DiploNews – Issue 421 – 15 June 2021

Upcoming study opportunities

Applications open! Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy
   (€400 early bird discount)

Diplo is now accepting applications for the 2022 online Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy and the Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy with a specialisation in internet governance, run in cooperation with the University of Malta Department of International Relations. The programme starts on 24 January 2022.

During 16 to 20 months of online study, the programmes guide working diplomats, international relations professionals, and internet policymakers through the theoretical and practical building blocks of diplomacy, with a focus on contemporary issues and challenges.

Scholarships covering 20%–50% of the Postgraduate Diploma fee are available for applicants from small and developing states.

Discount: Apply by 1 September 2021 and benefit from our €400 early bird discount!

For further information and to apply, please visit the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy web page.

Summer 2021 online courses

Our next course session starts on 26 July 2021. Register now to reserve your place in our popular courses:

Apply by 21 June 2021 for Diplo certificate courses. For further information or to apply, click the course titles above or visit our courses web page.

Need financial assistance? Scholarships are available.

Thanks to support from the government of Malta, partial scholarships are available for applicants from developing countries to attend upcoming Diplo online courses. These scholarships cover 30%–60% of course fees and can be applied to most online courses in 2021. Browse our course catalogue and contact us at admissions@diplomacy.edu for further information.

Sign up for our courses mailing list to stay informed about upcoming courses.

Upcoming events

◆ Book launch: Internet Governance at the Point of No Return (23 June)

Join us for a conversation with Prof. Rolf H. Weber to talk about his new book Internet Governance at the Point of No Return and to find out about a new normative internet governance ecosystem. The book, available for free download, provides an overview of the most relevant legal principles that play a substantive role in the internet governance context. Join us on Wednesday, 23rd June, 14:00–14:45 UTC (16:00–16:45 CEST). Register now!

◆ Data Tour: 12 Tours to Navigate Digital Geneva (24 June)

Data makes the digital world go round, and Geneva provides world-renowned best practices. In the ‘Geneva Data Tour’ (part of the 12 Tours to Navigate Digital Geneva series), we will discuss the work on data of a number of institutions in Geneva, including scientific research data, environmental data, health data, and more! Join us on Thursday, 24th June, 09:00 UTC (11:00 CEST). Register now!

◆ Masterclass #6: ‘Renaissance diplomacy: Compromise as a solution to conflict’ (24 June)

In our next episode of the History of Diplomacy and Technology series, Dr Jovan Kurbalija will cover the most important aspects of Renaissance diplomacy. During the Renaissance, the first full diplomatic system was established, and the invention of the printing press had a considerable impact on all functions of society, including diplomacy. Join us on Thursday, 24th June, at 12:00 UTC (14:00 CEST) to find out more. Register now!

◆ IG Briefing #76: Internet governance in June 2021 (29 June)

Catch up on the major internet governance and digital policy updates from around the world, and join our experts as they analyse existing and emerging policy trends. Join us for this month’s Digital Watch Internet Governance Briefing on Tuesday, 29th June, at 12:00 UTC (14:00 CEST). Register now!

Main takeaways from our recent events

◆ Discussion: The role of the Human Rights Council in promoting a human-rights-based approach to new and emerging technologies (15 June)

In The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action for Human Rights, UN Secretary General António Guterres identified new and emerging technologies as a new frontier for human rights. He called for the development of a human-rights-based approach for the digital space, following up on the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

This high-level panel discussion was co-organised by the Core Group on new technologies (South Korea, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Morocco, and Singapore) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and supported by Diplo’s ConfTech initiative. Watch the recording!

◆ WebDebate #48: ‘Virtual and hybrid diplomacy: What have we learned?’

Together with Prof. Corneliu Bjola and Dr Ilan Manor from the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group, we discussed the effects of COVID-19 on diplomacy, what it taught us, and how future diplomatic practice will be influenced by these recent changes. Watch the recording!

Blogs and publications

Biden–Putin summit and a cyber detente: Blog post and resources

Geneva’s history shows that diplomacy and cooperation have prevailed over war and conflict many times. Will the Biden–Putin summit in Geneva be remembered as a successful encounter?

