place within a truce zone, the host nation will rely heavily on military and paramilitary personnel to provide added security. It is rare, however, for a host to have a large military contingent present for security reasons, especially if the venue is located in a safe, stable environment. For the sake of all that is good in NS roleplay, please do not show up with an entire army.

When hosting a conference, summit, or state visit, each incoming attendee (or delegation of them) will arrive with its own security detail. The size and composition of each detail will be tailored to match the status of the person or persons needing protection and the nature of any potential hazards that can be associated with a given visit. Most real-life countries have a diplomatic protection service of some kind (refer to Chapter 4) that will be responsible for chauffeuring visiting diplomats around and a visiting foreign leader will often travel with a number of military officers (usually adjutants or security advisers) and their enlisted aides. While it is customary (and indeed wise) for foreign leaders to arrive with their own bodyguards, these contingents are generally modest—a visiting leader’s motorcade might include a couple dozen security officers and the aircraft that flew the vehicles into the host country will have its own security detail.

When one country’s leader visits another country, the host country is responsible for providing a ceremonial honor guard to receive the visiting leader following his or her arrival. In almost all such cases, the honor guard contingent will be a platoon-sized unit or smaller and carry parade rifles, swords, or other weapons they normally use during ceremonial drills. They will also typically wear ceremonial dress uniforms, display national and unit colors, and feature a military band to play the national anthem of the visiting leader’s country. (Please note that most real-life countries have different honors music for different visiting dignitaries). The only time that large numbers of troops ever play a role in diplomatic visits is when a large formation (or series of formations) performs drills so that a visiting leader can review them.

In concluding this topic, I feel it necessary to address one aspect of diplomatic security that roleplayers have historically failed to properly understand: the functions bodyguards and weapons should perform at meetings. Generally speaking, a close-protection detail should escort their protectee from one location to another, leave the meeting venue once their protectee is inside, and remain on call until summoned to escort their protectee back to his or her quarters. Some of the bodyguards should be in plainclothes to keep their presence discreet and should only carry the weapons allowed under the laws of the country they are visiting. Disregarding this last part is a recipe for causing diplomatic incidents. Likewise, emissaries should never call their bodyguards into a meeting to sic them on other attendees and it is both symbolically inappropriate and potentially illegal for them to carry weapons into a diplomatic conference or summit. For a hilariously classic example of how not to roleplay security at a diplomatic meeting, please read the posts on this page. If you can learn only one thing from reading this section, it is the need to avoid roleplaying diplomatic engagements like NRA conventions!

Roleplaying Summits

The IC thread for a summit should begin with the arrival of foreign leaders at a location close to the summit venue. If your NS nation is hosting the summit, you are responsible for roleplaying the reception that the arriving leaders receive. If your leaders are attending the summit as guests, you are responsible for roleplaying their arrival. Generally speaking, the host nation’s head of state or an appropriate designee will be present to personally greet arriving leaders. One way to intentionally snub or slight a foreign leader is to send a low-level functionary or bureaucrat to perform this duty instead. Please note that the mere act of inviting a foreign official to visit your country (or addressing him or her by official titles) implies that your government views him or her as a leader who is entitled to certain diplomatic courtesies. Remember to keep my remarks about protocol, security, and related subjects in mind at this stage.

The second phase of a summit RP is the time period between arrival and the summit’s commencement. Depending on the nature of each leader’s visit, some may choose to arrive one or more days early to engage in sightseeing, tour museums and monuments, or attend plays, concerts, or sporting events. Sometimes you might simply have your leaders invite another country’s leaders to arrive a day early to hash out a unified negotiating position (such as when representatives of two opposing coalitions are preparing for a peace conference). This phase will oftentimes include a photo opportunity and a formal reception to which the media will be invited to take statements from both the hosting and visiting leaders.

The summit thread’s third phase consists of the actual summit proceedings. A summit should be conducted like a formal business meeting. If a summit includes treaty negotiations, please read Chapter 9 of this guide to learn more. In the event that the characters involved in a summit need multiple days to complete their meetings, they should adjourn and reconvene as many times as needed to move the plot along. Once the summit is over, it is customary in many countries for hosting and visiting leaders to hold a joint press conference at which they make statements about the summit’s accomplishments and answer questions.

Real-life summits often feature a number of additional rituals, such as state banquets and balls, inspecting the host country’s troops, laying wreaths at memorials, having visiting leaders address the host country’s legislature, and so forth. You are responsible for deciding which of these items are necessary for the plot. Regardless of what you choose to include, you can either try to fit some of these items into the second phase of the thread or have them take place after the third phase is over. You can also try both. Just be sure to get everything wrapped up before you roleplay the departure of various characters at the end.

Roleplaying Conferences

Diplomatic conferences tend to contain fewer ceremonial rituals and components than summits, but they still follow many of the same rules. Everyone should start off by bringing their characters into the host country and have them arrive at the conference venue before doing much else. You can spice up the plot of the thread by having your characters liaise with the local media to make statements and take photos or rack up parking tickets and claim diplomatic immunity from paying fines. The only hard-and-fast rule you need to follow in advancing the plot is to maintain a logical sequence in your story while taking some time to let your characters interact and display their personalities. Having made that point, the more players are involved in a conference thread, the more crucial it is for everyone to consistently take their turns while posting and avoid clogging it with really short dialogue posts that barely advance its plot.

Conferences traditionally begin with a number of formalities. The host nation’s delegates are responsible for convening the proceedings and calling on the delegates from each of the involved countries to elect a permanent conference chair (they usually end up electing the host country’s chief representative anyway, but they can always elect someone else). If the conference features treaty negotiations, the delegates will show each other their credentials to prove they have the authority to negotiate and sign whatever agreement they create (please read Chapter 9 for more information on this topic). Once the conference begins, the chair is responsible for maintaining order and ruling on procedural disputes.





CHAPTER 8
Official Correspondence


Basic Principles

Although diplomacy is one of the most character-driven aspects of roleplaying on NS, your characters cannot always meet in person or reserve a teleconference suite every time they want to discuss something. Sometimes the only appropriate way for your characters to communicate with their opposite numbers is through physical and electronic mail, faxes, and other written media. Effective written communication generally follows these five principles:

  • Accuracy: a message should say what its writer means it to say. One of my research sources advises, “One should avoid making general and exaggerated statements which could be the object of inquiry and doubt. It is also important that data are checked to ensure objectivity and consistency of information. Before sending the communication, it is best to make sure that there are no…errors.”
  • Brevity: an effective message is thorough enough to make its point while still being concise. A concise message will address only one general topic if possible.
  • Clarity: a message must be intelligible enough for its intended recipient to comprehend its meaning. It does not contain clumsy phraseology or intentional obfuscation that might result in a serious misunderstanding.
  • Design: a message needs to be formatted in a way that is easy to read and appears to be the work of someone who takes his or her correspondence seriously.
  • Elegance: a message is written using courteous language that reflects the dignity of both the sender and the recipient. As one of my research sources explains, “Care should be exercised in using phrases of courtesy, designations, titles and qualifications. The tone should be polite and in cases where disagreements or protest are brought up, the communication should always maintain sobriety and logic.”

If you adhere to these principles you will increase the likelihood that another player’s characters will take your characters seriously and respond to them in a dignified manner. At the very least, you are showing the roleplayers on the other side of your screen that you care about writing something that is worth their time to read. If you truly want other roleplayers to invest effort in responding to your posts, then you must also heed the principle of gravitas (i.e. seriousness). One roleplayer’s characters will not take another roleplayer’s characters seriously if they write silly, vulgar, lewd, threatening, or immature messages that show they have “the political acumen of a walnut,” to quote a guide Stoklomolvi wrote on this subject in 2009.

While most roleplayers instinctively understand this principle, there are always a number of them who think their characters can be taken seriously after sending letters that no self-respecting adult (much less a self-respecting government official) would ever dream of writing. Of course, there are times when it is wise to deviate from the principles I just outlined and have a character deliberately insult his or her message’s recipients for story reasons. If you want effective examples of this technique, you need not look beyond the correspondence of an Allanean diplomat named Peter Nizhinsky.

Writing Correspondence

Anytime you decide to have a character write and send messages to other characters, your first step will consist of determining the purpose of your character’s message. Is your head of state writing a letter of congratulations or condolences? If your chief of external relations writing a letter of protest or a letter of commendation? In short, the first step in composing a new message is to determine its subject.

The second step in composing correspondence is to determine the medium in which it will be written and through which it will be sent. Is the character writing the message going to send it by physical mail or electronic mail? Is a military attaché at one of your foreign chanceries writing a classified memorandum for his superiors or your envoy to another country sending an encrypted transmission to her home country? If you take pride in being a serious roleplayer, you will be wise to recognize that every medium will have its own distinct format and should have a specific appearance. Ideally, your correspondence formats should remain consistent over time if possible.

