We all know that language changes over time, but we rarely have the chance to watch it mutate in real time, and few of us could have imagined that it would change as fast as it has in the last few weeks. From the coinage of new words (social distanci...
 2 Apr 2020

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Over the past few years, there has been significant progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), which is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives (from intelligent digital personal assistants and smart home devices, to autonomous v...

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This workshop promotes intercultural awareness as a means of avoiding interpersonal misunderstandings. It focuses on particular forms of diversity, from the different communicative styles that characterise individuals in all cultures (the rational, e...
 19 Mar 2019

Event
Diplo offers five postgraduate-level online courses starting the week of 8 October 2018: Language and Diplomacy Development Diplomacy Consular and Diaspora Diplomacy Economic Diplomacy Cybersecurity For more information on each cou...
 8 Oct 2018

Event
This blog is the first in a series in which I explore intercultural communication (ICC) through the lens of logical fallacies, linking each fallacy to a current trend or event. I have chosen fallacies in the first instance because, as their name sugg...
 12 Jun 2018

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Dr Biljana Scott was trained as a linguist (BA in Chinese, M.Phil and D.Phil in Linguistics, University of Oxford). She is a Senior Lecturer in Language and Diplomacy at DiploFoundation and an associate of the Chinese Institute atOxford Univers...

People
Can poetry help diplomacy? A joke, surely! Poetry and diplomacy are worlds apart and have nothing in common other than using language as a medium. Diplomacy is devoid of poetry unless, that is, we count the alliteration in President Trump’s ‘fire and...
 9 Sep 2017

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Diplo offers five postgraduate-level online courses starting the week of 9 October 2017: Language and Diplomacy Development Diplomacy Consular and Diaspora Diplomacy Economic Diplomacy Cybersecurity For more information on each cou...
 9 Oct 2017

Event
What makes one set of words more convincing than another, and how can language best be put to work in the service of diplomacy, international relations, business, and all other aspects of contemporary life? How do digital communication channels aff...
 23 Mar 2017

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A heightened awareness of how others speak, and the skill to identify what went well and what could have gone better, help improve our own speaking styles. Using presentations as a medium of delivery – impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memor...
 21 Apr 2017

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In our March WebDebate, we explored the contribution of diplomats to literature and cultural heritage and also looked at how art and diplomacy can be usefully combined. We asked: What can we learn from diplomats who also engage in the arts? What role...
 14 Mar 2017

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Implicit communication in the digital era 30 March 2017 | 16:00-17:30 CEST | WMO Building, De Mello Auditorium The Internet is often seen as an accelerator of communication: messages can be sent and received instantly. Yet with brevit...
 30 Mar 2017

Event
Diplomacy and the power of the unsaid 1.5-day Workshop | 29 - 30 March 2017 This workshop focuses on the unsaid in diplomatic communication. Its primary objective is to alert participants to the power and particularities of ...
 29 Mar 2017

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In our WebDebate, on Tuesday, 7th March at 12:00 UTC (13:00 CET),we aim to explore the contribution of diplomats to literature and cultural heritage and to look at how art and diplomacy can be usefully combined. What can we learn from diplomats...
 7 Mar 2017

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This workshop promotes language awareness as a means of improving the skills of opinion shapers. Its primary objective is to alert participants to the power and particularities of implicit communication. This is an area of interaction that has largel...
 16 Dec 2016

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Welcome to the portal dedicated to Intercultural Communication Read also: Language and Diplomacy An Internet search on the topic of intercultural communication or cross-cultural communication yields over three million results. In recent years p...

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Welcome to the portal dedicated to Language and Diplomacy It has often been said that language is not only an instrument of communication, but the very essence of diplomacy. Diplomats engage in negotiations, persuasion, presentation, and communica...

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Co-authored with Ms Diana Madibekova Diplomacy as a practice crucially depends on the use of language. The words of diplomats can foster agreement, persuade, or create tensions. Similarly, international law creates meaning and obligations through ...
 6 Nov 2016

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Public diplomacy is a hot topic today, yet only a decade ago, it was a very specialised term. There is a new transparency in the interactions between governments and countries in the international system, influenced by such factors as the democrat...

Course
Earn an accredited Master’s degree without taking time off work. The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy guides working diplomats and international relations professionals through the theoretical and practical building blocks of ...

Course
What makes one set of words more convincing than another, and how can language best be put to work in the service of diplomacy and international relations?   This course promotes language awareness as a means of improving the skills of opinion shaper...

