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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.

Related events

Persuasion, the essence of diplomacy – a seminar

New: Consult the report from the seminar. The book Persuasion, the essence of diplomacy will be presented at a seminar organised by DiploFoundation and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies on 3 April 2013 (...

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Of topoi and memes

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?

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’

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

  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...

What gives? Revolution or civil engagement and resistance?

Ever since people learned to fight autocracy and oppressive regimes, the battle has raged between ‘accommodationists’ and revolutionaries. The first ones pleaded for dialogue and used, if necessary, civil disobed...

Compensating victims of terrorism – looking at it from the point of view of international law and national culture

Today’s Guardian brings an interesting diplomatic issue into in the news: you can read it here. It raises a wealth of questions in international law but it also in national culture. As an international diplomat, y...

A tale of influencers

Behold America: A history of America First and the American Dream (Sarah Churchwell, 2018, p. 356): History is not ancestral memory or collective tradition. It is what people learned from priests, schoolmasters, t...

Internet’s silent and hidden effects

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Why we need strong internet governance?

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A brain made transparent

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In broken images (Robert Graves)

In Broken Images He is quick, thinking in clear images; I am slow, thinking in broken images. He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images; I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images, Trusting his images, he ...

Generosity as fairness

Continuing the dialogue on the concept of \'climate refugees\'...... 1.1        In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these eff...

Is it misleading to speak about climate refugees? Of legal concepts, metaphors, and human suffering …

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Sexism by category

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The uncertain future of national borders

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Taking the long view on Balochistan

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Circumstances: the great persuader

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Is war still possible?

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The perfect internet storm

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Climate change abatement and small countries

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China’s desire for ‘stability’

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Multi-stakerism: a case of cargo cult in reverse?

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Availability bias

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The darker side of diplomacy rev. 007

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De-discoursation and metaphors

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BAUDRILLARD? I’ll admit to anything, Katharina!

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History and diplomacy

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In praise of failure

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Speak up early and loudly

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Be aware (and beware) of bullshit

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Is outcome a good measure of performance?

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Putting planning on its head

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Election as catharsis

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Making the inevitable happen

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Silent Culture

Jovan has culled this piece of news for me: On July 27, the Olympic Games will open in London.. Perhaps the most socially significant development in London so far has been on a broad avenue leading down from Hyde Par...

The (un)timely demise of Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual property rights, such as patents, are “good good good” - or so we say out loud. Well, way may be soon chanting a different tune. Patents were a conditional bounty at the outset: a time-limited mono...

Uses and abuses of conspiracy theory

When too many unknowns chase too few equations one gets the “over-determination problem”: too many possible explanations for the same phenomenon. One has no way of choosing among them objectively. Conspiracy the...

Two kinds of conversation

Ancient Greece developed a unique way of settling disagreements among cities: hoplites met in a plain, fought for a day and abided by the outcome. “For those men, the purpose was now to settle the entire business,...

Why “offensive realism” is unrealistic theory of international relations?

In his latest blog, Aldo Matteucci, Diplo\'s resident contrarian, questions the function of academia in modern society. According to Aldo, \'It is a game an elite plays when it has lost its social function – i.e. ha...

Religiously objectionable material on the internet

Aldo Matteucci comments on the Delhi High Court warning to Facebook and Google that their websites will be blocked if they dipsplay \"obscene depictions online of Jesus Christ, the Prophet Mohammed, and various Hindu ...

How can Wikis improve diplomatic reporting?

Everyone loves Wikipedia... yet hardly anyone realises the potential of the underlying software for streamlining paperwork in an MFA and significantly improving the efficiency of the archiving system. ‘Wiki’ softw...

Related resources

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: Dip...

30 Aug, 2013

Persuasion as a social phenomenon

Enablers emerge in a wide variety of forms from invention (the wheel, horse-riding) to social processes (educating women leads towards a drop in fertility). Persuasion is an important enabler of social change. Social ...

16 Aug, 2013

The Breaking of Nations

Review: Aldo Matteucci 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 ‘theo...

19 Apr, 2006

Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

The concept of soft power If power means the ability to get (or influence directly) the outcomes one wants’ from others (mainly by coercion or inducements) then soft power is ‘the ability to shape the preferenc...

05 Aug, 2005

The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilisation

The books greatest merit – to have tried to place climate and ancient history side-by-side - remains unchallenged. And so is its main lesson. Climate will change. Human ingenuity will offset the change at first by ...

27 Aug, 2004

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

The Mongol Empire Come again, the Mongols? Those blood-thirsty brutish sods so close to animals that we named a major genetic deficiency after them? The Mongols under Genghis Khan and his successors ruled Eurasia fr...

13 Aug, 2004

Civilisation and its Enemies: The Next Stage of History

Harris’ line of argument is simple in its core. It is a bad and evil world out there, at the borders of our civilisation, and full of enemies. We forget it at our peril. It is an illusion to pretend that the ‘...

06 Aug, 2004

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

That such a radical departure from received political wisdom could take place, and republican democracy could emerge – essentially formed – from the deliberations of wise, but mortal men, never stops amazing me....

06 Aug, 2004

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

If one asks a large enough number of people to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, the averaged answer is likely to be very close to the correct number. True, occasionally someone may guess closer to the true nu...

06 Aug, 2004

Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror

It is not that the author fails to provide an inside view of what fighting terrorism in Washington is all about. On the contrary – the book is replete with heroes and villains, visionaries, fools and fighters. There...

04 Aug, 2004

World on Fire: How Exporting Free-Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

Where information is imperfect, another problem arises, a problem whose existence no economic textbook acknowledges – the emergence of market-dominant minorities. Yet it is a fact of economic life everywhere. Ec...

08 Aug, 2003

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

Where did mankind come from originally, how did it spread across the continents, and when did this take place? This question has fascinated us since – upon observing mankind’s ‘racial diversity’ – we start...

01 Aug, 2003

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

Karl Meyer, currently the editor of the World Policy Journal after a distinguished career as a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post and member of the New York Times editorial board, has written a se...

01 Aug, 2003

A practitioner’s view

Powers speak to one another through the language of diplomacy. Diplomatic language should thus lead to better understanding between them. Language yields an incomplete sense of the speaker\'s meaning as well as of hi...

04 Aug, 2001

A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West

\'…the dilemma of politics: if you were ruthless enough to gain power to change the world, you probably would lack the idealism to change it for the better. But if you were sensitive and gentle and god, you were...

04 Aug, 2001