After you have determined your message’s purpose and medium, you can move onto brainstorming its content (i.e. decide what you want your message to say). Consider ways you can use the five basic principles to craft the most effective message you can—for that matter, try to apply them to your roleplay writing in general. While I will not offer you a lengthy disquisition on grammar, spelling, usage, mechanics, vocabulary, or other writing-related subjects, I firmly insist that you write your correspondence in a word processing program that has a spellchecker and have a thesaurus and a dictionary on hand.

The fourth and final step in writing a message is to determine the appropriate format for it. There are two general rules to follow here. First, use BB code tags to change the margins on your message so that it stands out from any dialogue and narration in your post. Aesthetics notwithstanding, the wide margins generated by the blocktext tag are a standard formatting convention used to increase readability when quoting a long piece of text in both fiction and nonfiction writing. The second general rule is to create official letterheads identifying the sender and use the [img] BB code tags to make the letterhead show up as an image. In the event you are unable to create a letterhead or simply strapped for time, you can use BB code tags to improvise one.

Addressing People Correctly

Anytime your characters write to someone, they need to keep in mind the identity of their message’s intended recipient(s) and address them by their proper titles and honorifics (please refer back to Chapter 6). In addition to knowing the distinction between titles and honorifics, professional writing etiquette also draws a distinction between social and professional forms of address. The following table lays out several basic, everyday examples:


Type of PersonSocial LetterProfessional Letter
AccountantAddress on envelope: Mr. John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Mr. Public,
Address on envelope: John Q. Public, CPA
Salutation: Dear Mr. Public:
AttorneyAddress on envelope: Mr. John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Mr. Public,
Address on envelope: John Q. Public, Esq.
Salutation: Dear Mr. Public:
PhysicianAddress on envelope: Dr. John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Dr. Public,
Address on envelope: John Q. Public, M.D.
Salutation: Dear Dr. Public:
ProfessorAddress on envelope: Prof. John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Prof. Public,
Address on envelope: John Q. Public, Ph.D.
Salutation: Dear Prof. Public:
MayorAddress on envelope: The Honorable John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Mayor Public,
Address on envelope: The Honorable John Q. Public
Salutation: Dear Mayor Public:


In summary, if you are writing a social letter to John Q. Public, your salutation features a comma and you use the honorific that goes before his name. If you are writing a professional letter to John Q. Public, your salutation features a colon and you use the post-nominal letters representing his academic degrees, certifications, and the like. Do not use an honorific with post-nominal letters! You either use one or the other! If you want to know more about how to address different types of people in both social and professional contexts, please consult this site for a wealth of pertinent examples.

RL countries have different rules and traditions for people who use honorifics reflexively (i.e. in reference to themselves). Commonwealth etiquette allows reflexive usage while U.S. etiquette does not. If your nation uses U.S. English, then if some of your characters are “Honorable” they may use “the Honorable” to address one another but should never put it in front of their own names. For example, a letter addressed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs should read “Rt. Hon. Augustus Borozan” but a letter from Borozan to another character will be signed “Augustus Borozan, Ph.D., LL.M.” Furthermore, attorneys will never use “Esquire” after their own names but they will use it to address one another in professional (not social) correspondence. A monarch never says “My Majesty” (yes, American etiquette expert Judith Martin wrote that the Holy Roman Emperors used to do that, but that is the only historical RL exception I know). Below is an example of the correct way to apply the rules I outlined in this chapter.


Image


Hon. Valentin Voelker
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fourth Reich of the United World Order

January 4, 2016

Minister:

I am very pleased to inform you that my office has reviewed and approved the facility application which your office submitted on December 31, 2015. I have ordered my staff to allot the property located at 127 Chancery Avenue for your honorable government’s use and I hope that the Ordernite delegation will find its condition satisfactory upon arriving there. If you, Ambassador Wegner, or any of his subordinates feel a need to make inquiries regarding these arrangements, then my office will freely entertain and answer whichever questions are directed to it.

I have informed the Imperial Crown of your delegation’s pending arrival and have secured Their Imperial Majesties’ blessing to organize and send a Monavian delegation to Berlina. Should your honorable government be pleased with this offer of reciprocity, you can expect my office to prepare and submit a completed diplomatic exchange application in the near future. In the meantime, I offer you and the Ordernite government at large my sincerest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous future.

Sincerely,

Augustus Borozan, Ph.D., LL.M.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs


Titles and Styles

Numerous civic and religious leaders have official formulas by which others are intended to address them. These formulas are known as styles of office and are frequently used by royalty, hereditary nobles, elected officials, judges, diplomats, and religious leaders. Most official styles are relatively simple and consist of an honorific (a phrase of respect used before a person’s name such as His Holiness, Her Highness, His Grace, the Reverend, Professor, Doctor, Mister, or Miss), the person’s name, and his or her title (the name of position that a person occupies, such as Defender of the Faith, Chairman of the Budget Committee, or Ambassador of the Imperial Federation). For example, “His Excellency Andrew Stinson, President of the Free Republic of Lamoni” is a style. “His Excellency” is an honorific, “Andrew Stinson” is his name, and “President of the Free Republic of Lamoni” is his title. Visit this page to obtain a detailed list of real-life examples and the way their usages vary between countries.

While all styles of office follow the same basic three-part formula, they can be any length and contain any number of titles. Most fictional characters who use an official style will have one or two titles, but some (specifically royals, nobles, and religious leaders) will have lengthy formal styles containing many titles. In these cases, the user of the style will have a full style for use on specific official documents and an abbreviated style for everyday use. A person’s abbreviated style usually consists of an honorific, his or her name, and his or her most senior titles (e.g. Her Imperial Majesty Elizabeth VI, by the Grace of God, Queen Coregent of the Monavian Empire and all her Constituent Territories, Defender of the Holy Apostolic Orthodox Faith, Noble Protector of the Vendian Despotate, co-Commander-in-Chief of the Monavian Armed Forces, &C.) while his or her full style will contain all of his or her titles. Finally, please remember that the act of addressing somebody by a particular title implies that your characters believe that the addressee has a right to use that title.

Formatting Correspondence

Official letters, communiqués, notes, cables, electronic transmissions, and the like each have their own distinct formats. Not only does good formatting enable your readers to tell different types of messages apart from one another, it also lends them a degree of gravitas (i.e. seriousness) that is difficult for readers to ignore. If you find yourself in the habit of repeatedly writing the same types of messages to different players (e.g. responses to diplomatic facility applications), you can save yourself a lot of work by creating templates for them and saving them in a file. A document containing set of templates for drafting official paperwork is called a formulary. Lawyers use them a lot in real life and I have my own for NS.

The easiest way to create a formulary is to create a file and use it to save copies of different messages your characters write. You can then use the saved copies as plug-and-play templates in which all you have to do to quickly write an official-sounding message is swap out a few words and names and dates. In other words, a formulary is a library of templates for generating form letters and having one on hand will save you huge amounts of work! Even if you do not create form letter templates or organize them into a formulary, you should keep the following notes in mind when deciding on formats for your different types of messages:

  • Letters always start with an official letterhead and feature the date of writing, the intended recipient, a salutation, body, closing, and signature.
  • Communiqués are briefer than letters. They feature official letterhead and other formatting but are less elaborate than letters
  • Memoranda may or may not feature a letterhead depending on the writer’s preference. They contain a header listing the recipient, the sender, the subject, and the date. Memoranda have no salutation or closing; they just consist of a header and a body.
  • Electronic mail is written like physical mail but formatted like memoranda. Professionally-written E-mails consist of a salutation, body, closing, and the name of the recipient. The memo-style header is automatically tacked on by the mail transmission program in transit.
  • Encrypted media is produced using the [code] tags in BB code. Formats can take any number of forms.
  • Ultimatums and war declarations typically follow special formats. Chapter 10 contains examples of each.

Regardless of what format your correspondence takes, here are a few specific examples of things you should not do:

  • Write communiqués that begin with “To: Nation X, From: Nation Y” instead of having their characters address the other player’s characters. It not only looks lazy, it also screams “I’m a newbie!” and makes for poor story writing.
  • Enclose portraits of your characters with correspondence. You are sending the diplomatic equivalent of business letters, not distributing family photos to relatives.
  • Center-align all of the text in a letter. Not only does this make it difficult for others to read the body, but it is also technically improper. There is a practical reason why centered body text is only used for short pieces of social correspondence (e.g. handwritten invitations and replies accepting or declining them) in real life and not used in business and government writing.
  • Posting giant, screen-hogging seals, emblems, and heraldic imagery that makes reading a pain for any poor soul trying to access NS on their mobile devices. Please use reduced-size versions (e.g. less than 400 pixels tall) when possible.
  • Adorn your letters with multiple full-size letterheads that take up three times as much space as their body text. Roleplayers who pull this stunt frequently rack up double violations by forcing their readers to scroll through an entire screen of images before getting to read anything. You all know who you are. Stop it now!
  • As if the previous examples are not crazy enough, there is always that one player who has to start every last official press release with their head of state’s full official style or that other player who simply titles correspondence with row upon row of uppercase letters such that readers assume a sticky caps lock key got involved.





