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.


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]



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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

The author lays claim to the invention of the concept of ‘soft power’. He starts this book devoted to the subject by revisiting and honing it. He identifies the sources of U.S. ‘soft power’, then those of other major nations. Finally he examines the practical p... Read more...


The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few

Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally. John Maynard Keynes... Read more...


The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian Heartland

Central Eurasia refers to the countries in the Caucasus and to the five countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These countries that had once been part of the Russian and Soviet Empire were broken off and set adrift w... Read more...