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

Bilateral diplomacy is a key building block of international relations, i.e. the way a pair of countries deals with each other. This course offers a practitioner view, examining concepts, and how these operate in the real world. The course provides participants with the tools to analyse world affairs, and to learn the craftsmanship of diplomacy. The Canadian Foreign Service Institute and the British Foreign Office have used adaptations of this course, in a self-learning format.

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Open for applications: No
Application deadline: Credit: 27 February 2017;
Certificate: 27 March 2017
Start date: 1 May 2017
Fees: Certificate: €650; Credit: €790; Scholarships available
Course code: IRL 5002
ECTS credits: 9
Mode(s) of study: Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

Lecturers

Ambassador Kishan S. Rana, Professor Emeritus

BA (Hon) and MA in economics, St Stephens College Delhi. Indian Foreign Service (1960-95); worked in China (1963-65, 1970-72). Ambassador and High Commissioner: Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius, and Germany; consul gen...

Course details

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

Bilateral diplomacy is a key building block of international relations, i.e. the way a pair of countries deals with each other. This course offers a practitioner view, examining concepts, and how these operate in the real world. The course provides participants with the tools to analyse world affairs, and to learn the craftsmanship of diplomacy. The Canadian Foreign Service Institute and the British Foreign Office have used adaptations of this course, in a self-learning format.

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 public diplomacy, including culture, media, and education promotion.
  • 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

Another role has unexpectedly emerged for the resident embassy, almost unnoticed — its contribution to ‘bilateral relationship management’, as noted above. The sheer multiplicity of contacts has created a new kind of empowerment for embassies, at least for those ambassadors who are in countries other than those of ‘peripheral’ interest. How does this happen? There are two elements.

First, line ministries are engaged in their own external contacts, and they no longer need to pass through the foreign ministry. The MFA cannot keep track of all the details of such activities by the line ministries, even while it coordinates broad policy issues. But the embassy, on the ground, usually is aware of such events; that applies even more to the activities of non-state actors. Second, the external contacts of non-state actors have also multiplied and affect bilateral relationships. The embassy in a foreign country has the nearest approximation to a complete, realtime view of these contacts, better than any home agency.

 

Course outline

  1. Bilateral Diplomacy: Role and Framework: The management of relations with individual foreign countries is a core task in foreign affairs. It is more complex than ever before as a result of several factors: globalisation, new subjects and actors in international dialogue, volatility, and technology change.
  2. The Political and Security Pillar: The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; targets and methods of relationship-building; heads of government and summits; diplomacy as the first line of security; the new security concepts.
  3. The Economic Pillar: New priority among advanced and developing states; home actors and the state; the techniques of trade and investment promotion; the country image and ways to build the national brand.
  4. The Public Diplomacy Pillar: The emergence of public diplomacy as a major concentration area, in all its dimensions of culture, media, education and other public outreach actions. Consular work, and diaspora activities, which too have risen in importance, are the third and fourth pillars of bilateral diplomacy.
  5. The Institutions: The key tasks of foreign ministries and embassies; the reforms undertaken by foreign ministries and their domestic tasks of coordination and networking; managing human resources; the qualities of a diplomat; training.
  6. Bilateral Negotiation: Theory and practice; the stages of negotiation; the styles of negotiation; media and confidentiality; practical advice; the role of publics in major negotiations.
  7. Conflict Management: 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: International affairs require working across cultures; culture analysis and practical conclusions; direct and non-verbal signals, and value in diplomatic communication.

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.

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.

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.

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:

  • Tuition fee
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level e-certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments) which can be printed or shared electronically via a permanent link

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.

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.

Contact admissions

DiploFoundation (attn Tanja Nikolic)

Anutruf, Ground Floor
Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta
Tel: +356 21 333 323; Fax: +356 21 315 574
admissions@diplomacy.edu

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