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Diplomatic Theory and Practice online course

Why do we need diplomats?

Diplomats are members of a profession developed over many centuries. But why do we still need them in a world transformed by electronic communications? This course examines the nature of diplomacy; when it is appropriate; the advantages and disadvantages of different diplomatic methods; and the lexicon of diplomacy.

The materials for this course were developed by Prof. GR Berridge, based on his book Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, now in its 5th edition. Prof. Berridge is an Emeritus Professor of International Politics at the University of Leicester and a DiploFoundation Senior Fellow; read more, including his current blog postings, on his website.

Programme details

What will you learn?
  • Describe and explain with clarity the shape and functions of the contemporary world diplomatic system.
  • Identify and describe the different stages of negotiations, the objectives for each stage, and techniques for securing agreement, providing examples from diplomatic practice.
  • Compare and contrast the various missions, offices, conferences, techniques and procedures of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
  • Analyse what contributes to successful mediation.
  • Justify the role of summits and their place in the negotiating arena.
  • Defend the value of diplomacy with authority and enthusiasm.
How will you learn? In this course you will interact intensively in discussions with classmates and lecturers from around the world. You will receive guidance and personalised feedback on your classwork from the course team. How long will you learn? The course lasts for 10 weeks:
  • 1 week of course introduction and orientation to online learning
  • 8 weeks of addressing the course topics one by one (see below for more details)
  • 1 week for the final assignment and completing pending tasks