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DiploNews – Issue 52 – 3 March 2003

DiploNews – Issue 52 – March 3, 2003

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Report – International Conference on Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy

Attended by 70 participants from 36 different countries, the International Conference on Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy (Malta, 20-23 February 2003) was DiploFoundation's largest conference to date. Over four intensive days, 24 speakers made presentations on widely varying aspects of intercultural communication in the field of diplomacy, ranging from outlining the cultural categories and values diplomats are most likely to encounter in their work and illustrating these with stories from diplomatic practice, to case studies examining diplomacy in action dealing with contact between cultures. Participants not only listened to lectures on intercultural communication, but put it into practice-which they did with great enthusiasm. The level of interaction, both in the formal question periods and the free time, was inspiring.

Although its difficult to recreate the feeling of face-to-face interaction, we hope to provide an opportunity for the discussion to continue, and to create a virtual community of our conference participants and others interested in the topic. Follow-up activities are all linked to the conference website.

  • Conference Photo Gallery
  • Online discussion forum-To join the discussion you must apply for a user account. This process is free and takes only one minute. Instructions for posting messages on the forum can be found on the forum website. Please e-mail Hannah Slavik (hslavik@diplomacy.edu) if you need any assistance.
  • Publication on Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy-in September 2003 we will publish a collection of papers based on the conference proceedings. This volume will be aimed at diplomats, students of diplomacy and international relations, interculturalists interested in the world of diplomacy, and others.

"Internet" vs. "internet"

In our last issue we asked readers to send their speculations on the shift from Internet with an upper-case "I" to internet with a lower-case "i" observed in the Economist. Here are a couple interesting responses:

"Internet becomes an ordinary word. Why that? Because it is part of our daily life. It is now a common noun, because it implies a common activity. We don't write Television or Radio, Internet, we simply say television, radion, internet… without thinking too much. Internet is a habit." [Cristina Popescu]

"English capitalises words that are unique, special, or sacred. So we started out with the Telegraph, Telephone, Radio, Television and the Cinema. But familiarity breeds contempt and now we have stripped those common or garden items of their titles of nobility. They are just everyday items. The same goes, I suspect, for the Internet. "How the mighty have fallen!" one might say. Quite the reverse. In a democratic age it is the very ubiquity and simplicity of use of the internet that is its source of power. So, personally, I'm all for demystification. Let's adopt the practice of the economist, sorry Economist, and call it the internet!" [Raymond Cohen]

News from Diplomatic Training Academies

The School of International Relations (SIR) run by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced an MA Degree course in Contemporary Iranian Studies for foreign nationals. More information can be obtained by writing to the director of International Academic Relations, Mohammad Khodadadi, at academy@sir.ac.ir.

Information about diplomatic training schools and courses worldwide is available on the website of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training.

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