CHAPTER 9
Negotiating and Writing Treaties


Introduction

Anytime two or more parties wish to make a formal agreement, they draw up a contract that puts their agreement into writing and thereby proves their agreement’s existence. A treaty is a contractual agreement between two or more countries and is typically drawn up by diplomats representing the central governments of the nations involved. Wikipedia states, “A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms.” Much like any other contract, a treaty must be written in clear legalese that precisely explains every facet of the terms and conditions to which its parties are agreeing and follow a particular format. This chapter is devoted to walking you through the process of both roleplaying a treaty negotiation and writing a treaty’s text.

Types of Treaties

International treaties will always assume either a bilateral form (i.e. an agreement between just two parties) or a multilateral form (i.e. an agreement between three or more parties). A “party” can be a single country or a supranational union (e.g. the EU). While most NS roleplayers negotiate bilateral treaties, such as friendship treaties and bilateral trade and security agreements, a substantial minority of all NS treaties take the form of regional trade and security agreements or charters for ideologically-defined treaty organizations. We can also classify treaties according to their purposes (i.e. the functional roles they serve):

  • Friendship treaties specify the terms and conditions under which the involved parties agree to establish friendly relations with one another and may include elements of other treaty types.
  • Economic treaties include customs, currency, labor, trade, tariff, taxation, tourism, and exclusive economic zone agreements.
  • Boundary treaties are agreements by which the involved parties establish the locations of their borders.
  • Nonaggression treaties specify measures which the involved parties will take to avoid harming one another’s interests.
  • Mutual defense treaties specify measures which the involved parties will take to defend one another’s interests under specific circumstances.
  • Treaties of recognition specify the terms upon which one or more involved parties will agree to recognize another involved party as a legitimate sovereign state.
  • Peace treaties specify the terms upon which the involved parties agree to permanently terminate hostilities between one another and the measures they will take to heal their relationships (e.g. settle debts, pay indemnities).
  • Environmental conventions specify measures that the involved parties will take to achieve specific environmental policy objectives (e.g. curb emissions by a set amount before a specific date).
  • Legal conventions specify the legal terms and conditions upon which the involved parties agree to act in regard to a legal matter (e.g. international copyright and patent conventions).

Planning Treaty Negotiations

The process of roleplaying a treaty negotiation is inherently collaborative, so the first thing you must do is get other players to agree to participate in a diplomatic roleplay thread in which treaty negotiations take place. I already explained how to set up OOC threads for diplomatic conferences, back in Chapter 7, so I will not cover the subject again here. In brief, you and the other participants must agree on rules for the setting and the types of characters who should be involved in a given treaty negotiation story as well as the treaty’s purpose and scope. Once you have agreed on all of the details (including who sets up the IC and OOC threads) with the other participants, you can all move onto the next step.

The most crucial point of order in roleplaying a treaty negotiation is making sure the characters everybody sends are actually people who have standing (i.e. authority) to engage in negotiations. Please note that if you negotiate or agree to negotiate with somebody you are both acknowledging the other party’s existence and implying that they have standing to treat with you (i.e. they have the authority to contract terms with your side). If your NS nation’s leaders send a diplomat to a conference but does not grant that diplomat the power to agree to anything, then he or she is acting ultra vires (Lat. “beyond the powers”) and therefore his or her signature is less than worthless since it not only accomplishes nothing but actually costs the other participants their time! Examples of officials who lack authority to negotiate treaties include:

  • Diplomats representing an existing government that the other parties at the conference refuse to recognize.
  • Diplomats representing a new government that the other parties have not recognized yet.
  • Diplomats who are authorized by other parties to host or mediate a negotiation but are not authorized to take positions on any terms proposed by the involved parties. This does not apply to the hosts of a conference if the other parties want them to act as a third-party mediator or arbitrator in the event of treaty disputes.
  • Diplomats who are only authorized to act as observers.
  • Persons who represent a non-sovereign local or regional division within a sovereign country (refer back to Chapter 1).
  • Representatives of an NGO, IGO, private company, religious body, political party, or other entity who have not been hired to work as actual diplomatic representatives of a country participating in the negotiations.

In some cases, you might wish to roleplay one or more characters exceeding the scope of their authority in a treaty negotiation to achieve story purposes that other thread participants have agreed to, especially if you want to roleplay political drama that results from one or more parties discovering that their treaty is invalid. For example, you might wish to roleplay your NS nation’s intelligence service replacing an opposing NS nation’s ambassador with an impersonator who will grant lenient terms following a military defeat or you might wish to roleplay a revolutionary movement’s leader sending a diplomat to a treaty conference to fight for recognition. In short, you are fully free to transgress real-life legal constraints in roleplaying a treaty conference if you and the other participants have agreed to allow it for plot purposes. Just be mindful of what you are doing when you do so.

Conducting Treaty Negotiations

All treaty negotiations begin (from an in-character perspective) when the leaders of the involved countries (or their designated subordinates) select representatives to attend the proceedings. No matter who gets selected to be part of each country’s delegation, at least one member of each delegation must have plenipotentiary status (i.e. full power to negotiate and agree to things) as described in Chapter 2. The diplomats make their way to the negotiation venue, secure accommodations from the hosting party as needed, and wait for the others to arrive. When the delegates are finished arriving, they exchange copies of their credentials to prove that they are who they claim to be and have the authority to negotiate.

Once the parties are ready to begin, the hosting party will assume responsibility for convening the first session of negotiations. In multilateral treaty negotiations, the host will open the session by inviting everyone to elect a permanent chairperson to preside over the conference and then turn over control to the newly-elected chair. Once the new chair is installed, he or she announces the order in which the present delegations will speak and recognizes each delegation in turn. Unless you make an OOC agreement regarding such matters as turn order, the chair is responsible for determining these things from an IC perspective.

Upon being recognized for the first time, the leader of each delegation should make an opening speech to delineate his or her country’s reasons for participating in the conference. As a point of etiquette, the speaker should always begin by introducing his or her self if anyone is meeting for the first time and then thank the hosts for their invitation before delivering any other remarks. Even at emergency conferences, it is generally impolite to stake out bargaining positions during an opening speech; instead speakers should wait until the chair opens the floor for negotiations to voice such positions.

When the opening speeches are all concluded, the chair will open the floor for proposals by the delegates. This is the point at which everyone begins naming things they want the treaty to accomplish and can submit written drafts of working text. The negotiations that take place beyond this point will often have a distinct back-and-forth rhythm to them and it is common for roleplayers to haggle over grammar, syntax, and clarity of wording in the process of settling on a draft text on which they are willing to agree. The next section explains this process in detail.

Writing and Formatting Treaties

Like most legal documents, the text of a treaty should follow a standardized format and be written using precise language to ensure it contains no loopholes. The longer and more complex a treaty will be, the more carefully you should pay attention to formatting it clearly and ensuring its sections have appropriate headers. Use a word processor to save copies of your work in process (this builds upon my prior warning about the need to back up your diplomatic exchange program data). A treaty’s structure typically consists of three main sections:

  • The preamble, also known as the protocol, follows one of two formulas. The traditional formula for a treaty’s preamble begins by naming the contracting parties and stating their motives for wanting to create a formal agreement (e.g. establishing friendship, ending a conflict, adopting common legal standards), then names the representatives appointed by each side to negotiate its terms and states that they have shown each other proof that they have the authority to make a binding agreement. The modern formula consists of several declarative sentences that begin with gerund phrases (e.g. wishing, acknowledging, affirming, etc.) like a WA resolution or a bill placed before a legislature.
  • The corpus (body) of a treaty typically consists of one or more articles stating the terms and conditions to which the parties are agreeing and therefore represents the “substance” of the treaty. If a treaty is very long or has a large number of articles, the negotiators will usually group the articles into chapters.
  • The eschatocol (conclusion) usually follows a customary formula specifying when and where the negotiators signed it and how many copies were signed. In some cases, the closing will also contain a statement about which translation of the treaty will be regarded as the most authentic or binding.

