DiploNews - Issue 148 - October 15, 2009

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 Professional Development Workshops (Malta, 23-28 November 2009)

Public Speaking: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you're right!” This short adage describes people’s attitudes to public speaking very succinctly: our mindset in large part determines our ability. The rest is practice, practice, practice, backed by a few handy insights into language and rhetoric. Diplo’s Public Speaking Workshop provides a comfortable environment in which to acquire a can-do attitude, in which to practice, and in which to learn various tricks and pitfalls of public speaking.

Time (Stress) Management: Information technologies have given us the ability to communicate almost instantly to others across the globe (via e-mail, instant messaging, smart phones, SMS, notebook computers, and wi-fi). This has extended the working day for many people to 24 hours. While this new culture has become popular, it raises concern among scientific and medical communities that it becomes a recipe for poor performance, unhealthy levels of stress and, when driving a vehicle, lethal consequences. Diplo’s workshop on Time (Stress) Management will focus on making the most of one’s efforts, and offers practical hints and tips on how to make time (since one will never find it) and focus on an appropriate work-life balance.

Crisis Communications: Crisis communication and crisis management may not touch everyone everyday, but dealing with crises can be high stress events. Diplo’s workshop on Crisis Communications will provide guidelines on successful practices in dealing with crises and, in particular, in dealing with the media.

For more information on all workshops please visit Diplo’s Professional Development website.

2010 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

You are invited to apply for the popular Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, offered through the University of Malta. This blended learning programme offers a valuable opportunity for diplomats and other international relations professionals to continue studies while remaining on the job. Applications will be accepted as long as places remain in the programme. For more information and to apply please see the course webpage

Books on Diplomacy in October 

As we know that diplomats have little time to fit reading and study into their schedules, we hope that a monthly review of new publications may assist in choosing some of the most relevant.

Sally Totman. How Hollywood Projects Foreign Policy. Palgrave Macmillan.

In this book, the author asks an interesting question: How are Hollywood, US foreign policy, and the US government’s domestic portrayal of its “enemies” related? Totman shows how Hollywood portrays US foreign policy--thus influencing political opinions at home. She does so by using different case studies with a special focus on so-called rogue states. Her inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on politics, international relations, psychology, cultural, and film studies, makes the book especially valuable (despite the fact that it seem more applicable to the practices and worldviews of a former US administration). For more information, please visit the Palgrave Macmillan website.

Ronald E. Neumann. The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan. Potomac Books.

Author Neumann starts from the assumption that the situation in Afghanistan moved to the background of Western public interest once the situation in Iraq worsened in 2005. Yet, this was precisely the time that old problems in Afghanistan re-emerged: insurgencies, drug trafficking, and lack of coordination of the different international efforts to stabilize the situation. With this background, Neumann illustrates the procedures and practices of the American embassy in Afghanistan and the decision-making and co-ordination procedures between Washington and Kabul. The author served as US ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, before which he was posted in Iraq. Now retired, he serves as president of the American Academy of Diplomacy. As a practitioner and witness, his perspective makes the book most valuable. More information is available from the Potomac Books catalogue online.

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