In his paper, J. Thomas Converse focuses on four records-related areas where the issues of knowledge management and diplomacy come together and provide the greatest challenges to archivists, diplomats, historians and technology providers: validation, trustworthiness, context and longevity.
In this chapter, Walter Fust talks about the role of knowledge management, and knowledge for development, in diplomacy. He describes various methods to assess what knowledge should be stocked, and explains the need for managers who are assigned the task of deciding what should be stocked.
In his paper, Alex Sceberras Trigona stresses the importance of the diplomatic document as a primary source of diplomatic knowledge, in the light of the distinction between ‘information’ (can be recorded) and knowledge (not easily recorded), the flow of knowledge as information.
The first paper, presented by Prof. Peter Serracino-Inglott as the keynote address at the 2001 conference, examines the serious issue of diplomatic communication in a playful manner, through one of the most paradigmatic and creative examples of language use: joking.
Professor Raymond Cohen writes that "when negotiation takes place across languages and cultures the scope for misunderstanding increases.
Ambassador Kishan Rana introduces the dimension of diplomatic signalling.
Professor Dietrich Kappeler provides an overview of the various types of formal written documents used in diplomacy, pointing out where the practices surrounding these documents have changed in recent years.
Of central concern in the field of negotiation is the use of ambiguity to find formulations acceptable to all parties. Professor Norman Scott looks at the contrasting roles of ambiguity and precision in conference diplomacy.
Ivan Callus and Ruben Borg apply a very different set of tools to the analysis of diplomatic discourse. Their paper applies the discourse of deconstruction, a form of literary criticism, to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Conference interpreters Vicky Cremona and Helena Mallia outline the different types of conference interpretation, difficulties in interpretation, preparation and techniques, and team work. On the topic of diplomatic conferences they point out that "confidence in the interpreters is essential.