To illustrate my points on how a treaty is worded, consider this excerpt from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) showing what its preamble and eschatocol look like:

IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY GOD

The United States of America and the United Mexican States animated by a sincere desire to put an end to the calamities of the war which unhappily exists between the two Republics and to establish Upon a solid basis relations of peace and friendship, which shall confer reciprocal benefits upon the citizens of both, and assure the concord, harmony, and mutual confidence wherein the two people should live, as good neighbors have for that purpose appointed their respective plenipotentiaries, that is to say: The President of the United States has appointed Nicholas P. Trist, a citizen of the United States, and the President of the Mexican Republic has appointed Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, Don Bernardo Couto, and Don Miguel Atristain, citizens of the said Republic; Who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full powers, have, under the protection of Almighty God, the author of peace, arranged, agreed upon, and signed the following: Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic.



In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement, and have hereunto affixed our seals respectively. Done in quintuplicate, at the city of Guadalupe Hidalgo, on the second day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.


Regardless of what type of treaty you are writing, your draft should always contain several specialized provisions, though it is up to you to determine the best possible wording and where they should go in the corpus of the document. If you need help determining the best possible wording, Wikipedia’s List of Treaties offers you access to a wealth of places to look for real-life examples. The special provisions you need include:

  • A reservations provision that forbids the signatories from expressing reservations (a legal term for claiming that specific treaty provisions do not apply to them).
  • A ratification provision specifying how the signatories will adopt the treaty.
  • An amendment provision that specifies the procedures for proposing and adopting amendments.
  • A withdrawal provision that specifies the conditions under which a signatory can withdraw from the treaty.
  • A depository provision that states where all of the signatories should send proof of ratification.
  • An entry into provision clause that states when the treaty becomes effective.

Ratifying and Implementing Treaties

If the parties to a treaty negotiation come to an agreement and sign a written draft of the terms to which they have agreed, the delegates present at the conference must transmit the signed agreement to their respective governments to have it finalized so it can enter into force. If you roleplay as a country led by an autocrat who attends negotiations himself and can simply ratify a treaty by signing it, then you need not do anything else. If you roleplay as a country where your leader’s signature is just the first step and your national legislature or some other body has to vote or sign off on the treaty in order to fully ratify it, then the treaty is not technically binding until you go through the appropriate steps. Either way, a treaty only enters into force (i.e. takes effect) after each party sends proof of ratification to the appropriate party.
Last edited by The State of Monavia on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:33 pm

CHAPTER 10
Coercive Diplomacy


Overview

Most diplomatic intercourse is voluntary and cooperative, yet times inevitably arise when voluntary cooperation is either unlikely or impossible as a result of circumstances in which one or more concerned parties find themselves. In these cases, one entity might elect to use diplomatic channels as a means of coercing another entity to act a certain way. This practice is broadly known as coercive diplomacy or “forceful persuasion” and typically relies on the threat of force to achieve success.

Coercive diplomacy will always assume one of two main forms:

  • Compellence, in which Entity A threatens to injure Entity B’s interests unless Entity B does something Entity A wants. Compellence can usually be described as saying “do what we say or suffer punishment.”
  • Deterrence, in which Entity A threatens injure Entity B’s interests if Entity B tries to do something Entity A does not want it to do. Deterrence can usually be described as saying “we will punish you if you do that.”

Anytime one government seeks to compel or deter the actions of another, it will generally rely on a specific set of measures to ensure that its will is obeyed. When it comes to the realm of coercive diplomacy—and politics in general—power is best defined as the ability of one entity to command the obedience of another entity. Coercive diplomacy therefore represents a raw contest of power in which one side attempts to impose its will on another. In the next section, we will examine the main tools used to wage these contests.

Tools of Coercive Diplomacy

Every government has a diverse arsenal of tools at its disposal when it comes to performing coercion against other entities. These tools, in increasing order of severity, are:

  • Issuing a letter of protest to shame the recipient into complying with the sender’s will. This example illustrates what such a letter looks like.
  • Expelling one or more of another country’s diplomats and declaring each expellee persona non grata. Most countries specify a deadline by which the expellees must depart from the host country and may cancel their visas.
  • Imposing sanctions against another country’s leader or principal officials. Such sanctions usually take the form of freezing their assets in the sanctioning country or forbidding companies to conduct business with sanctioned officials.
  • Recalling an ambassador to express disapproval toward another country’s actions. In some cases, one government will replace its ambassador with a chargé d’affaires en pied to snub another.
  • Recalling an entire diplomatic mission from another country. Governments typically undertake this action as part of a larger effort to apply pressure.
  • Issuing sanctions against the targeted country.
  • Issuing an embargo (i.e. full trade ban) against the targeted country.
  • Terminating diplomatic relations with the targeted country. This is often accomplished by expelling all of the targeted country’s diplomats and their staff while simultaneously recalling all diplomatic missions posted there.
  • Issuing an ultimatum containing a list of demands to be complied with and a statement of the consequences that will be imposed in event of noncompliance.
  • Blockading the targeted country. Remember that blockades are inherently damaging to the targeted country’s economy and thus represent an act of deliberate unfriendliness—in many cases, the targeted country’s government is within it legal rights to interpret a blockade as a military action directed against it for hostile reasons and declare war in response.
  • Sending military forces into the targeted country’s peripheral airspace or territorial waters as a show of force. This act technically constitutes an invasion of the targeted country’s territory and is thus typically regarded as an act of belligerency.


If you want to learn the military details of mounting a blockade and performing intrusive shows of force (which all but amount to invasion), you should consult guides on roleplaying war.

Ultimatums

NationStates occasionally plays host to the issuance of ultimatums. The term ultimatum is Latin for “the last one” (i.e. the last demand in a series of demands) and refers to a message that one government sends to another to threaten it into complying with specific terms and conditions. As with other diplomatic messages, an ultimatum follows a specific format:

  • Much like a letter, an ultimatum begins with a letterhead, date, and salutation.
  • The body of an ultimatum consists of five parts: a series of statements explaining the reasons the ultimatum is being issued, a transition statement, a list of demands that the recipient must comply with, a statement of consequences for noncompliance, and the deadline for sending a reply.
  • Ultimatums end with a special eschatocol and the signatures and seals of the issuing authorities.

Below you will see an ultimatum that I wrote for a war RP thread but never posted:


Image


August 6, 2016

Your Excellency:

WHEREAS the country formerly known as the Red Star Union was previously administered by an internationally recognized government prior to its collapse in 2015;

AND WHEREAS a rebellious organization called the Black Star Movement bombed an oil refinery in the city of Yakar in December 2014 and left 413 civilians dead as a result of their actions;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich materially supported the Black Star Movement’s revolutionary activities by supplying its personnel with armaments, ordinance, and training;

AND WHEREAS Ordenite mercenaries entered the Red Star Union’s sovereign territory without the authorization of its recognized government and thereby trespassed against the rights thereof;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite government endorsed the Black Star Union’s destructive revolutionary activity by supporting it with members of its regular armed forces and ordered said personnel to engage in combat against the armed forces of the former Red Star Union;

AND WHEREAS the former Red Star Union’s internationally recognized government freely solicited military assistance from the People’s Unified Federation of Mokastana, Wellovia, Aqua Anu and Associated States in order to enforce internal order;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich’s Supreme Führer Christian Richtofen issued a formal statement (hereafter referred to as “the Richtofen Statement”) on July 7, 2015 and therein accused the People’s Unified Federation of violating the Red Star Union’s sovereignty;

AND WHEREAS the Richtofen Statement further stated that the Ordenite Reich would no longer recognize the indisputable fact of the Mokan nation’s statehood in contravention of accepted diplomatic customs prevailing since time immemorial;

AND WHEREAS the Richtofen Statement further stated that the Ordenite Reich would no longer recognize the regular uniformed military personnel of the People’s Unified Federation as lawful combatants and thus announced an intention on the part of the Ordenite government to contravene the laws and customs of war prevailing amongst civilized states;

AND WHEREAS the Richtofen Statement further stated that the Ordenite Reich thereby annexed the territory of the Red Star Union even though the internationally recognized government thereof did not consent to any such annexation;

AND WHEREAS the Richtofen Statement’s factually dubious charge that the People’s Unified Federation conducted itself inappropriately in its intercourse with the Red Star Union cast aspersions upon the integrity of Imperial Federation’s treaty alliance with the People’s Unified Federation under the Charter of the Fegosian Union;

