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Overview

Public diplomacy is a hot topic today, yet only a decade ago, it was a very specialised term.

There is a new transparency in the interactions between governments and countries in the international system, influenced by such factors as the democratisation of diplomacy, globalisation, the resurgence of methods of bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy, and the spotlight on external and internal issues. With more public interest in foreign affairs than ever before, ordinary people are demanding open diplomacy. Governments are obliged to respond with public information about the spending of the funds they receive and the results that they achieve. This course covers the goals and methods of public diplomacy, outlining what it can and cannot do, with case studies.

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Open for applications: 

No

Application deadline: 
Credit: 15 December 2014; Certificate: 12 January 2015
Start date: 
16 February 2015
Course code: 
IRL 5020
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

I discovered a community of people with the same interests.
 

María Victoria Stöger Rodriguez
Course participant
Course details

Public diplomacy is a hot topic today, yet only a decade ago, it was a very specialised term.

There is a new transparency in the interactions between governments and countries in the international system, influenced by such factors as the democratisation of diplomacy, globalisation, the resurgence of methods of bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy, and the spotlight on external and internal issues. With more public interest in foreign affairs than ever before, ordinary people are demanding open diplomacy. Governments are obliged to respond with public information about the spending of the funds they receive and the results that they achieve. This course covers the goals and methods of public diplomacy, outlining what it can and cannot do, with case studies.

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

  • Define public diplomacy and its key features.
  • Describe the tasks and methods of public diplomacy, and provide examples.
  • Analyse different approaches to public diplomacy and identify realistic and workable tools and methods for different situations.
  • Plan strategies for country image-building activities, based on best practices.
  • Assess and evaluate the impact of public diplomacy programmes.

Excerpt from course materials

The emergence of public diplomacy as a subject of study acknowledges the importance of multiple actors, especially those that are not state agencies, in relation to foreign affairs. They were never absent, but their influence has grown palpably as the diplomatic process has become more open and inclusive. Public diplomacy indirectly endorses the legitimacy of all these actors.

Course outline

  1. Public diplomacy concepts and methods: the role of public diplomacy, the different definitions of public diplomacy, and why we study this subject. What are the methods of public diplomacy, and what structures are best suited for its practice?
  2. Public diplomacy in building bilateral relations: we examine the role of public diplomacy in bilateral relationship building, and its potential in relation to the other aspects of diplomacy. What are the best practices in this area? What kind of a public diplomacy strategy is needed?
  3. Building the national brand with public diplomacy: Image-building is a core issue in public diplomacy; the country has become a brand. What are the issues in this area, and the possibilities in using brand building as a means of improving the overall impact of states in their international dealings? What examples are available to us from the world around us?
  4. The limitations of public diplomacy: public diplomacy cannot be seen as a panacea for all ills. Throwing money at propaganda, however sophisticated it may be, does not guarantee results, as the US has seen after 9/11. Public diplomacy involves listening to the public, whether abroad or at home. What other realistic limits does public diplomacy impose? How should public diplomacy be optimised?
  5. Public diplomacy in the information age: as people become better informed through the Internet and 24 hour news services, they develop their own opinions about international events and are less inclined to accept official positions without question. At the same time, non-state actors like NGOs and the business sector are increasing their international activity and expertise. This lecture explores how traditional approaches and methods in public diplomacy can be modernised, including through use of new developments in information and communications technologies.
  6. Public diplomacy in international organisations: supra- and international organisations are devoting increasing resources to public diplomacy activities. This lecture looks at the aims of public diplomacy in selected organisations including the United Nations, NATO, and the EU, and assesses the specific challenges arising from the need to satisfy member states of the organisation yet project an informative and persuasive image outside.
  7. Public diplomacy in the postmodern world: the USA invented the term “public diplomacy” and spends billions annually on public diplomacy activities. They use public diplomacy to promote not only policies and product but values and a way of life. Yet anti-Americanism is widespread. Is this hostility to the message or the messenger? This lecture looks at the message and the reactions, including the Obama effect, with a view to identifying challenges both for the US and for states which need to interact with them.
  8. Measuring impact: measuring the success of concepts like public diplomacy is notoriously difficult. But foreign ministries should be regularly reviewing their strategies, messages, targets and partners and adjusting them as appropriate. How can they evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and track influence?
Reviews

It's important for a diplomat to keep up to date and in touch with the academic world, but we normally don´t have time to attend classes because of our families or/and demanding jobs. I found in DiploFoundation more than a pragmatic solution; I discovered a community of people with the same interests and commitment with international affairs. The interaction within the group is enriching and it stimulates the respect of each other. Public Diplomacy used to be for me a vague concept and the course changed my point of view. Indeed I´ve adopted some ideas in my daily work. I highly recommend this course and I´m especially thankful to the tutors.

