Hennings Publishes Russia and Courtly Europe: Ritual and the Culture of Diplomacy, 1648–1725

In this new book on early modern diplomacy, Jan Hennings, assistant professor in the Department of History at CEU, explores the relationship between European powers and Russia beyond the conventional East–West divide from the Peace of Westphalia to the reign of Peter the Great. Hennings examines how, at a moment of new departures in both Europe and Russia, the norms shaping diplomatic practice emerged from the complex relations and direct encounters within the world of princely courts rather than from incompatible political cultures. He makes clear the connections between dynastic representation, politics, and foreign relations and shows that Russia, despite its perceived isolation and cultural distinctiveness, participated in the developments and transformations that were taking place more broadly in diplomacy. The central themes of this study are the interlocking manifestations of social hierarchy, monarchical honour, and sovereign status in both text and ritual. Related issues of diplomatic customs, institutional structures, personnel, negotiation practice, international law, and the question of cultural transfer also figure prominently.