GI5006 - Diplomacy Old and New (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Diplomacy Old and New|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||School of Social Sciences|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2021/22||
This module explores the practice of modern diplomacy. The first half of the module explores the historical emergence and evolution of diplomacy and the classic texts of diplomatic theory, before going on to concentrate on the roles and functions of traditional diplomatic institutions, systems and processes, such as embassies, foreign ministries, diplomatic services and international organisations.
The second half of the module explores the main challenges posed to diplomatic practice by global change in recent decades: the rise of inclusive multilateral diplomacy in the UN and other fora; the increasing importance of non-state actors in contemporary diplomacy; the impact of faster air travel enabling leaders to conduct their own diplomacy; the revolution in information and communications technology; and innovations in diplomatic institutions (such as the emergence of the European External Action Service).
A key theme running through the whole module is the evolving nature of international negotiation, which will be illustrated through detailed case studies of environmental, security and trade diplomacy.
This is a highly practical module. Students will have opportunities to develop their ability to blog and use Twitter, engage in simulated negotiations and interact with practitioners through visits to embassies and other institutions and/or practitioner classes.
Approaches to the study of diplomacy LO2, LO4
The historical emergence and evolution of diplomacy LO1
Bilateral diplomacy in theory and practice LO2, LO4
The formation and structure of diplomatic services LO1, LO2
The debate over the benefits of old vs. new forms of diplomacy LO4
Diplomacy and the revolution in information and communications technology LO2
The nature of multilateral diplomacy LO2, LO3
The diplomacy of international organisations LO3
Public and cultural diplomacy LO2
The diplomacy of non-state actors LO3
The changing nature of international negotiation LO2
The diplomacy of trade, the environment and security LO4
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Most weeks teaching will consist of a two-hour combined lecture and workshop and a one-hour seminar. Each lecture/workshop will comprise an interactive lecture and an activity undertaken by small groups, with the result of these activities fed back in a plenary session towards the end of the two-hour session. The seminar will involve small group discussions, debates and group work. Others weeks all or some of the three-hour sessions will be devoted to simulations exploring the nature of negotiation and practical strategies that can be employed and a workshop exploring students’ draft diplomatic cables.
The module makes extensive use of blended learning, including: reflective writing on publicly accessible blogs by students throughout the module, with the requirement that they comment on each other’s postings; the use of Twitter to share information and explore its diplomatic uses; full use of the dedicated WebLearn site for the module.
Reflective learning will be encouraged through blogging, practical activities and the regular interactive lectures, workshop activities and seminar discussions.
Although it is concerned with the academic study of diplomacy, this is a very practically-oriented module which provides students with a range of opportunities to enhance their employability. They include: interaction with serving and/or former practitioners through visits to embassies and other institutions in London and/or guest lecturers; practical experience of negotiation through a simulated negotiation; the enhancement of students’ writing skills through report writing and publicly accessible reflective blogging throughout the module; and the development of students’ understanding of the professional uses of Twitter.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Understand the key historical developments in the nature of diplomacy.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of diplomacy in world politics and explain the changing nature of diplomatic institutions and processes.
3. Analyse the relationships between states and non-state actors in explaining outcomes in contemporary international relations.
4. Apply their resulting analytical expertise to write and comment with authority on the subject of diplomacy in contemporary world politics.
This module is assessed by a 4500-word portfolio comprising the students’ reflections on the main activities and themes of the module compiled over the course of the academic year, including their reflections on the success or otherwise of simulated negotiations, a diplomatic report on an issue of their choice, a comparative analysis of Twitter use by two diplomats or embassies, and a number of blog posts on the key themes of the module.
Students will be required to present in class their first attempts at the diplomatic report and reflections on the simulated negotiation and to post the first drafts of their blog entries on a publicly accessible group blog. This allows the tutor to ensure that students are engaging with the module and learning throughout the year as well as enabling the tutor and other students to comment on their work in progress, so formative assessment and feedback will take place across the whole module. More formal formative assessment and feedback will take place through tutor feedback on each student’s work on the blog over the course of the module.
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Barder, B. (2014) What Diplomats Do: The Life and Work of Diplomats. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield
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British Diplomatic Oral History Programme, Churchill College Cambridge: www.chu.cam.ac.uk/archives/collections/bdohp/
Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School: www.pon.harvard.edu/