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Arcadia Students Spend a Week at AGS for a Program on Diplomacy

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

lrg_dsc04954%201%201.jpgAGS and its US partner Arcadia University launched a one-week program on Diplomacy, which was held in Paris on June 3-9 for the students in Arcadia's International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program. The course was directed by Ambassador Michael Einik, a Paris-based senior policy level diplomat who has been teaching at AGS for three years after a long diplomatic career that took him from Washington, DC to Russia, Romania, Macedonia and various countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

This intensive course was designed to introduce to the students a toolbox of practical skills for real world use. Starting on day one with a core definition of diplomacy as nothing more then an “encounter” between an us and an other which leads to some outcome, the students over the course of the week built up on top of this definition an architecture of diplomacy which, by the end of the week, they were able to use toward an analysis of the final case study on the breakup of Yugoslavia at the end of the cold war.

Throughout the week, an effort was made to leverage each assignment. For example the case study on Yugoslavia was proceeded by a half day role-play negotiation which had as its scenario donor and recipient NGOs trying to agree on how to help victims of the Yugoslav war. Similarly, a discussion on the organization and structures of Foreign Ministries and Embassies was followed by a half day workshop on the drafting of decision memos, where the students needed to deal with the complex issue of chain of command. This workshop also introduced them to the nature of post academic drafting for action in a real-world setting. Each student had to define their own scenario as to who they were, what was the issue to be decided, and whom were they writing to, and how to frame the entire issue in less than two pages.

While not a course on theory or foreign policy as such, the day spent on how foreign policy is formulated used a comparative case study between the US and Russia in terms of how each country is structured to make policy. This process introduced some new insights as to the impact of organization on policy itself. Similarly, the discussion on soft power used China as the example of an increasingly active soft power state and how this impacts on and relates to other global actors again such as the US and Russia.

"My goal over the course was to support the participants' transition from being students to being practitioners of Diplomacy in one form or another," says Ambassador Michael Einik. "The essence of a good diplomat as I see it has been captured best by someone more associated with war than peace – Carl von Clausewitz, who of course said that 'War is merely the continuation of Peace by other means', but for me in terms of what I hoped to accomplish over the week, he more importantly also said: 'Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth, and second, the courage to follow this light wherever it may lead.' Together it is these two traits that make a good diplomat."

This was the inaugural session of a summer program for the students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program at Arcadia University, upon the initiative of the Program Director Dr Warren Haffar. "This program in Diplomacy serves to reaffirm the importance of diplomacy as the best tool for international relations at a time when the role of diplomacy is all too often called into question by the loud voices of anger and intolerance and fear. This, despite the mountain of evidence of the damage, destruction, and upheaval that comes when dialogue is replaced by war as a favored solution to our problems. The summer program in Diplomacy at AGS delivers the knowledge and skills for conducting diplomatic tradecraft.”

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Patrick Clairzier Haiti-USA
M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2009

quote leftAfter working in financial services for ten years, AGS has provided me with a platform of different views and new perspectives on world affairs from which to build a new career in international relations.quote right

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