The Diplo Wisdom Circle is a DiploFoundation initiative that goes beyond the realm of diplomacy. It's aim is to foster exchanges on social, economic, political, and other important issues between our readers and the eminent and innovative thinkers, professors, diplomats, activists, and business people Diplo has had the fortune to work with over the years.

In the spirit of café philosophique, we encourage you to join the discussions via article comments. Each article contains a 'Discussion topic' on which we invite you to share your ideas, experiences, and reflections, as well as questions. 

If you feel there are important topics our authors should consider, or would like to share your comments on the initiative, please write to use at wisdomcircle@diplomacy.edu

 

Latest articles

Of topoi and memes

Aldo Matteucci   20 Apr 2021  

The abuse of analogies: Upon reading the article ‘Reading the CCP Clearly’

Aldo Matteucci   20 Jan 2021   Diplo Blog, Diplomacy

Discussion topics


Authors

WisdomCircle

Emeritus Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester
 

Prof. GR Berridge
Emeritus Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester

Professor GR Berridge is Emeritus Professor of International Politics at the University of Leicester, where he was the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Diplomacy. For many years, he was General Editor of the Macmillan series, Studies in Diplomacy, and Associate Editor (with responsibility for twentieth century diplomatists) of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He is the author of numerous books on diplomacy, including the best-selling textbook, Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, which has been translated into numerous languages, including Chinese. His most recent books include Embassies in Armed Conflict, the third edition (with L. Lloyd) of The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Diplomacy, and A Diplomatic Whistleblower in the Victorian Era. Professor Berridge has been an external examiner at various British universities, including Birmingham, Durham, and London (School of Oriental and African Studies). A fuller biography – and much more – can be found on his personal website.

United Nations Joint Inspection Unit
 

Amb. Petru Dumitriu
United Nations Joint Inspection Unit

Ambassador Petru Dumitriu is a Romanian diplomat who joined the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) of the United Nations system in 2016 as Inspector, elected by the General Assembly. He earned his doctorate with a thesis on United Nations reform. He has published extensively on various United Nations topics, including a book on United Nations reform. During his diplomatic career, he served as representative of his country in various governing bodies of United Nations organisations (UNICEF, UNESCO) and in the bureaus of several General Assembly subsidiary bodies, including as Rapporteur for the World Summit on the Information Society (2003). He was also Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Council of Europe to the United Nations–Geneva. As Director and Director-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania (1998-2001, 2006-2010) he acted as national coordinator on behalf of the government in relation to the United Nations country team. He is author of JIU reports on Knowledge Management in the United Nations System, The United Nations – Private Sector Partnership Arrangements in the Context of the 2030 Agenda, and Strengthening Policy Research Uptake. He received the Knowledge Management Award in 2017 and the Sustainable Development Award in 2019 for his reports.

Former Senior British Diplomat
 

Ms Liz Galvez
Former Senior British Diplomat

Ms Liz Galvez was a senior diplomat with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, taking early retirement in 2006 with the rank of Counsellor. During her 33 year career, she served in a wide range of diplomatic jobs in London and several overseas postings, including Finland, Central America and Romania, and 12 years in multilateral diplomacy: UN Geneva, OSCE Vienna (1989-1993) and UN New York (2003-6). She was seconded to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001-2002 as adviser to the Foreign Minister on OSCE Chairmanship and NATO accession issues, institutional reform, and diplomatic training. She returned to Romania in 2006 to set up and manage the Aspen Institute Romania until 2009.

She has been a course lecturer with DiploFoundation since 2009, providing training in public diplomacy and multilateral negotiating skills, including a programme for the Asia-Europe Foundation for diplomats from European and Asian countries, and a dissertation supervisor for DiploFoundation/University of Malta Master in Contemporary Diplomacy students. She has run workshops on public diplomacy for the Foreign Ministry of Bahrain; the Foreign Ministry and Parliamentary staffers in South Africa; and the Diplomatic Academy of Armenia. In addition, she has co-facilitated a workshop on Conflict Resolution in Bahrain for Diplomatic Heads of Mission and given a short training programme in Geneva on Diplomatic Reporting in the Internet Era for diplomatic officers from several states. She has run training programmes on negotiating skills for the Foreign Ministry of Bahrain, and at the Italian School of National Administration for Italian new entrant diplomats, and on Diplomatic English writing and speaking skills for the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Moldova. She speaks operational Spanish, Romanian, and French. She has a BA from the University of London in Latin and Spanish and an MSc degree from the University of London in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, and has recently completed the DiploFoundation course on Internet Governance.