AND WHEREAS the office of the Imperial Federation’s Minister of Foreign Affairs requested that the Ordenite Foreign Office furnish evidence supporting the Richtofen Statement’s claims regarding the Mokan government’s conduct;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Foreign Office failed to present evidence that supported the Richtofen Statement’s claims and instead offered as evidence a restatement of the claims themselves;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Foreign Office issued a letter to the Monavian Minister of Foreign Affairs in which it claimed that the Ordenite Wehrmacht had entered the Red Star Union to uphold the sovereignty of the Black Star Movement, thus imputing sovereignty to a non-state actor unrecognized by any other sovereign state;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich has subsequently invaded, conquered, annexed, and occupied the territory it has forcibly seized from the Red Star Union’s internationally recognized government, even though no other sovereign state has recognized these actions or formally accepted any of them as legitimate;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich has exported its nationals to the territory it has seized and thereby colonized it;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich’s Berlina Race Accords subsequently insulted and provoked countless foreign populations to anger by describing them as “subhuman” and “inferior” to the Ordenite population after accusing foreign governments of provocation and faulting them for allegedly doing so;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Foreign Office later issued a statement in which it referred to foreign populations as “parasitic and better deemed using the term ‘life unworthy of life’” and thereby cast aspersions on the Imperial Federation’s honor by implying that the Monavian government and the populace under its jurisdiction are unfit to merit the Ordenite Reich’s respect in the conduct of normal diplomatic intercourse;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Reich has formally declared war against the People’s Unified Federation on August 6, 2016 and subsequently engaged in combat operations against its regular armed forces;

AND WHEREAS national honor compels the Imperial Federation to refrain from using pretenses of ideological disagreement as justification for using war to achieve practical benefits and to reject and repudiate the employment of such pretenses by foreign states;

AND WHEREAS the Monavian government has determined from a candid observation of the aforementioned facts that it cannot afford to permit this unfortunate state of affairs to proceed along its present course without risking injury to the Imperial Federation’s freedom to engage in foreign trade;

AND WHEREAS the sovereign rulers of this country are charged with the solemn duty of asserting our sacred Empire’s rights and protecting its legitimate interests, among which We count the cessation of violence against our allies and the curtailment of ideologically-driven wars;

NOW KNOW YE that the Imperial Crown finds itself compelled to demand that the Ordenite government agree to:

I. Reinstate its recognition of the Mokan state as a legitimate legal entity capable of entering into diplomatic negotiations.

II. Recognize the Mokan government’s regular armed forces as legitimate combatants who are entitled to the rights which troops possess under the laws and customs of war that prevail among civilized nations.

III. Enact a ceasefire under which Ordenite forces shall completely terminate all combat operations against the People’s Unified Federation no later than 1200 hours on August 14, 2016.

IV. Pledge to send representatives to Chalcedon or some other neutral city of its choosing to negotiate a settlement of its dispute over the former Red Star Union and shall further agree to maintain its ceasefire within the territorial area of the former Red Star Union for the duration of these negotiations.

V. Renounce its presently unrecognized claims of sovereignty over the former Red Star Union.

VI. Notify the Monavian government without delay of the execution of the measures specified in the foregoing points.

None of these demands are open to negotiation. Should the Ordenite government fail to comply with the first and second provisions of this Ultimatum, the Monavian government shall construe such noncompliance as a calculated and deliberate violation of the laws and customs of war currently prevailing amongst civilized states and endorse all efforts by other parties to prosecute noncompliance as a war crime. Should the Ordenite Reich fail to comply with the third, fourth, or fifth provisions of this Ultimatum, the Monavian government shall construe such noncompliance as evidence that the Ordenite Reich intends to territorially, monetarily, and technologically aggrandize itself at the deliberate and uncompensated expense of foreign states in violation of their sovereignty and shall support all efforts to suppress unlawful aggression of this sort. The Monavian government further intends to construe noncompliance with the terms of this Ultimatum as a deliberate act of unfriendliness towards the Imperial Federation and its interests in the security of its allies in Greater Díenstad. In any instance, the Imperial Federation shall appropriately reciprocate the Ordenite Reich’s response to this Ultimatum.

The Monavian government hereby requests the favor of your reply within seventy-two hours from the moment you receive a copy of this Ultimatum.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, We have authorized the Great Seal of the Monavian Empire to be affixed to these presents and have hereunder subscribed our names.

GIVEN at our Court at the Royal Residence in Chalcedon on the sixth day of August in the year of Our Lord two thousand sixteen in the thirty-fourth year of our reign,

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ATTEST:

Frederick Locke
Chief Herald of the Imperial Court

Richard Jackson
Secretary of the Royal Household
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Declaring War

The Prussian military theorist Carl P. G. von Clausewitz wrote “War is simply the continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means,” in his famous text On War (1832). In the event that your NS nation chooses to engage in hostilities against another NS nation, you might want to issue a declaration of war to inform them of the situation. While you do not necessarily need to roleplay the act of issuing an official declaration of war to tell a good story, the act of posting a well-written declaration is one way you can show others you take roleplay writing seriously.

Governments traditionally issued war declarations to authorize military mobilizations, warn uninvolved countries of the conflict so that their citizens would not be caught in the ensuing crossfire, and provide their enemies fair warning that hostilities would be prosecuted against them in cases where surprise attacks might be viewed as dishonorable. While real-life civilizations have not always issued war declarations before initiating combat against their enemies, the notion that combat activities should not begin without a prior war declaration became a feature of customary international law among Western governments by the early twentieth century. This belief was eventually codified by the Convention Relative to the Opening of Hostilities in 1907.

Every country has its own rules for issuing war declarations; in most real-life states the national legislature is responsible for drafting the declaration and sending it to the head of government for signature. A declaration can be conditional (i.e. state that the issuer will automatically be at war with the recipient under specified circumstances, such as noncompliance with an ultimatum) or absolute (i.e. state that the issuer is already at war with the recipient); it can be reasoned (i.e. cite grievances or other reasons for initiating hostilities) or unreasoned (i.e. decline to cite any reasons for its issuance); and it can be perfect (in law, the term perfect refers to acts that correctly follow established procedures) or imperfect (i.e. performed illegally or unconstitutionally). Most of the war declarations I have read on NS are either absolute reasoned ones or conditional reasoned ones. Some roleplayers (including me) take the time to mention their characters and institutions observing necessary formalities; most do not. In any case, a war declaration follows a specific format:

  • A header, which includes an enacting clause (the clause stating who is issuing the document) and a title. Please consult Wikipedia’s page on enacting clauses if you need ideas.
  • A body, which consists of three sections: the reasons why war is being declared, the declaration, and the measures to be taken to ensure that the war is prosecuted to a successful conclusion.
  • A closing section containing an appropriate eschatocol.

Below you will see the war declaration that I wrote to follow the ultimatum I wanted to issue:


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Pursuant to the authority vested in them by the Constitution of the Imperial Federation, the Senate and the Representative Assembly of the Imperial Parliament hereby enact

AN ACT

PROVIDING FOR THE PROSECUTION OF HOSTILITIES AGAINST A FOREIGN ADVERSARY


WHEREAS the Ordenite Government has intentionally and deliberately acted to injure the vital interests of the Imperial Federation and its nationals;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Government has intentionally and deliberately acted to injure the vital interests of the Imperial Federation’s treaty allies and their respective nationals;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Government has refused to comply with the terms set forth in the ultimatum dated August 6, 2016;

AND WHEREAS the Ordenite Government’s has rejection of the aforementioned ultimatum and aforementioned attacks on Monavian and allied vital interests mean that those interests are now objects of belligerent activity authorized by the Ordenite Reich;

IT IS ENACTED that the Imperial Parliament hereby legally recognizes that a state of hostilities exists between the Imperial Federation of the Monavian Empire and the Ordenite Reich and authorizes the Imperial Crown to employ the entirety of the Imperial Federation’s land, naval, and aerial forces to prosecute said hostilities to a speedy and successful termination.

IT IS FURTHER ENACTED that as a consequence of the Ordenite Reich’s ability to instantaneously execute further attacks against the vital interests of the Imperial Federation, its treaty allies, and their respective nationals, the Monavian Government hereby determines that the traditional courtesy of formally transmitting this Act to the Ordenite Government can enable the Ordenite Government to take measures calculated to render the provisions of this Act ineffective or otherwise obstruct its execution. This Act shall therefore enter into force immediately upon receiving a valid royal signature and shall not require publication to take effect.

IT IS FURTHER ENACTED that the Imperial Parliament further authorizes the Imperial Crown to call for and accept the services of any number of volunteers, not exceeding 500,000, who may offer their services in the armed forces or merchant marine.

IT IS FURTHER ENACTED that the Imperial Parliament further authorizes the Imperial Crown to call the militia of the several provinces into the actual service of the Imperial Federation to such extent as may be necessary to carry this act into effect.

