DiploNews - Issue 157 - April 1, 2010

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May 2010 Online Courses - Last Call for Applications

You are invited to apply for the following courses, which begin the week of 10 May 2010:

These courses are available as Diplo Certificate Courses (application deadline 5 April). For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses above or visit our courses website.

Climate Change Diplomacy: Online Course Starts in May

Diplo’s online course on Climate Change Diplomacy provides relevant knowledge and practical skills for diplomats, scientists and others who participate in the climate change policy process. The course focuses on scientific, economic, social and governance aspects of climate change, with emphasis on development issues. It will equip participants to represent and promote the interests of their own countries effectively in the global climate change policy process. In preparation for the 2010 climate change meeting in Mexico, Diplo will offer several sessions of Climate Change Diplomacy. A limited number of scholarships will be provided for diplomats, civil servants and academics from small and developing states involved in climate change policy processes and negotiations. The course was developed and is run with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The first session of Climate Change Diplomacy begins the week of 17 May 2010 (application deadline 26 April). For more information about our 2010 courses and to apply, please visit the course webpage or contact us at climate@diplomacy.edu.

E-Diplomacy: Can Diplomats Negotiate Effectively Online?

Some argue that diplomats should not carry out negotiations via the Internet, since negotiating is the most human-intensive diplomatic activity: body language, expression, and tone are all-important. Increasingly, however, diplomats negotiate online, even if they are not aware of doing so: working collaboratively on texts using track changes or exchanging e-mails in preparation for or during meetings are forms of negotiation. To some degree, however, the topic and nature of a negotiation may determine how efficiently participants may conduct it online. For example, technical negotiations may run better online than negotiations on policy principles. Please express your opinion and vote at the E-Diplomacy website.

Diplomacy 2.0: A Need to Re-Invent Diplomacy?

A recent article by Kenneth Weisbrode in the guardian.co.uk tackles the much-discussed issue of re-inventing diplomacy in the face of a changed world and new technology. Weisbrode points to discussions within the United States Department of State and the establishment of a European diplomatic service (European External Action Service, EEAS). He is interested in how these developments, combined with new communication technologies, may alter the conduct of diplomacy. The article stands out because it connects the origins of modern day diplomacy in Renaissance Italy and the Wilsonian “new diplomacy” of the early 20th century with present events.

Book Review: Climate Change Justice

Eric A. Posner and David Weisbach (2010): Climate Change Justice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press)

Posner and Weisbach detail the many claims to entitlements and rights that emerge in climate change negotiations, as the international community moves to a binding treaty on climate change. Few of them, in the authors' view, deserve retention--they plead for much-needed pragmatism--but adjudicating them is part of the run-up to the signature. The complexity of the argument in terms of distributive justice, guilt, and intergenerational justice will make for considerable time and many words spent on the issues. Read the full review at Amazon.com.

Thanks to Aldo Matteucci for the review.

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