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Overview

Effective bilateral diplomacy is essential to advancing a country’s external interests.

Bilateral diplomacy is one of the building blocks of international relations. This course offers a practitioner’s perspective, looking at concepts, and how these operate in real life as countries work to promote their interests in the contemporary global environment. The course provides participants with the tools to analyse world affairs, and to learn the craftsmanship of diplomacy. Adapted versions of this course, in a self-learning format, are currently being used by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and the British Foreign Office.

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Open for applications: 

No

Application deadline: 
Credit: 2 March 2015; Certificate: 30 March 2015
Start date: 
4 May 2015
Course code: 
IRL 5002
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

E-learning with DiploFoundation was a great experience.
 

Guy Pollard
Course participant
Course details

Effective bilateral diplomacy is essential to advancing a country’s external interests.

Bilateral diplomacy is one of the building blocks of international relations. This course offers a practitioner’s perspective, looking at concepts, and how these operate in real life as countries work to promote their interests in the contemporary global environment. The course provides participants with the tools to analyse world affairs, and to learn the craftsmanship of diplomacy. Adapted versions of this course, in a self-learning format, are currently being used by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and the British Foreign Office.

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe, prioritise and provide examples of the key tasks and methods of diplomacy today, including the security dimension; economic tasks; and culture, media education and public diplomacy.
  • Explain how the different institutions involved in bilateral diplomacy (the foreign ministry, embassies and consulates) are organised, and describe current reforms to these institutions.
  • Explain and analyse the complex and concurrent objectives that countries pursue in their external relationships.
  • Identify the actors, state and non-state, that compose the foreign ministry’s dynamic network, and explain the role that each plays in foreign affairs.
  • Assess current trends and methods of bilateral diplomacy, and anticipate likely future developments in this field.

Excerpt from course materials

Bilateral Diplomacy covers relations between a pair of countries. The other great genre is multilateral diplomacy, including conference diplomacy. Some, especially small states, conduct much of their diplomacy at New York, Geneva and Brussels, great centers of UN and EU multilateral diplomacy; they may use New York for both UN-related work as well as for bilateral contacts with countries where they do not maintain resident embassies. Thus, the choice is not between either multilateral or bilateral diplomacy. Both are vital in advancing external interests. Bilateral diplomacy is the basic building block, creating a network of external ties. I believe that bilateral diplomacy is sometimes under-valued, or taken for granted. This course covers the bilateral diplomacy technique and craftsmanship.

The diplomatic process, as a sub-discipline of international relations, also merits wider study than it currently receives in academia. One reason is a persisting gulf between theorists and scholars on the one hand, and the practitioners on the other…Diplomatic studies have a role, through practice-oriented research and training, to bring practitioners and scholars closer together.

Course outline

  1. Bilateral diplomacy today: an overview of current trends in world affairs, including the key tasks of diplomacy as pursued by foreign ministries in our times, their prioritisation, and the methods used in relationship building.
  2. The political and security dimension: prioritisation in diplomacy; the targets and methods of relationship-building; bilateral summits and success factors; the challenges of problem solving; the different dimensions of security; and the interplay between diplomacy and security.
  3. Economic diplomacy: how it has become a leading priority in current times; the techniques of trade and investment promotion and other economic activities; the country image and ways to build the national brand.
  4. Culture, media, education and public diplomacy: techniques applied in these sectors, inter-linkages between them; the emergence of public diplomacy as a major concentration area; ethnic diplomacy and the other instruments of soft power.
  5. The foreign ministry, embassies and consulates: the organisation and the key tasks; qualities of a diplomat; the reforms undertaken by foreign ministries and their domestic tasks of coordination and networking.
  6. Bilateral negotiation: theory and practice; the stages of negotiation; the styles of negotiation; media and confidentiality; role of publics in major negotiations.
  7. Conflict resolution: relevance and expanded importance; domestic and civil conflict with international ramifications; confidence building measures; mediation; International Court of Justice, arbitration; sanctions and incentives; post-conflict management.
  8. Intercultural communication and signals: by its nature, diplomacy works across cultures; the basics of culture analysis and the practical conclusions this offers; direct and non-verbal signals, and the role played by signals in diplomatic communication.
Reviews

After more than ten years immersed in the multilateral side of the practice of diplomacy and international relations, the Bilateral Diplomacy Course provided me with an invaluable complement to my experience. Though challenging and intense, Ambassador Rana guided us in a manner that allowed us to exchange and discuss the topics and generate ideas, as well as to apply what was learnt to our real-life situations. I was particularly drawn to the myriad theories and aspects of cultural diplomacy, and the role it plays in the successful practice of diplomacy and negotiations, which provided me with new skills that are useful to my work.

Myrna Huggins
Foreign Service Officer III, Head, Economic and Environment Unit, Multilateral Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications, Trinidad and Tobago
June, 2011

E-learning with DiploFoundation was a great experience. The innovative online sessions and contact with other students really helped to gain a wide view on the topics discussed. Despite having practised bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, I found the course informative and focussed, such as the benefits and drawbacks of both soft and hard power. This in particular proved useful in completing my understanding of how diplomacy can work at different levels.