Richard Hanover II
Chancellor of the Monavian Empire and President of the Senate

Elena Crocker
Speaker of the Representative Assembly
Denise K. Yudina
Clerk of the Senate

Benjamin Flynn
Clerk of the Representative Assembly





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We hereby certify that we witnessed the Crown approve this Act in our presence

Frederick Locke, Chief Herald of the Imperial Court

Richard Jackson, Secretary of the Royal Household





CHAPTER 11
Miscellaneous Topics


Miscellaneous Forms of Diplomacy

Diplomatic intercourse can assume any number of exotic and unconventional forms. Here are a few examples:

  • Cultural Diplomacy: While most diplomatic activities occur within the realms of politics and law, a country can also try to influence its neighbors by sending tourists, performers, writers, artists, and other such people abroad to create a favorable impression among foreign peoples. Cultural diplomacy can be as simple as one country’s sailors playing folk songs while on shore leave overseas to a country’s official cultural institutions inviting foreign dignitaries to attend an exhibition. Cultural diplomacy primarily serves to enhance a country’s soft power.
  • Paradiplomacy: Independent sovereign states, IGOs, and NGOs may be the only entities that conduct true diplomatic intercourse, but that does not mean that sub-national or local governments cannot perform pseudo-diplomatic activities of their own. Paradiplomacy, which can be defined as any diplomatic activities performed by representatives of a sub-national or local government, is a relatively new phenomenon and hardly has any presence in NS. Paradiplomacy usually takes the form of cultural exchange programs between two local entities or “sister city” agreements.
  • Preventive Diplomacy: Preventive diplomacy is a conflict prevention technique in which one entity tries to stop a dispute or conflict from arising between two or more parties. IGOs and NGOs typically specialize in preventive diplomacy more than governments do and usually perform it by undertaking fact-finding, confidence-building, and humanitarian assistance activities.
  • Shuttle Diplomacy: Whenever two or more entities (usually countries) wish to negotiate with one another but refuse to do so directly, they may agree to appoint an uninvolved third party to act as a “shuttle” (i.e. intermediary) to conduct the negotiations. The term shuttle refers to the fact that diplomats performing this function usually need to travel extensively between the involved parties. Shuttle diplomacy typically occurs when two parties to a dispute have difficulty recognizing one another’s legitimacy or legal status.

Foreign Policy Doctrines

Leaders can base their foreign policy decisions on any number of factors, such as their countries’ material interests and their personal beliefs regarding the proper use of state power and resources. In an effort to discover the way leaders make foreign policy decisions and understand their motives, social scientists, historians, and philosophers postulated three major theories (and numerous minor ones) to serve as frameworks for analyzing international relations. The three major theories are:

  • Realism asserts that leaders tend to base their decisions on practical considerations more than anything else. A realist foreign policy doctrine will call for a country to protect and promote its own national interests on the basis of practical considerations. Most realists believe that they have a practical imperative to nurture their home interests.
  • Idealism claims that leaders tend to base their decisions on philosophical or ideological principles above all else. An idealist foreign policy doctrine will call for a country to export its internal values and worldview to other countries in order to further said values. Most idealists believe that they have a moral imperative to spread their values abroad.
  • Constructivism proposes that leaders tend to base their decisions on intangible assumptions, norms, and habits that they think other leaders will follow. Conversely, a constructivist foreign policy doctrine will call for a country to adjust its foreign policy objectives in response to changes in its foreign relations environment. Most constructivists believe that their range of viable foreign policy options is constrained by limitations (e.g. treaties and conventions) that international structures (e.g. alliances, treaty organizations, supranational unions, and trading blocs) impose upon them.

The other theories of international relations (e.g. Marxism, feminism, foundationalism, structuralism, behaviorism, and functionalism) are “niche” theories that usually critique various aspects of the three main foreign policy doctrines. For example, Marxists and Neo-Marxists believe that leaders base their foreign policy decisions more on economic concerns than they do on security needs, political prestige, or national honor. Some theories (especially postmodernism and post-structuralism) revolve around the agnostic claim that traditional foreign policy doctrines are not reliable enough for people to discern “truth” from their principles.

Generally speaking, all leaders are influenced by a mixture of practical and ideological concerns of varying intensity as they weigh the options available to them when making foreign policy decisions. If you were to create a spectrum in which the idealist end represented ideologically fanatical leaders who care little for practical concerns and the realist end represented highly pragmatic leaders who are indifferent towards ideological concerns, then you can easily sort the leaders of different NS nations along this continuum if you want to compare their motives. If you choose to create a second “constructivist” spectrum in which one end represents fervent respect for international structures and norms while the other end represents flagrant disregard for international structures and norms, then you have another continuum along which to classify the leaders of different NS nations. If you combine the two spectrums (as in a Pournelle chart), you now have a powerful tool for comparing one leader’s foreign policy preferences to another’s.

Form of a Diplomatic Commission


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Know ye, that, reposing special trust and confidence in the distinguished prudence, fidelity, and ability of Sandra Panay, the Imperial Crown hereby invests her with the rank of Ambassador of the Imperial Federation to the Yohannesian Realm and such other parts as shall be nearer thereto than to the residence of any other Consul or Vice Consul of the Imperial Federation within the same allegiance; and do authorize and empower her to occupy the aforementioned Office, and to exercise and enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities thereto appertaining during the Crown’s pleasure; and do hereby enjoin all Captains, Masters and Commanders of ships and other vessels, armed or unarmed, sailing under the flag of the Imperial Federation, as well as other citizens, to acknowledge and consider her accordingly; and further hereby pray and request that the Yohannesian Realm’s authorities, judges, civil, and military officials recognize her in her capacity as an Ambassador and permit her to fully and peaceably enjoy and exercise without trouble, molestation, or harassment the rights, privileges, and prerogatives of her office and to receive all proper countenance and assistance without hindrance or delay. The Crown likewise offers to do the same for all those who shall, in like manner, be recommended to it by the Yohannesian Realm.

In testimony hereof, we have caused these letters to be made Patent and the Great Seal of the Monavian Empire to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN at our Court at the Royal Residence in Chalcedon on the twelfth day of September in the year of Our Lord two thousand eleven in the twenty-ninth year of our reign,

Image
ATTEST:

Frederick Locke
Chief Herald of the Imperial Court

Richard Jackson
Secretary of the Royal Household
Image


Form of a Letter of Credence

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Her Excellency Dr. Soledad Martin
Secretary-General of the General Secretariat
The Unitary Technocracy of Etoile Arcture

November 24, 2015

Your Excellency:

Out of an abundance of esteem for the mutual friendship and understanding now existing between the Imperial Federation and the United Technocracy of Etoile Arcture and a desire to promote and further secure these amicable relations, I hereby appoint the Honorable Gerald E. Hahn to reside in Your Excellency’s country as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Ambassador Hahn is well informed of our countries’ relative interests and the Monavian government’s desire to cultivate the friendship subsisting between them to the fullest possible extent.

My knowledge of his distinguished character and abilities therefore leads me to believe that he will constantly endeavor to advance these interests and fulfill the mission with which he is charged in a manner that shall merit Your Excellency’s trust and approbation while proving himself worthy of the confidence I now place in him. I therefore request Your Excellency to receive him favorably, grant credence to the things he shall say on behalf of the Imperial Federation in an official capacity, and accept from him my government’s best wishes for your country’s peace and prosperity.

Your faithful friend,

[signature of sovereign]


Form of an Exequatur

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Having received satisfactory evidence that [name] has been appointed [rank], the Imperial Crown hereby recognizes him as such and declares him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are allowed to consular officers by the Law of Nations or by the Laws of the Imperial Federation.

In testimony hereof, we have caused these letters to be made Patent and the Great Seal of the Monavian Empire to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN at our Court at the Royal Residence in Chalcedon on the twelfth day of April in the year of Our Lord two thousand seventeen in the thirty-fifth year of our reign,

Image
Witnessed by:

Frederick Locke
Chief Herald of the Imperial Court

Richard Jackson
Secretary of the Royal Household
Image





CHAPTER 12
Suggestions for Further Reading


The Internet contains a multitude of resources that can enable roleplayers to better understand the conduct of diplomacy. The most comprehensive and useful source I have found thus far is Diplomatic Correspondence by Ye. V. Borisova, a senior lecturer at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. Borisova’s textbook (which can be freely downloaded as a PDF) covers diplomatic terminology, tips for effective communication, a guide on titles and forms of address, and numerous real-life examples of government documents. This text is a very advanced learning aid by NS standards as it is written for fifth-year university students (i.e. graduate students) and “specialists in International Relations.”