Senior Advisor for Multilateral Affairs, MFA of North Macedonia
 

Mr Ljupčo Gjorgjinski
Senior Advisor for Multilateral Affairs, MFA of North Macedonia

Ljupčo Gjorgjinski is a Senior Fellow with DiploFoundation, focusing his research on the security and diplomatic aspects of frontier science and technology. The research draws on his practical experience at the highest diplomatic levels on artificial intelligence (AI), biotech, and cyber issues, rooted in the theoretical foundations of International Relations Theory, international economics, and diplomatic history. 

Ljupčo chaired the 2019 UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), formed under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). The GGE, under his leadership, adopted a Report that is still the most advanced international normative document to focus on AI, with important context to the document given in his Chair’s Summary

In 2018, Ljupčo chaired the Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). He resolved a complex financial situation that threatened not only to cancel that year’s meeting, but also the long-term financial viability of the Convention. He wrote, as Chair, an Information Paper on the financial predictability and sustainability of the BTWC and, based on that paper, proposed a set of measures, most of which were adopted by the MSP. These measures are broadly considered as decisive in setting this important convention on stable, long-term financial footing. 

As a Macedonian diplomat, he was the acting Head of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of North Macedonia to the UN Office and other International Organisations in Geneva (2016–2019); Assistant Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister responsible for strategic communication; and, Assistant Head of the  United Nations and Human Rights Sector in the Directorate for Multilateral Relations and Security Cooperation. 

Before entering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) where he managed the joint Macedonian Government–UNDP Policy Support Unit and produced a number of influential reports, development plans, and studies. 

He was Executive Director of the Foundation of the first Macedonian president, Kiro Gligorov, and advised the second president, Boris Trajkovski, on information society policy, including the preparation of all Macedonian positions for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva in 2003. 

Ljupčo has degrees from the University of Toronto (Hon. BA.), the University of Malta (MA), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (GMAP). 

Administrator, Bioethics Unit, Council of Europe
 

Mr Lee Hibbard
Administrator, Bioethics Unit, Council of Europe

Mr Lee Hibbard is a Senior Fellow at DiploFoundation. He is also an administrator in the Bioethics Unit of the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France. For the last ten years, Lee has been responsible for developing European human rights norms on the challenges posed by the Internet, in particular regarding freedom of expression, the public service value of the Internet, children’s right to be forgotten, responsibilities of Internet companies, privacy, and other areas. Lee has also coordinated the Council of Europe’s policy on Internet governance. This included the preparation of the organisation’s Internet Governance Strategies for 2016-2019, 2012-2015, and developing partnerships with Internet companies.

Director of Research
 

Dr Katharina Höne
Director of Research

Dr Katharina (Kat) E Höne researches, writes, and teaches on a number of issues in the area of diplomacy, global governance, and the impact of technology on international relations. Over the last years, she has focused on research at the intersection of diplomacy and technology. She was part of a research project on Data Diplomacy: Updating diplomacy to the big data era and the lead researcher and author of Mapping the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence for the conduct of diplomacy report, both supported by the Ministry for Foreign of Affairs of Finland. In addition, she has more than 10 years of experience in teaching international relations at universities in the UK and Germany, and in delivering in-situ, blended, and online training to diplomatic practitioners. Kat holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies (University of Leicester, UK) and a PhD in International Politics (University of Aberystwyth, UK). In her work, she is driven by her aim to level the playing field at international negotiation tables through capacity development, and to provide out-of-the-box thinking and inspiration by drawing on her passion for science-fiction.