Course
Diplo invites you to apply for our upcoming autumn 2014 online courses: Consular and Diaspora Diplomacy In recent years, consular and diaspora diplomacy have both emerged as important areas in diplomatic studies; governments are becoming more ci...
 6 Oct 2014

Event
Every diplomatic negotiation boils down to a limited number of open concepts and words. NETmundial is no different. There are some phrases that either carry a specific approach to Internet governance (IG) or trigger different interpretations. By unde...
 22 Apr 2014

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Webinar announcement Has the Internet changed our view of what is polite and what is not? In diplomacy, this question is particularly relevant. Politeness (or the lack of it) can have serious consequences. It can be seen as part of diplomat...
 27 Sep 2013

Event
At a breakfast meeting in one of Budapest's older, more established restaurants during the week, I was surprised to see a notice on the table asking guests to refrain from using laptops in the restaurant after 7pm. No reason given. Just a polite ...
 8 Jun 2013

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Today, Diplo gathers to discuss “Persuasion, The Essence of Diplomacy.” I am intrigued by the conference contributions. Reading about the conference topic also inspired some new thinking on metaphors, an issue that has been my companion o...
 2 Apr 2013

Blog post

Description:

Dr Biljana Scott’s article on framing an argument introduces the linguistic and rhetoric aspects of persuasion. The way in which we frame an issue largely determines how that issue will be understood and acted upon. By dissecting Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech of December 2010, Dr Scott illustrates the main techniques for framing an argument. ‘This speech can be seen as epitomizing the exercise of framing, given the implausible task of using a peace prize as a venue in which to advocate war.’ Dr Scott’s analysis of Obama’s speech starts with the use of logic in the framing of the argument, followed by the importance of storytelling, and concludes with the interplay between reason and emotion.

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Persuasion, The Essence of Diplomacy
 Biljana Scott , 2013

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Put your finger to the pulse of language, and you will detect the heartbeat of conviction, the blood pressure of aspiration. The close reading of a speech does not simply expose stylistic flourishes, it provides an insight into the very fabric of the...
 31 Jan 2013

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Just what are the differences between cultures? Is it useful to look for patterns or categories to make it easier for us to understand these differences? Kishan Rana, former Indian ambassador toGermany, points out that categorising cultures offers bo...

Basic page
In the beginning Western art did not take easily to realism, irony, and caricature. Greek and Roman art was set mainly in the heroic and hieratic mode. Paintings of private homes of Pompeii and Herculaneum at times suggest the grotesque and numinous....
 10 Apr 2012

Blog post
In cooperation with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) of Egypt, Diplo delivered a training workshop in language and diplomacy aiming to equip NTRA's members with the desired advanced skills and knowledge in negotiations and managin...
 5 Mar 2012

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Description:

The final paper in this volume, by Jovan Kurbalija, is based on the experience of ten years of research and development work in the field of information technology and diplomacy. Kurbalija explains the relevance and potential of hypertext software tools for the field of diplomacy. With a number of case studies drawn from the hypertext system developed by Diplo and illustrated with screen shots, Kurbalija illustrates exactly why diplomatic activities are so well suited to hypertext. He concludes with a question: "why, with all of its potential in diplomacy and other fields, has hypertext not yet been adopted on a large scale?"

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Jovan Kurbalija , 2001
 

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Conference interpreters Vicky Cremona and Helena Mallia outline the different types of conference interpretation, difficulties in interpretation, preparation and techniques, and team work. On the topic of diplomatic conferences they point out that "confidence in the interpreters is essential. The underlying tensions which may arise between delegates or country representatives can worsen if the interpreters are not trusted..." Cremona and Mallia finish with the observation that diplomatic skills are not only the realm of the diplomat or the interpreter in diplomatic conferences, but also necessary for the interpreter of other types of discussions including religion, culture, heritage, sales, and marketing.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Vicky Ann Cremona, Helena Mallia , 2001
 

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Dr Donald Sola asks whether software innovation can make a contribution to the needs of those learning the world "languages of wider communication". He presents his work in developing computer-assisted language learning software, a multi-disciplinary activity not based simply on technology but also on the theory and practice of education and linguistics. Excellent software development tools, the far-reaching distribution potential of the Internet, and growing understanding of relevant sociolinguistic and learning-environment considerations allow for successful language software development.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Donald Sola , 2001
 

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Dr Francisco Gomes de Matos applies what he calls the "Pedagogy of Positiveness" to diplomatic communication. He proposes a checklist of tips for diplomats to make their communication more positive, emphasising respect and understanding of the other side, and keeping in mind the ultimate goal of avoiding conflict. Gomes de Matos finishes with a number of pleas, including one for the adoption of the study of human linguistic rights and the pedagogy of positiveness into the education of diplomats.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Francisco Gomes de Matos , 2001
 

