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Overview

In recent years, consular and diaspora diplomacy have both emerged as important areas in diplomatic studies; governments are becoming more citizen-centric.

Consular diplomacy has gained prominence in many foreign ministries, a dramatic turnaround from its earlier status as a routine activity. This is directly connected with the enhanced role of publics in foreign affairs. Consular diplomacy deals with two sets of people. The first is one’s own citizens, who need travel documents to go overseas, and protection and help while they travel abroad: extradition, emergency assistance, and repatriation. The second group includes foreign citizens who need visas, illegal migrants, and overseas workers.

Migration produces diasporas. Globally, some 215 million people are migrants (i.e. the first generation of those that have gone to foreign countries). Subsequent generations sometimes merge into the local population, but often retain their connections with the home states, over many generations. Today diasporas are active in international affairs. The interconnected areas of providing citizens with consular services, and working with the diaspora, are now priorities in international affairs.

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Open for applications: 

No

Application deadline: 
Credit: 3 August 2015; Certificate: 31 August 2015
Start date: 
5 October 2015
Course code: 
IRL 5024
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

...an exciting and an extraordinary experience.
 

Joseph Dougall
Course participant
Course details

In recent years, consular and diaspora diplomacy have both emerged as important areas in diplomatic studies; governments are becoming more citizen-centric.

Consular diplomacy has gained prominence in many foreign ministries, a dramatic turnaround from its earlier status as a routine activity. This is directly connected with the enhanced role of publics in foreign affairs. Consular diplomacy deals with two sets of people. The first is one’s own citizens, who need travel documents to go overseas, and protection and help while they travel abroad: extradition, emergency assistance, and repatriation. The second group includes foreign citizens who need visas, illegal migrants, and overseas workers.

Migration produces diasporas. Globally, some 215 million people are migrants (i.e. the first generation of those that have gone to foreign countries). Subsequent generations sometimes merge into the local population, but often retain their connections with the home states, over many generations. Today diasporas are active in international affairs. The interconnected areas of providing citizens with consular services, and working with the diaspora, are now priorities in international affairs.

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

  • Describe the international law basis of consular diplomacy and the elements of consular diplomacy in practice, including the use of honorary consuls.
  • Explain and provide examples of how consular diplomacy connects to related subjects, including outreach to a diaspora, migration, labour affairs, services to own citizens working abroad, and emergency management in delivering consular services.
  • Effectively organise and plan work at a consular post in a mission abroad, including building relationships with diasporas.
  • Explain the importance of diasporas in world and national affairs, and their potential as non-official agents of diplomacy.
  • Plan and operationalize a diaspora policy for their own countries and handle outreach to the diaspora in political, economic and public affairs activities.

Excerpt from course materials

In 1964 in China… I saw this [the value of consular diplomacy as a key public service for citizens] clearly. At the time, India-China relations were very low…; other than officials, no one travelled between the countries and a handful of Indian students had also left. Among three or four old residents who had clung on, an Indian businessman was serving a six-year prison sentence in Shanghai on a bogus charge. Every six months or so someone from the embassy in Beijing made the 18-hour train journey to meet him, taking some Indian foodstuff and a handful of magazines. His pitiable isolation in that grim prison, and his tearful gratitude at meeting a compatriot, brought home the human dimension of what could be called a routine consular function; that left an indelible memory.

Course outline

  1. Consular diplomacy: The basics and the operation of consulates: relationship with other segments of diplomacy; increased prominence; the home and foreign dimension of consular diplomacy; link with diaspora diplomacy; different offices that perform related functions. The working of consulates; their role in sub-state diplomacy; mobile posts and virtual outposts; application of technology; role following severance of diplomatic relations.
  2. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), and honorary consuls: key provisions and relevance of the VCCR; strengths and limitations; consular functions, facilities, privileges and immunities; consular agreements and other bilateral instruments; honorary consuls and their role; bilateral consular agreements and regional approaches; VCCR and other international instruments.
  3. Protection of citizens, and visas: the two primary functions of consular diplomacy: the necessity, role and formulation of visa policy; reciprocity and other issues; visa power, visa diplomacy; protection of citizens; nature of citizen services and limitations; labour protection and welfare; disaster relief, piracy, terrorism, repatriation, deportation; responding to new situations.
  4. Migration and diplomacy: the economics and social circumstances of migration; demographic compulsions; the handling of undocumented aliens, the political, social and other dimensions; world trends; migration as issue in global dialogue and future trends.
  5. Diaspora diplomacy: the importance of diasporas; home role of diasporas; political, economic and other impact in relationship building; evolution over generation change; best practices; hazards of this form of diplomacy.
  6. Diasporas and public diplomacy: relevance for public diplomacy in win-win mode; helping country of origin to project interests in countries of adoption; role in the original home state; ‘reverse diplomacy’ used by country of adoption aimed at homeland.
  7. Diasporas and home states: emerging importance of diasporas; different concepts of diaspora; need for diaspora policies and contours of such policies; organisational structures in states; evolution and implementation of policies; country practices and variations; diaspora organisations; exploring feasibility of a template for diaspora policies.
  8. Diasporas and economic diplomacy: economic diplomacy, the heart of diplomacy; various facets of economic diplomacy; diaspora, trade and investment promotion; diaspora and development; diaspora and knowledge transfer; diaspora and remittances; diaspora organisations; linking diaspora with home and host countries. 
Reviews

The course coordinators…were quite thorough and patient during the initial practices, which made me comfortable and confident, this being my first online class. I not only met and networked with other Foreign Service Officers from around the world, but was exposed to and learned in-depth consular information, experiences and dexterity from all the countries that participated. I also learned about the importance and mutual benefits involved with the relationship between countries and their diaspora, as well as how technology and well-rounded consular officers can work hand-in-hand to provide renown consular services to citizens and foreigners alike.