Guy Pollard
Second Secretary, Conventional Weapons, UK Disarmament Delegation, Geneva
September 2006
Who should apply

This course will be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.
Prerequisites

All course applicants must have regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).

Applicants for certificate courses must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree OR three years of work experience and appropriate professional qualifications in diplomacy or international relations.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments of up to 2500 words in length).

Applicants for accredited courses must meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries.

To apply for a scholarship please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  •  Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  •  Reasons for your interest in the course.
  •  Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

How to apply

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.


Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.

Print course info
Course details:

Effective bilateral diplomacy is essential to advancing a country’s external interests.

Bilateral diplomacy is one of the building blocks of international relations. This course offers a practitioner’s perspective, looking at concepts, and how these operate in real life as countries work to promote their interests in the contemporary global environment. The course provides participants with the tools to analyse world affairs, and to learn the craftsmanship of diplomacy. Adapted versions of this course, in a self-learning format, are currently being used by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and the British Foreign Office.

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe, prioritise and provide examples of the key tasks and methods of diplomacy today, including the security dimension; economic tasks; and culture, media education and public diplomacy.
  • Explain how the different institutions involved in bilateral diplomacy (the foreign ministry, embassies and consulates) are organised, and describe current reforms to these institutions.
  • Explain and analyse the complex and concurrent objectives that countries pursue in their external relationships.
  • Identify the actors, state and non-state, that compose the foreign ministry’s dynamic network, and explain the role that each plays in foreign affairs.
  • Assess current trends and methods of bilateral diplomacy, and anticipate likely future developments in this field.

Excerpt from course materials

Bilateral Diplomacy covers relations between a pair of countries. The other great genre is multilateral diplomacy, including conference diplomacy. Some, especially small states, conduct much of their diplomacy at New York, Geneva and Brussels, great centers of UN and EU multilateral diplomacy; they may use New York for both UN-related work as well as for bilateral contacts with countries where they do not maintain resident embassies. Thus, the choice is not between either multilateral or bilateral diplomacy. Both are vital in advancing external interests. Bilateral diplomacy is the basic building block, creating a network of external ties. I believe that bilateral diplomacy is sometimes under-valued, or taken for granted. This course covers the bilateral diplomacy technique and craftsmanship.

The diplomatic process, as a sub-discipline of international relations, also merits wider study than it currently receives in academia. One reason is a persisting gulf between theorists and scholars on the one hand, and the practitioners on the other…Diplomatic studies have a role, through practice-oriented research and training, to bring practitioners and scholars closer together.

Course outline

  1. Bilateral diplomacy today: an overview of current trends in world affairs, including the key tasks of diplomacy as pursued by foreign ministries in our times, their prioritisation, and the methods used in relationship building.
  2. The political and security dimension: prioritisation in diplomacy; the targets and methods of relationship-building; bilateral summits and success factors; the challenges of problem solving; the different dimensions of security; and the interplay between diplomacy and security.
  3. Economic diplomacy: how it has become a leading priority in current times; the techniques of trade and investment promotion and other economic activities; the country image and ways to build the national brand.
  4. Culture, media, education and public diplomacy: techniques applied in these sectors, inter-linkages between them; the emergence of public diplomacy as a major concentration area; ethnic diplomacy and the other instruments of soft power.
  5. The foreign ministry, embassies and consulates: the organisation and the key tasks; qualities of a diplomat; the reforms undertaken by foreign ministries and their domestic tasks of coordination and networking.
  6. Bilateral negotiation: theory and practice; the stages of negotiation; the styles of negotiation; media and confidentiality; role of publics in major negotiations.
  7. Conflict resolution: relevance and expanded importance; domestic and civil conflict with international ramifications; confidence building measures; mediation; International Court of Justice, arbitration; sanctions and incentives; post-conflict management.
  8. Intercultural communication and signals: by its nature, diplomacy works across cultures; the basics of culture analysis and the practical conclusions this offers; direct and non-verbal signals, and the role played by signals in diplomatic communication.
Who should apply:

This course will be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.
Methodology:

This course is conducted entirely online over a period of ten weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read the provided lecture text, adding questions, comments and references in the form of hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (for example, further discussion via blogs or forums, quizzes, group tasks, simulations or short assignments). At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. To complete the course successfully, participants must write several essay assignments. Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction.

This course requires a minimum of five to seven hours of study time per week.

Prerequisites:

All course applicants must have regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).

Applicants for certificate courses must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree OR three years of work experience and appropriate professional qualifications in diplomacy or international relations.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments of up to 2500 words in length).

Applicants for accredited courses must meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees:

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries.

To apply for a scholarship please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  •  Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  •  Reasons for your interest in the course.
  •  Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

How to apply:

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.


Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.