People

Aldo Matteucci
Former Deputy Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association

Mr Aldo Matteucci graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) in Agriculture, and from Berkeley in Agricultural Economics. He spent three years in East Africa doing research on land use, then in Maryland, working on rural development. In 1977 he joined the Swiss Federal Office of Economic Affairs. He was deputy director of the EUREKA Secretariat in Brussels, and from 1994 to 2000, deputy secretary general of EFTA. He obtained early retirement upon leaving EFTA. He remains a committed contrarian.

Blogs

Of topoi and memes

20 April 2021

I’ll admit to a prejudice. I dislike Richard Dawkins, the emeritus professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. Holding such a pompous title is enough to warrant a demerit. Dawkins is broadly known fo...

Violent left and right: Which is more dangerous?

03 February 2021

We condemn the violent left and right. Are the threats equivalent? Is one more dangerous? Let’s reflect – in compact fashion. 1.       Both share an ideology of a ‘desirable’ hierarchical social order...

The abuse of analogies: Upon reading the article ‘Reading the CCP Clearly’

20 January 2021

The pivoting argument in the article ‘Reading the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] Clearly’ by Perry Link (The New York Review of Books, 11 February 2021 issue) on US policy toward China is the topos of appeasement...

All there is to know in international relations

26 December 2020

  Some see two black faces, Some see a white vase. A few see them both. Both sides mock the relativists. It is all a matter of the right imagination... [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOgFZfRV...

Resources

2013

Persuasion as a social phenomenon

Aldo Matteucci explores the relevance of social context for persuasion. Since persuasion leads to change, we should look into the mechanisms of change in society. Change is a social phenomenon. Change occurs when the intentionalities of individuals transmute into ‘co... Read more...

2013

DiploDialogue – Metaphors for Diplomats

On Diplo’s blog, in Diplo’s classrooms, and at Diplo’s events, dialogues stretch over a series of entries, comments, and exchanges and may even linger. DiploDialogue summarises. It’s like in sports events: DiploDialogue aims to bring focus by deleting what, in ... Read more...

2011

How can Wikis improve diplomatic reporting?

Aldo Matteucci writes: Everyone loves Wikipedia... yet hardly anyone realises that potential of the underlying software for streamlining paperwork in an MFA and significantly improving the efficiency of the archiving system. ...... Read more...

2001

A practitioner’s view

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): With examples from a detailed case study of the historical New Zealand Treaty of Waitangi, Aldo Matteucci shows us that the diplomat's job is to decode language. Matteucci writes that all language comes with "hidden baggage": hidd... Read more...

2004

Civilisation and its Enemies: The Next Stage of History

Lee Harris is not an academic – his name would hardly be quoted in obscure learned journals. In the aftermath of 9/11 he has written this book in an attempt to articulate and argue a position that justifies (both retaliatory and precautionary) military intervention w... Read more...

2006

The Breaking of Nations

Robert Cooper is Director-General of External and Politico-Military Affairs for the Council of the EU and thus a man steeped in world affairs. Though he makes no claim to establishing a ‘theory’ of how nations grow and decay, he has presented in this slim volume a ... Read more...

2004

The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilisation

Nothing is more changeable than ancient history. As we begin to interpret nature’s archives new insights emerge, overthrowing older orthodoxies, only to be toppled in turn by the next spate of facts. Brian Fagan's latest book too is but history in progress, with a fa... Read more...

2004

To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders

When I feel dispirited about the current crop of political leaders in Switzerland or around the world, I like to take refuge in one of the most uplifting political stories of mankind – the American Revolution.... Read more...