  • Blog post: Dr Jovan Kurbalija expects that the summit is likely to have a positive bearing on USA–Russia relations, especially cyber relations. Read the post in which Kurbalija explains his reasons for such optimism.
  • Digital Watch cyber detente page:
    • Exclusive interviews with Mr Chris Painter, former coordinator for cyber issues at the US State Department, and Ms Elena Chernenko, special correspondent for the Russian daily Kommersant. They both agree that the time is ripe for a dialogue, but expectations should be modest, even though this summit just might lead to a cyber detente.
    • An analysis of the evolution of USA–Russia cyber relations over the years: how significant were the cyberattacks on US infrastructure, how do USA’s and Russia’s positions on cybersecurity issues compare, and what we can expect from the Geneva summit.
  • Dr Kurbalija’s opinion piece has also been published on Le Temps. Read the article ‘A Genève, Joe Biden et Vladimir Poutine doivent conclure un «cessez-le-feu» numérique’ (in French; subscription necessary).

Interview with Chris Painter, former coordinator for cyber issues at the US State Department:


Interview with Elena Chernenko, special correspondent for the Russian daily Kommersant:


New podcast! The Diplomat’s Sofa #1: A breakthrough in UN cybersecurity negotiations with Amb. Jürg Lauber

Come and have a seat! Welcome to The Diplomat’s Sofa, the new podcast series in which we talk to diplomats about their craft. In our first episode, we sat down with Amb. Jürg Lauber and talked about cybersecurity, global negotiations, cyber diplomacy, and more. Watch or listen to the episode here!

◆ Interview: Soft and hard power of Byzantine diplomacy with Prof. Jonathan Shepard

What was the secret behind the longevity of the Byzantine Empire? Which diplomatic tactics did they use? How did they last for over 1,000 years? As part of the History of Diplomacy and Technology series, Dr Jovan Kurbalija interviewed Prof. Jonathan Shepard, historian and one of the leading scholars on the subject of Byzantine diplomacy. Check out the podcast!

◆ Blog post: ‘What’s new with cybersecurity negotiations? The UN GGE 2021 Report’

In our latest blog post, we analysed the norms of state behaviour in cyberspace and UN GGE 2021 guidelines on implementing the 2015 voluntary norms. Read our analysis here!

◆ Blog post: Embassies and transnational repression

To what lengths will regimes go in using their embassies to pursue opponents in the diaspora and engage in ‘transnational repression’? In his post, Prof. G. R. Berridge discusses this issue in light of the recent downing of the EU civil airliner in Belarus. Read the post!

◆ Digital Watch Newsletter: Issue #60 (May 2021)

The 60th issue brings together and analyses the major digital policy updates from May 2020. Facebook’s decision to deplatform Trump for two years, how ransomware attacks are getting nastier, and the cryptocurrency’s roller-coaster ride were the month’s top policy trends. In this issue, we also dive deep into the Colonial Pipeline attack, the causes of bitcoin’s huge fluctuations, and the enforcement issues surrounding EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Read the newsletter! (available in English and French)

Diplo team at external events

◆ Session: ‘Innovation by disruption? How COVID-19 is changing diplomacy’

Diplo’s Dr Jovan Kurbalija and Dr Katharina Höne took part in this session which reflected on how COVID-19 is changing diplomacy, how to successfully conduct diplomatic negotiations virtually, what are the consequences for inclusivity and transparency, and more. The session was organised by the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) at the DW Global Media Forum 2021.

Check out the recording here. You can also read the paper Hybrid Diplomacy: How COVID-19 changes the way we negotiate by Dr Kurbalija and Dr Höne.

◆ Seminar: ‘Connectivity, Competition & Collaboration: The 3Cs of Digital Trade. What policies for post-COVID success?’ (22 June)

The event – which is part of the World Trade Organization ‘s (WTO) Simply Services seminar series – will discuss issues related to connectivity, competition and collaboration in digital trade and the impact of COVID-19 on online services. Diplo’s Marilia Maciel (Digital Policy Senior Researcher) will be one of the discussion panellists. To register, visit the event page.

Subscribe to Diplo's News