In November, Diplo celebrated 15 years of DiploFoundation and 25 years of research and training on Internet and diplomacy. To mark this milestone, we reflected on the role of diplomacy in the modern era, and the impact of technology and other area...
 5 Dec 2017

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Conviction without experience makes for harshness Flannery O’CONNOR The internet is an enabler. Arguably, the internet has been the most transforming event in the last thousand years – akin, in its impact, to writing, or the do...
 26 Aug 2015

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Chappatte’s cartoons – as always – say a lot. The attack on Charlie Hebdo was more than ‘just’ another terrorist attack; it was an attack on humour, one of the most sophisticated ways we have of communicating as humans. ...
 8 Jan 2015

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The Geneva II talks have just ended with little to show for them, or so the press claims. They started out with an undiplomatic outburst by the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem directed at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, when he was asked to r...
 5 Feb 2014

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I’ve pointed out previously that “war” covers two very different kinds of affray: raids and conquest. This distinction is fundamental – yet it is hardly mentioned in international fora dealing with international and humanitari...
 12 Aug 2013

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I perused the UNESCO World Heritage list, recently. As I scrolled the “properties” that made it, I asked myself: would my life change in any way, were these cultural sites to disappear, one and all? The honest answer is: I’d feel sa...
 11 Aug 2013

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At a champagne and caviar event, referring to Gödel’s theorem identifies the speaker as pleasantly and ironically post-modern. Suavely dropping the name Gödel is akin to be seen driving the Rolls Royce of learned ignorance. Alas, G...
 10 Aug 2013

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Ambassador Dumitriu has thrown down the gauntlet on the issue of “lethal autonomous robots.”[1] As Contrarian in Residence, I could not forego the challenge. Ambassador Dumitriu begins his two-part blog with a quote from the UN Charter t...
 8 Aug 2013

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Alasdair MACINTYRE is a well-known philosopher.[1] His After virtue. A study in moral theory is considered a classic. I’ve started reading it, but I have encountered “heavy weather” with his metaphors – in fact on the very fir...
 15 Jul 2013

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Governments have been caught spying on each other. So what else is new? Before taking informed decisions, governments weigh benefits and costs of action. To this end they gather – by hook or crook – as much contextual and social informati...
 25 Jun 2013

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I was answering my eMail, at the reception of the resort in Kerala where I’m staying at the moment, when I heard sweet talk coming from the side. A mother and her teen-age boys were rocking gently on a wooden swing, talking, and sharing. The...
 22 Jun 2013

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The French police stopped the Swiss Ambassador to OECD, the other day, on suspicion of driving under the influence. Charges were placed against him. The Swiss government lifted the ambassador’s diplomatic immunity but did not recall him –...
 7 Jun 2013

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Unimaginable, right? Well, this was the situation in the French rural areas under the Ancien Regime (things were no better in the stinking cities). Most people barely had enough to eat: at best it was 2kg of bread a day in water – or an equiva...
 30 May 2013

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I have been arguing recently that the XXIst century will be the century when we'll bring together what is known (rather than speculated) about man and society. This will transform societies in way we can barely begin to imagine. ...
 30 May 2013

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Ms. Shirin EBADI, an Iranian human rights lawyer who received the Nobel Prize in 2003, has written an occasional piece (http://bit.ly/157Bvmw) – probably on the occasion of the “Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference” in Belfast....
 29 May 2013

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In my blog entry 211, I waxed skeptical about Joseph S. NYE’s “soft power”. I disliked the intertwining of persuasion and brute power. Persuasion backed by power tends to become dogma. NYE’s concept of “change from withi...
 23 May 2013

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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 assumes...
 23 May 2013

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