Thomas Niles served as a United States foreign service officer from 1962 to 1998. His service included three terms as ambassador: to Canada, the European Community, and Greece. He reflects here on the continuities in the diplomatic profession, and, in particular, on embassies, during a period of notable historic change. While many of the protocols and responsibilities of embassies remained more or less the same as they had been for over a century, there were hints that those, too, were about to change in unforeseen ways, even calling into question the central role of embassies as representing and serving the nation-state, as the other articles in this issue discuss. Nevertheless, to this ambassador, at least, even dramatic changes in technology, politics, and culture rarely happen all at once; and the institutions and the people adapting to them may be more cautious or durable than they sometimes appear in retrospect.
New Global Studies approaches contemporary globalization as a whole and across disciplinary lines. It draws from history, sociology, anthropology, political science and international relations to study the past and present of today's globalizing process. Topics include economic globalization, global media networks, preservation of the global environment, transnational manifestations of culture and the methodology of global studies itself.