DiploNews – Issue 191 – 17 October 2011
Humanitarian Diplomacy Certificate Programme
Diplo is pleased to cooperate with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to offer a new certificate programme in Humanitarian Diplomacy. This 12-week programme aims to enrich and empower current and future actors in the field of humanitarian diplomacy and policy. In a supportive international online class environment, the programme will familiarise participants with basic definitions, concepts, actors and institutions in the field of humanitarian diplomacy, introduce international humanitarian law, hone advocacy and negotiation skills, develop participants’ research skills, and increase their understanding of national and regional humanitarian diplomacy activities. The programme starts on 6 February 2012; the application deadline is 7 December 2011. For more details and to apply, see the programme website.
Webinar on the ‘battle for the Euro’
Join us on Tuesday, 25 October at 15:00 CET for a webinar with Richard Werly on the latest Eurozone developments. Under pressure for many weeks from the financial markets, European leaders have agreed that they cannot go on without tough, co-ordinated and visible decisions to regain the confidence of both the public and international investors. The decision to recapitalise Europe’s most vulnerable banks, and the high probability of a Greek default, makes the upcoming EU summit a truly decisive moment. Richard will be covering the EU summit live from Brussels, and will brief us on the developments ensuing from these high-level meetings. Read more and register on the webinars website.
Read Aldo's refreshing and, very often, contrarian-style blogs
Aldo Matteucci is a former Swiss diplomat with 30 years of experience in negotiations and global affairs. In Diplo, Aldo has the unofficial title of Resident Contrarian. Almost every week, we benefit from his unique reflections on global issues. His writing and teaching very often challenge the dominant discourse. In 2005, during his course on Trade diplomacy, Aldo predicted the 2008 financial crisis. He shocked many by his very critical view of the Copenhagen summit at the time when climate change hype was at its peak. His blogs never allow us to stay in our thinking comfort zones.
His broad interests are reflected in the themes of his writing. You can start your exploration with Aldo's explanation of his role as the resident contrarian, then move to his dismantling of two mantras of modern policy: best practice and precautionary principles. You should not miss his text on diplomacy in which he deals with the core issues for many IR/diplomacy training institutions, including Diplo: Can we really teach diplomacy? He goes on to ask whether Diplomacy is where there are no rules and continues with other core issues for modern diplomacy: Complexity and diplomacy and Laughter and diplomacy. For other themes in Aldo's wide opus, please visit his blog and stay tuned for the next challenges to conventional wisdom.
On American exceptionalism
The magazine Foreign Policy currently features a debate challenging the idea of American exceptionalism. Generally speaking, exceptionalism is the idea of being the chosen nation, the beacon of hope or the force for good in the world. In the American context, the idea is tied up with religious beliefs but also the settler experience. American presidents often allude to this idea in their speeches. In The myth of American exceptionalism Stephen M. Walt aims at exposing this perception as a myth that stands in the way of understanding other parts of the world and voices critical of American policies. In a contrasting view, America really was that great Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum argue that American exceptionalism has a historical basis, and that '[e]veryone, everywhere, has an interest in America taking the steps necessary to remain an exceptional country'.
The magazine is platform to a controversial discussion that highlights US domestic debates and their potential worldwide implications. A must-read for anyone interested in gaining an inside perspective on the ideas underlying US foreign policy.