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In his examination of the languages used by the Knights of St John in Rhodes and Malta during the 14th to 16th centuries, Professor Joseph Brincat applies the methodology of historical linguistics. As an international and multi-lingual entity, the Order faced difficulties with its administrative methods intimately linked to linguistic issues. Brincat follows the transition in the official written language of the knights through French, Latin and Italian, examining the social, political and linguistic reasons for these changes. He points out that the problems faced by the Knights in choosing and adopting a common language are relevant in our times: they are similar to problems faced in present-day Brussels.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Joseph M. Brincat , 2001
 

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Ivan Callus and Ruben Borg apply a very different set of tools to the analysis of diplomatic discourse. Their paper applies the discourse of deconstruction, a form of literary criticism, to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The purpose and function of deconstruction, and its potential contribution to diplomatic language, is "to force the discipline to which it applies itself to look at its own language and to develop an almost pathological awareness of its own linguistic strategies."

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Ivan Callus, Ruben Borg , 2001
 

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Edmond Pascual interprets diplomatic communication with the linguistic tools of pragmatics. He begins by reminding us that while the diplomat is a "man of action," the particular nature of the diplomat's action is that it consists of speech. Pascual applies three concepts of pragmatics to diplomatic discourse: speech as an intentional act; the effects of the act of speech; and the role of the unsaid in the act of speech. He attempts to answer the question, posed by the French linguist Ducrot, "Why is it possible to use words to exert influence, why are certain words, in certain circumstances, so effective?"

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Edmond Pascual (Translation from French by Helena Mallia) , 2001
 

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Rather than individual documents, Dr Keith Hamilton looks at the process and purpose of compiling collections of documents. He focuses on his own experience as the editor of Documents on British Policy Overseas, and particularly on his work publishing a collection of documents concerning the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1972 until 1975.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Keith Hamilton , 2001
 

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Professor Dietrich Kappeler provides an overview of the various types of formal written documents used in diplomacy, pointing out where the practices surrounding these documents have changed in recent years. He also discusses multi-language treaties, including the difficulties of translation and interpretation. Kappeler concludes with an examination of the impact of information technology: its use in the preparation and preservation of documents, its effect on the form of documents, and the problems it brings for guaranteeing the authenticity of texts.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Dietrich Kappeler , 2001
 

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Drazen Pehar looks specifically at the use of ambiguities in peace agreements. Pehar explains why ambiguities are so often used and why diplomats and others involved in international relations may think it best to eliminate ambiguities from peace agreements altogether. He goes on to demonstrate, however, with numerous examples, that while ambiguities have led to a continuation or re-starting of hostilities in some cases, in many other cases they have provided the only bridge between conflicting parties and allowed for a cessation of violence. Pehar presents and discusses in detail pros and cons for the use of ambiguities in peace agreements, providing a number of guidelines and considerations for their successful use.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Drazen Pehar , 2001
 

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Of central concern in the field of negotiation is the use of ambiguity to find formulations acceptable to all parties. Professor Norman Scott looks at the contrasting roles of ambiguity and precision in conference diplomacy. He explains that while documents drafters usually try to avoid ambiguity, weaker parties to an agreement may have an interest in inserting ambiguous provisions, while those with a stronger position or more to gain will push for precision. Scott provides examples from a variety of trade and agricultural negotiations, stressing the different roles played by developing and developed countries, and the evolution of special terminology which has entrenched ambiguous concepts in this sort of negotiations.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Norman Scott , 2001
 

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Benoit Girardin takes a philosophical approach to rhetoric - along with the issues of interpretation and ethics. He examines each of these three fields and its relation to diplomatic practice and negotiations, showing with examples how diplomatic language exhibiting either a lack or an excess of any of these qualities may lead to problems. Girardin pays special attention to the Mediterranean region and the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that have featured in its history and culture. He proposes a set of basic principles for diplomats: methods for maintaining or attempting to create a situation in which interpretation, rhetoric and ethics are all balanced and productive negotiation is possible.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Benoit Girardin , 2001
 

