No longer content to fade away into comfortable retirement, agrowing number of former political leaders have pursued diplomaticafterlives. From Nelson Mandela to Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton,to Tony Blair and Mikhail Gorbachev, this set of highly-empoweredindividuals increasingly try to make a difference on the globalstage by capitalizing on their free-lance celebrity status while atthe same time building on their embedded ?club? attributes andconnections.
In this fascinating book, Andrew F. Cooper provides the firstin-depth study of the motivations, methods, and contributions madeby these former leaders as they take on new responsibilities beyondservice to their national states. While this growing trend may beopen to accusations of mixing public goods with private materialgain, or personal quests to rehabilitate political image, it must ?he argues ? be taken seriously as a compelling indication of thepolitical climate, in which powerful individuals can operateoutside of established state structures. As Cooper ably shows,there are benefits to be reaped from this new normativeentrepreneurism, but its range and impact nonetheless raiselegitimate concerns about the privileging of unaccountableauthority.
Mixing big picture context and illustrative snapshots,Diplomatic Afterlives offers an illuminating analysis of theinfluence and the pitfalls of this highly visible butunder-scrutinized phenomenon in world politics.