Sending diplomatic missions abroad and receiving foreign missions at home is in the political and economic interests of countries. But such missions depend on domestic and foreign political will and they also cost scarce resources. This article demonstrates that the global pattern of diplomatic representation is significantly determined by geographical distance between countries, by the power of both sending and recipient countries and by the degree of their ideological affinity. The pattern of diplomatic representation is both a reflection of and a contributor to a world of nation-states dominated by geographical distance, unequal power and ideological division
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