If Borisova’s textbook strikes you as too hefty, you can still learn a lot about the art of writing, transmitting, and filing diplomatic correspondence from the Diplomatic Correspondence Guide published by the Filipino Foreign Service Institute. You can also acquaint yourself with the basic principles of this discipline by reading The Ostro’s Guide to Communiques [sic], How to Write a Diplomatic Message, and How to Write Diplomatese, all three of which are written by NS roleplayers. Persons wanting to use correct forms of address should consult the online site for Honor & Respect by Robert Hickey, Deputy Director of The Protocol School of Washington. Anytime you are unsure about what sort of formatting looks best in your posts, you can always use a search engine to look for photos of real-life examples and use BB code to create approximations as desired.

To obtain additional information on the business of setting up and managing diplomatic exchanges, please consult The 2017 Guide to Embassies and Consulates by New Hayesalia. The four-part guide is arguably the best specialty thread an NS user has ever published on that subject and comes loaded with numerous diagrams and photographs. Individuals seeking to learn more about diplomatic protocol should consult Protocol for the Modern Diplomat by Ray S. Leki, Director of the U. S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute Transition Center.

If you are interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of national sovereignty or the distinctions between state actors and non-state actors, I advise you to read International Relations: How You’re Doing It Wrong (PLS 201). In this same vein, if you are interested in learning about the ways that different ideological worldviews motivate leaders to make foreign policy decisions the way they do, I strongly advise you to read the Guide to roleplaying your foreign policy by New Aeyariss. It is a superbly written document by an author with RL experience in this field and served as one of my research sources for writing this guide.

Should you take an interest in using multilateral diplomacy to create a treaty coalition, your best starting point is reading A Basic Guide to Roleplay Alliances. Last, but far from being least among my sources, are numerous Wikipedia lists, directories, and articles that directly link readers to real-life examples of everything from diplomatic flags and insignia to letters, treaties, and ultimatums.





ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


As much as I wish I could claim total credit for producing this document, several members of the NS Mentor community have offered me a combination of encouragement, access to research materials, and editorial assistance that leaves me in their debt. Cerillium offered me thorough editorial input, Kyrusia gave me consistent encouragement, and Swith Witherward supplied me with the idea to write about protocol. I also wish to thank Lamoni and Yohannes for offering me input that I have used to make revisions as part of preparing the second edition of this guide.





THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE

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Last edited by The State of Monavia on Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Kyrusia
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Capitalizt

Postby Kyrusia » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:09 am

Absolutely fabulous, Monavia. Sincerely.

Kyrusia proceeds to excessively nerd-out.
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Jeltronia
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Postby Jeltronia » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:48 am

Comprehensive and thorough, definitely a good and enlightening read! Thank you for sharing, and my congratulations for this impressive work, easily one of the best guides in the NS forums.
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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:20 am

I hope you do not mind Monavia but you missed Marxist ideology of foreign policy which focuses on existence of world - system theory. Other than that, awesome work.
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Postby Emerstari » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:52 am

Very long, very interesting, very informative! :clap:
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Yohannes
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Re: Monavia’s Handbook for Roleplaying Diplomacy

Postby Yohannes » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:32 pm

Nicely written Monav. It was a pleasure to read it!
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Postby Argentinstan » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:42 pm

Really useful. I major in international relations and let me just say that this is one of the most comprehensive guides on NS. And the fact that I learned something from it...wow, just wow!
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The State of Monavia
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Postby The State of Monavia » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:06 pm

Kyrusia wrote:Absolutely fabulous, Monavia. Sincerely.

Kyrusia proceeds to excessively nerd-out.


“Kyru? Kyru?” [Taps shoulder.] “Poor Kyru’s out cold…”

Jeltronia wrote:Comprehensive and thorough, definitely a good and enlightening read! Thank you for sharing, and my congratulations for this impressive work, easily one of the best guides in the NS forums.


Thank you. I was glad to get this posted after three months of intermittent research, writing, and editing, and solicitations for feedback.

New Aeyariss wrote:I hope you do not mind Monavia but you missed Marxist ideology of foreign policy which focuses on existence of world - system theory. Other than that, awesome work.


I mentioned Marxism as one of several “niche” theories of international relations. In brief, all IR theories can be divided into two groups: “mainstream” theories, which try to determine a foreign policy decision maker’s motives for making particular decisions, and “critical” theories, in which adherents of niche philosophies (e.g. Marxism, feminism, environmentalism) try to examine how a leader’s foreign policy choices affect different groups in different ways. For example, followers of a “mainstream” IR theory will ask “What practical/ideological/structural factors motivated President Nixon to open trade with the PRC?” while followers of a “niche” IR theory will ask “How did Nixon’s decision affect labor differently from capital (Marxist), women differently from men (feminist), or impact the environment (green)?” My reason for focusing on the three mainstream schools is that the niche schools are a dime per dozen, constantly evolving, and hard to research.

Emerstari wrote:Very long, very interesting, very informative! :clap:

Yohannes wrote:Nicely written Monav. It was a pleasure to read it!


Thank you both! I’m glad you liked it as much as you did; please prod your friends to take a look when you find the time.

Argentinstan wrote:Really useful. I major in international relations and let me just say that this is one of the most comprehensive guides on NS. And the fact that I learned something from it...wow, just wow!


Wow, I did not know that we had many IR students lurking around NS. I’m especially interested in knowing how you found my guide helpful, given the fact this is what you’re studying for your career.




ANNOUNCEMENT


I will be presenting a condensed version of this guide at the 2017 Roleplaying Symposium. Please stay tuned for more details.
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MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
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The State of Monavia
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Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:59 pm

Dear readers,

I regret to inform you that Photobucket has decided to give me the same grief that some of you have recently suffered by disabling the display of images I used in my guide. While I have yet to determine an appropriate course of action, it is likely that I will move my files to Imgur and edit the guide to feature new image links when I can find the time to do so. Again, I am sorry for any inconveniences that Photobucket’s policy changes may have inflicted on you in the process of reading this document.

Mon
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


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Castille de Italia
Minister
 
Posts: 2202
Founded: Mar 22, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Castille de Italia » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:24 pm

This is pretty much a tag post. This is valuable information for some mentoring I'm preparing to do for a few players.
The Castillian Federation and Its Overseas Territories
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Futrellia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1635
Founded: Mar 29, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Futrellia » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:53 pm

Very good reading, Monavia! Fantastic job!

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:02 pm

Castille de Italia wrote:This is pretty much a tag post. This is valuable information for some mentoring I'm preparing to do for a few players.


What sort of mentoring do you have in mind? I am very much interested in seeing how you put my research into action.

Futrellia wrote:Very good reading, Monavia! Fantastic job!


Thank you! Was there anything that stood out to you as particularly good?
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


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Castille de Italia
Minister
 
Posts: 2202
Founded: Mar 22, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Castille de Italia » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:08 pm

The State of Monavia wrote:
Castille de Italia wrote:This is pretty much a tag post. This is valuable information for some mentoring I'm preparing to do for a few players.


What sort of mentoring do you have in mind? I am very much interested in seeing how you put my research into action.

Sorry for the late response Monavia. There's been quite the influx of newer players in Greater Dienstad in recent months, so if they want to participate in my upcoming roleplay, which I'll completely allow, I anticipate using this guide to help them navigate the diplomatic interlocution of the character-heavy parts in this vast web of conspiracy and conflict I've been crafting for months.

The Price of Progress, which I anticipate being my magnum opus, can be found here.
The Castillian Federation and Its Overseas Territories
"Fraternité sous notre Fédération"

Main Directory | Foreign Missions | National History | News

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Futrellia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1635
Founded: Mar 29, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Futrellia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:12 pm

The State of Monavia wrote:
Castille de Italia wrote:This is pretty much a tag post. This is valuable information for some mentoring I'm preparing to do for a few players.


What sort of mentoring do you have in mind? I am very much interested in seeing how you put my research into action.

Futrellia wrote:Very good reading, Monavia! Fantastic job!


Thank you! Was there anything that stood out to you as particularly good?


I found Chapters 9, 6, and 5 to be the most informative on diplomatic relations for me. It's very detailed, really teaches me about the value of diplomacy and how to do it correctly.

