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Why do we need diplomats?

Diplomats are members of a profession developed over many centuries. But why do we still need them in a world transformed by electronic communications? This course examines the nature of diplomacy; when it is appropriate; the advantages and disadvantages of different diplomatic methods; and the lexicon of diplomacy.

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Open for applications: 

No

Application deadline: 
TBA
Start date: 
2015 - TBA
Course code: 
IRL 5014
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

My knowledge and skill set in diplomacy have been enriched.
 

Roxie McLeish-Hutchinson
Master/PGD student
Course details

Why do we need diplomats?

Diplomats are members of a profession developed over many centuries. But why do we still need them in a world transformed by electronic communications? This course examines the nature of diplomacy; when it is appropriate; the advantages and disadvantages of different diplomatic methods; and the lexicon of diplomacy.

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

  • Describe and explain with clarity the shape and functions of the contemporary world diplomatic system.
  • Identify and describe the different stages of negotiations, the objectives for each stage, and techniques for securing agreement, providing examples from diplomatic practice.
  • Compare and contrast the various missions, offices, conferences, techniques and procedures of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
  • Analyse what contributes to successful mediation.
  • Justify the role of summits and their place in the negotiating arena.
  • Defend the value of diplomacy with authority and enthusiasm.

Excerpt from course materials

Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia in October 1917, Leon Trotsky was appointed People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the new government. The prophet of permanent revolution, with much writing and party work to preoccupy him, Trotsky famously assured a comrade that as head of the foreign ministry he would simply 'issue a few revolutionary proclamations to the peoples of the world and then shut up shop'. In fact, of course, within weeks of the revolution the Bolsheviks found themselves having to begin negotiating first an armistice and then a peace treaty with the Germans, the latter being duly signed at Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. Sensibly enough, Trotsky left the Narkomindel (the Russian acronym for the Bolshevik foreign ministry) at this juncture...

* This course is based on Berridge’s Diplomacy Theory and Practice, now in its 4th edition.

 

 

 

Course outline

  1. The Diplomatic Moment: diplomacy: a specialised activity; the diplomatic moment: the conditions that encourage diplomacy; diplomatic systems and diplomatic styles; the world diplomatic system in outline.
  2. Negotiations: pre-negotiations, formula, and details stages; the objectives sought in each and the difficulties peculiar to them; techniques for securing agreement, for example 'linkage'.
  3. Diplomatic Momentum: how the momentum of negotiation can be maintained and, if lost, regained; deadlines, metaphors of movement, publicity, and raising the level of the talks; packaging agreements and following up.
  4. Telecommunications: forms, uses, and limitations of telecommunication in diplomacy, including particular reference to telephone diplomacy in crises (including “hot lines”) and video-conferencing.
  5. Bilateral Diplomacy: embassies, consular posts, and unconventional resident missions such as interests sections and representative offices; why they are the major part of the modern counter-revolution in diplomatic practice.
  6. Multilateral Diplomacy: ad hoc and standing conferences; questions of procedure: venue, membership, agenda, transparency, and above all decision-making; the triumph of 'consensus-decision making' and its various techniques, for example, NATO’s silence procedure.
  7. Mediation: good offices, conciliation, and mediation; the motives of mediators (track one and track two); multi-party mediation; is there an 'ideal' mediator? The ripe moment and whether there is such a thing as a premature mediation.
  8. Summitry - The Diplomatist’s Bane: the case for the defence: serial summits, ad hoc summits (including funeral diplomacy), the high-level exchange of views; secrets of summit success.
Reviews

Diplomatic Theory and Practice is an excellent introduction to the field of diplomacy, providing both a theoretical and practical framework. Diplo Foundation adopts a holistic approach to the course, and the dialogue afforded by it through online class sessions is both insightful and thought provoking. What I found particularly intriguing was the topic of negotiation as it served to not only inform me of the different stages of the negotiation process, but to also enlighten me on the different tactics used by negotiators, as well as strategies for maintaining the momentum of negotiations, something that I will no doubt use in my own negotiations-whether they are personal or work-related. Thank you Diplo Foundation for an eye-opening course on the multi-faceted nature of diplomacy and its utility in the international affairs of today.

Bilqis Mohammed
International Relations Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago
April 2011

Diplomatic Theory and Practice is an exceptional course. As a practicing diplomat, I thought this course would have been a walk in the park, but I was pleasantly surprised with the multifaceted approach to diplomacy it presented.  My knowledge and skill set in diplomacy have been enriched because of this programme and I recommend it with my highest enthusiasm.

Roxie McLeish-Hutchinson
Foreign Service Officer, Policy and Research Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Grenada
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:

Why do we need diplomats?

Diplomats are members of a profession developed over many centuries. But why do we still need them in a world transformed by electronic communications? This course examines the nature of diplomacy; when it is appropriate; the advantages and disadvantages of different diplomatic methods; and the lexicon of diplomacy.

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

  • Describe and explain with clarity the shape and functions of the contemporary world diplomatic system.
  • Identify and describe the different stages of negotiations, the objectives for each stage, and techniques for securing agreement, providing examples from diplomatic practice.
  • Compare and contrast the various missions, offices, conferences, techniques and procedures of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
  • Analyse what contributes to successful mediation.
  • Justify the role of summits and their place in the negotiating arena.
  • Defend the value of diplomacy with authority and enthusiasm.

Excerpt from course materials

Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia in October 1917, Leon Trotsky was appointed People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the new government. The prophet of permanent revolution, with much writing and party work to preoccupy him, Trotsky famously assured a comrade that as head of the foreign ministry he would simply 'issue a few revolutionary proclamations to the peoples of the world and then shut up shop'. In fact, of course, within weeks of the revolution the Bolsheviks found themselves having to begin negotiating first an armistice and then a peace treaty with the Germans, the latter being duly signed at Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. Sensibly enough, Trotsky left the Narkomindel (the Russian acronym for the Bolshevik foreign ministry) at this juncture...

* This course is based on Berridge’s Diplomacy Theory and Practice, now in its 4th edition.

 

 

 

Course outline

  1. The Diplomatic Moment: diplomacy: a specialised activity; the diplomatic moment: the conditions that encourage diplomacy; diplomatic systems and diplomatic styles; the world diplomatic system in outline.
  2. Negotiations: pre-negotiations, formula, and details stages; the objectives sought in each and the difficulties peculiar to them; techniques for securing agreement, for example 'linkage'.
  3. Diplomatic Momentum: how the momentum of negotiation can be maintained and, if lost, regained; deadlines, metaphors of movement, publicity, and raising the level of the talks; packaging agreements and following up.
  4. Telecommunications: forms, uses, and limitations of telecommunication in diplomacy, including particular reference to telephone diplomacy in crises (including “hot lines”) and video-conferencing.
  5. Bilateral Diplomacy: embassies, consular posts, and unconventional resident missions such as interests sections and representative offices; why they are the major part of the modern counter-revolution in diplomatic practice.
  6. Multilateral Diplomacy: ad hoc and standing conferences; questions of procedure: venue, membership, agenda, transparency, and above all decision-making; the triumph of 'consensus-decision making' and its various techniques, for example, NATO’s silence procedure.
  7. Mediation: good offices, conciliation, and mediation; the motives of mediators (track one and track two); multi-party mediation; is there an 'ideal' mediator? The ripe moment and whether there is such a thing as a premature mediation.
  8. Summitry - The Diplomatist’s Bane: the case for the defence: serial summits, ad hoc summits (including funeral diplomacy), the high-level exchange of views; secrets of summit success.
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 (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.