María Victoria Stöger Rodriguez
Deputy Consul of Argentina in Bonn, Germany
April 2011

I am delighted by the way Diplo managed the Public Diplomacy course. It was my first time taking a cyber class and the experience was very rewarding. Working with such high level professionals and friendly coordinating team was a plus. It also gave me the opportunity to relate with colleagues overseas and allow me to experience working with a global team in a virtual fashion. The e-course was academically challenging and provided me with an impressive amount of useful information. The course made me reflect about the importance of the dimension of Public Diplomacy in the practice of diplomacy.  I am ready to implement all those study hours in my daily work as diplomat

Maria Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Mexico in Jamaica, Kingston
April 2011
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:

Public diplomacy is a hot topic today, yet only a decade ago, it was a very specialised term.

There is a new transparency in the interactions between governments and countries in the international system, influenced by such factors as the democratisation of diplomacy, globalisation, the resurgence of methods of bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy, and the spotlight on external and internal issues. With more public interest in foreign affairs than ever before, ordinary people are demanding open diplomacy. Governments are obliged to respond with public information about the spending of the funds they receive and the results that they achieve. This course covers the goals and methods of public diplomacy, outlining what it can and cannot do, with case studies.

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

  • Define public diplomacy and its key features.
  • Describe the tasks and methods of public diplomacy, and provide examples.
  • Analyse different approaches to public diplomacy and identify realistic and workable tools and methods for different situations.
  • Plan strategies for country image-building activities, based on best practices.
  • Assess and evaluate the impact of public diplomacy programmes.

Excerpt from course materials

The emergence of public diplomacy as a subject of study acknowledges the importance of multiple actors, especially those that are not state agencies, in relation to foreign affairs. They were never absent, but their influence has grown palpably as the diplomatic process has become more open and inclusive. Public diplomacy indirectly endorses the legitimacy of all these actors.

Course outline

  1. Public diplomacy concepts and methods: the role of public diplomacy, the different definitions of public diplomacy, and why we study this subject. What are the methods of public diplomacy, and what structures are best suited for its practice?
  2. Public diplomacy in building bilateral relations: we examine the role of public diplomacy in bilateral relationship building, and its potential in relation to the other aspects of diplomacy. What are the best practices in this area? What kind of a public diplomacy strategy is needed?
  3. Building the national brand with public diplomacy: Image-building is a core issue in public diplomacy; the country has become a brand. What are the issues in this area, and the possibilities in using brand building as a means of improving the overall impact of states in their international dealings? What examples are available to us from the world around us?
  4. The limitations of public diplomacy: public diplomacy cannot be seen as a panacea for all ills. Throwing money at propaganda, however sophisticated it may be, does not guarantee results, as the US has seen after 9/11. Public diplomacy involves listening to the public, whether abroad or at home. What other realistic limits does public diplomacy impose? How should public diplomacy be optimised?
  5. Public diplomacy in the information age: as people become better informed through the Internet and 24 hour news services, they develop their own opinions about international events and are less inclined to accept official positions without question. At the same time, non-state actors like NGOs and the business sector are increasing their international activity and expertise. This lecture explores how traditional approaches and methods in public diplomacy can be modernised, including through use of new developments in information and communications technologies.
  6. Public diplomacy in international organisations: supra- and international organisations are devoting increasing resources to public diplomacy activities. This lecture looks at the aims of public diplomacy in selected organisations including the United Nations, NATO, and the EU, and assesses the specific challenges arising from the need to satisfy member states of the organisation yet project an informative and persuasive image outside.
  7. Public diplomacy in the postmodern world: the USA invented the term “public diplomacy” and spends billions annually on public diplomacy activities. They use public diplomacy to promote not only policies and product but values and a way of life. Yet anti-Americanism is widespread. Is this hostility to the message or the messenger? This lecture looks at the message and the reactions, including the Obama effect, with a view to identifying challenges both for the US and for states which need to interact with them.
  8. Measuring impact: measuring the success of concepts like public diplomacy is notoriously difficult. But foreign ministries should be regularly reviewing their strategies, messages, targets and partners and adjusting them as appropriate. How can they evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and track influence?
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:
Angelic Alihusain-del Castilho (Ambassador of Suriname to Indonesia), talks about practical skills she acquired attending the Public Diplomacy course.

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 (e.g. 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.