Executive Director Government Affairs and Public Policy, ARIN
 

Ms Anne-Rachel Inné
Executive Director Government Affairs and Public Policy, ARIN

As Executive Director Government Affairs and Public Policy, Ms Anne-Rachel Inné serves as the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)’s primary link to governments of US, Canada and 26 Caribbean economies. Immediately prior to working for ARIN, Anne-Rachel was ICANN’s Vice President Government Engagement in Geneva, Switzerland. She also worked as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Africa Regional Registry, AFRINIC, taking care of operations and governments’ engagement in the Registry’s public policies process. Anne-Rachel worked at the IICD in The Hague, Netherlands (1998-2001) as several countries Programme Manager directing multi sector social development projects that were early adopters of ICT/Internet. She produced and publicised Learning by Doing: Lessons Emerging from the ICT Stories Projects for the benefit of the projects and the wider community. She was a member of the Bureau of the African Group at WSIS as a representative of the African Private Sector and a Member of the Gender Coalition during WSIS. Anne-Rachel was an entrepreneur and consultant in the ICT4D sector and a founding member of the African Enterprise Network (AEN) in 1997. Anne-Rachel is featured as ICT Expert in the ILO/IOM book for the AUC: African Women at the Service of the Union. She is the recipient of several awards for her demonstrated immense commitment and continued engagement with African communities. Anne-Rachel currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Diplo US.

Ambassador and Professor of Diplomacy
 

Prof. Dr Milan Jazbec
Ambassador and Professor of Diplomacy

Prof. Dr Milan Jazbec is an ambassador in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, and a professor of diplomacy at the University of Ljubljana and the New University in Kranj in Slovenia. He was the Slovene ambassador to North Macedonia, as well as a visiting professor at the South East European University and at the International Balkan University in North Macedonia.

Jazbec is a poet and a writer, and has published 60 books and over 130 articles in 14 languages. He has a long and distinguished career covering diplomacy, business, journalism, and politics.

He obtained a PhD in the sociology of diplomacy from the University of Klagenfurt (Austria) and has lectured at various universities, including Columbia (New York) and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (Austria). He was also a visiting professor at the Bilkent University, the Middle East Technical University, and the University of Ankara in Turkey.

Jazbec was ambassador of Slovenia to Turkey, and an accredited non-residential ambassador to Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. He served as minister plenipotentiary at the Embassy of Slovenia in Stockholm (Sweden), covering five Nordic and three Baltic states. He was the last Yugoslav consul in Klagenfurt, and the first ever Slovenian consul. Jazbec was state secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Slovenia, and the director of Policy Planning and Research at the Foreign Ministry of Slovenia.

He is a member of the Slovenian Association of International Relations, the Slovenian Association of Political Sciences, the Slovenian PEN Centre, as well as the editor of the international journal European Perspectives. He holds the distinguished Grand Golden Decoration of Honour with Star for Merit of the Republic of Austria.

Associate Professor of International Studies at Zayed University, UAE; Former South African Diplomat
 

Prof. Yolanda Kemp Spies
Associate Professor of International Studies at Zayed University, UAE; Former South African Diplomat

Prof. Yolanda Kemp Spies was trained as a diplomat at the South African Foreign Ministry and at Oxford University, UK. She practiced diplomacy for 19 years, and lived and worked on four continents before she joined academia. She completed her doctorate in International Relations in 2005, after which she designed a Master of Diplomatic Studies program for the University of Pretoria. She directed the programme until 2016. From 2016 to 2019 she lectured in Masters programmes at (the American) Webster University’s Ghana campus. Her academic specialisation and publications include diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international organisations, international law, conflict resolution, changing global power relations, and African politics and ethics in international relations. During 2019 she published two books on the theory and practice of diplomacy: Global Diplomacy and International Society; and Global South Perspectives on Diplomacy.

She joined Zayed University during January 2020, as Associate Professor of International Studies.

