Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Dissent PapersThe Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hannah Gurman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158725

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022



(p.1) Introduction
The Dissent Papers

Hannah Gurman

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the evolution of the diplomatic establishment in the State Department in the United States. The last sixty years has seen the history of the State Department threaded with the frustrations of diplomats who felt ignored and undervalued. High posts have typically been filled by political cronies who lacked professional expertise in foreign affairs. Thus, the American diplomatic establishment has remained extremely small and dysfunctional. Reforms began in the 1880s with the passage of Civil Service Reform, or Pendleton Act, which sought to transform the federal government into a modern merit-based bureaucracy. However, these initiatives were only partially successful, as evidenced by problems that plagued diplomatic corps in the late 1920s and 1930s—presidential antagonism, congressional isolationism, and economic disaster—which reflected the structure and culture of the institution in the ensuing decades.

Keywords:   diplomatic establishment, State Department, American diplomats, Civil Service Reform, Pendleton Act, federal government, merit-based bureaucracy, diplomatic corps

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .