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 for two insights. Both have aged po...
 20 Apr 2021

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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 Both extremes...
 3 Feb 2021

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Recent official revelations about the ‘special arrangements’ governing the diplomatic status of the US intelligence hub at the Croughton airbase in the English Midlands, which were provoked by theSacoolas affair, raise important questions. A...
 3 Dec 2020

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What are connected objects? Consider home assistants, smart thermostats, fitness wearables and connected cars to name but a few which advocate the advantages of convenience, home efficiency, health monitoring, safety, and security. Collectively known...
 8 Aug 2020

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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 disobedience. The others discounted protest a...
 5 Aug 2020

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First it was the Foreign Office (FO), then it evolved into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and today it becomes – asforeshadowed by Boris Johnson on 16 June– Britain’s ‘super-department for international affairs’, the Foreign, ...
 25 Jul 2020

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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, the writers of histo...
 22 Jul 2020

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Dr Jovan Kurbalija, conductor of the orchestra called DiploFoundation, proposed a project called HumAInism: Visionary governance for humanity with artificial intelligence. The main aim of the vision would be to find a way towards an outline of a ‘new...
 21 Jul 2020

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An influential article of 2014 noted that health attachés were appointed shortly after the Second World War and were thereafter assigned by 'a growing number of countries [...] to work in embassies in countries of strategic importance'.Is this ...
 14 Jul 2020

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Disease grips humanity’s imagination with a chokehold. It distances people from each other and can create animosities between groups. The fear of disease trumps even war, since you can see guns and tanks. You cannot see the bubonic plague, or Ebola, ...
 7 Jul 2020

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Referring to Prof. Geoff Berridge, we learn that ‘diplomacy is the most important institution of our society of states’. Further on, according to Sir Ivor Roberts, diplomacy is both ‘that funny old trade’ as well as a the ‘most rewarding of professio...
 3 Jul 2020

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The term soft power (and its siblings hard power and smart power), employed to embrace a particular category of resources of potential power, originated in the stable ofJoseph S Nye, Jr,a Harvard University distinguished service professor...
 1 Jul 2020

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What is the value of sustaining international peace in the age of new technologies with incredible disruptive potential, such as the combination of weapons and artificial intelligence (AI)? The financial costs of multilateral forums where these im...
 24 Jun 2020

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I am a keen gardener, and during the Covid-19 lockdown I had the great good fortune to be allowed by our neighbour, Janet, to take over the care of her very large, tree-lined, and blissfully quiet garden. The weather was also unusually good, so I spe...
 20 Jun 2020

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Answer: The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Why? The employment of the Saudi consulate-general and consul general’s residence in Istanbul in the horrifying murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in early October is now notorious. This has been fo...
 17 Jun 2020

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On 2 July 2020 I received an e-mail from Razvan Constantinescu, the energetic Romanian honorary-consul general for the south-west of England based in Bristol and president of the Bristol Consular Corps. This told me how the COVID-19 pandemic first re...
 15 Jun 2020

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When the abuse of diplomatic immunity is alleged to have occurred, it usually refers to diplomatic officers taking advantage of their special status under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations(VCDR) to avoid penalties for misdemean...
 10 Jun 2020

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