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Ambassador Kishan Rana introduces the dimension of diplomatic signalling. Beginning with a reference to the Bhagwad Gita, one of the sacred texts of the Hindus, Rana outlines the qualities of good diplomatic dialogue: not causing distress to the listener, precision and good use of language, and truthfulness. With support from a number of case studies based on his vast and varied experience, Rana suggests that diplomacy today calls for directness rather than the traditional subtle signalling which may be unclear and lead to misunderstandings in the current multi-cultural environment. He concludes that the context and setting of today's diplomacy needs to guide our practices and in particular our methods of diplomatic training.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Kishan Rana , 2001
 

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Professor Paul Sharp discusses negotiation with American mediators. He notes that most literature on negotiation is written to advise Americans and other Westerners about negotiating with foreigners. However, "for the diplomatic profession...how to talk to Americans is a much larger shared problem than how the Americans talk to everybody else." Sharp points out that many of the problems other nations encounter when dealing with Americans are not cultural at all, but common problems any nation faces when dealing with a richer and more powerful nation. As advice, he suggests the same rules that are given to American diplomats for dealing with others: show respect for other cultures and make necessary adjustments to avoid offence.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Paul Sharp , 2001
 

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Professor Raymond Cohen writes that "when negotiation takes place across languages and cultures the scope for misunderstanding increases. So much of negotiation involves arguments about words and concepts that it cannot be assumed that language is secondary." With numerous examples of the culturally-grounded references, associations and nuances of certain words and phrases in English and the Middle Eastern languages (Arabic, Turkish, Farsi and Hebrew), Cohen introduces his project of developing a negotiating lexicon of the Middle East as a guide for conducting or following negotiations in those languages.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Raymond Cohen , 2001
 

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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": hidden meanings and intentions, historical and political context, legal precedents, etc. In order to find these hidden meanings the diplomat needs a broad understanding of the context of a situation. Diplomats should start with the context rather than the words themselves, because "for all our fascination for the subtlety and suppleness of words, words are but very flexible tools."

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Aldo Matteucci , 2001
 

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Dr Abu Jaber brings a cross-cultural element to the discussion of language and diplomacy, surveying the historical development of diplomatic language particularly in the Arab world. However, he points out that the very idea of a language of diplomacy "is that it should not be culture-bound but an attempt at transcending such boundaries to create a quasi neutral vehicle of exchange." Abu Jaber notes that the language of diplomacy has to this date not been successful in resolving violence between nations and peoples. Yet he believes that solutions to violent conflict are to be found in diplomacy, and that now more than ever before, the formalised language of diplomacy is necessary.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Kamel S. Abu Jaber , 2001
 

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Ambassador Stanko Nick takes a practical approach, examining issues such as the choice of language in bilateral and multilateral meetings, the messages conveyed by language choice, difficulties posed by interpretation, and aspects of diplomatic language including nuance, extra-linguistic signalling, and understatement. Language, according to Nick, is not a simple tool but "often the very essence of the diplomatic vocation."

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Stanko Nick , 2001
 

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The first paper, presented by Prof. Peter Serracino-Inglott as the keynote address at the 2001 conference, examines the serious issue of diplomatic communication in a playful manner, through one of the most paradigmatic and creative examples of language use: joking. Inglott takes us through a history and inter-cultural survey of joking, finishing with the proposal that a new type of joke, which he refers to as the "serious joke," may aid the diplomatic practice of the 21st century, inspiring creative approaches to problem solving through new perspectives and shifting frames of reference.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Peter Serracino-Inglott , 2001
 

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In the preface below, Jovan Kurbalija and Hannah Slavik introduce the chapters in the book, and extract the general themes covered by the various authors.

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Language and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija and H. Slavik (2001)
 Jovan Kurbalija, Hannah Slavik , 2001

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The book covers a wide range of topics - beginning with a general introduction to the concept of knowledge management, the interplay between development and diplomacy, the importance of institutional memory of diplomatic services for diplomatic activities, practical examples of knowledge management in international organisations and the use of language in international relations.

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Knowledge and Diplomacy. Ed by J. Kurbalija (2002)
 Jovan Kurbalija , 2002

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Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy is a collection of papers presented at two conferences: the 2003 Conference on Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy, and the 2004 Conference on Organisational and Professional Cultures and Diplomacy. Top...
Author: Edited by Hannah Slavik

Books
Knowledge and Diplomacy presents papers on knowledge and knowledge management from the January 1999 Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy in Malta. The papers in this book, examining the topic from a variety of backgrounds, academic interests and ori...
Author: Edited by Jovan Kurbalija

Books
Language and Diplomacy is a collection of papers presented at the February 2000 Second International Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy and the January 2001 Conference on Language and Diplomacy. The book examines traditional aspects of language in...
Author: Edited by Jovan Kurbalija and Hannah Slavik

Books
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