Charmaine L Mckenzie
Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
December 2013

This course has taught me how essential consular work is, how important my job is and how much I can do for others. That encourages me to do my best for helping and serving my nationals abroad.

Mirela Donciu
Consul, Consulate General of Romania in Bologna, Italy
December 2011

Indeed it was an exciting and an extraordinary experience.  Diplo is giving me this golden opportunity, on reaching the age of sixty, so that instead of thinking of retiring, there is much scope in sharing acquired experiences and knowledge with other similar minded persons for mutual benefit.

Joseph Dougall
Honorary Assistant High Commissioner for Sierra Leone in Malta
August 2010
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:

  • 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 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:

In recent years, consular and diaspora diplomacy have both emerged as important areas in diplomatic studies; governments are becoming more citizen-centric.

Consular diplomacy has gained prominence in many foreign ministries, a dramatic turnaround from its earlier status as a routine activity. This is directly connected with the enhanced role of publics in foreign affairs. Consular diplomacy deals with two sets of people. The first is one’s own citizens, who need travel documents to go overseas, and protection and help while they travel abroad: extradition, emergency assistance, and repatriation. The second group includes foreign citizens who need visas, illegal migrants, and overseas workers.

Migration produces diasporas. Globally, some 215 million people are migrants (i.e. the first generation of those that have gone to foreign countries). Subsequent generations sometimes merge into the local population, but often retain their connections with the home states, over many generations. Today diasporas are active in international affairs. The interconnected areas of providing citizens with consular services, and working with the diaspora, are now priorities in international affairs.

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

  • Describe the international law basis of consular diplomacy and the elements of consular diplomacy in practice, including the use of honorary consuls.
  • Explain and provide examples of how consular diplomacy connects to related subjects, including outreach to a diaspora, migration, labour affairs, services to own citizens working abroad, and emergency management in delivering consular services.
  • Effectively organise and plan work at a consular post in a mission abroad, including building relationships with diasporas.
  • Explain the importance of diasporas in world and national affairs, and their potential as non-official agents of diplomacy.
  • Plan and operationalize a diaspora policy for their own countries and handle outreach to the diaspora in political, economic and public affairs activities.

Excerpt from course materials

In 1964 in China… I saw this [the value of consular diplomacy as a key public service for citizens] clearly. At the time, India-China relations were very low…; other than officials, no one travelled between the countries and a handful of Indian students had also left. Among three or four old residents who had clung on, an Indian businessman was serving a six-year prison sentence in Shanghai on a bogus charge. Every six months or so someone from the embassy in Beijing made the 18-hour train journey to meet him, taking some Indian foodstuff and a handful of magazines. His pitiable isolation in that grim prison, and his tearful gratitude at meeting a compatriot, brought home the human dimension of what could be called a routine consular function; that left an indelible memory.

Course outline

  1. Consular diplomacy: The basics and the operation of consulates: relationship with other segments of diplomacy; increased prominence; the home and foreign dimension of consular diplomacy; link with diaspora diplomacy; different offices that perform related functions. The working of consulates; their role in sub-state diplomacy; mobile posts and virtual outposts; application of technology; role following severance of diplomatic relations.
  2. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), and honorary consuls: key provisions and relevance of the VCCR; strengths and limitations; consular functions, facilities, privileges and immunities; consular agreements and other bilateral instruments; honorary consuls and their role; bilateral consular agreements and regional approaches; VCCR and other international instruments.
  3. Protection of citizens, and visas: the two primary functions of consular diplomacy: the necessity, role and formulation of visa policy; reciprocity and other issues; visa power, visa diplomacy; protection of citizens; nature of citizen services and limitations; labour protection and welfare; disaster relief, piracy, terrorism, repatriation, deportation; responding to new situations.
  4. Migration and diplomacy: the economics and social circumstances of migration; demographic compulsions; the handling of undocumented aliens, the political, social and other dimensions; world trends; migration as issue in global dialogue and future trends.
  5. Diaspora diplomacy: the importance of diasporas; home role of diasporas; political, economic and other impact in relationship building; evolution over generation change; best practices; hazards of this form of diplomacy.
  6. Diasporas and public diplomacy: relevance for public diplomacy in win-win mode; helping country of origin to project interests in countries of adoption; role in the original home state; ‘reverse diplomacy’ used by country of adoption aimed at homeland.
  7. Diasporas and home states: emerging importance of diasporas; different concepts of diaspora; need for diaspora policies and contours of such policies; organisational structures in states; evolution and implementation of policies; country practices and variations; diaspora organisations; exploring feasibility of a template for diaspora policies.
  8. Diasporas and economic diplomacy: economic diplomacy, the heart of diplomacy; various facets of economic diplomacy; diaspora, trade and investment promotion; diaspora and development; diaspora and knowledge transfer; diaspora and remittances; diaspora organisations; linking diaspora with home and host countries. 
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:

  • 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 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.

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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