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:29 pm

Dear Readers,

Please take a moment to thank my old friend Lamoni for sending me this recent news article on abandoned facilities. You might want to account for the lessons its teaches the next time you update your diplomatic exchange threads.
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


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/‾‾ʽʼ‾‾\

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Yohannes
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13162
Founded: Mar 17, 2010
Ex-Nation

Re: Monavia’s Handbook for Roleplaying Diplomacy [OPEN]

Postby Yohannes » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:56 pm

You might want to update this part:

Your characters should not use honorifics reflexively (i.e. in reference to themselves)


I know you got that information off some internet website. But the reality is some real life government (NZ Government) do not follow that format. Employees of the Beehive (in real life) send letters (including Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretary themselves) using 'Hon'; e.g., Office of Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance, Electorate of Clutha-Southland, Office of Hon Dr Nick Smith, Minister of the Environment, Electorate of Nelson. I know personally because I have seen those letters myself. There are some minister letters by browsing Google (NZ Minister letter): http://www.fishforever.org.nz/images/ff ... 2015-1.jpg (just one example out of many)

Fact of the matter is I don't know who wrote that 'guide' website regarding 'The Honourable' but he (I doubt it's a she) is most likely an American. He didn't provide any background as to why titles such as 'The Honourable' are used in Commonwealth countries anyway (so most likely he didn't take that into account). I know personally that in real life, parliamentary procedures (at least over here in New Zealand) acknowledge Honourable Rt Honourable when referring to the office of Ministers or other distinguished citizens who have received the Hon or Rt Hon titles permanently. Just something for you to think about before trying to tell people (in your capacity as a Mentor) that 'this is right' and 'that is wrong'

Edit: You should not try to force a hard rule of 'this is the right way of doing it' concerning matters like this. Yes, there's some basic stuff (signature, to, from, subject, etc) but whilst this guide is commendable (and I know you have put a lot of work into it: Amazing guide! I love it), you will need to edit some of the words to make this guide less authoritative sounding

Edit2: But, again and again, amazing guide! If you can just follow the above recommendation I believe this guide should be sweet as
Last edited by Yohannes on Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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♚ Moving to a new nation not because I "wish to move on from past events," but because I'm bored writing about a fictional large nation on NS. Can online personalities with too much time on their hands stop spreading unfounded rumours about this online boy?? XOXO ♚

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:41 pm

Yohannes wrote:You might want to update this part:

Your characters should not use honorifics reflexively (i.e. in reference to themselves)


I know you got that information off some internet website.


The Internet site in question (link) is run by Robert Hickey, the Deputy Director of The Protocol School of Washington. I know I included a link to his site in the text of Chapter 8, though I admit I was not entirely clear about citing him as the protocol authority for the rule about reflexive use of honorifics.

Fact of the matter is I don't know who wrote that 'guide' website regarding 'The Honourable' but he (I doubt it's a she) is most likely an American. He didn't provide any background as to why titles such as 'The Honourable' are used in Commonwealth countries anyway (so most likely he didn't take that into account). I know personally that in real life, parliamentary procedures (at least over here in New Zealand) acknowledge Honourable Rt Honourable when referring to the office of Ministers or other distinguished citizens who have received the Hon or Rt Hon titles permanently. Just something for you to think about before trying to tell people (in your capacity as a Mentor) that 'this is right' and 'that is wrong'


Hickey (as you correctly assumed) is an American and his Web page on the use of these titles largely applies only to etiquette as practiced in the United States. Unfortunately, neither he nor the textbook for the public administration course I took in 2016 covered the rules governing honorifics in Commonwealth states, and none of the resources I came across in the course of my research led me to believe that the rules were particularly different apart for matters of spelling and grammar. It also does not help that both I and a majority of NS users are (presumably) American thanks to the predominance of U.S. spelling and grammar on these boards. Please bear in mind that I am a layman who does not enjoy your lived experience in this matter and that my goal in creating this guide was to translate RL rules into something suitable for NS use.

But the reality is some real life government (NZ Government) do not follow that format. Employees of the Beehive (in real life) send letters (including Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretary themselves) using 'Hon'; e.g., Office of Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance, Electorate of Clutha-Southland, Office of Hon Dr Nick Smith, Minister of the Environment, Electorate of Nelson. I know personally because I have seen those letters myself. There are some minister letters by browsing Google (NZ Minister letter): http://www.fishforever.org.nz/images/ff ... 2015-1.jpg (just one example out of many)


Mr. Hickey mentioned an example of this phenomenon:

An individual never refers to him or herself as The Honorable (name). So in the return address the name should be (Full name) / (name of office) / (address).

I've seen on an envelope The Office of / The Honorable (full name) / Delegate for the Seventh District / House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia / (address) That's O.K. since it's stationery for all to use and it is not the official referring to the himself. [Emphasis mine.]

Similarly, I wouldn't say "Hello, I am Mr. Robert Hickey" ... one does not give oneself an honorific or courtesy title. Sometimes I get free stickers in the mail with my name as Mr. Robert Hickey / (address) -- but not wanting to throw them out, I do use them -- on envelopes for paying bills.


Edit: You should not try to force a hard rule of 'this is the right way of doing it' concerning matters like this. Yes, there's some basic stuff (signature, to, from, subject, etc) but whilst this guide is commendable (and I know you have put a lot of work into it: Amazing guide! I love it), you will need to edit some of the words to make this guide less authoritative sounding


Again, my purpose here was to translate RL rules into something suitable for NS use. My guide repeatedly states that players are free to set their own in-character standards as they see fit and that there are no site rules, board policies, or hard-and-fast roleplaying conventions that can compel them to do things a particular way. Nonetheless, roleplayers tend to import elements of RL into NS without bothering to make any significant alterations because doing so take time and effort they would rather spend amusing themselves or writing prose. Crafting a fictitious nation can oftentimes feel more like work than play, and this is especially true when you get caught wading through the bogs of trying to devise entirely fictional ways of conducting government business from whole cloth.

Edit2: But, again and again, amazing guide! If you can just follow the above recommendation I believe this guide should be sweet as


I appreciate your compliments towards my work and intend to post a number of revisions and improvements once this guide receives more community feedback. Please feel free to nudge your friends into taking a look around and posting their thoughts.
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


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Western Pacific Territories
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 14014
Founded: Apr 29, 2015
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Western Pacific Territories » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:12 pm

I have to say, this is a great guide.

However, for the ease of navigation of Chapters, would it be possible for you to try using the [anchor] command (if that's even possible on forum posts, I forgot) to enable a reader to get to sections they would be interested in reading more easily?

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:03 pm

Western Pacific Territories wrote:I have to say, this is a great guide.

However, for the ease of navigation of Chapters, would it be possible for you to try using the [anchor] command (if that's even possible on forum posts, I forgot) to enable a reader to get to sections they would be interested in reading more easily?


Thank you. As extensive as my BB code knowledge is, the use of anchor commands is something I am not familiar with at the moment. I will need to look into this when I release guide updates in the future.
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


✠ᴥ✠ᴥ✠

/‾‾ʽʼ‾‾\

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Western Pacific Territories
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 14014
Founded: Apr 29, 2015
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Western Pacific Territories » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:40 pm

The State of Monavia wrote:
Western Pacific Territories wrote:I have to say, this is a great guide.

However, for the ease of navigation of Chapters, would it be possible for you to try using the [anchor] command (if that's even possible on forum posts, I forgot) to enable a reader to get to sections they would be interested in reading more easily?


Thank you. As extensive as my BB code knowledge is, the use of anchor commands is something I am not familiar with at the moment. I will need to look into this when I release guide updates in the future.

You can find some info on how to use it in this link here, in fact it actually uses that feature in the opener.

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:37 pm

Dear readers,

I am pleased to announce the release of the SECOND EDITION of this guide on June 5, 2018! I hope all my readers will enjoy the improvements I have made and give appropriate credit to the players whose commentary and contributions enabled me to improve my work. Although Photobucket has decided to allow the display of images posted on this site, I have taken the liberty of removing image links as I plan to transition away from Photobucket to another image host.

Mon
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


✠ᴥ✠ᴥ✠

/‾‾ʽʼ‾‾\

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Eitoan
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 185
Founded: Jan 04, 2018
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Eitoan » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Thanks Monavia - very handy to have as we slide into RP with Ralk.

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The State of Monavia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 1552
Founded: Jun 27, 2006
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The State of Monavia » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:47 pm

Eitoan wrote:Thanks Monavia - very handy to have as we slide into RP with Ralk.


If you do not mind me asking, how do you intend to apply my advice in dealing with a former colonial master?
——✠ ✠——THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION OF THE MONAVIAN EMPIRE——✠ ✠——
FACTBOOKS AND LOREROLEPLAY CANONDIPLOMATIC EXCHANGE

I am an N&I roleplay mentor. You can contact me via telegram or Discord (@Monavia).
MY GUIDES ON ROLEPLAYING DIPLOMACY, ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE, ROLEPLAYING EVIL (COMING SOON)

Fifteen Year Veteran of NationStates ∙ Member of the NS Writing Project and the Roleplayers Union
I am a classical monarchist Orthodox Christian from Arizona.


✠ᴥ✠ᴥ✠

/‾‾ʽʼ‾‾\

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