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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues that large firms which operate across national borders function increasingly as diplomatic actors in ways analogous to governments of nation-states, multilateral institutions, and large civil society organizations. As such, firms must engage in the core diplomatic activities of representation and communication by means of standard diplomatic tools such as sending and receiving missions and using public diplomacy. They must negotiate with other diplomatic interlocutors to achieve objectives ranging from gaining access to markets to protecting assets to managing crises. Whilst transnational firms have long participated in diplomacy, the number of firms participating and the extent of their diplomatic engagement are growing steadily and are likely to continue to do so.

Keywords: large firms, diplomatic actors, diplomatic practice, diplomatic activities, representation, public diplomacy

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