A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be [[Performance|performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines. Protocols specify the proper and generally-accepted behavior in matters of state and diplomacy, such as showing appropriate respect to a head of state, ranking diplomats in chronological order of their accreditation at court, and so on. One definition is:
Protocol is commonly described as a set of international courtesy rules. These well-established and time-honored rules have made it easier for nations and people to live and work together. Part of protocol has always been the acknowledgment of the hierarchical standing of all present. Protocol rules are based on the principles of civility.—Dr. P.M. Forni on behalf of the International Association of Protocol Consultants and Officers.
- Forni, P.M. Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin Edition, October 2003. ISBN 0-312-28118-8.
- McCaffree, Mary Jane, Pauline Innis, and Richard M. Sand, Esquire. PROTOCOL: The Complete Handbook of Diplomatic, Official and Social Usage, 25th Anniversary Edition. Dallas: Durban House Press, September 2002. ISBN 1930754183.
- DiploEdu: Exercise in Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette (French and British styles)
- Johns Hopkins Civility Web site
- International Association of Protocol Consultants and Officers
- eDiplomat.com: Diplomatic Protocol