Swiss-Diplo – A Global History of Swiss Diplomacy

The research centre Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DDS), an enterprise of the SAHS and centre of excellence for the history of Swiss foreign relations, is increasingly drawing interest from third parties. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is funding a research project undertaken by the University of Basel's Institute for European Global Studies, where Prof Dr Madeleine Herren is leading a team of three scholars researching Swiss diplomacy in a global perspective, 1848 to 1975. As an associate of this project, the DDS research centre is expanding the Dodis database and providing a large number of records for analysis by the scholars involved.

A Global History of Swiss Diplomacy

The history of how Swiss foreign policy was organised is a paradigm of the establishment of modern, multi-functional diplomacy. It exemplifies how a small state, on the basis of its direct democracy, interacted with the rules of international diplomacy on a global scale. The project's results will be published in two dissertations and an online database. Julian Wettengel examines overlaps in the personnel of multinational trading companies with that of Switzerland's consular service in Asia between 1860 und 1945. Dominik Matter explores the professionalisation and reorganisation of the Swiss diplomatic service during the Cold War (1945–1975).

The Swiss-Diplo database

The Swiss-Diplo database will ultimately catalogue all persons who in various capacities represented Switzerland abroad. As the Dodis database already contains many of the relevant records, the DDS will support the SNSF project, drawing on its extensive know-how in digital infrastructure and data collection. In addition, the cooperation will allow for some of the results generated by this research to be incorporated in Dodis, ensuring they remain available both for scholarly research and for public access.