Digital Policy Senior Researcher
 

Ms Marília Maciel
Digital Policy Senior Researcher

Brazilian-born Ms Marília Maciel is currently based in Strasbourg, France. She is involved in several Internet- governance-related projects, notably on the fields of digital economy, e-commerce, and cybersecurity. She also curates the topics of e-commerce, Access and Digital Divide for the GIP Digital Watch Observatory and represents Diplo at various meetings.

Prior to joining Diplo, Ms Marília Maciel was a researcher and coordinator of the Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (CTS/FGV) in Rio de Janeiro. She served as a councillor at ICANN´s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) representing the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). Marília is a former member of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (2011–2012), created under the auspices of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN CSTD). She was also a member of the Multistakeholder Executive Committee of NETmundial and represented CTS/FGV in meetings of the Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). She served in the Consultative Chamber on Internet Security and Rights of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br).

Marília is a PhD candidate at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne, on Information and Communication Sciences. She holds an MA in Latin American Integration from the Federal University of Santa Maria (2008) and a law degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco (2005), where she was awarded a research grant from the State of Pernambuco Research Foundation (FACEPE) to investigate issues related to taxation and electronic commerce.

Former Deputy Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association
 

Mr Aldo Matteucci
Former Deputy Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association

Mr Aldo Matteucci graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) in Agriculture, and from Berkeley in Agricultural Economics. He spent three years in East Africa doing research on land use, then in Maryland, working on rural development. In 1977 he joined the Swiss Federal Office of Economic Affairs. He was deputy director of the EUREKA Secretariat in Brussels, and from 1994 to 2000, deputy secretary general of EFTA. He obtained early retirement upon leaving EFTA.

He remains a committed contrarian.

Professor Emeritus, former Indian Ambassador, and a joint secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
 

Amb. Kishan Rana
Professor Emeritus, former Indian Ambassador, and a joint secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Ambassador Kishan S. Rana is Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Fellow at DiploFoundation. He was awarded a BA (Hon) and MA in economics, St Stephens College Delhi. He was in the Indian Foreign Service (1960-95); and worked in China (1963-65, 1970-72). He was Ambassador and High Commissioner for Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius, and Germany; and consul general in San Francisco. He served on staff of PM Indira Gandhi (1981-82).

Amb. Rana is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi (book review editor, China Report); an Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge; a Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington DC; guest faculty at the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna; and Commonwealth Adviser, Namibia Foreign Ministry, 2000-01. He has lectured in about 20 countries to diplomats at foreign ministry training institutions, and at ambassador conferences in several countries.

He is the author of Inside Diplomacy (2000); Managing Corporate Culture (co-author, 2000); Bilateral Diplomacy(2002); The 21st Century Ambassador (2004); Asian Diplomacy (2007); Diplomacy of the 21st Century (2011); India’s North-East States, the BCIM Forum and Regional Integration, (co-author, 2012); The Contemporary Embassy (2013); and Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge (2015). He is co-editor of Foreign Ministries (2007); and Economic Diplomacy(2011). The two books were translated into Chinese; some used as textbooks at several universities. He has written about 100 articles for academic journals and newspapers.

Associate of the China Centre, University of Oxford
 

Dr Biljana Scott
Associate of the China Centre, University of Oxford

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 at Oxford University. She workshops internationally on political rhetoric, diplomatic language public speaking. Her current research is on implicit communication and the 'unsaid'. 

Videos

Amb. Kishan Rana: Bilateral Diplomacy

'Bilateral diplomacy might sound like a boring subject, but it can actually be quite fun.' This is how Amb. Kishan Rana opens his first of 20 diary videos on diplomacy. In this video he covers 3 topics: 1. What is bilateral diplomacy? 2. The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (the foundation of all diplomatic relations) 3. Moderating problems through the examples of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia (1979) and the Vietnam-USA relationship after the 1955-75 Vietnam War. 

Amb. Kishan Rana: The Essence of Diplomacy

In the 20th and last video in his series on diplomacy, Amb. Kishan Rana focuses on the practice (vs theory) of contemporary diplomacy. He summarises his suggestions in 8 useful points.

Rana spent 35 years in the Indian Foreign Service, and was ambassador to Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius, and Germany.