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Diplomacy in the 21st century is more proactive, multidirectional, and innovative than ever before.

Our world is increasingly interconnected, as demonstrated by the domestic impact of external issues. New subjects crowd the international agenda. At home and abroad, many actors participate in international affairs. Managing external affairs is more complex, involving focus on performance and reaching out to publics. This course gives insight into the contemporary practice of diplomacy and deepens understanding of significant issues in diplomacy management. The course is practitioner-oriented, and participants should have some prior knowledge of diplomatic theory and practice. The course was originally developed in a shorter, self-learning format for the Canadian Foreign Service Institute.

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Open for applications: No
Application deadline: Credit: 21 May 2018;
Certificate: 18 June 2018
Start date: 23 July 2018
Duration: 10 weeks
Fees: Certificate: €690; Credit: €850; Scholarships available
Course code: IRL 5019
ECTS credits: 9
Mode(s) of study: Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

Lecturers

Ambassodor Kishan S. Rana

Ambassador Kishan S. Rana is Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Fellow at DiploFoundation. He was awarded a BA (Hon) and MA in economics, St Stephens College Delhi. He was in the Indian Foreign Service (1960-95); and worked in China (1963-65, ...

Course details

Diplomacy in the 21st century is more proactive, multidirectional, and innovative than ever before.

Our world is increasingly interconnected, as demonstrated by the domestic impact of external issues. New subjects crowd the international agenda. At home and abroad, many actors participate in international affairs. Managing external affairs is more complex, involving focus on performance and reaching out to publics. This course gives insight into the contemporary practice of diplomacy and deepens understanding of significant issues in diplomacy management. The course is practitioner-oriented, and participants should have some prior knowledge of diplomatic theory and practice. The course was originally developed in a shorter, self-learning format for the Canadian Foreign Service Institute.

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

  • Identify the defining features of diplomacy in the 21st century (or 'globalised diplomacy'), and the change factors – the volatile forces in the current operating environment which shape and force diplomacy to adapt.
  • Describe and analyse changes in the ways that countries deal with one another, including the new and changing roles of embassies.
  • Assess the role of new actors in diplomacy, in particular public diplomacy.
  • Identify and provide examples of different types of regional diplomacy groupings, and analyse the role, potential and opportunities of these new clusters.
  • Critically assess the movement towards foreign ministry reform, and the impact of performance management in foreign ministries and provide examples.

Excerpt from course materials

In many countries people feel that their lives are shaped by world events that lie outside their control. They feel that the impact of external events is sharper, and more immediate than ever before in their daily lives. Terrorism is one such concern; in addition trade, loss of jobs at home, currency fluctuations and other economic factors, and even foreign cultural influences are perceived as problems or threats. Migration is another interconnected, home-external issue, both for the countries that are the sources of economic migrants and the receiving states. These are all facets of our interconnected world, a product of relentless globalisation.

This course examines the 21st century environment of world affairs, and the manner in which diplomacy has adapted to the post-Cold War world, dominated as it is by globalisation. Forces that operate within countries, as well as exogenous factors, have transformed the way the countries deal with one another, making room for multiple actors, new subjects in the international agenda, and changes that are driven by technology. We may call this ‘globalised diplomacy’.

Course outline

  1. Globalised diplomacy: a survey of the diplomatic process, with special focus on factors driving change. We consider the environment in which foreign ministries operate; the enlarged, complex foreign-domestic interface; the consequences of the ICT revolution; human rights and the role of civil society; multilateral diplomacy; and human resource management.
  2. Regional diplomacy: this is a high growth area in external affairs, consisting of neighbourhood diplomacy, as well as 'plurilateral diplomacy', where groups build on principles other than geography. We examine the role, potential, and the opportunities that these new cluster formats offer, as well as the typology and the innovation incorporated. We also study free trade agreements and the limitations of regional diplomacy.
  3. Foreign ministries: Change and reform: after the Cold War, and the onset of rapid globalisation, most foreign ministries engaged in adaptation and reform. We consider the motivation, the models followed, and the priorities in the content of reforms. We also examine new trends in the training of diplomats. We finally consider the pitfalls in implementation of reform.
  4. The decision process and crisis and risk management: we examine the generic aspects of decision-making in foreign ministries, the decision categories, their practical application, plus crisis and risk management. In addition, we look at the various actors that furnish inputs into decisions, i.e. the official and the non-state actors, knowledge management, and building institutional memory.
  5. Performance management: in the public services, performance management (PerM) is the new mantra; MFAs have no choice but to comply with new public reporting formats, 'output budgets' and the like. We examine the impact along three tracks: measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the MFA and its subsidiary entities; application in human resource management; and performance reporting to publics. We consider the measurement criteria, the downside of performance management.
  6. The re-invented embassy: thanks to the revitalisation of bilateral diplomacy, the embassy (and the entire diplomatic process) is in renaissance. We consider the new and the changed tasks of embassies, together with relevant examples, plus the caution that needs to be applied in the 'reworked' embassy-MFA relationship, under evolution in some leading countries.
  7. Diplomacy of small states: a survey of a little-studied, yet current topic. We consider the empirical evidence, the options that small states have developed, and their exemplars. We also look at small state diplomatic behaviour, and the group diplomacy that small states practice.
  8. The public and image-building: we analyse image-building activities and the role of the public in foreign affairs. We consider the different models of public diplomacy, including the US experience. We look at methods of news management and the way the country brand is promoted. We consider the thesis that public diplomacy is now practised both abroad and at home, and centres on building and projecting a country’s soft power.
 
 

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 (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.

 
 

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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